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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-01-24
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 16/14 24.01.14
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 The decision of the Council of Ministers to facilitate the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the EP elections is described as "historic"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.01.14) reports that the government of the Republic of Cyprus has sent to the House of Representatives a draft-law prepared for facilitating the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the forthcoming European Parliament (EP) elections. Under the title "The pre-registration pre-condition will be abolished", the paper writes that the Council of Ministers approved yesterday an amendment to the law that will secure the automatic registration in the voter lists for all citizens who have identity card of the Republic of Cyprus.
The paper notes that the Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides said yesterday that the amendment concerns the EP elections and that with its approval by the House of Representatives the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus who live in the occupied area of the island will automatically be registered in the voter lists. Noting that this decision was taken to facilitate the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the EP elections of 25 May, he underlined that the aim of the law is to give to all citizens of the Republic of Cyprus the opportunity to equally participate in the EP elections.
Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (24.01.14) covers the issue on its front page under the title "historical decision" and notes that the Council of Ministers took yesterday "an important decision that concerns the Turkish Cypriots". The paper notes that the decision "will be debated a lot" and it is "an important step by the Greek Cypriot side for the participation of the Turkish Cypriots at the EP".
Under the title "All Turkish Cypriots are voters in the south", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (24.01.14) reports that according to what it is said, the Turkish Cypriots could vote in ballot boxes which will be put at the crossing points. In its daily "Letter from Afrika" column, the paper writes that the decision is important and that the candidatures could be submitted until 2 May for the election of six members of the European Parliament (MEP). The paper goes on and notes: "30 thousand votes are needed in order for a candidate to be elected. That is, if all Turkish Cypriot voters participate in these elections and support two Turkish candidates, it is possible to take these two seats at the parliament in this manner. However, it seems that for now there is no one willing for this. Who will abandon the separate election and especially the TRNC? Is it possible?"
Other Turkish Cypriot daily newspapers also refer to the decision. Yeni Duzen (24.01.14) covers the issue under the title "Historical draft-law in the south", while Havadis (24.01.14) refers to "EP election game from the Greek Cypriot government".
 Reactions to the decision of the Council of Ministers to facilitate the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the EP electionsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (24.01.14) reports that "officials" in the "TRNC" [Translator's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] are not pleased with the decision of the government of the Republic of Cyprus to send to the House of Representatives a draft-law prepared for facilitating the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the forthcoming European Parliament (EP) elections and support that the Turkish Cypriots should hold a separate election in the occupied area of the island.
Under the title "We will elect, but…", the paper writes that a source from the so-called president of the "republic's" office said that even in the 1960 system the communities were electing their representatives in separate elections and argued that "we should elect our own representatives". The source claimed that the action of the government of the Republic of Cyprus aims at "institutionally rejecting the TRNC and dragging the individuals under the roof of the Republic of Cyprus". The source alleged that "the Greek Cypriots try to be cleared of responsibility before the EU" and that "no one speaks about the issue of being elected".
Moreover, Ozdil Nami, self-styled minister of foreign affairs, told Kibris Postasi that the self-styled government of the "TRNC" could not make a discrimination between its "citizens" who have identity card of the Republic of Cyprus and those who do not have. He alleged that the decision taken by the government of the Republic of Cyprus aimed at "deceiving" some Deputies within the EU. Nami noted that the ballot boxes could not be placed in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus because the acquis of the EU is suspended in these territories. He alleged that placing the ballot boxes in the government-controlled area of the island would be "totally contrary to the democratic principles", because one of the requirements of democracy is that the ballot boxes should be "brought to the voters' doorstep".
Moreover, Huseyin Ozgurgun, the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) told the paper that the Greek Cypriots were forced to make such amendment because of what he described as "pressure by the EP" and alleged that the persons who will represent the Turkish Cypriots at the EP should be "citizens" of the "TRNC" and be elected by the "citizens" of the "TRNC".
Finally, Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) said that their wish as a party is definitely not in this direction [Translator's note: that is, the Turkish Cypriots to vote in elections held in the government –controlled area of Cyprus] and added that during their recent contacts in Brussels EU officials told them that they want two seats at the EP to be filled up by Turkish Cypriots who will be elected by Turkish Cypriots. He argued that placing ballot boxes in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus and the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in such elections would "not be appropriate politically or democratically". He claimed that this is also contrary to the principles of the Republic of Cyprus of 1960.
 Turkish Cypriots are allegedly annoyed by DownerTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.01.14) reports that the Turkish Cypriot side has not welcomed the fact that during the briefing of the UN Security Council on the peace process in Cyprus, Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's special adviser for Cyprus, had expressed his disappointment because there was no result in the efforts of agreeing on a joint declaration. A source, who wished to remain anonymous, told Kibris that Downer held both sides responsible for this failure and argued that this is "far from objectivity".
