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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 18-01-02

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. 01/18 30.12.17-02.01.18


  • [01] Turkey's MFA condemned the Republic of Cyprus' hydrocarbon activities
  • [02] Akinci sends the message that Cyprus negotiation talks will never be the same
  • [03] Turkey's Energy Minister announced that DeepSea Metro-2 will go ashore to the Mediterranean within the next months
  • [04] More about the forthcoming "snap elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [05] "Piece by piece solution" is the only formula in the Cyprus problem, alleges Denktas
  • [06] Ozgurgun promises investments in occupied Karpasia area
  • [07] National Unity Party asks for the vote of the "new TRNC citizens"
  • [08] Claims that the US Embassy to Lefkosia interfered to the "elections"
  • [09] Turkish Cypriot daily compares the minimum wage in Turkey and the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [10] Republic of Cyprus' licensed plates cars were set on fire in occupied Famagusta
  • [11] Erdogan due to Paris to meet Macron; Developments in Syria, ties with the EU and Jerusalem to be discussed
  • [12] Cavusoglu: "Turkey eyes better ties with Germany in 2018"
  • [13] "Where will the Erdogan-Gul row lead?


    [01] Turkey's MFA condemned the Republic of Cyprus' hydrocarbon activities

    Turkey's MFA published in its website (29.12.17- a written statement, condemning the Republic of Cyprus' hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. Following is the statement: "The Greek Cypriot administration continues its unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities in the Eastern Mediterranean in disregard of the inalienable rights on natural resources of the Turkish Cypriot people, the co-owners of the island. Most recently in this context, a drilling vessel has arrived at block number six and is preparing to commence its activities within the framework of the licenses issued by the Greek Cypriot administration in its so-called exclusive economic zone.

    It is unacceptable that the Greek Cypriot side persists in acting as though it was the sole owner of the Island and continues with its unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities in the absence of a just and lasting comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

    We support the statement made on 29 December 2017 concerning this issue by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and we share the justified concerns and outrage felt by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Turkey, who from the very beginning has been issuing the necessary warnings with regard to these irresponsible steps taken by the Greek Cypriot administration, is determined to protect both its own rights and interests in its continental shelf and to continue its support to the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Within this framework, the necessary preparations are being made for various exploration activities in Turkey's licensed exploration areas in the Eastern Mediterranean in the period ahead, including the areas where Turkish Petroleum was granted exploration permits by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus upon the basis of the legitimate rights of the Turkish Cypriot people on the natural resources around the island".

    [02] Akinci sends the message that Cyprus negotiation talks will never be the same

    According to illegal Bayrak television (30.12.17) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci hosted a New Year's reception for journalists in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    Speaking during the reception, Ak?nc? alleged that the year 2017 had been a very busy year and thanked the journalists for working devotedly throughout the year.

    Referring to the Cyprus negotiations process, he said that he had worked throughout the whole year to secure the "rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people", alleging that the Turkish Cypriot side was not responsible for the fact that a positive outcome not being reached. "No one should expect from us to maintain negotiations for another 50 years without a solution, without a calendar and in an uncertain environment", Akinci added.

    Touching upon the upcoming "elections" that will take place in the "TRNC", Ak?nc? said that "once the new parliament has been formed they will sit down and plan the new phase that will take place in the country".

    He wished the parties that are competing in the "elections" good luck and argued that he "will continue to abide by the rule or impartiality that he had given when we was elected as president".

    [03] Turkey's Energy Minister announced that DeepSea Metro-2 will go ashore to the Mediterranean within the next months

    Turkish daily Sabah (02.01.18) reports that Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak inspected yesterday the Deepsea Metro 2 drill ship, which anchored in Turkey from Norway and is considered to be Turkey's first drill ship, carrying the Turkish flag.

    The drill ship was expected to arrive in Turkey by the end of December in preparation for Turkey's exploratory offshore drilling in the Mediterranean.

    Turkey announced earlier that it will start drilling for hydrocarbons using its own drillship in the Mediterranean later this year.

    Albayrak stated the Turkey will launch drilling in the Mediterranean within the next months, adding that the drillship will strike the Mediterranean very soon. Albayrak further described 2017 as a historic year for Turkey in the field of energy.


    [04] More about the forthcoming "snap elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (30.12.17) the "president" of the so-called "higher election board" Narin Sefik has made a statement regarding the upcoming "elections" to the TAK news agency.

    Sefik argued that there are "190 thousand 551 voters in the TRNC who will will be able to cast their votes at 719 ballot boxes".

