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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-10-17

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>



No. 200/17 17.10.17


  • [01] The regime reacts to the decision by the House of Representatives for abolition of the guarantees and full withdrawal of troops
  • [02] Ak?nc? met with Kidd
  • [03] Self-styled energy minister on co-operation between Turkey and the breakaway regime on regional energy and politics
  • [04] Support to Turkish Cypriots' participation with the observer status in the Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • [05] Berova on the number of "universities" and their "contribution to the TRNC's economy"
  • [06] Theology graduates in the occupied area of Cyprus reacted to employing 32 theology teachers from Turkey
  • [07] Turkey closes air space to Northern Iraq flights
  • [08] Turkey slams European countries over PKK rallies
  • [09] EU seeks to cooperate with Turkey on regional issues


    [01] The regime reacts to the decision by the House of Representatives for abolition of the guarantees and full withdrawal of troops

    Under the title "The looters want guarantors", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (17.10.17) reports that the decision of the Cyprus House of Representatives for abolition of the Treaty of Guarantees and full withdrawal of the Turkish occupation army has caused the rage of the "administration" in the occupied area of the island.

    The National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Party (DP), which participate in the "coalition government", and the four "independent deputies" have submitted a proposal in the "assembly" to condemn the decision.

    Meanwhile, Baris Burcu, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, described the decision as "unilateral and invalid" alleging that a new opportunity for reaching a lasting solution in Cyprus would be possible only with a change of the mentality of the Greek Cypriot leadership and the Greek Cypriot community.

    On his part, Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, described the decision as a "continuation of provocations" by the Greek Cypriots and reportedly reiterated the position that the Turkish Cypriot "people" will never approve an agreement which does not include the "guarantees of the motherland Turkey".


    [02] Ak?nc? met with Kidd

    According to illegal Bayrak television (17.10.17), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc? met yesterday with the British High Commissioner in Cyprus Matthew Kidd.

    During the meeting which was held upon an invitation by Ak?nc?, the commencement of talks on the status of the British bases in Cyprus after Brexit was discussed.

    Akinci reportedly reminded Kidd that the Turkish Cypriots also have a say on the 1960s agreements which determines the status of the British bases.

    Akinci further stated during the meeting that the Turkish Cypriot side's views should be taken into consideration in any changes to be made regarding the status of the bases.

    Ak?nc? and Kidd also agreed to continue dialogue during the Brexit negotiations.

    Ak?nc? also brought to the agenda the criticisms put forward by the "official union" of the Turkish Cypriot workers at the bases allegedly regarding discriminatory practices Turkish Cypriot workers were "subjected to by the Greek Cypriot authorities", as the Republic of Cyprus is called.

    Conveying the criticisms of the union to Kidd, Ak?nc? reminded that the Turkish Cypriots residing or working in the British bases areas should not be subjected to any discrimination and should be treated equally.

    As it was announced, the two men also agreed on the fact that the rights of the Turkish Cypriots residing or living in the bases areas will not be affected after Brexit.

    [03] Self-styled energy minister on co-operation between Turkey and the breakaway regime on regional energy and politics

    Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper (17.10.17) publishes an exclusive interview with the self-styled economy and energy minister Sunat Atun who elaborated on the energy projects that Turkey and the breakaway regime are conducting collaboratively.

    Atun referred to the energy project being collaborated between Turkey and the breakaway regime regarding power transmission via underwater cables. Atun Said that "the project begins at the Teknecik power plant in Northern Cyprus and will be connected to the transformer station at Turkey's Akkuyu power plant".

    Speaking about the "needs of northern Cyprus", Atun said: "We are an island that prides ourselves in the natural beauty and tourist attractions we have to offer. However, the power generation model that has been used thus far, has relied on fuel-oil based generators. This energy model is not economically or environmentally sustainable."

    He also said that the "government" aims to prevent the island from turning into an island of generators, as the increasing demand for energy and the expanding economy require vast amounts of power. "President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports this power generation project immensely, and the process has been expedited since incumbent Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak assumed his role," Atun said. Drawing attention to the vast energy basket of Turkey, which includes coal, natural gas and renewables for power generation, he alleged that the "country" will be able to institute a more stabilized energy market in terms of pricing, with international natural gas agreements such as TurkStream. In that regard he claimed, the underwater cable system will allow "northern Cyprus" to also benefit from the energy ecosystem in Turkey.

