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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 19-05-08

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

Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 08.05.19 Contents

[A] Turkish Cypriot Press

  • [01] Cavusoglu: "We do not take such Greek Cypriot threats seriously"
  • [02] Ozersay: "TC side will not become a bystander"
  • [03] So-called foreign ministry on the drilling activities
  • [04] Donmez: "Turkey will continue to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots"
  • [05] Tatar: "Greek Cypriots' attempt to issue an arrest warrant for the crew of the Fatih was worthless"
  • [06] A file that will rule the future of the "coalition government"
  • [07] "The nightmare for the currency has returned" in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [08] Izcan on local elections in Istanbul: "No dictatorship in the world is overturned with democratic methods"
  • [09] Columnist says the annulment of local elections in Istanbul "caused chaos, collapse and tension in Turkey"
  • [10] Three "policemen" were disgraced on connection with FETO
  • [B] Turkish Press

  • [01] Erdogan: "Turkey will continue to carry out its own programme in the Mediterranean"
  • [02] Turkey's Energy Ministry: "Turkey and the TRNC can't be excluded from the energy equation in the region"
  • [03] Turkey's MFA rejects French remarks on Mediterranean drilling
  • [04] Erdogan announces that Y?ld?r?m will re-run as People's Alliance's mayoral candidate and condemns TUSIAD
  • [05] CHP slams YSK decision but rules out boycott of Istanbul re-run; it demands re-run of all elections in Istanbul and resignation of election board members
  • [06] MHP welcomes YSK's decision on Istanbul election
  • [07] "Both sides to revise their election campaigns"
  • [08] Gul and Davutoglu express concerns over cancellation of Istanbul elections; HDP: "The elections on 23 June are a referendum for the authoritarian system"
  • [09] HDP Deputies on hunger strike request official declaration ending Ocalan's 'isolation'
  • [10] Turkish stocks end Tuesday 1.61% down

  • [A] Turkish Cypriot Press

    [01] Cavusoglu: "We do not take such Greek Cypriot threats seriously"

    Illegal Bayrak (08.05.19 http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=cavusoglu-on-drilling-activities) broadcast that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has strongly reacted to the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasides who complained to the United Nations regarding the drilling activities carried out by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    "As a guarantor power it is our duty to protect the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot people. This is our responsibility and we will continue to take all necessary steps without any hesitation", Cavusoglu alleged.

    Commenting on what he called threats of the Greek Cypriot side against the crew of the drilling vessel Fatih, the Turkish Foreign Minister: "We do not take such threats seriously. We never gave credit to such bluffs or statements. We will do what is necessary. We will send our second drilling vessel to the region in the near future. The seismic research period has ended. Now, it is time to drill."

    [02] Ozersay: "TC side will not become a bystander"

    Illegal Bayrak (08.05.19 http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=ozersay-tc-side-will-not-become-a-bystander) broadcast that the self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kudret Ozersay said that "the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey will not remain a bystander in drilling activities for hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean".

    Speaking to Turkish state broadcaster TRT, Ozersay claimed that "the TRNC did not intend to raise tensions in the region". But step taken by the Greek Cypriot Administration, as he called the Republic of Cyprus, would be met "with a step of their own".

    Alleging that the area where drilling was taking place was a jointly owned area, Ozersay said that it would be naive to expect the Turkish Cypriots to stand idly and be bystanders.

    "We are only doing what we said we would be doing. We are not preventing anyone. We are only exercising our own right," he added.

    Commenting on the threat of an international arrest warrant being issued for the crew of the Fatih, he said that this was nothing but political rhetoric.

    "If the Greek Cypriot side believes it can issue an arrest warrant in a disputed area it means that drilling cannot take place anywhere in the world. The Greek Cypriot side is fooling itself. They had made similar threats in the past regarding property cases. Such threats are not realistic," he added.

    Ozersay also argued that the Turkish Cypriots had just as much a right as Greek Cypriots to exploit the natural resources off the coast of the island.

    "If these rights belong to both peoples as stated by the UN, then why is it that only the Greek Cypriot side can benefit from this? Why would it be a problem for the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey to pursue these rights? We shall not remain idle bystanders on this issue," he added.

