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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 18-01-08

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. 05/18 06-08.01.18


  • [01] "The unofficial results of the parliamentary elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot political leaders after the "elections' results"
  • [03] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the results of the "parliamentary elections"
  • [04] Akinci's statements on the "elections" and on Cyprus talks
  • [05] AKP Deputy stated that the presidential system must be applied to the breakaway regime
  • [06] Inflation rate reached 14,68% in 2017
  • [07] Erdogan: "Turkey will propose a joint OIC-EU effort to resolve Jerusalem issue", "Turkey and the U.S. are not on the same page when it comes to counterterrorism"
  • [08] Historic Bulgarian church in Istanbul reopens to prayers after seven-year restoration
  • [09] Commentary: "The end of Turkey's EU membership bid?"


    [01] "The unofficial results of the parliamentary elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (08.01.18,, "the unofficial results of the 719 ballot boxes for the parliamentary elections, which were held yesterday in the TRNC, were completed and announced". According to data by the website of the "supreme electoral council", "the National Unity Party (UBP) won the election with 35.58%, the Republican Turks' Party (CTP) received 20.92%, the People's Party (HP) 17.08%, the Socialist Democracy Party (TDP) 8.64%, the Democrat Party 7.84%, the New Revival Party (YDP) 7%, the Communal Liberation Party-New Forces (TKP-YG) 2.68%, the Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP) 0.13% and the independents 0.13%.

    The paper further reports: "In the elections, eight political parties participated, but only the five surpassed the electoral threshold and entered parliament with the following seats: UBP (21), CTP (12), HP (9), DP (3), TDP (3) and YDP (2).

    From the 190,511 persons, who were eligible to vote in the election voted only 126,196, and the voter turnout was 66.2%."


    [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot political leaders after the "elections' results"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.01.18, ) reports that speaking after the results of the "elections" were announced, Huseyin Ozgurgun, the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), stated that with the responsibility handed to them by the "people" they will do anything possible for the prosperity and the happiness of the "people" and for the development of the "TRNC". He said that his party is ready to serve the "country" together with a group of young experienced members of UPB and also thanked the former UBP leader and former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu for assisting to the party's victory. Eroglu appeared together with Ozgurgun at the balcony where Ozgurgun delivered his speech.

    The paper ( ) also reports that the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman stated that his party will continue its struggle despite the fact that was not the first party according to the "elections' results". He also stated that leftist parties know how to receive lessons both from their victories and loses. He also stated that he does not think that the central committee of CTP will decide in favour of a coalition with UBP.

    Kibris ( ) writes that the People's Party posted on social media that the Party's leader Kudret Ozersay will make a statement after the party's central committee evaluates the results.

    In addition Kibris ( ) reports that the leader of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas congratulated UBP for its victory and said that DP managed to overpass the election threshold despite reports which supported that it will not be able to enter the "parliament".

    According to Kibris ( ) the chairman of the Communal Democracy Party Cemal Ozyigit (TDP) stated that they did not expect the results and they will evaluate the developments soon.

    Finally, Kibris ( ) writes that the chairman of the Revival Party (the party of the settlers) Erhan Arikli stated that they observed a serious operation against their party but in the end those who tried to hurt the party did not succeed. He also stated that according to the result, a "three-party coalition government" will emerge which will not be stable and as a result new "early elections" may be held next June.


    [03] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the results of the "parliamentary elections"

    The Turkish Cypriot newspapers today (08.01.18) cover on their front pages the results of the "early parliamentary elections" held yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Under the title "Either three party coalition or elections again", daily Kibris newspaper reports that the National Unity Party (UBP) won the "elections" but it cannot establish a "government" alone. Given earlier statements made by the leaders of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the People's Party (HP), which came second and third with 12 and 9 "seats" respectively, that they will not cooperate with the UBP, the paper notes that a deadlock might be created in the "parliament". Kibris notes also that the other three parties which entered into the "assembly" were not able to "elect" five "deputies" and form a "parliamentary group" and therefore they cannot participate in the work of the "parliamentary committees". Even if the UBP establishes a "coalition" with these three parties, the "opposition" may prevent the works of the "assembly", argues the paper.