The source said that the Turkish Cypriot side was annoyed about this and described the situation as "murdering the realities". The source alleged that it was unfair to present the Turkish Cypriot side as one of those responsible of the situation, in spite of the fact that it had accepted all three proposals submitted by the UN and stated that it was ready to resume negotiations without pre-conditions.
According to the paper, diplomatic circles predicted that now the negotiating process could continue if President Anastasiades accepts the Turkish Cypriot proposal or without a joint declaration.
Referring to Downer's future in the Cyprus talks, the source noted that the Australian diplomat has not yet signed his contract, which was extended for another six months. In the light of the developments, the appointment of Downer as Australia's High Commissioner to London will be soon announced, the source argued.
 Eroglu conveyed to Kidd his annoyance about the agreement signed with the Republic of Cyprus on the properties in the British BasesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.01.14) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met yesterday with the British High Commissioner to Nicosia, Mathew Kidd and conveyed to him the annoyance of the Turkish Cypriot side about the agreement signed between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Cyprus as regards the development of properties within the British Bases of the island.
No statement was issued after the two-hour meeting, but according to paper's sources, during the meeting Eroglu told the High Commissioner that the Turkish Cypriot side is "very annoyed" about the agreement and that the timing of the agreement is "thought provoking".
"This agreement will influence negatively the negotiations", the source alleged adding that the agreement changed the status of the bases and caused "disappointment from the point of view of its content and timing". The source claimed that two of the sides which had signed the treaties of establishment, alliance and guarantee of the Republic of Cyprus have not signed the above-mentioned agreement and alleged that "the Turkish Cypriot community was ignored".
The source said that the "TRNC" will consult with Turkey on what they could do and added that the fate of the Turkish Cypriot properties near the villages in the areas of Dhekelia and Arkotiri is unknown. 'We are seriously worried that they will be transferred to the Custodian", (Translator's note: The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Cyprus) the source noted.
 Eroglu reiterated that there are two "peoples" in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (24.01.14) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, attending a reception on Wednesday night hosted by the Society of Cyprus Turkish Journalists on the occasion of its 52nd anniversary of establishment, reiterated that there are two "peoples" in Cyprus, who are seeking a solution. He added that the solution should be permanent and viable without experiencing again the things that they lived in the past.
Eroglu noted: "Our essential aim is to reach a solution in the light of today's realities and without ignoring the past".
Alleging that the Turkish Cypriot draft proposal on the joint statement, which was submitted to the UN on the 14th of December 2013, was approved by the USA, Great Britain, some EU countries and the UN representative in Cyprus, Eroglu said that the Greek Cypriot contravened them with another draft proposal for the joint statement.
 Self-styled minister: The water supply project will be completed by the end of this yearAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 23.01.14), self-styled minister for environment and natural resources Hamit Bak?rc?, who is carrying out contacts in the Turkish city of Mersin, inspected work that is taking place within the framework of the water transfer project that foresees water being transferred via underwater pipelines from Turkey to the "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus).
Within the framework of his contacts, he first visited and carried out inspections at the Alakopru Dam where the project began. Claiming that he always perceived the water coming from Turkey as the water of peace, Bakirci argued that "if the Greek Cypriot side displays a conciliatory stance and requests water assistance then discussions for this to be realized can take place".
"The water coming to the TRNC will give a great message to the world. This message is that motherland Turkey will always support the Turkish Cypriot people", Bak?rc? claimed.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (24.01.14) reports that Bakirci, in statements at the Alakopru Dam, said that the project will be completed by the end of the year and then the water will start flowing to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
 The political crisis in Turkey created problems in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus on the exchange rateTurkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (24.01.14) reports that due to the current political instability in Turkey, the exchange continues to climb. The Turkish lira sank to yet another record low against the euro on Jan. 24, the day after the Turkish central bank decided against hiking interest rates to prop up the currency.
The lira, which has shed 10% of its value since a political crisis erupted, last month, was trading at 3.0652 to the euro from 3.0583 at Tuesday's close and at 2.307 on Friday to the dollar from 2.28 late on Thursday. The British sterling was raised to 3.8188 to the Turkish Lira (TL).
According to the paper, those who were paying an instalment of 5,600 TL in relation to a loan of 2 thousands sterling, since yesterday they have to start to pay an instalment of 7,600 TL.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (24.01.14) reports that economist Mehmet Saydam, evaluating the situation to the paper, said that the exchange rate will be at these same levels until March.
 The breakaway regime confiscated 86 pieces of antiquitiesTurkish Cypriot daily Start Kibris (24.01.14) reports that seven people and 86 pieces of antiquities were confiscated in an operation by the occupation regime at the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
According to the paper, the suspects extracted the antiquities pieces from excavations that they have conducted near the occupied villages of Platani and Makrasyka. It is also reported that the suspects were planning to smuggle the antiquities in the government control area of the Republic of Cyprus.