    He also said that currently "northern Cyprus" already provides electricity to the southern part of the island via three points, at a capacity of 400 megawatts (MWs). "If needed, the power that comes from Turkey via the underwater cable system can be supplied to Greek Cyprus and other countries in the region," Atun said, emphasizing the project's regional and global potential and added:

    "The third Turkey-Northern Cyprus energy partnership" includes seismic exploration for hydrocarbon resources in the region. Turkey's seismic vessel Barbaros Hayreddin has been conducting surveys in the region since 2015, when the two sides signed an agreement that gives Turkey exploration rights for 30 years".

    Atun said that "the seismic surveys were completed in July and are now being refined for the purpose of extracting more comprehensible data. The data we have gathered so far is very promising and indicates that there is potential in the region. Turkey and northern Cyprus will act together to unleash that potential, access to natural gas resources and to commercially evaluate it by bringing a drilling vessel which Turkish Petroleum has bought by the end of the year. The vessel will begin offshore drilling after the new year, as Minister Berat Albayrak announced," Atun said, explaining the course to be followed in natural gas explorations. In case the results are commercially viable, Atun claimed "northern Cyprus" will assume a significant role in the energy equation of the region.

    "In order to export the gas that is extracted and produced in the region, a route that passes through "northern Cyprus and Turkey" is the most feasible direction", Atun claimed and stated: "Our geographical location offers the most lucrative route, particularly considering the investment costs via a route that passes through Greece, which would not be viable at this market prices. [] Connecting natural gas pipelines from a drilling well in the region to Turkey's Ceyhan via northern Cyprus will make us a solution partner for energy. Accordingly, this will redefine our political status," he alleged.

    An energy solution that includes Turkey and "northern Cyprus" will transfer the Cyprus problem away from politics and to the sphere of energy, he further claimed. Accordingly, he alleged that the energy partnership between Turkey and "northern Cyprus" will bring new horizons to the ways of setting up a political platform and sorting out energy equations.

    [04] Support to Turkish Cypriots' participation with the observer status in the Inter-Parliamentary Union

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (17.10.17) reports that Sibel Siber, self-styled speaker of the "assembly", has met in Saint Petersburg with the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Saber Hossain Chowdhury in the sidelines of the 137th General Assembly of IPU. Siber briefed her interlocutor on the negotiating process for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem and alleged that the lifting of the so-called embargo in the fields of sports, culture and trade is a "duty" of the countries which believe in democracy. She also claimed that the fact that the contacts of the "elected representatives" of the Turkish Cypriot "people" with Parliaments of other countries are prevented is contrary to the parliamentarian diplomacy. Moreover, Siber asked for Chowdhury's support in order for the Turkish Cypriots to be given the observer status in the IPU.

    On his part, Chowdhury said that he followed the Cyprus negotiations and expressed sorrow for the fact that they collapsed again. He noted that he opposes these kinds of "isolation" and claimed that restrictions should not be put on parliaments whatever the reason for this is. He said that he knows the effort exerted by Siber in order for the Turkish Cypriots to be given the observer status in the IPU and reportedly added that he will support them.

    Meanwhile, Siber met also with Mexican Deputy Gabriela Cuevas, who is considered one of the strongest candidates for IPU's presidency for the forthcoming period. Siber wished him success in her effort and asked for her support in the lifting of "isolation" and "the "embargoes". Cuevas promised that she will offer support for the lifting of the obstacles allegedly imposed on dialogue and parliamentarian diplomacy.


    [05] Berova on the number of "universities" and their "contribution to the TRNC's economy"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (17.10.17) reports that so-called minister of national education and culture Ozdemir Berova, in statements during a meeting he held with the illegal American university of Keryneia media group, claimed that the total number of students who study at the "universities" in the "TRNC" according to the recent figures (including the academic year 2016-2017) is 93 thousands.

