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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-11-10

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. 218/17 10.11.17


  • [01] Akinci due to Istanbul to deliver a speech on the commemoration of Ataturk
  • [02] The occupation regime "distributed" yesterday 162 more "rural plots of land"; A quarrel came up during the "ceremony"
  • [03] One hundred fourteen more "citizenships granted" yesterday by the occupation regime and 600 more are on the track
  • [04] BKP: "The UBP-DP coalition government has distributed approximately 11.000 citizenships"
  • [05] Survey shows support to the transfer of electricity from Turkey and disagreement with the opening of a theological lyceum
  • [06] Turkish Journalists' Federation will hold its 55th presidential meeting in the occupied area of Cyprus due to the "UDI"
  • [07] Turkey, US pledge to improve ties in Yildirim, Pence meeting
  • [08] Press report regarding the release of Dimitris Kufodinas, a convicted member of 17 November terrorist organization
  • [09] CHP leader welcomes possible lowering of Turkey's election threshold
  • [10] AKP: New law could lower electoral threshold
  • [11] SpaceX to launch Turkish satellites as Turkey, Airbus ink deal
  • [12] Turkey, France and Italy to strengthen cooperation on missile defense: Sources
  • [13] Turkey no longer major Council of Europe donor


    [01] Akinci due to Istanbul to deliver a speech on the commemoration of Ataturk

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (10.11.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will carry out a one-day visit to Istanbul today in order to deliver a speech in a conference organized by the Turkish Lawyers' Union entitled "Ataturk and the Turkish Cypriots".

    According to information acquired by the so-called presidency, the conference is to be organized within the framework of the International Ataturk Commemoration Program.


    [02] The occupation regime "distributed" yesterday 162 more "rural plots of land"; A quarrel came up during the "ceremony"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (10.11.17) reports that in a ceremony organized yesterday at the occupied village of Pentagia, the occupation regime "distributed" 162 title deeds for rural plots of land it allocated to youth in the occupied villages of Pentagia, Limnitis, Kyra and Angolemi.

    According to the paper, so-called minister of interior, Kutlu Evren, so-called minister of transportation and communication Kemal Durust, "deputies" Ersin Tatar and Zorlu Tore and the "governor" of Lefka Halil Corba attended the ceremony.

    The paper adds that during the ceremony a "citizen" who attended the ceremony picked up a fight with the former "deputy" of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ahmet Caluda on the ground that the "government distributed plots of land to persons who already are owners of a residence or to persons who are under 18 years old". Also, several "citizens" who attended the ceremony expressed their objection over the "partisanship" implemented by the so-called government. The fight turned to a serious row and had as a result the "interruption of the ceremony".

    Commenting on this development the paper writes that as soon as the "election bugle blow" the UBP with the "distribution of plots of land" every day sets its supporters quarrelling.


    [03] One hundred fourteen more "citizenships granted" yesterday by the occupation regime and 600 more are on the track

    Under the front-page title: "114 more citizenships! And 600 more on the track", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.11.17) reports that the illegal "granting" of the occupation regime's "citizenship prior to the elections" is out control.

    According to the paper, the "official gazette" published yesterday the names of 114 persons who were "granted the TRNC citizenship". Also allegations say that during the last "meeting of the council of ministers citizenship was granted" to 460 persons while there are 600 more persons on the track". Also, according to the paper, the so-called UBP-DP coalition government has "granted the TRNC citizenship" to 9,618 persons until so-far with a "decision of the council of ministers or the ministry of interior". Meanwhile, the "citizenships granted with a decision of the ministry" are not included in this number.

    On the same issue and under the title: "345 citizens on the short of the elections", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (11.10.17) reports that the so-called government speeded up its "citizenship policy" prior to the "elections" and during the "meetings of the council of ministers" dated October 24, October 31 and November 7 it has "granted citizenship" to 114 persons, adding that during its "yesterday meeting the council approved the granting of 231 more citizenships".