    Under the title "Message by the voters to the UBP: Eat and do not be afraid", Afrika argues that the result of the "elections" derives from the fact that those who boycotted the process punished the "opposition", which does not stand tall against Turkey and does not express a different opinion than the official Turkish position in the Cyprus problem. The paper describes as a "surprise" the fact that the settlers' Revival Party (YDP) was able to enter into the "parliament".

    Under the title "The victory belongs to the UBP", Halkin Sesi reports that this is the first time that six parties enter into the "assembly" and that it is not known how the new "government" will be established.

    The titles of the other newspapers are:

    Yeni Duzen: "The voters lead the parliament into deadlock"

    Havadis: "Victory belongs to the UBP"

    Kibrisli: "UBP is the first party"

    Vatan: "The TRNC made its choice"

    Star Kibris: "New parliament of six parties"

    Demokrat Bakis: "The struggle continues" and "The TRNC went to the ballots"

    Gunes: "The UBP leads"

    Diyalog: "HP is the key party"

    Detay: "A coalition came out from the ballot"

    Yeni Bakis: "The ballot gave birth to a new chaos"

    Volkan: "The UBP is the winner of the elections" and "The people preferred the parties which defend Turkey and the TRNC"

    Kibris Postasi: "The UBP caused enthusiasm, the CTP was demolished, the YDP surprised, HP entered, TKP could not enter, DP was saddened, TDP got neither bigger nor smaller".


    [04] Akinci's statements on the "elections" and on the Cyprus talks

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (07.01.18,, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in statements to the press after "voting" for the "general snap elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus, said: "I came to power two and a half years ago by giving a promise to my people. My promise was that I am a neutral, independent president. For this reason, I did not make any statements during the election period. () while coming close to the election date, there was an explosion of the population's number, an increasing on granting citizenships, which of course, these reflect on the voter lists. () I hope these and similar issues to be removed from our agenda. These procedures should within the routine life flow and there is also a process the rights are being obtained. These rights should not be given to the citizens as a favour during the election period. I felt the need to say this, so it will not happen after this. () According to the outcome of the results, I will do whatever my responsibilities dictate me to do as president so the new government is being formed.

    Moreover, asked in English to comment how the results will affect the Cyprus talks, (, Akinci said: "As you know I am an independent president, I don't have any sides in regarding these elections due to my status. But of course, I pointed out certain things that I saw during this election campaign period and I hope they will not be repeated in the coming period. Of course, every election as every new year, as every new day, is a new beginning. I hope this will be a new beginning for our people. So depending on the results as the president, I will be doing whatever my responsibilities dictate for me to do. So, we will see the results and our actions will be accordingly".

    Asked to comment on the Cyprus talks, Akinci further said: "Well, very interestingly during this campaign the Cyprus issue was not a big issue due to reasons that you all know. Due to what happened in Crans Montana and due to the situation that does not have any mobility regarding the talks and due to another fact that I believe is also important to mention. Due to the fact that whether there is negotiation or not, the life continues in northern Cyprus. Therefore, we have a lot of problems, from traffic to environmental problems, from our economy to other issues. Therefore, we cannot stop the life. Therefore, whatever the talks are, whether we are continuing or not, definitely we have to look what we can do for our domestic problems. Although, some problems are coming from the Cyprus question, we do not overlook that but still there are a lot of things we can do even if there is no continuation of talks, even if there is no solution for the Cyprus problem. Of course, we want very much to be a mutual acceptable solution to this problem".


    [05] AKP Deputy stated that the presidential system must be applied to the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (08.01.17) reports that Burhan Kuzu, Deputy with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) evaluated the elections results in the breakaway regime.

