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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 18-01-24

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW

CONTENTS

No. 17/18 24.01.18

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] AKP's and Turkey's involvement in the attack against Afrika is evident
  • [02] Akinci met with the "police chief" due to Monday's incidents in front of Afrika newspaper and the "parliament"
  • [03] Cakici supported Turkey's operation in Afrin and strongly condemned the attacks against Afrika
  • [04] Peace and Democracy march to be held next Friday
  • [05] Ozgurgun was "assigned with the task to form a government"
  • [06] Talat commented on Afrika newspaper attack and asked for the immediate dismissal of the "police chief" in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [07] "Loss of hope for a solution in Cyprus to determine fate of talks"
  • [08] US delegation in Ankara after Turkey's Afrin operation
  • [09] Turkish Government: Turkey's military operations to continue until 3.5 million Syrians return
  • [10] NATO 'acknowledges' Turkey's terror concern
  • [11] Erdogan speaks to Putin, Macron over Afrin operation; he will also hold a phone conversation with Trump

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] AKP's and Turkey's involvement in the attack against Afrika is evident

    Under the banner front-page title "Organized affairs", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (24.01.18) reports that two persons were arrested during the attack against Afrika newspaper, but the "police" "filed accusations" against them and set them free. According to the paper, three members of the National Unity Party (Hamza Ersan Saner, Faiz Sucuoglu and Ahmet Sennaroglu) were embracing with the attackers after the attack. It is said that the two persons accused of "causing malicious damage" against Afrika and of climbing on the "parliament's" roof, were Ahmet Turkmen and Umit Tas, but the "police" did not confirm this information. It is alleged that Turkmen is head of the Communal Liberation Party's (TKP) in a neighborhood in occupied Famagusta and that Tas is employed as "temporary personnel" in occupied Famagusta's "municipality".

    After the two arrested persons were released, the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) youth organization in the occupied area of Cyprus thanked the Turkish "ambassador" to Nicosia, Derya Kanbay and AKP's representative in the occupied area of Cyprus Mehmet Demirci for their help.

    The release of Turkmen and Tas was announced by their friends through the social media. They also published photos of the two in front of the "police director's office" in the occupied part of Nicosia. Turkmen and Tas were also photographed with members of AKP's youth organization in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Moreover, Mehmet Ipek, chairman of the so-called brotherhood, solidarity and culture association of the settlers from Alexandretta (Hatay) area, was also among those who were throwing stones against Afrika newspaper. On the same day, Ipek participated in a reception held right after the incidents in front of Afrika at the "assembly" and was photographed together with Ersin Tatar and Olgun Amcaoiglou, both "deputies" with the UBP. In the past, the same person had shared photographs together with UBP leader Ozgurgun and the Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim.

    Under the title "The duty is completed 'President", Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (24.01.18) reports that after President Erdogan's order that "what is necessary must be done" to react against Afrika's article regarding the Turkish invasion in Afrin, AKP's youth organization, having the support of some civilian organizations and "municipalities", threw stones against Afrika, broke its windows and removed the paper's sign from its place. The demonstration was turned into a lynching operation with slogans such as "Allah is most great", "Recep Tayyip Erdogan" and "Sener exhausted our patience", notes the paper adding that when some "police officers" tried to prevent the members of AKP's youth organization from causing damage to Afrika, they were told that "our orders came from a high place, the orders you were given are not valid".

    AKP's youth organization in the occupied area of Cyprus shared a picture from the protest against Afrika through the social media and sent a message to Erdogan by writing the following: "We have given the necessary reply to the traitors of the country. The duty is completed President. Afrika's signboard, which in no way represents the view of the TRNC's people, was brought down. We will be against any kind of traitors of the country who try to harm the bond between the motherland and the daughter land".

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper's columnist Ali Osman reports, inter alia, the following in his column today (24.01.18):

    "After the demonstrations against our newspaper and the parliament on Monday, I am following the social media. Those who have broken the windows of our newspaper and the signboards in front of the building were arrested by the police. What happened next? AKP's Cyprus Youth Organization kept a watch in front of the police headquarters until they were released! After they were released, a statement was made on the social media again. It was the following:

    'Our two brothers, who had been taken under custody because of the action held against rag Afrika, were released during the night. In this process, we thank our Ambassador to Nicosia, our chairman Mehmet Demirci and especially AKP's volunteers who have been keeping a watch for hours in front of the police headquarters'.