    Berova further claimed that the "revenues" from the "higher level education-universities" during 2016-2017 year has reached to 700 million dollars.


    [06] Theology graduates in the occupied area of Cyprus reacted to employing 32 theology teachers from Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.10.17) reports that Ismail Hakki, Salih Tugay and Emre Ozkan, members of the so-called "Cyprus theology Graduates Association", have reacted to the employment of 32 teachers from Turkey in the field of theology in the occupied area, in spite of the fact that 40 persons possess a certificate in this field. The graduates said that they do not understand why teachers are brought from Turkey, in spite of the fact that they are adequately educated.

    Ozkan told the paper in 2016, a vacancy had been opened in the occupied area and that Turkey asked for the return of the candidate who came first in the exam because he was suspect of being a member of Fethullah Gulen organization (FETO). He said that in order for not experiencing such events, the graduates who are "TRNC citizens" should be given a chance.

    Tugay said that the appointments in "the religious affairs department" of the breakaway regime are made from Turkey and added that the theology graduates in the occupied area of the island are not put to good use. 'Why are we being educated", he wondered.


    [07] Turkey closes air space to Northern Iraq flights

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.10.17) reports that Turkey announced that it has closed its airspace to flights to and from the airports of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and it has begun a process to let the Iraqi central government take control of a key border gate, following the recent KRG independence bid.

    "The cabinet has decided to close Turkish airspace to flights to and from northern Iraq under the regional government, upon an advisory decision of the National Security Council. From now on, no plane will be able to fly to airports in northern Iraq and no plane taking off from airports in northern Iraq will be able to use Turkish airspace," Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdag told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting.

    Bozdag also stated that the government has decided to launch work with the central Iraqi government for the handover of the Ibrahim Khalil (Habur) border gate from the KRG to Baghdad.

    These two measures were also discussed at the biannual National Security Council (MGK) meeting held under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and top civilian and military officials on Oct. 16 before the cabinet meeting.

    "[During the meeting] the steps taken right after the KRG's illegitimate and unconstitutional referendum were evaluated and new measures that can be taken were discussed. Closing Turkish air space to the KRG and handing over control of the Ibrahim Khalil Border Gate to the central Iraqi government were advised to the government," read a written statement issued by the MGK after the meeting.

    The MGK said it evaluated the measures taken by the central Iraqi government, particularly in Kirkuk, emphasizing the importance that Turkey attaches to the territorial integrity and political unity of Iraq.

    It voiced Turkey's expectation that the latest military offensive launched by the Iraqi government to retake Kirkuk will "rebuild the demographic structure of the city." It said Kirkuk, which is home to a large population of Iraqi Turkmens, has been subject to demographic changes by the KRG administration amid attempts to take control of the oil rich province.

    The MGK also discussed the ongoing military operation into Idlib, recently kicked off as part of a deal between Turkey, Iran and Russia provided in the Astana Agreement. It stated that the council evaluated that the Turkish troops in the de-escalation zone in Idlib "are continuing their operation successfully."

    In addition, the paper writes that the Turkish government decided to extend for a further three months Turkey's state of emergency, which was first imposed after last year's failed coup attempt, spokesperson Bekir Bozdag has stated.

    [08] Turkey slams European countries over PKK rallies

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.10.17) reports that Turkey has lashed out at some European countries for tolerating the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) simultaneous demonstrations vowing to summon their Ambassadors.

    "We regretfully condemn the tolerance shown toward simultaneous and provocative demonstrations that have been launched by members of the PKK in various cities in Europe last night," a written statement issued by the Foreign Ministry said without indicating which European countries they were.

    "The fact that the PKK can hold such organized acts throughout the continent, can occupy public offices in some countries and can continue its terrorist propaganda is exemplary to display how it could get strengthened in the continent as a result of the tolerance shown in Europe," it said.

    "Hereby, we remind our counterparts that taking necessary measures against the PKK is not vital only for the security of Turkey but also for the security of their own countries," it added.

    The statement informed that the ambassadors of the countries where the PKK can stage demonstrations will be summoned. The ministry did not give details of which European countries they were.

    In addition, the Turkish Ministry (17.10.17 issued another statement regarding the developments in Kurkuk:

    "We are closely following the steps by the Iraqi Government to reinstitute its constitutional sovereignty over the city of Kirkuk, which is a model of the country's social mosaic, and home to our Turcoman Kinsmen throughout history, following the KRG's illegitimate referendum that was held in violation of the Iraqi Constitution.

    We welcome the Iraqi Government's statement that the presence of the members of the PKK terrorist organization will not be tolerated within the city of Kirkuk and that the mobilization of such units would be considered as a declaration of war.

    We warn the KRG not to add a new one to the grave mistakes it has recently committed. Those who were instrumental in helping the PKK, which may attempt to disrupt peace and harmony in Kirkuk, find a refuge in this region will also be held accountable by us.


    Turkey will stand by the Iraqi Government during the steps it will take to establish lasting peace and stability in the country."

    [09] "EU will have to decide how to handle Turkey"

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.10.17) publishes the following article by Barcin Yinanc:

    "A move that Turkey had been expecting to come from Europe actually came from the U.S., catching Ankara by surprise.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long been bashing European capitals for what he sees as their lack of cooperation against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Fetullahist Terror Organization (FETO). Despite similar complaints about Washington, Erdogan has generally avoided directly targeting the U.S. administration.

    The arrest and detention of European and U.S. citizens in Turkey, which is perceived by Ankara's foreign interlocutors as a "hostage policy," started amid this criticism. But even in the recent German election campaign, Chancellor Angela Merkel did not target Turkey directly despite the arrest of a number of German citizens in Turkey. Even when German MPs were not allowed to visit German soldiers deployed at the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, Merkel decided against taking direct action against Turkey. She instead simply withdrew German soldiers and transferred them to a base in Jordan.

    In contrast, the U.S. has showed zero tolerance to the escalation in "hostage-taking," presenting a strong reaction when a second Turkish national working for U.S. missions in Turkey came under arrest.

    The interest of the public in Germany and the United States in relations with Turkey is also incomparable. While Merkel is under constant scrutiny in terms of relations with Ankara, the same is not the case for U.S. President Donald Trump.

    Still, the fact that Washington has taken the move to suspend visa services in Turkey will put further pressure on Merkel to take a tougher stance against Turkey. While EU leaders will discuss relations with Turkey at a summit meeting on Oct. 19, Merkel has stressed that the summit will not make any final decision on Ankara's membership bid.

    By now it has become clear that the calls to officially end Turkey's accession talks, which are at a standstill anyway, has not found enough support among the 28 members. But this does not mean that other measures will not be discussed on Oct. 19, and it definitely does not mean that the present stalemate will become the "new normal" and bilateral relations with each EU member will continue on a "business as usual" basis. This will certainly not be the case so long as European nationals remain in prison in Turkey.

    So the question of "how to handle Turkey" will still need an answer, even if it is already known that the suspension of its EU membership bid is not the "right" or "desired" answer.

    Will the answer lean closer to "contestation" or "engagement"? So far neither contention nor engagement has defined the course of action that the EU has taken in its relations with Turkey, especially since the July 2016 coup attempt. A majority of EU leaders seem convinced that contestation is not the most effective tool to bring about the desired change in Turkey in terms of abiding to democratic standards. They are also aware that contestation has so far only seemed to strengthen the hand of Erdogan.

    However, there is unwillingness to fully opt for engagement because this might be seen as unfairly rewarding Turkey. That would not be taken lightly by European public opinion.

    Nevertheless, if there is a general view that contestation will not work it may well be time to seriously try a course of engagement. Engagement does not mean turning a blind eye to the big democratic deficit in Turkey or accepting whatever Ankara wants from its European interlocutors. It simply means starting a meaningful and genuine dialogue to increase cooperation wherever possible, and seeking solutions wherever there are problems.

    In that respect, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini's Oct. 15 statement that the bloc will strengthen cooperation with Turkey on issues "related to regional dynamics," while discussing how Brussels and Ankara can coordinate better on Syria and Iraq, should be seen as a positive sign."


    (CS / AM)

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