    She added that around 2 thousand 157 people will be on duty at the "ballot boxes" on the 7th of January and that "8 parties will be competing during the elections with 379 candidates and 9 independent candidates bringing the total to 388".

    "All 388 candidates will be competing for the 50 seats in parliament", she said and recalled further that the "election bans are enforced and so far they had not received any complaint regarding violations".

    [05] "Piece by piece solution" is the only formula in the Cyprus problem, alleges Denktas

    Under the title "Denktas: 'Piece by piece solution is the formula in the Cyprus problem'", Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (01.01.18) reported that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and "deputy prime minister" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that establishing a federation in Cyprus is not possible as long as the international community sees the Greek Cypriot community as a state and the Turkish Cypriot community as a minority. He also alleged that the only formula in Cyprus is the "piece by piece solution". Speaking on a television program, Denktas claimed, inter alia, the following:

    "[…] Something which we have been saying for years was confirmed. What is that? What the Greek Cypriot side understands as a bi-communal bi-zonal federation does not coincide with our understanding of a bi-communal bi-zonal federation. As long as the whole world sees the Greek Cypriot side as a state and the Turkish side as a minority, establishing a federation, creating equality between these two is not possible. This is not an attainable target anymore, it cannot be used as a ground. […] We say that we must make ourselves accepted. […] First economic steps should be taken. First of all, we must take a step with Turkey. We must be able to launch free trade between us and Turkey. […] The second step is that we must give the opportunity to businessmen from the south to establish businesses in the north. They must come, establish businesses, open offices, establish firms and see that Turkey is an opportunity for them and not a threat. Thus they will start exerting pressure on their leadership. We must slowly-slowly proceed by going forward piece by piece with this kind of steps without needing to negotiate. […]"


    [06] Ozgurgun promises investments in occupied Karpasia area

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (02.01.18) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) and "prime minister" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has said that they will tear out and throw away the so-called "decree for Karpasia", which allegedly left the area without investments.

    In statements during a visit to occupied Rizokarpaso and Yialousa villages accompanied by "candidates" with his party for the "parliamentary elections", Ozgurgun described this "decree" as "monstrosity" because of which occupied Karpasia was deprived of investments and the development momentum went down to zero.

    Ozgurgun recalled that they have launched an investment which concerns building a "university" in occupied Karpasia and that they will realize this project. "This is one of the first issues we have being thinking for this area", he said and alleged: "One of the most beautiful places of the country is without investments. Our biggest target is to erase and throw away this decree and we have started working on this. Otherwise, the area will be condemned to remaining without investments. In 2008 Christofias and Anastasiades came and said that a decree should be issued here and made propaganda by saying these places belong to us. We can never accept such approach. We will abolish it, this decree […]"

    Speaking in UBP's headquarters in occupied Yialousa, Ozgurgun referred to the investments they plan to make in the field of sports and reiterated his claims that they will build a stadium in the area adding that everything is ready for this. He added, inter alia, the following: "Everything is ready. This stadium will be built. I have said that an astroturf pitch will also be built in Agios Andronikos village. We have a project for a synthetic pitch at FIFA standards in Koma Yialou village. We will realize this as well".


    [07] National Unity Party asks for the vote of the "new TRNC citizens"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (31.12.17) reports that despite the warnings issued by the "higher election board", the National Unity Party (UBP) continues to send messages to the "voters" that recently were granted the "TRNC citizenship" asking for their vote.

    The paper writes that following the messages that the UBP "candidate" Tahsin Ertugruloglu sent to the new "TRNC citizens", a group of persons working for the candidate with UBP in occupied Keryneia Bulut Akacan, is calling voters asking them to support Akacan and congratulating them for the "citizenship".


    [08] Claims that the US Embassy to Lefkosia interfered to the "elections"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (30.12.17) writes that the US Embassy to Lefkosia interfered to the forthcoming "elections".

    According to the paper, which cites statements by the leader of the Communal Liberation Party (TKP) Mehmet Cakici, Huseyin Hakansoy, who has been working to the US Embassy for 10 years, was questioned by a group of 5 persons at the Embassy when he declared his candidacy with the TKP. According to the paper, Hakansoy was asked why he supports Cakici and also to withdraw his candidacy.

    Afrika also claims that Hakansoy was called again at the Embassy and this time he was asked to resign from the party otherwise he would lose his job. Under these circumstances Hakansoy left the party.


    [09] Turkish Cypriot daily compares the minimum wage in Turkey and the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (02.01.18) reports that the difference in the minimum wage in Turkey and the occupied area of Cyprus has been decreased to 6,71% for 2018 and notes that in 2013 the minimum wage in the occupied area of Cyprus had been by 27,84% higher than the one in Turkey. Recalling that the minimum wage in Turkey will be 2,029 Turkish liras in 2018, the paper publishes the following table as regards the minimum wage in Turkey and the occupied area of Cyprus since 2013.

