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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 18-01-04

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. 03/18 04.01.18


  • [01] Cavusoglu argued that the parameters in the Cyprus talks should change
  • [02] Ozgurgun argues that as long as the UBP exists occupied Morfou will not be given away
  • [03] Mustafa Kaymak is the new "chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry"
  • [04] Turkish banker convicted for helping Iran evade US sanctions
  • [05] Turkish Foreign Ministry: US verdict on banker Atilla is unjust and unfortunate
  • [06] Cavusoglu on Turkey's foreign policy in 2018
  • [07] Rouhani tells Erdogan he hopes protests will end 'in a few days'
  • [08] Allegations inside the AKP speak about early elections and Cabinet reshuffle in Turkey
  • [09] Turkish Economy Minister: Turkey aims for $170 billion in exports in 2018 after hitting $157 bilion in 2017
  • [10] Turkish opposition lawmaker convicted for insulting the Turkish President


    [01] Cavusoglu argued that the parameters in the Cyprus talks should change

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (04.01.18) reports that Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, recalling that the negotiations on the Cyprus problem are unsuccessful, claimed that Turkey's constructive stance was seen and appreciated by everyone.

    Referring also to the Cyprus problem at a press conference in Ankara sharing the foreign policy vision, Cavusoglu argued: "When the elections are over, we will sit down and talk with the TRNC. There was no problem with the parameters of those days; however, the Greek Cypriot side did not want a solution with those parameters. We realized one thing that even if we negotiate for another ten years with these parameters, the Greek Cypriot side will not come near to a solution".

    Cavusoglu further claimed: "The Greek Cypriot side has a recognized state, which is an EU member and although the gap has closed a bit, its economy is still stronger. Therefore, why should they share governance and power? Even, they say 'our hospitals are better than yours, why should we share our hospitals? Why should we share our economy?' I don't think this mentality will change".


    [02] Ozgurgun argues that as long as the UBP exists occupied Morfou will not be given away

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.01.18) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) and self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that as long as the UBP exists occupied Morfou will not be given away. Addressing a rally of his party in Morfou, Ozgurgun claimed: "We will bring smile to the face of our people who struggled for these lands, made them their homeland and defended them. We will make Morfou more beautiful. Morfou will develop, change, grow and get bigger. [] Even if they try to sacrifice it, as long as we exist, we will neither give Morfou away nor will we make any of our people refugees again. []"


    [03] Mustafa Kaymak is the new "chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (04.01.18) reports that the "chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry" (KTSO) Mustafa Kaymak handed his duty over to Candan Avunduk due to pressure in his business work.

    According to a press release by "KTSO",Kaymak became the new "chairman of the Chamber" in the 31st ordinary general assembly in May 2017.


    [04] Turkish banker convicted for helping Iran evade US sanctions

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.01.18 reports that a banker accused of helping Iran evade economic sanctions was convicted on Jan. 3 in a case that strained ties between the United States and Turkey with its testimony about corruption at the highest levels of the NATO ally's government.

    Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a 47-year-old deputy general manager at Turkey's state-run Halkbank, was charged by U.S. authorities with taking part in a complex scheme in which Iran traded its oil and gas for gold, with some of the proceeds moved through U.S. financial institutions without their knowledge.

    He was convicted on four conspiracy counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States, plus one bank fraud count. He was acquitted of a money laundering charge.

    The prosecution's witness, Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader who admitted orchestrating the deals with Iran, testified that he paid over $50 million in bribes to Turkey's Finance Minister in 2012 to advance the scheme and that he believed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan knew about the plot.

    Turkey's leaders lashed out over the case throughout the trial, with Erdogan calling it an American conspiracy to "blackmail" and "blemish" his country.

    Atilla was arrested after visiting the U.S. last March on a business trip. Zarrab, a celebrity of sorts in Turkey because of his wealth and marriage to Turkish pop star and TV personality Ebru Gundes, was arrested in 2016 when he flew to Florida to take his wife and child to Disney World.

    [05] Turkish Foreign Ministry: US verdict on banker Atilla is unjust and unfortunate

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.01.18 reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated on Jan. 4 that the U.S. court verdict sentencing Turkish banker Hakan Atilla is "unjust and unfortunate."

    After the verdict was announced, the Ministry said the trial was based on "evidence that was fake and open to political exploitation."

    It also said the trial amounted to "interference in Turkey's internal affairs," adding that the involvement of Gulen-linked figures in the court proceedings "undermined the credibility of the trial."

    [06] Cavusoglu on Turkey's foreign policy in 2018

    Turkish daily Sabah (04.01.18 reports that after a year full of tensions, Ankara is preparing to leave problems with the EU behind and turn a new page. Ankara says it is ready for a new period in its relationship with Brussels, as both sides have been showing a willingness to make moves to overcome problems. Speaking at a press meeting yesterday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that if the EU starts to act more respectfully to Turkey, relations would be healthier. "It is not possible to come up with a solution with countries like Turkey otherwise. The Turkish public deserves this. From now on, this patronizing period has come to an end," he said, adding that the EU eventually started to understand this and should actually revise itself.

    In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.01.18 reports that Cavusoglu also stated that bilateral relations between Ankara and Washington "depends on steps taken by the U.S." in 2018.

    "Despite all these [problems] the U.S. is our ally and we want to have good ties with it," he said.

    Sources have told the Hurriyet Daily News that Ankara and Washington have agreed on the formation of a new informal contact group based on politicians from the two sides in a bid to narrow differences on various issues. A group of Turkish politicians paid a visit to Washington in early December and held meetings with scores of high-level U.S. counterparts on the instruction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sources informed.

    The Foreign Minister also criticized Washington for not launching a federal probe into the activities of the group in the U.S. territories.

    Reiterating Ankara's concerns over U.S. military support to the YPG, Cavusoglu compared the situation to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, saying they "will in the future recognize their mistake."

    A joint Turkey-U.S. working group composed of Officials of the Ministers of Interior, Justice and Foreign Affairs will hold their first meeting on Jan. 23 in Ankara to discuss the row over ongoing court cases in both countries that strained bilateral ties at the end of 2017, Cavusoglu said.

    The working group was decided to be set up at a meeting in October 2017 after a local employee of the U.S. General Consulate in Istanbul, Metin Topuz, was arrested on terror-related charges. Citing security problems and lack of sufficient cooperation, the U.S. had announced its decision to restrict non-immigrant visa applications of Turkish nationals at its diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul.

    Speaking about his recent conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Cavusoglu denied that Turkey had provided assurances to Washington about further investigations.

    Touching on other key aspects of Turkish foreign policy in 2018, Cavusoglu said he will visit Germany on Jan. 6 to meet German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, reiterating Ankara's willingness to mend ties with European countries and revive its accession process with the EU. As part of this, he said he invited Austria's new foreign minister Karin Kneissl to Istanbul's Buyukada, the largest of the Princes Islands off Istanbul.

    "We should be able to start talks for upgrading the Customs Union. Upgrading the Customs Union will be to the advantage of the EU as much as it is of Turkey," Cavusoglu said.

    On the future of Syria, the Turkish Foreign Minister noted that Russia will bring together various ethnic, religious and political groups around the table in Sochi later this month, while stressing that the YPG will not be among the participants. "Instead, representatives of Syrian Kurds who are in exile in Europe and in Turkey, as well as others who have never been involved in acts of terror in Syria, will represent the Kurdish community in Sochi," he said.

    Cavusoglu stated that one of the central objectives of Turkish foreign policy in 2018 will be to "integrate the Geneva, Astana and Sochi processes" so that a political settlement can be reached in Syria.

    On the fight against Gulen's Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), Cavusoglu noted that "many fugitives have been returned to Turkey in order to be tried in 2017" thanks to the Foreign Ministry's efforts.

    Turkey's initiatives also produced results for the exclusion of FETO-related civil society organizations from U.N.-led activities, he said, adding that "it is now time to do same at the [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] OSCE," referring to a panel due to be established soon at the OSCE to choose with which civil society bodies it partners with in the coming period.

    "We told them we would review our relations with the OSCE and withdraw our support if they do not [take Turkey's concerns about FETO-linked groups into account]," Cavusoglu said.

    [07] Rouhani tells Erdogan he hopes protests will end 'in a few days'

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.01.18 reports that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has reportedly told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he "hopes protests in Iran will end in a few days."

    Erdogan and Rouhani discussed ongoing demonstrations in Iran in a phone conversation on the morning of Jan. 3, according to Turkish presidential sources.

    Erdogan said Rouhani had taken an "appropriate stance" by saying demonstrators should not violate the law while exercising their right to peaceful protests, the sources stated, adding that the Turkish president stressed the significance of "maintaining peace and stability in Iran. "

    Demonstrations were sparked after thousands of people took to the streets on Dec. 28 in the northeastern Iranian cities of Mashhad and Kashmar to protest against rising commodity prices and perceived government mismanagement, according to local media reports.