    [03] So-called foreign ministry on the drilling activities

    Illegal Bayrak (08.05.19 http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=mfa-criticizes-gcas-unilateral-activities) reports that the so-called foreign ministry has stated that the Greek Cypriot side was touting to hide its own unjust actions.

    In a written statement, the "foreign ministry" claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey has always opposed the Greek Cypriot side's unilateral activities on the issue of hydrocarbons and defended the need for all the sides to cooperate on the issue.

    The "ministry" said that "the whole commotion created by the Greek Cypriot side was actually aimed at concealing its own unjust actions".

    "The accusations and claims made by the Greek Cypriots against Turkey which has the longest shoreline in the Eastern Mediterranean and which has rights over its continental shelf proves that it is in fact the aggressor in the region," the statement read.

    "If the Greek Cypriot side wants to talk about aggressive actions it should look at its own unilateral actions in an area over which both Turkey and Turkish Cypriots have rights," it added.

    The statement also accused the international actors who seemed surprised over the recent developments of being insincere.

    "The international community was well aware of our proposals and warnings issued for months," the statement read.

    The "ministry" alleged that "Turkey and the TRNC have been peaceful and consistent on its stance on the hydrocarbons issue from the very beginning".

    "The real inconsistency is claiming that Turkish Cypriots have rights over these resources but to continue unilateral activities for years by ignoring the will of the Turkish Cypriots," the statement said.

    It also said that "to claim that these resources belong to both peoples on the island but to give consent to only one of these two peoples to use these resources and to remain a bystander is nothing more than defending the Greek Cypriot side's unjust actions".

    The statement concluded by urging the international community and the Greek Cypriot administration, as it referred to the Republic of Cyprus, to act consistently.

    [04] Donmez: "Turkey will continue to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (08.05.19) reports that the Turkish Minister of Energy Fatih Donmez stated that Turkey will continue to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Donmez, who made a tweet on his twitter account said the following:

    "Turkey will continue to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots in any field and will not permit any activities which are illegal. We will continue our activities without making any concessions from our legal rights in our licensed areas", he posted.

    (CS)

    [05] Tatar: "Greek Cypriots' attempt to issue an arrest warrant for the crew of the Fatih was worthless"

    Illegal Bayrak (08.05.19 http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=tatar-on-drilling-activities) reports that the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar made a statement regarding the drilling activities carried out by the Fatih drillship.

    Alleging that news regarding the Republic of Cyprus' attempt to issue an arrest warrant for the crew of the Fatih was worthless, Tatar claimed: "The Fatih is not doing anything illegal, therefore, they cannot do this. However, if they do they will face the consequences."

    Claiming that the "Greek Cypriot administration" by using the title of "Republic of Cyprus" attempted to usurp the sovereignty rights of Turkish Cypriots in the seas and the island's hydrocarbon resources, the UBP leader alleged that Turkey and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" will protect their sovereignty rights.

    Tatar also added that if they really wanted a solution in Cyprus the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo and the European Union should not ignore the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot people.

    [06] A file that will rule the future of the "coalition government"

    Under the title "The fate of the four party government in this file", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (08.05.19) reports that "the issue of leasing government land, which has caused a rupture among the two coalition parties of People's Party (HP) and the Democratic Party (DP), was discussed yesterday in a three-hour meeting of the council of ministers".

    According to the paper, "Kudret Ozersay, HP's leader, came out from the meeting holding a file, which was presented by the finance minister and DP leader Serdar Denktas to the council of ministers after a demand by Ozersay. The file is regarding the leasing of government land during the period of the current government."

    Ozersay said that they will examine the "leasing" included in the file and the HP central committee of will evaluate it. The paper further wrote that "according to confidential sources, Ozersay said that after the evaluation of the file, HP may withdraw from the government".

    (DPs)

    [07] "The nightmare for the currency has returned" in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Under the title "The nightmare for the currency has returned", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (08.05.19) reports that after Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) has ordered the rerun of a March 31 vote for mayor of Istanbul, Turkish Lira has declined again, hitting a seven-month low. The Turkish lira fell to 6 per dollar on Wednesday, to 8 per sterling and to 7 per euro.