    Year Occupied Area of Cyprus (gross minimum wage in TL) Turkey (gross minimum wage in TL) Difference %

    2013 1415 1021 27,84

    2014 1675 1134 32,29

    2015 1730 1273 26,4

    2016 1834 1647 10,19

    2017 2175 1777 18,29

    2018 2175 2029 6,71

    In statements to the paper, Yakup Latifoglu, representative of HUR-Is trade union, said that the criteria of determining the minimum wage are different in Turkey and the occupied area of Cyprus and this is why the difference decreased.

    Furthermore, Sami Dilek, chairman of Kamu-Is trade union, told the paper that they are concerned about this situation and said that they will raise the issue within the forthcoming days, but due to the "elections" the committee for establishing the minimum wage in the occupied area of Cyprus cannot be convened.

    Finally, Mustafa Aroglu, chairman of the employers' trade union, said that a "serious increase" was made to the minimum wage because of the forthcoming elections in Turkey and added that both the employers and the state contribute to this wage.


    [10] Republic of Cyprus' licensed plates cars were set on fire in occupied Famagusta

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (02.01.18) reports that two vehicles with license plates of the Republic of Cyprus were set on fire in occupied Famagusta.

    According to the paper, the two vehicles with the following registered numbers, ΗΚΗ 374 and ΚΤF 421 are registered under the name of Turkish Cypriot Gulsun Yilsen.


    [11] Erdogan due to Paris to meet Macron; Developments in Syria, ties with the EU and Jerusalem to be discussed

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (31.12.17) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will make his first foreign visit of 2018 to Paris on January 5 to meet his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

    The visit is notable as the Turkish President has in recent years rarely traveled to Europe amid frosty ties between Ankara and a number of European capitals.

    Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kal?n stated that during Erdogan's trip to Paris, "Jerusalem, Syria, Iraq and Turkey-EU relations and regional issues, particularly the fight against terrorism [will be discussed]".

    "[The visit] will serve to further advance our cooperation with France in a way that will benefit both our nations and the entire region," Kal?n said in a written statement on December 31.

    "France is an important commercial and economic partner, a prominent ally with whom we have around six centuries of history and multi-dimensional relationships," Kalin added, noting that Turkey and France pursue "intense dialogue at all levels on global and regional issues, especially in the fight against terrorism."

    "Our deeply rooted relationships are further reinforced by major projects in a wide range of mutual investments: Energy, defense industry, science and technology, transport, culture and education. The Turkish people living in France, with a population of about 700,000, act as a bridge between our countries," Kal?n said.

    (…)One possible point of contention between Erdogan and Macron is Syria. Erdogan earlier this week made a number of harsh comments regarding Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling him a "terrorist" and saying it was impossible for peace efforts in Syria to continue if he did not leave power. Macron, meanwhile, said recently that Paris would push for peace talks involving "all parties" involved the six-year Syrian conflict, including al-Assad, promising "initiatives" early next year.

    An Elysee source told Reuters that "the question of human rights will also be raised" when Erdogan and Macron meet.

    Since Macron was elected earlier in 2017, he and Erdogan have held regular phone conversations about the situation in Syria, cooperation against terrorism, and the issue of French citizens jailed in Turkey.

    Macron personally asked his Turkish counterpart to free detained French journalist Loup Bureau during several telephone conversations. Bureau was jailed for more than seven weeks on "terror" charges but was returned to France in September after Macron's appeal.

    Macron has been careful not to anger Ankara since taking office, but in an interview with Le Point magazine in August he said "being on the world stage is not so easy," citing the fact that "I am the one who has to talk with Erdogan every 10 days."

    [12] Cavusoglu: "Turkey eyes better ties with Germany in 2018"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (01.01.18) reported that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Turkey believes ties with Germany will improve in 2018 after a year of strained relations in 2017, calling on Berlin to stop what he called "Turkey-bashing trends" and stop "attacking President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    "The first three quarters of 2017 were not very good, but we have made some progress since then. We now have good dialogue, particularly with [German] Foreign Minister [Sigmar] Gabriel. I think both sides are ready to normalize relations. So I am expecting a much better year in 2018," Cavusoglu told German press agency, the DPA, in an interview published on January 1.

    He stressed that Turkey "does not seek any crisis" but Germany "does not miss an opportunity to attack Turkey."

    "There is a very dangerous Turkey-bashing trend, a [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan-bashing trend in Germany, which is not very helpful. I don't think the President cares about it, but it's affecting bilateral relations," Cavusoglu added.