    What is there in this statement, you may say. We can openly and clearly see that the embassy of Turkey is behind the actions held against our newspaper and the parliament. This was not actually something secret. During the attack held against our newspaper, persons from the embassy of Turkey were watching the incidents being exceedingly happy. Anyhow, they were implementing the 'President's instruction. What they shared did not end here. A group, among which lawyers were also participating, declared as 'Ulubatli Hasan' those who had carried out the attack against Afrika upon the President's instruction and especially those who raised a flag on the parliaments' roof. I think that there is no one who does not know Ulubatli Hasan. He is the person, who they allege planted the Ottoman flag on Istanbul's towers. [] This is the point to which we have come here. []"

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Akinci met with the "police chief" due to Monday's incidents in front of Afrika newspaper and the "parliament"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (24.01.18, http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=akinci-calls-police-chief-to-presidential-palace), Turkish Cypriot Mustafa Akinci met yesterday with the "chief director of police" Suleyman Manavoglu following Monday's incidents in front of Afrika newspaper and the "parliament". Akinci demanded that a detailed investigation be carried out and a report to be prepared.

    According to a press release by Akinci's office, the meeting focused on the lack of security at the protests which led to damage at the daily's office as well as two protestors climbing to the top of the "parliament building" where they waved flags before being brought down. Akinci demanded that those responsible be detected and brought before justice as soon as possible.

    Stating that the protests had grown out of control and become violent, Akinci said that the failure of the "police" to prevent this from happening was unacceptable. He added that necessary measures should be taken or put in place as to prevent the repetition of such an incident in the future.

    Yesterday, all leaders of the 6 political partie, which met with Akinci as part of the ongoing "procedure to form a new government", expressed concern and disappointment over the incidents which took place at the protests.

    [03] Cakici supported Turkey's operation in Afrin and strongly condemned the attacks against Afrika

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (24.01.18) reports that the leader of the Communal Liberation Party- New Forces (TKP-YG) Mehmet Cakici, in a written statement yesterday expressed support to Turkey's Armed Forces operation in Afrin, however, commenting on the attack against press organs in Cyprus after the statement made by Turkish authorities, Cakici said that they were wrong and dangerous.

    ()"As a party which supports the freedom of press, we strongly condemn the attack against Afrika newspaper and we find the attacks as wrong and separatist", Cakici said, adding: "The attacks THAT took place in Afrika newspaper are not a protest action; it is an attack aiming to shut them up. This attack is at the same time an attack against the freedom of the press, the freedom of speech and democracy. We will continue supporting and promoting with our stance the efforts for peace, democracy and freedoms of speech and press in the country".

    (AK)

    [04] Peace and Democracy march to be held next Friday

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (24.01.18) reports that a "Peace and democracy march" will be held next Friday afternoon in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    The march is organized by the "Platform of trade unions" as a reaction to the attacks against Afrika newspaper and the events took that place in the so-called parliament against CTP "deputy" Dogus Derya.

    (CS)

    [05] Ozgurgun was "assigned with the task to form a government"

    Under the title "The duty was assigned to Ozgurgun", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (online, 24.01.18, https://www.havadiskibris.com/gorev-ozgurgunde/) reports that "Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, during his meeting today with the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) assigned him with the task of forming a government" in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Following the meeting with the political parties, Akinci announced that "the process of establishing a government has started".

    Furthermore, according to illegal Bayrak television (online, 24.01.18, http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=ozgurgun-assigned-task-of-forming-government),

    Ozgurgun said that "he will try to form a strong government that will serve the interests of the public but should he fail to do so he will be handing back the duty to the president".

    Meanwhile, Havadis (24.01.18) reports that the political parties CTP (Republican Turkish Party), HP (People's Party), (Social Democratic Party) and Democratic Party (DP) made a surprise statement after their meeting. They asked from Akinci to assign the task for forming a government to Ozgurgun as is established practice. However, it is reported that the political parties CTP, TDP and HP reiterated that they will not be engaging in coalition talks with the UBP. It was also announced that a progress was made during their meeting but they are not ready yet. The four leaders of the political parties will meet again today at DP headquarters.