    The paper reports that the Turkish lira will continue to devalue until the elections on the 23rd of June and this will reflected in high inflation in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    (DPs)

    [08] Izcan on local elections in Istanbul: "No dictatorship in the world is overturned with democratic methods"

    Turkish Cypriot newspaper K?br?s Postas? (07.05.19, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRISHABERLERI/n284451-izcan-dunyadahicbir-diktator-iktidari-demokratik-yontemlerle) reports that Izzet Izcan, chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), has said that what happened after the local elections in Turkey and the annulment of the elections in Istanbul by the High Election Council (YSK) destroyed the last crumbs of democracy in Turkey.

    "The oppressive and anti-democratic regime created by the AKP exhibited its real face", he noted in a statement issued yesterday, arguing that President Erdogan's anti-democratic practices would influence the Turkish economy negatively and "blow up" Turkey's international relations.

    "A regime, which keeps elected politicians in prison, takes intellectuals and journalists to court and arrests those who say 'I want peace', could be but a fascist regime", noted Izcan arguing that what is happening was an indication that the Erdogan regime was heading towards its end.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Columnist says the annulment of local elections in Istanbul "caused chaos, collapse and tension in Turkey"

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (08.05.19), columnist Basaran Duzgun reports that the "legal bizarreness" exhibited by the Turkish High Election Council (YSK), which annulled the local elections in Istanbul, "caused chaos, collapse and tension in Turkey". Noting that devaluation of the Turkish Lira started, Duzgun underlines that this development influences negatively millions of people with low income in Turkey and the low-income groups in the occupied area of Cyprus. "That is, Turkey sneezed again and we caught a cold", he says and adds:

    "[?] The decisions taken by those who administrate Turkey are deeply influencing us. And unfortunately, during the recent period they take decisions which deeply influence us. Turkey is not a state having the status of a foreign state, in the internal affairs of which we should not interfere. There are around 100 thousand voters [Translator's note: he means in the occupied area of Cyprus] who have the right to vote in Turkey's elections. This number is an important percentage within the TRNC population.

    Beyond that, the left wing parties are interested in the world issues even though the right wing parties are not and when things are seen only from this point of view, our left wing parties should not remain indifferent to the developments in Turkey. Moreover, many of them have physical ties with the CHP or others. The main problem which we experience is the following: Do you think that it is normal for absolutely no voice to be heard from our parties towards the so many upheavals happening in Turkey? Let us not be unfair with the BKP, but other than [the BKP] no one opened or could open their mouth. The parties which are in the government have almost become hostages. Even the right wing parties which are not in the government slam this [situation] during their private discussions but say nothing publicly. The situation at the current stage is the following: Everybody here is playing the three monkeys.

    The AKP may have caused the annulment of only the elections in Istanbul by using its power at the YSK. The expression that 'the one who loses Istanbul loses Turkey', as Erdogan says, might be realized. Erdogan might take back Istanbul. However, he will lose Turkey. Because he has now lost the power to govern and created his own opposition. The winner will be the new Turkey which is rising in Ekrem Imamoglu's personality".

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Three "policemen" were disgraced on connection with FETO

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (08.05.19) reports that three "policemen" were discharged over connections with FETO.

    According to the paper, this will be used as a model for 120 other cases regarding "policemen" in the breakaway regime who appear to have connections with the organization. Investigations in the suspects' bank accounts and other property assets are taking place since 2017, writes the paper.


    [B] Turkish Press

    [01] Erdogan: "Turkey will continue to carry out its own programme in the Mediterranean"

    According to the official website of Turkey's presidency, 07.05.19 https://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/news/542/105280/-we-believe-in-the-greatness-of-turkey-and-in-the-strength-of-the-turkish-nation-), President and AK Party Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivering a speech at the parliamentary group meeting of the Justice and Development (AK) Party said: "Our nation has never disappointed or abandoned us in any struggle of ours thus far. We believe in the greatness of Turkey and in the strength of the Turkish nation."

    "We see the security of our economy just as important as the security of our borders," President Erdogan underscored, adding: "It will be inevitable for us to reach wrong conclusions unless we correctly analyze the reasons of the recent fluctuations in economy. It is now clear as day that we are faced with a project that seeks to redesign our country in line with a global scenario."

    Erdogan went on to say: "We, the 82 million, will all together work hard and achieve Turkey's goals for 2023. No attack will cause the damage sought to be created in our economy if we stand strong."

    Erdogan further stressed: "Our nation has never disappointed or abandoned us in any struggle of ours thus far. We believe in the greatness of Turkey and in the strength of the Turkish nation."

    Answering reporters' questions following the parliamentary group meeting, regarding the U.S. and the European Union's call for Turkey to halt its drilling activities in the Mediterranean, Erdogan said that Turkey will continue to carry out its own programme therein, and that it does not pay heed to the instructions or evaluations of some circles.

    He further noted that Turkey, as a guarantor country, endeavors to protect the rights of its cognates, especially in East Mediterranean, Southeast Mediterranean and in the "TRNC".

    [02] Turkey's Energy Ministry: "Turkey and the TRNC can't be excluded from the energy equation in the region"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/drilling-in-east-med-statements-unacceptable-ministry/1472674) reported that Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Ministry said in a written statement on Tuesday that all statements made on Turkey's drilling activities on "its own continental shelf" are unacceptable.

    In response to statements made by internal and external actors on objections to Turkey's activities, the Ministry said that the country's energy diplomacy is not conducted on the basis of commercial interests. "Turkey knows that natural resources can play an important role in increasing peace and stability," the statement read.

    "Our country advocates the role of energy as a source of peace rather than as a source of conflict," it noted.

    The Ministry said further that the country's energy policy, which attaches importance to both Turkey's and Europe's energy supply security, should be viewed as a benefit to all.

    According to the statement, "Turkey and the TRNC can't be excluded from the energy equation in the region".

    "We invite you to take advantage of our country's win-win approach instead of fueling regional conflicts by taking steps that increase uncertainty and escalate tension," the Ministry added.

    [03] Turkey's MFA rejects French remarks on Mediterranean drilling

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-rejects-french-remarks-on-mediterranean-drilling/1472899) reported that Turkey on Tuesday rejected a recent French statement on Ankara-led drilling activities in its own continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    "We reject the statement made today (7 May) by French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, which refers to Turkey's drilling activities in its own continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean," said a Foreign Ministry statement.

    "In this respect, our press releases dated 4 May 2019, No: 124 and dated 6 May 2019, No: 128 are valid for France as well," the Ministry added referring to two previous press statements against similar comments from the U.S. and the EU.

    On Monday, Turkey condemned a Washington statement on Turkey's drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean continental shelf.

    "Turkey has made its position explicitly clear regarding its continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean since 2004," Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    "Since then, we have brought to the attention of relevant countries and the international community that the Greek Cypriot Administration's EEZ delimitation agreements with the countries in the region are not valid for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots and one of these agreements violates Turkey's continental shelf rights," the statement added.

    The Ministry on Saturday also rejected another statement made by Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, regarding Turkey's hydrocarbon exploration activities in the area.

    As the country with the longest coastline in the region, Turkey is determined to protect its "own rights and interests within our continental shelf" as well as those of the Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus, it said in a statement.

    Turkey also said its hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean are based on its legitimate rights under international law.

    [04] Erdogan announces that Y?ld?r?m will re-run as People's Alliance's mayoral candidate and condemns TUSIAD

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.05.19http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-revote-decision-important-step-for-democracy-erdogan-143223) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed on May 7 an order to re-run the recent Istanbul election after complaints of corruption as the "best step" for the country.

    "We see this decision as the best step that will strengthen our will to solve problems within the framework of democracy and law," Erdogan told a meeting of his party members in parliament.

    Erdogan's comments come a day after the top election body canceled the March 31 vote that handed main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Ekrem Imamoglu a narrow lead over the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    Erdogan on May 7 talked of "organized crime" and "serious corruption" during the vote. "The documents we have presented are quite solid and based on concrete evidence which cannot be disputed," he said. "We sincerely believe there was organized corruption and irregularities."