    Kuzu, who made a post on his twitter account, stated that the presidential system must be applied to the breakaway regime. As he stated, 3 "governments" were established in the "TRNC" in the last 4 years and the presidential system will suit them better.


    [06] Inflation rate reached 14,68% in 2017

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.01.18) reports that the annual inflation rate in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus in 2017 was by 133% higher than the targeted inflation rate in the "middle term program" for the period 2017-2019. The paper notes that the increasing trend, which started in 2016, continued in 2017 when the inflation rate reached 14,68%, instead of an average inflation of 6,3%, which is the target included in the program.

    The fact that the inflation rate has been a double digit number for the past 13 months causes concerns for 2018, writes the paper citing data by the "state planning organization", according to which 2017's inflation rate is the highest of the past six years and the second highest of the past ten years. The lowest inflation rate for the period 2008-2017 was observed in 2010 (3,27%) and the highest in 2011 (14,72%).


    [07] Erdogan: "Turkey will propose a joint OIC-EU effort to resolve Jerusalem issue", "Turkey and the U.S. are not on the same page when it comes to counterterrorism"

    According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (online, 07.01.18), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan affirmed that Turkey will propose a joint diplomatic effort between the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the European Union to overcome the Israel-Palestine dispute. On his way back from Paris, where he met French President Emmannuel Macron, Erdogan told journalists accompanying him on the presidential plane, "I will make an offer as the [term president of] the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on this [Israel-Palestine conflict] issue: Let's gather as the OIC and EU to carry out a common effort. What will this offer bring? We shall see." President Erdogan's remark came in response to a question about whether the EU and the United Nations will take further action against the U.S. administration's aggressive steps on regional and global issues, including threats to cut aid to Palestine and states supporting the Jerusalem resolution in the U.N. General Assembly.

    As one of the most vocal actors on the issue, the Turkish President said from the beginning that Jerusalem was a "red line for Turkey and the Muslim world."

    European Union member states also took a common stance against the White House's decision on the historic city, proposing that Jerusalem's status is a matter that should be negotiated between the Palestinians and the Israelis, rather than an imposed unilateral decision.

    President Erdogan also said that he hoped this year would be a new beginning in normalizing Turkey's ties with the EU. He acknowledged the recent period of strained relations with EU member states; however, he said that they are hoping to leave this period behind. "We are looking forward for a speedy recovery in relations. Making enmities permanent in politics is never a win for the people, it is not beneficial," he explained.

    Erdogan said Turkey and the U.S. are not on the same page when it comes to counterterrorism and defining terror. He said the U.S. has its own definition of terror and fights terror on its own terms and this created a dispute between Washington and Ankara.

    Commenting on the recent trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an ex-executive of Turkey's state-owned Halkbank who was tried in New York for evading Iran sanctions, Erdogan said that the completion of the case in such a short period of time, while no steps have been taken against Gulen, shows that the U.S. is standing behind FETO. "All these issues have severely damaged bilateral legal ties between Turkey and the U.S.," the President stressed. In terms of the U.S.'s support to the PKK's Syria affiliate, Turkey has reiterated over and over that the U.S. is supporting a terrorist group in Syria under the guise of fighting Daesh, which is ultimately threatening Turkey's national security.

    He also said that Turkey will not allow the establishment of a terror corridor by the YPG along its southern border with northern Syria.

    [08] Historic Bulgarian church in Istanbul reopens to prayers after seven-year restoration

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 07.01.18) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan oversaw the reopening of a 120-year-old Bulgarian church in Istanbul on Jan. 7. "An opening like this carries a significant message for the international audience on my behalf. Istanbul has once again shown the world that it is a city where different religions and cultures exist in peace," Erdogan said, following speeches by Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov.

    "It is the responsibility of the state to ensure everyone can worship freely," Erdogan said, adding that Turkey has supported the restoration of more than 5,000 artefacts in the past 15 years.