    Under the title "All the cards are up to Denktas' sleeve", Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (24.01.18) refers to all the above developments of "forming a government".

    (DPs)

    [06] Talat commented on Afrika newspaper attack and asked for the immediate dismissal of the "police chief" in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (24.01.18) under the title: "If I had the right today I wouldn't vote for AKP" reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader and leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Mehmet Ali Talat, in statements to a televised program broadcast by Ada TV, claimed that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the beginning when it came to power was supporting the solution of the Cyprus problem. "I would have vote in favor of this AKP. But if I had the right today, I wouldn't vote for it. We cannot wait for the Cyprus problem for another five years. Anastasiades caused disappointment. He was proven worse even from Christofias. He was not like this at the beginning. In one or another way the talks would resume in 2018. And if a president who is against the solution on the Cyprus problem is elected in the south, of what solution are we going to speak about?" Talat wondered.

    Commenting on the possibility of the "formation of a four-party coalition government in the occupied area of Cyprus", Talat expressed the belief that this would be very beneficial for the "country". He further claimed that Turkey want a "government" in the "TRNC" that would bring stability and would implement the "protocols".

    Also, commenting on the latest attacks against Afrika newspaper, he expressed his sorrow over the incidents and his worries about the future of the Turkish Cypriot "people". "Even though I am not a sympathizer of Afrika newspaper, burning a newspaper is something that only Hitler did. The Turkish Cypriots were never being familiar with such approaches. The distance between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots was never so obvious. Only Papadopulos and Lillikas enjoy this. I was also attacked at the Greek Cypriot side and Anastasiades dismissed the police chief immediately. Now our police chief should resign immediately or he should be dismissed from his post. I consider that the main reason that the police did not intervene to the incidents were the statements made by the Turkish President", Talat further said.

    (AK)

    [07] "Loss of hope for a solution in Cyprus to determine fate of talks"

    Under the above title, Hurriyet Daily News (24.01.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/barcin-yinanc/loss-of-hope-for-a-solution-in-cyprus-to-determine-fate-of-talks-126137) publishes the following article by Barcin Yinanc:

    "Almost three weeks after the Jan. 7 parliamentary elections in Turkish Cyprus, four parties are set to start coalition talks to form a government, leaving out the incumbent National Unity Party (UBP), which got most of the votes: 36.5 %. While the UBP increased its votes by more than 10 % since the 2013 elections, it came short of having the necessary majority to remain in power.

    Ironically, the Republican Turks' Party (CTP), which came second in elections yet also became the party which has suffered the biggest setback by losing 16 % of the votes it won in 2013 might end up leading the government. The Democrat Party (DP), which also suffered a serious setback (15 % loss compared to 2013), will also be in the four-party coalition talks, as well as the newly-established People's Party (HP) and President Mustafa Akinci's Communal Democracy Party (TDP).

    Former negotiator Kudret Ozersay's HP did relatively well in its first test of elections, winning 17 % of the votes and becoming the third biggest party in parliament.

    The newly-established New Birth Party (YDP) supported mainly by Turks with mainland backgrounds also entered parliament, passing the five % threshold by just one %.

    Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgorgun, of the UBP and who resigned Jan. 19, has never been on the same page as Akinci in the peace talks. The UBP-DP coalition only halfheartedly supported the negotiations, as both parties were never convinced that the Greek Cypriots would accept a federal solution that would be equally accepted by Turkish Cypriots, which would for instance insist on the continuation of Turkey's guarantees even if with some changes.

    Similarly, Professor Kudret Ozersay of HP, who has worked as a negotiator for three different presidents including the late Rauf Denktas, has been critical of the negotiation positions endorsed by Akinci.

    While the UBP increased its votes and the HP came third in the elections, the CTP, which one could call as the most committed to a federal solution, has suffered the biggest loss in its history.

    That clearly shows that the Turkish Cypriots have lost hope for a permanent settlement. Peace talks with the Greek Cypriots collapsed last year and it seems the Turkish Cypriots are not holding their government and leadership responsible for the failure, but instead the Greek Cypriots. If they had thought there was a reliable interlocutor, the voters would have given a new mandate to negotiate to a political party. But in the end they did not do so.

    Currently, the only thing that brings together the four parties that will start the coalition talks are their common reaction to the corruption claims regarding the UBP and Ozgorgun.

    It will prove quite challenging for these four parties to find a common ground for the future of the peace talks.

    Following the elections in Greek Cyprus, efforts to revive peace talks will start, but it's impossible for talks to take off from where it was left. Greek Cypriots have staunchly been supporting "no guarantee, no Turkish soldiers." That's a nonstarter for the Turkish Cypriots. Akinci, on the other hand, does not want to start open-ended talks and wants to have the Turkish Cypriots' status clarified in advance in the event of a new failure. That happens to be a nonstarter for the Greek Cypriots.

    And this will mean protracted talks just to agree on the conditions of the new round of negotiations, which would further expand the need to look for alternatives for a settlement."

    [08] US delegation in Ankara after Turkey's Afrin operation

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (24.01.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-delegation-in-ankara-after-turkeys-afrin-operation-126157) reports that a U.S. delegation is having talks in Ankara after Turkey launched "Operation Olive Branch" into Syria's Afrin province.

    The U.S. delegation, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Jonathan Cohen and officials from the Department of Defense, are in Ankara for talks as part of a joint working group that meets periodically.

    They are meeting in the Foreign Ministry with their Turkish partners headed by Ahmet Muhtar Gun, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry.

    The working group's agenda includes a number of issues that have led to tension in bilateral relations in recent months including the visa crisis and ongoing investigations of U.S. consular staff.

    In another meeting in the afternoon, U.S. Department of Defense officials, headed by Cohen, will discuss the "struggle against terrorism" at the General Staff, where the Turkish side will brief them about the ongoing "Operation Olive Branch."

    [09] Turkish Government: Turkey's military operations to continue until 3.5 million Syrians return

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (24.01.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-military-operations-to-continue-until-3-5-million-syrians-return-government-126195) reports that the Turkish military's operations in Syria will continue "until all terrorists are fully eliminated" and around 3.5 million Syrian refugees return to their homes, the Ankara government announced after a top security summit held on the fourth day of "Operation Olive Branch" in Afrin.

    "Our operations will continue until the separatist terror organization is fully cleared from the region and around 3.5 million Syrians who are now sheltered in Turkey are able to securely return to their homeland," Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in a written statement on Jan. 23 after the summit.

    The meeting was convened at the presidential complex in Ankara, under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and with the participation of senior military and civilian officials.

    Turkey currently hosts around 3.5 million Syrians who have fled violence in Syria since the civil war broke out in early 2011.

    Echoing Kalin, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also vowed that the operation will continue "until the last terrorist is eradicated in the region."

    Kalin said the operation in Afrin is going "successfully and as planned," with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continuing their advance into the enclave. He stressed that Turkish troops are paying "utmost care to distinguish civilians from terrorists" and are also working to deliver necessary humanitarian assistance to locals.

    "Operation Olive Branch is being carried out against terror organizations, not against any ethnic group. Similar operations by Turkey until today have never brought about atrocities, blood or tears. To the contrary, they have brought peace and well-being to the people living in those areas," Kalin said.

    He also urged media institutions to be "careful against disinformation, untrue and distorted news and footage" of the operation, saying legal action will be taken against any such attempts.

    Moreover, Turkish Hurriyet Daoly news (24.01.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-cooperate-with-us-in-syria-only-if-it-ends-support-for-ypg-presidential-spokesperson-126219) also reports that Turkey will cooperate with the U.S. in Syria only if Washington ends its support to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and takes back the arms it has provided to the group, Kalin has said.

    "Then we can talk about the future of Syria with them," Kalin told private broadcaster CNN Turk on Jan. 23.

    Kalin also denied suggestions that Turkey negotiated a 'give and take' deal with Russia, offering control over Idlib province in return for control over Afrin. "There is no such undercover negotiation," he said.

    The presidential spokesman also recalled that Washington promised to Ankara last year that it would end military support to the YPG after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is defeated, questioning why the U.S. is still supporting the group despite the defeat of ISIL in Syria.

    [10] NATO 'acknowledges' Turkey's terror concern

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (24.01.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/nato-acknowledges-turkeys-terror-concern-126201) reports that

    Turkey is among the NATO members "most affected by terror attacks" and NATO fully recognizes the threat posed to it, Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller has told the Hurriyet Daily News in Ankara.