    He said that if his government did not bring to account the "thieves" who stole the "national will" at the ballot box, "our people will demand an explanation from us."

    Erdogan said further that Binali Y?ld?r?m will run as People's Alliance's mayoral candidate in the do-over elections in Istanbul and that Istanbul's Governor Ali Yerlikaya will perform mayoral duties until the revote on June 23.

    With 16 million residents, Istanbul is Turkey's economic engine and controls a major chunk of public spending.

    Erdogan also said on May 7 that a new "resolution process" was out of question in Turkey.

    In early 2013, under then-Prime Minister and current President Erdogan, the Turkish government launched an initiative publicly known as the resolution process to end the decades-old conflict with the PKK.

    The process stalled in 2015. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

    Meanwhile, according to the Turkish minutes portal (07.05.19-https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/07/erdogan-says-top-business-group-should-know-its-place-due-to-criticism-of-ysk-decision/) Erdogan has slammed top business organization, the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) due to its criticism of a decision by the country's top election board which ruled for re-run of mayoral elections in Istanbul, telling the group to know its place.

    Following the YSK decision, TUSIAD expressed concern about returning to an election environment at a time when it said the country needs extensive economic and democratic reforms.

    Speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Erdogan said some businessmen have been making "weird" statements following the YSK decision, noting that their attitude will not bring normalization in the country but rather a lack thereof. "You are acting inappropriately. Everyone should know their place," Erdogan told TUSIAD.

    (?)

    [05] CHP slams YSK decision but rules out boycott of Istanbul re-run; it demands re-run of all elections in Istanbul and resignation of election board members

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-slams-ysk-decision-but-rules-out-boycott-of-istanbul-re-run-143227) reported that Turkey's main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP) has slammed a decision by the national election board to annul the Istanbul polls but ruled out a boycott of the rerun slated for June 23.

    CHP convened its Party Assembly on May 7 to assess the Supreme Election Board's (YSK) decision to redo the Istanbul mayoral elections dues to irregularities. During their meeting, they decided to participate in the elections.

    Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, whose historic victory marked the first time in 25 years the opposition party won the country's largest city, sat in office for just 19 days before the YSK scrapped the election results. He made comments to reporters after the meeting. "A big blow was inflicted on our democracy. We should altogether fix it," Imamoglu said.

    On the same issue, the Turkishminutes portal (07.05.19-https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/07/chp-demands-re-run-of-all-elections-in-istanbul-resignation-of-election-board-members/) reported that in the wake of a controversial decision from Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) on Monday to re-run the mayoral election in Istanbul, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has called for all elections in Istanbul to be held again in addition to the resignation of all board members.

    (?)The CHP convened its Party Council (PM) meeting on Tuesday following the YSK decision. In a statement released following the meeting, the party said: "If there is controversy over polling station officials, using the same logic the elections for district mayors and city council members should also be held again. The YSK members should all resign due to the crime they committed against the voters."

    The CHP also said a public referendum held on April 16, 2017 and the June 24 general and presidential elections held in 2018 should also be re-run because the same polling station officials were on duty.

    In the meantime, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu who spoke at his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, described the seven YSK members who voted in favor of the cancellation of the Istanbul vote as a "gang." "I am telling the seven-member gang, no matter from where you derive your power, we will emerge successful from the elections. Your power can never affect us because we get our power from the people. Those whose power comes from the palace [a reference to Erdogan] will give an accounting of their actions one day," said Kilicdaroglu.

    [06] MHP welcomes YSK's decision on Istanbul election

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/mhp-welcomes-ysks-decision-on-istanbul-election-143234) reported that the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) Presidency Council on May 6 praised the decision of the Supreme Election Council (YSK) to do over the Istanbul municipal elections on June 23. "It is pleasing that this decision, which we believe is for the benefit of our country, ends all kinds of debates [regarding the elections]," said a statement released after the presidency council's meeting.

    "It is the necessity of superiority of democracy and law that every fraction of society respects the YSK's decision. It is necessary that no one attempts to drag Turkey into chaos and disorder in the face of this decision and any such attempts are obstructed by the security forces," the statement said.

    "The Nationalist Movement Party will be in every kind of effort, with all its organization units, for the success of the People's Alliance in the election for which a re-run has been decided," it said, referring to the MHP's election alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    (?) "We wish that the Istanbul elections ? will be for the good of our country, nation and Istanbul people," MHP's statement added.

    [07] "Both sides to revise their election campaigns"

    In a commentary in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.05.19- http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/serkan-demirtas/istanbul-re-run-turns-into-a-struggle-for-democracy-143237) columnist Serkan Demirtas, writes the following: "This column on Monday had suggested that the Supreme Election Council's (YSK) decision on the Istanbul polls would constitute yet another litmus test for the ailing Turkish democracy. It's unfortunate to witness that Turkey has failed this test at the hands of the YSK, whose rule has created a major legal and political controversy.

    Legal experts find scores of problematic aspects in regards to the YSK's verdict. It had to reject one appeal filed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on the grounds that all the irregularities cited in their petition had to be dealt with before the election and not afterwards.

    Another controversy surrounding the decision is the fact that it cancels only the election for Mayor of Istanbul, although voters cast ballots for municipal councils, district mayors and neighborhood heads at the same election and in the same envelope. It may be because the AKP won 25 out of 39 districts, but lost the Istanbul mayoral seat to the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) after 25 years.

    The CHP's Ekrem Imamoglu was first to show reaction against the YSK's decision late May 6 at a crowded public rally he held around midnight. The CHP convened its party assembly on May 7 before its chair Kemal K?l?cdaroglu announced the decision not to boycott the polls on June 23, with vows that Imamoglu will win the title again.

    K?l?cdaroglu stressed that the YSK's decision was no longer an issue of Istanbul, but of Turkish democracy, which has not been in good shape for a long time. He, therefore, called on all the democrats of Turkey to unite and heal the bleeding Turkish democracy.

    This call seems to be well-received by various segments of the public. The YSK's decision has obviously triggered an outcry by well-known artists and prominent figures as well as businesspeople. A social media campaign was immediately launched under the hashtag #everythingwillbeverygood, with the participation of thousands of Turkish people in support of Imamoglu.

    Turkey's leading private carriers offered free cancellation and changes to all tickets in and out of Istanbul that overlap with June 23, a move which was later followed by the Turkish Airlines. Some tourism agencies, as well as associations of hotels in the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, have issued similar offers to their guests who had booked on dates overlapping the date of the renewed elections so that they can vote in the re-run.

    Felicity (Saadet) Party's Istanbul's nominee Necdet Gokc?nar who gained 103,000 votes in the March 31 polls declared that he is ready to withdraw his candidacy before the re-run to be to the leverage of Imamoglu should his party decide in this direction too. Zehra Guner Karaoglu from Turkey's Communist Party (TKP) said she will not run and instead support the CHP's candidate with her more than 10,000 votes. This trend would put Imamoglu and the AKP's candidate Binali Y?ld?r?m alone in the race for Istanbul.

    Following the YSK decision, both sides will surely revise their election campaign for June 23. Imamoglu and K?l?cdaroglu will continue to pursue a positive campaign, keeping hopes high through an inclusive and soft language. As stated by K?l?cdaroglu, many in the CHP believe that Imamoglu will win once again ? this time with a bigger difference.

    The AKP side signals a change in the campaign, with Erdogan holding talks with all his aides to this end. As expected, the President will be in the driver's seat of the AKP's campaign process as he said he will hold rallies in various districts of Istanbul. MHP leader Devlet Bahceli had vowed to set up his headquarters in Istanbul for a more efficient campaign process for Y?ld?r?m.

    As seen, it is not that easy for Turkey to return to normalcy. However, this is not unique to Turkey. Countries suffering from poor democratic norms often pass through such painful and dire straits. It's very hard to approve some governmental voices who claim that the YSK decision is a victory of democracy, or is the best step on the way to strengthen Turkish democracy. The best step for democracy is taken when everybody shows respect to the election results. The cancellation of the Istanbul polls naturally sparks a struggle for democracy to be manifested on June 23".