    Bulgarian Prime Minister Borisov said efforts to "normalize" relations between Turkey and the EU in 2018 were needed. Bulgaria took over the six-month rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union on Jan. 1.

    The Orthodox Church, also known as St. Stephen Church, is located in the historic Balat neighbourhood on the shore of the city's Golden Horn.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Prime Minister Y?ld?r?m underlined that the reopening of the church represents "an example of the tolerant atmosphere in Turkey".

    The Istanbul Municipality financed most of the restoration, which cost 16 million Turkish Liras ($4 million). The Bulgarian government contributed one million liras ($253,000) to the project.

    [09] Commentary: "The end of Turkey's EU membership bid?"

    Columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 08.01.18), under the above title, wonders, in the following commentary, whether Turkey's EU membership bid has come to an end or not, after the meetings of Erdogan with Macron and Cavusoglu with Gabriel:

    "The BBC reported from Paris on Jan. 5 that French President Emmanuel Macron had ended the 'hypocrisy' of pretending there is any prospect of an advance in Turkey's membership talks with the European Union.

    In a joint press conference with his guest, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Macron said the following: 'As far as relations with the EU are concerned, it is clear that recent developments and choices do not allow any progression of the process we are engaged in.'

    He suggested instead a relationship that would fall short of full membership but would 'anchor the Turkish people in Europe'. That is exactly what former French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said 10 years ago. Back then Turkey strongly reacted against the suggestion, but this time Erdogan simply said in the press conference that Ankara would not "beg" to enter the EU.

    Turkish reporters accompanying Erdogan on board his return plane the next day about Macron's words. "I did not want to understand what exactly he meant. I rather chose to focus on letting him understand what we mean. I hope he understood us," he said in response.


    The press conference came after Ankara signed a deal to buy 25 Airbus passenger planes, as well as a deal to start a study for the joint production of an French-Italian air defence system that is NATO-interoperable (unlike the Russian S-400 systems that Turkey recently purchased).

    While Erdogan was returning to Ankara, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was in Germany, where he was hosted by his counterpart Sigmar Gabriel at his home in the town of Goslar. That invite came in return for Cavusoglu's hosting of Gabriel in his home province of Antalya last November.

    Like Macron, Gabriel apparently wanted to focus on putting bilateral relations back on track rather than promoting Ankara's membership of the EU. Personally serving Turkish-style brewed tea to his guest, Gabriel sought to emphasize that he did not want to escalate differences of opinion into big problems any more. He has also been trying to secure the release of more German citizens from jails in Turkey, including journalist Deniz Yucel, as well as promoting the interests of German investors.

    All this makes it clear that Turkey is considered - more than before - as a trade and security partner for the EU, rather than as a political ally.

    On Jan. 7, in an address to guests at the reopening of the historic Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Istanbul after seven years of renovation, Erdogan said the ceremony should be a "message to the world", especially the EU, "showing the atmosphere of tolerance in Turkey."

    But the message that Europe recently seems to have received is that it is not a good idea to hit out at Erdogan personally. What's more, it should not expect too much regarding improving Turkish democracy while trying to achieve more for the security interests of the EU. And finally it should get as much as it can in terms of commerce.

    So the BBC report's interpretation of developments was not quite right: It is not the 'end of EU hypocrisy' on Turkey; rather, it is an opportunistic transformation of it based on prevailing political circumstances.

    It is worth reflecting on the fact that Bulgaria, led by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, took over the six-month term presidency of the EU on Jan. 1. Back during the Cold War, before Bulgaria was even in the waiting room of the EU, Turkey was defending the borders of the Western alliance against Bulgaria.

    For Turkey it seems there is no longer any 'EU waiting room' left. Instead, an "anchor" formula is being sought for it, together with Ukraine. This is likely being encouraged by calculations resulting from the Brexit process, as well as the fact that there is also no U.S. administration left under Donald Trump to promote Turkey's inclusion in the European system."


    (DPs / AM)

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