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (10.11.17) reports in its front page that the National Unity Party (UBP) together with the "citizenship identity cards given to the people granting the TRNC citizenship, it distributes simultaneously membership form for the UBP which is considered a precondition for granting the citizenship".


    [04] BKP: "The UBP-DP coalition government has distributed approximately 11.000 citizenships"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (11.10.17) reports that the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan in a written statement condemned the so-called coalition government of the National Unity Party-Democratic Party (UBP-DP) for the continuous distribution of the occupation regime's citizenships. Izcan stated that "it is unacceptable for the government which is full of panic, few days before the elections to distribute citizenships".

    Stating that the "council of ministers has distributed the TRNC citizenship" to 75 persons during its last "meeting", Izcan said that this practice is "politically immoral". He further added that the so-called government during the 18-months in power has "distributed approximately 11,000 citizenships", underlining that "until the early elections" it seems that it intensifies this "practice".


    [05] Survey shows support to the transfer of electricity from Turkey and disagreement with the opening of a theological lyceum

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (10.11.17) reports that 76% of the participants in a public opinion poll held by the Target Research Company using the method of face to face interviews with 617 persons in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, expressed their support to the transfer of electricity from Turkey through undersea cables, while 20% said they oppose such a development.

    Moreover, 58,3 % of the participants in the survey said that they are in favor of the privatization of the so-called electricity authority (KIB-TEK), while 35,1% opposed this privatization.

    Responding to another question, 60,7% noted that they disagree with the opening of new theological lyceum and only 32,% said that they are in favor of such development.


    [06] Turkish Journalists' Federation will hold its 55th presidential meeting in the occupied area of Cyprus due to the "UDI"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.11.17) reports that around 150 members of Turkey's Journalists Federation (TGF) will visit the occupied area of Cyprus between 14 and 17 November, on the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence ("UDI") of the breakaway regime. TGF will hold its 55th presidential council in the occupied area of Cyprus and will participate in the "celebrations" for the UDI.

    In a statement on the issue, Yilmaz Karaca, chairman of TGF, argued that their aim is to further strengthen their unity.

    Olcay Kirac, chairman of the "foreign press association" in the occupied area of Cyprus, which will be hosting TGF's council, said that they are ready for this "historic gathering".


    [07] Turkey, US pledge to improve ties in Yildirim, Pence meeting

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (10.11.17) reports that Ankara and Washington have pledged a new era in their mutual ties following the meeting of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence amid rising rifts between the two NATO allies.

    The meeting, which lasted nearly one and a half hour, longer than the schedule, was "very fruitful," said the Turkish Prime Minister, adding that the two parties decided to maintain dialogue.

    "We talked over our problems sincerely and honestly," Yildirim told journalists aboard via New York following the meeting. "We have decided to maintain dialogue. We agreed on resolution of problems with instant touches via telephone," he said.

    "I had an observation that the Vice President has a positive look on Turkey."

    One of the key matters between the two allies is the U.S. support to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers terrorist for its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) but the U.S. backs in fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    "We have talked bluntly on the YPG issue," Yildirim said, adding that the U.S. understands Turkey's sensitivity on the matter.

    Yildirim said it was time for the U.S. to put an end to the support to the YPG since the ISIL forces have been defeated, reiterating Turkey's concerns over the arms sent to the YPG, which end in the hands of the PKK, a fact that was displayed to the U.S. Defense Minister Jim Mattis by his Turkish counterpart Nurettin Canikli earlier in the day.

    However, the U.S. Vice President said cooperation would last in the short term, but Washington will closely track its guns, giving credit to Turkey's concerns, according to Yildirim. "We will follow the guns more closely," he quoted Pence as saying.

    Turkey demands the extradition of Gulen and Yildirim said he told Pence that Ankara wants to see concrete steps on the issue. "We want the U.S. to restrict their activities," he said.

    On the U.S. side, Washington demands the release of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who was arrested in Turkey over alleged links to the illegal network of Gulen.

    Yildirim told journalists Pence raised the U.S. concerns over the trial. "We noted that the principles of law of state rules in both the U.S. and Turkey," Yildirim said.