    At least 23 people, including a police officer, have reportedly and been killed more than 1,000 detained since the demonstrations began.

    [08] Allegations inside the AKP speak about early elections and Cabinet reshuffle in Turkey

    Turkish daily Hurriyet (04.01.18) reports that according to political circles in Turkey, two remarkable things are included in Turkey's political agenda. The first one is the possibility of early parliamentary elections and the second one is the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle.

    Invoking reliable resources, the paper writes that inside the AKP, the quarrel between Erdogan-Gul and the issue of a possible Cabinet reshuffle that might take place this month, are the top topics which are under discussion.

    The AKP will decide about its general congress right after the completion of the district congresses which are taking place now. AKP backstage say that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has intensified the preparation for the Cabinet reshuffle and it will move on to the reshuffle in January without expecting for the AKP general congress to take place. According to the same sources, the main reason for the reshuffle is the dissonance existing in the organ as well as the lack of synergy. Allegations say also that Erdogan has already chosen the 18 Ministers that will be replaced.



    [09] Turkish Economy Minister: Turkey aims for $170 billion in exports in 2018 after hitting $157 bilion in 2017

    Turkish daily Sabah (04.01.18 reports that Turkey is aiming to hit $170 billion of exports in 2018 after reaching $157.1 billion in 2017, a top official has announced.

    Last year saw the second-highest export volume in the Turkish Republic's history with $157.1 billion, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Jan. 3.

    Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, Zeybekci said exports surged 10.2 % in 2017.

    He also said Turkey's imports rose by 17.9 % to reach $234.2 billion in 2017.

    The rate of exports meeting imports fell by 4.7 %age points to 67.1 % in 2017 compared with 2016.

    "Our 2018 export target is $169 billion, though we would like to climb over $170 billion," Zeybekci said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.

    In December 2017, the country's exports also rose 10.1 % to reach $13.6 billion, according to the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).

    Turkey's total exports in November were $14.2 billion, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK).

    Incentive certificates drafted by the Economy Ministry have jumped 81 %, Zeybekci said.

    Zeybekci said Turkey's exports rose nine % in quantity and 1.5 % in unit value. "The unit value of our exports has increased for the first time since 2013," he added.

    He said Turkey would exceed the $157.6 billion export volume, which marks a historical high, in a few weeks.

    The last time the country's exports rose with a double-digit %age was in 2012, he added.

    By way of comparison, he said U.S., EU and Chinese exports were up 6.2 %, 7.4 % and 7.5 % respectively, on a year-on-year basis in 2017.

    Turkey's increased foreign trade volume, which includes all exports and imports of merchandise and services, is expected to reach $468 billion, Zeybekci said.

    "Turkey's enlarged exports were $211.6 billion and enlarged imports were $256.3 billion in 2017," he said.

    The %age of imports covered by exports was 82.6 % in 2017, he noted.

    Stressing a rise in Turkey's share of global trade, from 0.55 % in 2002 to 0.97 % in 2017, Zeybekci said Turkey's goal was "to raise this share to 1.5 %."

    The automotive sector accounted for 15.3 % of the country's total exports in 2017, up from 9.2 % in 2002, he said.

    He added that Turkey's agricultural products exports also rose to $16.9 billion in the year, up from $3.75 billion in 2002.

    "Our constant goal is to add technology-intensive, design-intensive and brand-intensive sectors to our exports," he said.

    [10] Turkish opposition lawmaker convicted for insulting the Turkish President

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.01.18 reports that a lawmaker from opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has received a one-year-and-nine-month prison sentence for "insulting the President," according to a judicial source.

    A court in the southeastern province of Sirnak handed the ruling.

    HDP Sirnak Deputy Leyla Birlik had been arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 and released four months later, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

    Birlik has also previously been accused of being a member of a terrorist group.

    Nine HDP Deputies, including HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas and former co-chair Figen Yuksekdag, are currently under arrest and awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.

    The lawmakers face prosecution under anti-terrorism legislation after their parliamentary immunity was lifted.


    (CS / AM)

    Constantia Soteriou

    Press and Information Officer -Turkish Press Section

    P.I.O. | Ministry of Interior | Republic of Cyprus

    *: 1456, Nicosia, Cyprus | (: +357 22801162 | 7: +357 22 666123

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