    [08] Gul and Davutoglu express concerns over cancellation of Istanbul elections; HDP: "The elections on 23 June are a referendum for the authoritarian system"

    According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (07.05.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/07/former-president-gul-expresses-concerns-over-cancelation-of-istanbul-election/), Turkey's former President Abdullah Gul on Tuesday expressed concern over the election board's announcement to re-run the Istanbul mayoral election, likening the ruling to a Constitutional Court decision annulling his election as President by the Turkish parliament in 2007. "It is a shame that we didn't get too far," Gul tweeted.

    In 2007, although he was elected president by parliament, the Constitutional Court cancelled the election due to a lack of votes from at least a two-thirds majority, or 367 deputies, a legal interpretation that had not previously been used.

    The decision was largely evaluated as a reaction from the secular establishment to an Islamist politician becoming President.

    "I experienced the same feelings after the Supreme Election Board's decision taken yesterday," Gul said.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sozcu (07.05.19, https://www.sozcu.com.tr/2019/gundem/son-dakika-ahmet-davutoglundan-yskya-elestiri-4713359/) reports that Turkey's former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has voiced also his discontent to the cancellation of CHP's victory on Istanbul municipality elections.

    In a tweet, Davutoglu wrote that events after the Istanbul election and the decision to annul it had harmed the "basic values" of Turkey's democracy ? that voters had the final word at the ballot box. "The biggest loss for a political movement is not an election, but the loss of moral superiority and social conscience".

    On the same issue, Turkey news portal T24 (07.05.19, https://t24.com.tr/haber/hdp-den-aciklama,820060) reports that Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Sezai Temelli, speaking in his party's group meeting at the Parliament on Tuesday, said that his party will not name a candidate for the Istanbul election rerun, adopting the same strategy as the March 31 polls, which meant Kurdish voters could cast their ballots in favour of the main opposition candidate. He added: "We implemented a strategy on March 31 and we reversed the path of politics. We struggled to lead peace that Turkey missed. We will do the same as we did yesterday."

    Temelli also defined Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK) as "Supreme Fraud Council", underlining that the public will and the future of the people had been seized by the country's top electoral board and the HDP would not concede the public will to the ruling party.

    He further said that HDP would stick to a course against "injustice and lawlessness", signalling that it could align with the opposition again, adding that the elections on 23 of June are a referendum for the authoritarian system.

    (DPs)

    [09] HDP Deputies on hunger strike request official declaration ending Ocalan's 'isolation'

    According to the Turkishminutes portal (07.05.19-https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/07/hdp-deputies-on-hunger-strike-request-official-declaration-ending-ocalans-isolation/), Deputies from the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) who have been on a hunger strike protesting the inability of Kurdish terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan to speak with his lawyers for years have said they expect an official declaration from the ruling party ending his "isolation," the Art? Gercek news website reported.

    Leyla Guven, Dersim Dag, Tayip Temel and Murat Sar?sac issued a written statement after Ocalan was visited on Monday by his lawyers for the first time since 2011, stating that it might be a move from the government to ease the tension, not necessarily meaning the end of his "isolation."

    Guven went on a hunger strike in November 2018 in protest of the "isolation" of jailed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Ocalan.

    She was later joined by several other HDP Deputies and Kurdish rights activists.

    According to a human rights group, nearly 3,000 inmates in Turkish prisons also joined the hunger strike.

    Ocalan has sent a message via his lawyers to the people on hunger strike, stressing that it must not cost them their lives and that their health was above everything else.

    [10] Turkish stocks end Tuesday 1.61% down

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkish-stocks-end-tuesday-161-down/1472765) reported that Turkey's benchmark stock index ended Tuesday down 1.61% to close at 91,482.45 points.

    After starting the day at 90,801.28 points, Borsa Istanbul's BIST 100 index fell 1,499.82 points from 92,982.27 points at Monday's close.

    Peaking at 91,926.73 points, the BIST 100's daily low was 90,698.17 points during Tuesday's trading -- 36 stocks on the index rose, 57 fell, and seven were flat compared to the previous

    Exchange Rates Monday Tuesday USD/TRY 6 0140 6.1410 EUR/TRY 6.7340 6.8740 GBP/TRY 7.8900 8.0330

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    (AK/AM)


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