    Pence praised Turkey for its strong will in the problems that emerged after the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) independence referendum in late September, a bid that the autonomous administration has already withdrew from following international reaction an a strong Baghdad response.

    The allies had both declared their opposition to the KRG leader Massoud Barzani's failed bid.

    In response to Pence, Yildirim said Ankara demanded further support to the central Iraqi government under Haidar al-Abadi.

    The two countries will fight against ISIL, Yildirim said, adding that Turkey called on the U.S. to take a more active role in Syria and deeper cooperation with Turkey.

    Yildirim and Pence "highlighted the United States' and Turkey's mutual interest in stability and security in the Middle East and agreed to further intergovernmental consultations toward that end," read the White House statement.

    Pence thanked Yildirim for Turkey's contributions to global security and the fight to defeat ISIL, and he underscored the U.S. commitment to stand with Turkey against the PKK and other terrorist threats.

    [08] Press report regarding the release of Dimitris Kufodinas, a convicted member of 17 November terrorist organization

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (09.11.17 issued the following statement:

    "We have learned with great disappointment that Dimitris Kufodinas, the second-in-command of the 17 November terrorist organization, who was sentenced for life in prison for the assassination of Mr. Cetin Gorgu, the Press Attache of the Turkish Embassy in Athens in 1991, for attempting to assassinate Mr. Deniz Bolukbasi, Counsellor at the Turkish Embassy in Athens in 1991 and for taking part in the assassination of Mr. Haluk Sipahioglu, Counsellor at the Turkish Embassy in Athens in 1994, was released from prison today (9 November) for a period of two days.

    It is not possible to understand how a terrorist who has repeatedly claimed the lives of our diplomats is given the opportunity to enjoy such an arrangement. Displaying tolerance to a bloodthirsty terrorist in this manner is a sheer disrespect to the memory of our martyred diplomats."

    [09] CHP leader welcomes possible lowering of Turkey's election threshold

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (10.11.17) reports that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has welcomed a proposal from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli to lower the current 10 % parliamentary election threshold.

    "We do not have any terms for the threshold. It doesn't matter whether they make it one or five [%]. But the threshold should be lowered for a healthy reflection of the national will in Parliament," Kilicdaroglu told reporters late on Nov. 8 during a visit to Strasbourg.

    His comments came after Bahceli said the MHP was "expecting a proposal" for lowering the 10 % general election threshold. The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) current majority at Parliament is enough to amend the Election Law and therefore lower the election threshold.

    Turkey's 10 % election threshold has long been criticized and is the highest such threshold in Europe.

    The existing Election Law is a product of the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup and needs to be fully overhauled through consensus between political parties, CHP head Kilicdaroglu said.

    Although there is still around two years to go until the 2019 parliamentary and presidential elections, there has been speculation that the CHP and the Good Party will form an alliance ahead of the vote. However, Kilicdaroglu denied claims that Good Party Chair Meral Aksener had proposed such an alliance to him.

    "We have not received anything from them directly or indirectly. Political parties run independently in elections," he said, recalling that current laws do not allow political parties to form such formal alliances.

    "[The government] will make a legal arrangement [on the Election Law]. We first have to see this. What do they mean by alliance? It's not right to make a comment before seeing the drafted law," Kilicdaroglu added.

    The presidential elections in 2019 will take place on two axes, the CHP leader stated.

    On the presidential election currently scheduled for November 2019, the CHP head stressed that each party will "make its own nomination," while suggesting that the most attention should be paid to the second round, when the two candidates with the most votes will run off if no single candidate can secure over 50 % in the first round.

    Meanwhile, Kilicdaroglu also touched on his meeting with Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland in Strasbourg. "We told him that we will defend democracy to the end and that democracy will prevail in 2019, so everyone needs to be optimistic," he said.

    "Asked whether he has more trips abroad scheduled, Kilicdaroglu said he will hold talks in the United Kingdom between Dec. 5 and 8, meeting main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and EU Minister Alan Duncan, as well as think tanks, journalists and business circles.