    Regarding Ankara's expectations from Germany, Cavusoglu cited the activities of members of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETO) in the country, as well as members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    "Germany shouldn't be a safe haven for supporters of FETO and the (outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party) PKK. Look at what happened at a recent demonstration: German police tried to stop PKK supporters and the latter brutally attacked the police," he said.

    "If the police try to stop them a couple of more times, you will see what they will do in Germany too. This is a terrorist organization. It is a snake. You cannot sleep with the snake in the same room. Today or tomorrow it will bite you," he added.

    Cavusoglu also recalled that he has good friendly ties with his German counterpart Gabriel, noting that they will meet soon.

    "I am going to visit Gabriel in January in his hometown Goslar. He has invited me. We are still working on a date but it will be soon," he said, adding that they previously met in early October in Cavusoglu's hometown, Antalya.

    Recalling Gabriel's suggestion that a future Brexit agreement with the U.K. could set a model for Turkey too, Cavusoglu stressed that Ankara continues to want to be a full member of the EU.

    "We started negotiations for full membership. If the EU decides not to accept Turkey, that's up to the EU. But I see that many countries are still in favor of Turkey's EU membership. There are only a few countries like Germany, Austria and recently Denmark that are against our membership," he said.

    Cavusoglu also stressed that Turkey's warming ties with Russia do not present "an alternative" to its ties with the West.

    [13] "Where will the Erdogan-Gul row lead?

    In a commentary in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.01.18) under the above title, columnist Abdulkadir Selvi writes: "There have been many issues on which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former President Abdullah Gul have had differing views since they founded the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on Aug. 14, 2001. But their differences have never been as public as they have in the latest war of words between the two men.

    Although it seems like the latest row is over the controversial state of emergency decree law numbered 696, the real breaking point between Erdogan and Gul was the referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system in April 2017.

    During campaigning leading up to the vote, the two men had a two-and-a-half-hour meeting. Erdogan was not at all pleased with how Gul voiced support for a parliamentary system, as reflected when he later said: 'Those who have jumped the wagon did not vote in favor of the presidential system in April'.

    The two men have certainly had a number of differences since 2001, but they always managed to form a balanced image. Things started to take a different turn with the anti-government Gezi Park protests of 2013, when Gul was not in favor of the harsh stance taken by Erdogan. Gul was also not in agreement with Erdogan in the process that followed the Dec. 17-25, 2013 corruption probes targeting senior government figures.

    Those two challenges were the biggest in Erdogan's political career, with the exception of the July 2016 coup attempt. Erdogan had expected strong support from Gul – who he had called his "brother" and who he had helped rise to the presidential seat.

    Gul, however, chose to take a different stance. Erdogan subsequently blocked Gul from standing for another presidential term and also prevented him from becoming the AK Party chair. But even then the two men were discreet in maintaining their different views.

    Presidential election

    So why now? Why have they taken their gloves off now? This battle has a single objective: The 2019 presidential election.

    First, let's consider the AK Party's most recent Central Decision and Governing Council (MYK), held on Dec. 29.

    Speaking there, Erdogan dove into the controversy stirred over the contentious emergency decree, voicing even more discontent with Gul's objection than the objections from the opposition parties. He talked about how the issue was "no longer political," meaning that it was no longer about the decree. Erdogan said he could have considered revising the decree "if he had not been targeted by a campaign," but the "objective here was different."

    Erdogan believes Gul is hinting at his possible candidacy for the presidency in 2019. If this materialized, this could pose a challenge to Erdogan's leadership in front of the public. That is why he has gone public with the debate now.

    The decision on the Gul front

    A number of decisions seem to have been taken by Gul following the April 2017 referendum. Prior to that point he had been subjected to pressure, amid demands that he make more public statements. Gul had opted to remain largely silent but he decided to speak up from then on, starting in April 2017.

    Gul then moved onto a different phase, recreating his political image. When questioned about suggestions that he would establish a new party, he pointedly recalled that he had founded a party in the past – referring to his role in the establishment of the AK Party.

    There are rumors that Gul will now put himself forward as a joint candidate of an anti-Erdogan bloc, if he garners the necessary backing of 100,000 signatures.

    Erdogan is well aware of all this maneuvering. This is why he has sought to distance AK Party voters from Gul with his latest statements. But Gul, who had been known to be reluctant to engage in such arguments in pubic, did not back down this time. The battle between Erdogan and Gul has thus taken a new, more public turn. It is important to monitor the process, at the end of which Erdogan will win".


    (AK / AM)

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