    "Turkey has really suffered from terrorism in recent years and has a very serious problem. It is among the NATO allies that suffer the most attacks in recent years and we do recognize that fully," Gottemoeller said after talks in the Turkish capital on Jan. 22.

    She also noted that "proportionality and international law" should be the parameters that "Operation Olive Branch" focuses on as the Turkish military engages in Syria's Afrin province.

    The operation topped the agenda in all her meetings in Ankara at the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Chief of Staff, Gottemoeller said.

    In the talks she heard "very good messages" from Turkish colleagues about "respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria," Gottemoeller added, noting that similar messages were given by the president and the prime minister.

    "Because NATO is an institution that stands for the rule of international law, and because Turkey is a long-standing member of the alliance, we are very glad that these messages are coming from the highest level of the Turkish government," she said.

    Questioned about Erdogan's recent criticism of NATO for "failing to support Turkey" regarding the threat posed by Syrian Kurdish fighters across its southern border in Syria, Gottemoeller emphasized that the alliance is not physically present in Syria.

    "We are not part of the operations that have been taking place in Syria in recent years. We are, of course, a member of the global coalition to fight [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] ISIL and in that context we are active in training activities in Iraq," she said.

    Although the anti-ISIL coalition is close to defeating the group in Iraq and Syria, military capacities such as the Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) provided by NATO as part of the anti-ISIL fight remain in place and will continue, Gottemoeller added.

    "That is a long-standing and well-established operation. AWACS are providing surveillance not only over Turkish airspace but also providing some surveillance capacity and capability, to conduct what we call air traffic control operations in Iraq too. So there are some very important activities that are in place and will continue," she said.

    Asked if continued tension between Washington and Ankara could negatively influence ongoing cooperation within NATO, Gottemoeller said the alliance is a "big family."

    "It works closely together and must work closely together because that is the only way any decision made in NATO can go through a consensus," she said, describing Turkey as a "full member of the alliance, engaged in every decision."

    "It is very important to remember that as in any big family there are sometimes going to be family disagreements, but the important thing to recognize is each ally has an equal seat at the table in decision-making. They have an equal right to say 'no' when they don't want something to happen. We respect Turkey's role in the alliance very much and value it very much," she said.

    Touching on Turkey's controversial purchase of Russian S-400 anti-missile defense systems, Gottemoeller said NATO "respects the decisions" that its members make about all weapons purchases.

    "NATO does not really determine what decisions its allies will make on weapons purchases. What NATO really focuses on is maintaining an effective defense for all allies. One of the points that we have been keen to underscore is that we see interoperability as being very important. We can best defend our allies if our systems are able to work together to provide mutual deterrence and mutual defense. These are some issues that countries need to consider when they make weapons purchases, but in terms of each ally making its own decisions NATO does not dictate those decisions," she added.

    Turkey's decision to buy the Russian S-400 systems in a $2 billion deal has raised the eyebrows of other NATO members, concerned about their inter-operability with the alliance's other systems.

    [11] Erdogan speaks to Putin, Macron over Afrin operation; He will also hold a phone conversation with Trump

    Turkish daily Sabah (24.01.18 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/01/23/erdogan-speaks-to-putin-macron-over-afrin-operation) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the Operation Olive Branch and the latest developments in Syria with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron in two separate phone calls, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

    During his phone call with Macron, Erdogan underlined that Turkey's counter-terror operation in northwestern Syria's Afrin region is being carried out within the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, U.N. Security Council Resolutions, its right to self-defense under the U.N. Charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity. The two leaders agreed to stay in close contact regarding the settlement of the ongoing Syrian crisis.

    A few hours later, Erdogan held another call with Putin, in which the two leaders voiced their determination for the upcoming Syrian National Congress in Sochi to open new chapters for a political solution in Syria.

    In addition, Sabah( 24.01.18 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/01/23/erdogan-to-discuss-operation-olive-branch-with-trump) also reports that Erdogan will hold a phone call with his U.S. counterpart Donald J. Trump on Wednesday, in which the two leaders will discuss Turkey's Operation Olive Branch against YPG and Daesh terrorists, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    (CS/ AM)

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