    [10] AKP: New law could lower electoral threshold:

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (10.11.17) reports that he ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is working on a new election law that includes reducing the 10% electoral threshold, AKP spokesperson Mahir Unal said on Nov. 9.

    "We will present our work to the party leader [Recep Tayyip Erdogan]. Our views will also be shared with the public. Political parties will discuss the proposed measures before a final decision is reached," he said.

    Unal also said that the AKP has discussed this possibility before.

    "This is nothing new. We made the call to negotiate [the election laws] in 2012. There was no response to the call we made that day. We will share our thoughts with the public when the consultation process within the AKP is complete," he added.

    The debate heated up on Nov. 7 when Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli made a statement about the current electoral threshold.

    He said the 10% threshold was too high for Turkey and needed to be lowered, stressing that political parties should reach a consensus in order to decide on the new quota.

    "The MHP is not worried about the 10 % threshold. But the possibility of staying below the threshold puts pressure on society," Bahceli told a group of reporters.

    Meanwhile, MHP Deputy Chair Semih Yalcin said that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim had correctly understood Bahceli's statement regarding a lower electoral threshold.

    Yalcin also said that MHP was a political party that could feel the pain of a 10% threshold.

    "We had to make an alliance to counter it [the 10% threshold]. You should remember the alliance in 1991, and in 2002 we fell short of the threshold. We feel that pain," he added.

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Group Deputy Chair Ozgur Ozel has said that the electoral threshold in Turkey should be abolished entirely in response to Bahceli.

    "How long has the 10-% threshold weighed on Turkey? Does it weigh on the MHP now that the MHP has dropped below the threshold, according to the latest election surveys? The threshold should be zero. Any party that passes one % should have representation in parliament," he said.

    On June 7, 2015, Turkey held parliamentary elections to elect 550 members to Parliament.

    The MHP increased its 2011 share by 3.2 %, gaining 28 seats and winning a total of 16.3 % of the votes. Meanwhile, the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) received a total of 13.1 % of the national vote, pushing it well above the minimum 10 % threshold to achieve representation in Parliament.

    This resulted in 80 seats each for the MHP and the HDP and marked the first time a Kurdish issue-focused party gained formal representation in Turkey's Parliament. Candidates of the HDP's predecessors had run as independents in previous elections in order to avoid the 10% election threshold.

    In the snap elections on Nov. 1, 2015, called after a coalition government was unable to be formed, both the MHP and HDP lost a significant amount of votes, receiving 11.9 % and 10.8 % of the vote respectively.

    [11] SpaceX to launch Turkish satellites as Turkey, Airbus ink deal

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (10.11.17) reports that Turkey signed an agreement with Airbus Defense and Space on Nov. 9 for the production of Turksat 5A and Turksat 5B communications satellites.

    The Turksat 5A and 5B satellites will be launched by Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said.

    "Our friends decided to launch our satellites with the Falcon 9 rockets of Airbus' subcontractor, SpaceX," Arslan said at the 3rd Global SatShow, during which top representatives from Turksat and Airbus clinched the deal.

    The agreement to build and launch satellites will be worth around $500 million, Turksat Chair Vecdi Gonul said during his speech at the same event.

    In October, Airbus submitted the best bid to build the satellites. The 5A satellite will be launched in 2020 and the 5B in 2021.

    A significant part of production will be undertaken by Turksat engineers "through local means" in cooperation with Airbus, according to Turkish officials.

    The production of satellites is planned to start immediately after the agreement is signed.

    Elon Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc. and aerospace company SpaceX, met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Nov. 8 and discussed cooperation between Tesla, SpaceX and Turkish firms.

    Musk's SpaceX plans a manned mission to Mars by 2024 and also aims to produce a rocket capable of carrying passengers from one continent to another in less than an hour.

    [12] Turkey, France and Italy to strengthen cooperation on missile defense: Sources

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (10.11.17) reports that Turkey signed a letter of intent with France and Italy on Nov. 8 to strengthen cooperation on joint defence projects including air and missile defense systems, Turkish Defense Ministry sources said.

    As a first step, the Franco-Italian EUROSAM consortium and Turkish companies will look into a system based on the SAMP-T missile system produced by EUROSAM and determine the common needs of the three countries, the sources said.

    NATO member Turkey has said it plans to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missiles, a decision which has been seen in some Western capitals as a snub to the alliance given tensions with Moscow over Ukraine and Syria.

    The Russian deal also raises concerns because the weapons cannot be integrated into NATO defence.

    "That deal has not been consummated. There are no S-400s in Turkey as we speak," U.S. Air Force General Tod Walters, head of NATO Allied Air Command, told Reuters in Berlin.

    Walters said he would continue to press Turkish air force officials to buy weapons that could work together with NATO systems, which the S-400 could not.

    "We obviously have systems in the region now that possess that capability and demonstrate a high, high degree of interoperability," he added.

    Raytheon, which builds the Patriot missile defense system, had also put in offer before Turkey chose the S-400.

    Turkey has continued talks with the EUROSAM consortium, which came in second in the tender.

    NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg last month said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had told him that Ankara was discussing buying air defense systems from France and Italy in addition to the S-400s.

    The Defense Ministry sources said Turkey, France and Italy would strengthen cooperation on joint production of military electronic systems, software and simulation systems and warfare equipment, as well as air and missile defense systems.

    The letter of intent was signed in Brussels, where Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli was attending a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

    [13] Turkey no longer major Council of Europe donor

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (10.11.17) reports that Turkey has informed the Council of Europe that it is withdrawing from being one of the six major donors to the European body.

    Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Nov. 2 had expressed to Council of Europe Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland by phone Turkey's unease over an award given to a Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO) suspect.

    Turkey's reaction comes after the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize 2017 to Murat Arslan, the former chair of the Judges and Prosecutors Union (YARSAV) who has been arrested since 2016 over links to FETO, which is believed to have orchestrated last year's failed coup.

    Jagland, after meeting with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) on Nov. 8, told reporters that Turkey decided to end being one of the major contributors to the Council of Europe, while stressing that both the Council and the European Court of Justice needed all sorts of support.

    Kilicdaroglu, meanwhile, criticized Turkey's decision, urging that the country should not lose the platform because of an award.

    "I want common sense to prevail. It is very important for us that Turkey remains as one of the major contributors," he said and called on the government to review its decision.

    "It's suggested that the decision was made due to the award given to the former YARSAV chair. It's like cutting off the nose to spite the face. One has to keep the interests of Turkey above everything. Turkey should take the leading role in an institution to which Turkey is a predecessor. One should tell their mistakes to their faces," he said.

    Asked about the Council's reports on its criticisms of the Turkish government's practices, Kilicdaroglu urged Europe should continue its relations with Turkey despite problems."Turkey should be in the future of Europe," he said.

    Cavusoglu made Turkey a major donor. Turkey has been among the major donors, along with France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United Kingdom, contributing to nearly 65 % of the total budget of the Council.

    Turkey became one of the major contributors in 2016 with the meticulous efforts by Cavusoglu, who once served for the Council of Europe. Cavusoglu was elected as the Oresident of PACE for the 2010-2012 term, becoming the first Turkish parliamentarian to hold this office. He was granted the title of Honorary President of PACE in 2014.

    Turkey's contribution increased from 14 million euros in 2015 to 34 million euros on Jan. 1, 2016, the same year Turkey's seats in the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities and PACE increased from 12 to 18, along with the introduction of the Turkish language to both bodies.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Oct. 9 lashed out at the award given to Arslan.

    "It is wrong and unacceptable to award the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to a person who is a member of FETO, the perpetrators of the July 15, 2016, coup attempt. Making such a mistake under the roof of an organization that defends the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law has seriously damaged the credibility of PACE," the Ministry said in a statement.

    "While the judicial process is still ongoing, presenting a terror suspect as a human rights defender is a betrayal to the ideals of democracy and human rights. Such an approach serves no purpose other than aiding the circles that support terrorism. We deeply regret PACE has become a tool to these political moves," it added.


    (CS / AM)

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