 EU Parliament Committee approves the EU-Turkey readmission agreementAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.01.14), an agreement allowing EU countries to send illegal migrants who enter Europe via Turkey back to Turkey, when it comes into force in three years' time, has been approved by the European Parliament's civil liberties committee.
The repatriation of illegal migrants is what Turkey has agreed to as part of a larger agreement which will also allow Turkish citizens to travel visa-free to EU countries. The agreement stipulates that Turkey will get financial and technical help from the EU to build up its border police and install border surveillance equipment.
"The readmission agreement will benefit Turkey as well as the European Union," said Rapporteur Renate Sommer. "Now it is up to Turkey to fulfil its obligations to implement the agreement in full."
Sommer added that the agreement would make a significant contribution to curbing illegal immigration into the EU via Turkey and help combat cross-border crime.
To come into force, the agreement still has to be approved by the European Parliament and then formally ratified by the EU and by Turkey. The committee endorsed the agreement by 34 votes to 7 with one abstention.
 Europeans: PM's explanations on corruption cases were not convincingTurkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 23.01.14) reported that the vice-chairman of the Liberal Group in the European Parliament, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, who represented his group in the meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday, said he was not convinced by the arguments put forward by the Turkish Prime Minister to explain the corruption cases which erupted on Dec. 17 and the unfolding events afterwards.
The German politician, who is also his group's shadow rapporteur on Turkey, said the Prime Minister's theories were not "proper arguments."
Lambsdorff, who was present at the heated debate with Erdogan in the European Parliament and posed questions to the Turkish Prime Minister, said in an interview with Today's Zaman that he was not convinced by his arguments for basically two reasons.
Stating that Erdogan had in length talked about the success of the Turkish economy and the fact that the Turkish economy had quadrupled in the last decade was proof of the lack of corruption, Lambsdorff said this was "unconvincing." Erdogan's argument that the removal of so many police officers and prosecutors was the result of normal procedures was also not helpful, according to Lambsdorff. "This gives the impression that there is interference in the judiciary. It does not look normal," he said, stressing that they were "very concerned" about the independence of the judiciary, the separation of powers and the rule of law and would closely monitor developments regarding the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).
The German Liberal said Erdogan seemed very confident of himself and that he believed Erdogan might not have an accurate analysis of the real situation in Turkey in terms of the independence of the judiciary, press freedoms and Internet regulations, just to name a few of the problems. Lambsdorff raised the question of why Erdogan had to change almost half of his Cabinet if no corruption had taken place. "It will be very surprising for a country like Turkey coming from a modest economic background not to have corruption when it grows so fast. In such cases, corruption does not get less, but on the contrary. It will be surprising if there is no corruption at all. It is natural," he said.
Lambsdorff also said they have tabled an amendment for the Turkey progress report prepared by Dutch Christian Democrat Ria Oomen-Ruijten calling on the Hizmet movement to improve its transparency.
Meawhile, in talks with Turkey's EU Affairs Minister, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule said the draft bill on the HSYK should respect the EU's judicial norms and practices. Fule underlined the need for Turkey and the EU to maintain close contact on the issue in his meeting with EU Affairs Minister and Chief Negotiator Mevlut Cavusoglu in Brussels on Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's talks with top EU officials in the capital of the bloc.
According to the Anadolu agency's report, during the Brussels visit Turkish officials urged their EU counterparts to maintain the momentum that came with the opening of Chapter 22 -- on regional policy and coordination of structural instruments -- and the newly signed visa liberalization and readmission agreements.
Marc Pierini, the former head of the EU delegation to Turkey, agrees that negotiation process needs to continue. Pierini also underlined that the EU's problem with Turkey is not unwillingness to admit the country, but meaningful concerns about democracy. "… A stable and democratic Turkey is in everyone's interest, while a country that has crises every six months is not," he said.
 TUSIAD: Bill restructuring judicial body potential cause of concern for foreign investorsTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.01.14) reported that a controversial judicial bill increasing the executive's control on the judiciary could "raise questions" to foreign investors, the head of Turkey's top business group has said, expressing concerns about the government's handling of the ongoing corruption allegations.
"A picture that shows Turkey cannot deal with serious graft claims through the law will raise questions over 'which world does Turkey belong to' in countries investing here. Can you accept this?" Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) head Muharrem Yilmaz said on Jan. 23.
Speaking during TUSIAD's general assembly meeting, Yilmaz emphasized the efforts made to turn Turkey into a "prestigious country" were being seriously undermined by the new set of government-led draft bills, particularly citing the law that will reshape the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and the one that will curb internet freedoms.
Yilmaz also described a fresh law on the Internet that gives the head of Turkey's Directorate of Telecommunication (TIB) enough authority to directly limit access, pending a court ruling, as a "dark cloud" that will engulf civil freedoms. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION