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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-08-01

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 No. 144/16 30.07-01.08.2016

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci said that this phase is difficult but the process is not blocked
  • [02] Akinci: "The Turkish Cypriots are fewer in numbers but have more rights"
  • [03] Ozgurgun criticized Akinci of having only representatives from the main opposition parties at his negotiation team
  • [04] Atun under investigation for possible connections with Gulen organizations
  • [05] Report claims that property buyers were warned for not buying Greek Cypriot property in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [06] "Deputy speaker of the assembly" is visiting Azerbaijan
  • [07] Turkey lashes out at Germany over ban on Erdogan's videoconference
  • [08] Turkish government introduces new decree to overhaul army
  • [09] Incirlik Air Base first destination on US military chief's Turkey visit

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci said that this phase is difficult but the process is not blocked

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 30.07.16), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, making a statement after holding the last meeting for the month of July with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, confirmed that they discussed the issue of territory and security but that names, maps and ratios were not discussed. He added that these two issues are the thorniest issues of the Cyprus problem and that it is impossible to overcome the problems on these subjects at one meeting.

    Noting that a break will be given to the talks during the month of August, Akinci announced that 3 meetings will take place at the end of August. "The leaders will come together on the 23rd, 29th and 31st of August and will meet on the 2nd, 6th, 8th and 14th of September", Akinci said.

    Noting that after the 7 meetings are concluded they will be going to New York to take part in the United Nations General Assembly, Akinci said that during the 7 leaders meeting all subjects would have been discussed extensively.

    Explaining that the points that agreement had been reached on should not fall through the cracks, Akinci said: "We are adding to the previous efforts made and are increasing the convergences between the two sides".

    Noting that differences and difficulties still remain on certain chapters that have been taken up during the leaders' meetings, including the topics discussed during Friday's meeting Akinci said: "It is possible to overcome these difficulties, we must be thoughtful and continue to work so that we don't harm the negotiations process. The process is not blocked. This phase is difficult but there is reason to look to the future with hope. In the leading months ahead we will be able to give more details".

    Upon being asked questions regarding the Cyprus negotiations process, Akinci said that before a referendum can take place on the agreement to be reached, all issues must be discussed and added that an outcome on the issue of Security and Guarantees can only be reached at the end at a five-party conference.

    Upon being asked whether or not a meeting will take place on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly, Akinci said that currently a comprehensive meeting has not been planned.

    [02] Akinci: "The Turkish Cypriots are fewer in numbers but have more rights"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 30.07.16), the "Cyprus Turkish Security Forces Command" (editor's note: the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus) is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its establishment.

    The Commander of the "Cyprus Turkish Security Forces" Major General Erhan Uzun and an accompanying delegation visited "state" and "government officials", Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc?, self-styled parliamentary speaker Sibel Siber and self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun.

    Speaking during the visits Major General Erhan Uzun referred to the glorious past of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus and said that "as your brothers from Turkey were honoured to serve this distinguished country".

    Uzun claimed that "the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces who work within this institution are doing their best both internally and externally to protect the security of the country and are determined to continue to do so in the future as well".

    Akinci, for his part, congratulated the commander on the 40th anniversary of the Forces established and said that he is very pleased to see that the Security Forces have grown in the best way possible, adding that "this doesn't mean we support new wars, on the contrary this is necessary for lasting peace".

    Touching upon the Cyprus negotiations process, Akinci said: "We are still forming the process but we have made progress" and added that the solution to be found must allow the people to feel secure. He said that the Turkish Cypriots are fewer in numbers but have more rights and added that the Turkish Cypriot people see their security in Turkey and want Turkey's guarantees and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Explaining that he wants this region not to be a region of clashes but a region of cooperation and peace, Akinci said: "Let's hope by the 41st anniversary of the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces this will become a reality".

    [03] Ozgurgun criticized Akinci of having only representatives from the main opposition parties at his negotiation team

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 30.07.16), self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, in statements to the "BRT", said that the "government" is working in harmony and that in 100 days it had overcome the financial problems that had occurred in the past two years. He added that relations between the "TRNC" and Turkish government are continuing in a levelled way.

    Upon being asked how he would evaluate the "government's performance" in the 100 days it's been in power, Ozgurgun said that financial and economic problems that have been experienced in the last two years have been overcome and are back on track and noted that there are a variety of reforms and projects that needed to take place. "The precautionary measures that needed to be taken have been realized and the markets have been relieved in the past 100 days", said Ozgurgun.

    Drawing attention to the fact that for the first time this year the "government" is able to pay the direct income support in cash in October, Ozgurgun said that the "government" would be taking similar actions for the citrus fruit sector as well.

    Touching upon his visit to Ankara, Ozgurgun said that during this visit they had discussed flights from Turkey to the "TRNC" taking place as a domestic fight for a six month period and added that the two "Tourism Ministers of the countries" will continue working on this issue. "Until international flights return to normal in Turkey, we evaluated how flights from Turkey to the TRNC could take place as a domestic flight so that students and tourists can benefit. There are close to 80 thousand students in the TRNC so technical workings on the domestic flights issue will hopefully be concluded soon", Ozgurgun said.

    He said that despite the tense atmosphere created due to the attempted coup in Turkey they had received a very warm welcome.

    Ozgurgun also said that they had found the opportunity to discuss the Cyprus issue, reciprocal views were expressed and Turkey's support to the Cyprus negotiations process was emphasized during their meetings.

    Noting that in Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc?'s negotiation team there are representatives from the main opposition and opposition parties, Ozgurgun stressed however that there was no "government representative" within the negotiation team. "I'm not complaining, it's their own initiative but the president must think of how beneficial the Cyprus negotiations process will be if they are so disconnected with the government. How successful can it be?", Ozgurgun asked.

    He claimed that all subjects had been discussed regarding the Cyprus issue but that the Greek Cypriot side does not seem as though they want an agreement.

    Ozgurgun alleged that the Greek Cypriot side said no during the Annan Plan even though the conditions were more favourable and therefore he does not expect the Greek Cypriot side to accept the structure that has emerged at the talks now.

    [04] Atun under investigation for possible connections with Gulen organizations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (31.07.16) cites information according to which Sunat Atun, the self-styled minister of economy and energy, "the stardom of whom started to shine after Tayyip Erdogan came to power with Fetullah Gulen assistance", is investigated for connections with Gulen organizations.

    According to the paper, Atun, who even went on pilgrimage to Mekka and is known for having connections with many religious organizations, is under investigation under the investigations made for Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in the breakaway regime. According to Afrika, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was personally interested on Atun and asked questions about him during the current visit of "prime minister" Huseyin Ozgurgun to Ankara.

    Afrika (01.08.16) writes that Atun rejected the papers, accusation and stated that is well known that Afrika is financed by foreign centers.

    (CS)

    [05] Report claims that property buyers were warned for not buying Greek Cypriot property in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (30.07.16), under the title "Do not purchase pre-'74 GC houses", published the following article on the purchase of Greek Cypriot houses in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus:

    "Property buyers are being warned not to purchase pre-1974 Greek Cypriot houses in the 'TRNC' (editor's note: the occupied area in the Republic of Cyprus) because of a clause currently being discussed at the peace talks. The warning came from head of the 'TRNC estate agents' union', Hasan Sungur, based on information from 'Turkish and Greek Cypriot sources' said to be privy to the negotiation process involving both communities on the island.

    Sungur spoke out after Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday that 'the rights to employment, free movement and [to] acquire property have been agreed in the ongoing talks'.

    Sungur told Cyprus Today: 'My advice for people wishing to buy property is not to be directed to buy old Greek houses in North Cyprus. This is because there is talk that the former owners of property who were more than 10 years old [in 1974] could be eligible to return? having gone through a commission [which is to be formed]'.

    However, he added: 'I do not believe that property built after 1974 and which has the approval of the architects and engineers chamber will have a problem, but buying old Greek Cypriot homes always carries risks, because [even] a child who was 10 years old? in 1974 would be able to stake a claim for the return of the house. I understand that there is agreement between the two sides on giving the right to return to the house under such circumstances. The reason for this is based on emotional attachments to the [property]'.

    Sungur said that final agreement on a "right of return" for Greek Cypriots to the North could have a significant impact on occupied Keryneia because government decrees in 2005 and 2006 limiting the height of the new buildings meant many older houses remained.

    Sungur claimed 9000 Greek Cypriot families could return to Keryneia alone and this would "make many of those living in former Greek Cypriot home tenants, because many of those homes were not demolished".

    He said that there was still an agreed cap on the number of Greek Cypriots who could return to the North and dismissed as "untrue" reports that people with 'equal value' (exchange) deed property would have "extra privileges", saying having a title deed, or the right to one, would be the determining factor.

    However, he said of reported requests by the Greek Cypriot side for the establishment of a separate category for foreign property owners: 'There is nothing that should cause discomfort to foreign buyers. They will enjoy all the rights afforded to TRNC citizens'.

    He also said that the term 'current user' was currently being debated, and added: 'Based on our contacts, we understand that there is agreement on a broad range of issues related to property headings'.

    Sungur said that he understood that in the case of land that had been developed, its former owners would be compensated. He cautioned however, that it was too early to determine whether the solution being negotiated was 'a good one or a bad one', and dismissed Anastasiades' comments as 'preparatory for the upcoming presidential election'.

    No-one from the 'TRNC government' was available for comment."

    [06] "Deputy speaker of the assembly" is visiting Azerbaijan

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.08.16) reports that the self-styled deputy speaker of the "assembly" Avkiran Alanli is visiting Azerbaijan.

    According to the paper, he will hold "official meetings" there. However, there is no information as regards the persons he will hold meetings with.

    (CS)

    [07] Turkey lashes out at Germany over ban on Erdogan's videoconference

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 31/07/16), a senior Turkish official has strongly criticized Germany for not allowing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's participation via videoconference at a rally scheduled to be held in Cologne on July 31, saying the ban was in violation of freedom of expression.

    "It's unacceptable," said Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kal?n, in a statement on July 31. The Turkish community in Cologne was set to hold a massive rally to protest the coup attempt with the participation of representatives of different political parties and non-governmental organizations.

    Erdogan wanted to address the participants via video but was rejected by the local authorities and the German Constitutional Court due to security concerns. Kal?n however, said that Turkey was expecting to hear the "real reason" behind the ban. "It's not acceptable for the authorities, who have been silent about the activities of the terrorist organization in the past, to try to hinder a rally on democracy on the grounds violence can spark. Security measures should be taken against supporters of the terrorist organization and anti-democratic provocateurs and not against organizers of a democracy rally", he said, in an apparent reference to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO).

    Kal?n said attempts to hinder a rally against coup plotters were in violation of democracy, freedom of expression and right to assembly.

    Already tense bilateral relations between Turkey and Germany have gained a new source of disagreement, as the former pulled its Ambassador from Berlin after the Bundestag's decision to recognize the 1915 mass killings of Ottoman Armenians as genocide.

    On the same issue, HDN (online, 01.08.16) reports that the charge d'affaires at the German Embassy was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Aug. 1 over the ban on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's participation via videoconference at a rally in Cologne, Foreign Ministry sources have confirmed.

    The charge d'affaires is expected to meet relevant diplomats at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in the afternoon hours.

    [08] Turkish government introduces new decree to overhaul army

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 31.07.16) reports that Turkey's government is set to conduct a major overhaul on various spheres of the country's military after surviving a coup attempt on July 15 that highlighted the extent of the infiltration of the outlawed Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO) into the top ranks of the military.

    With the latest state of emergency decree law published in the Official Gazette on July 31, the Turkish army will be subjected to a series of changes in a number of fields, including its services commands, educational and health institutions and the Supreme Military Council (YAS), in a move that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said should be considered as part of a larger restructuring process that includes the state and the judiciary.

    In a televised interview hosted by ATV and A Haber on July 30, Erdogan said the country needed to aim for a wholesale restructuring in the state with the changes.

    As part of the newly-passed decree, the Land Forces, Naval Forces and Air Force commands will come under the control of the Defence Ministry, while the president and the prime minister will have the authority to receive direct information and issue force commanders direct orders that will be executed immediately without the need for approval from another post.

    The move comes after the Gendarmerie General Command and the Coast Guard Command were brought under the Interior Ministry with the second decree law that was published in the Official Gazette on July 27.

    Meanwhile, several top cabinet ministers will have seats on the YAS, according to the decree law. The country's Deputy Prime Ministers and Foreign, Justice, and Interior Ministers will now join the Prime Minister, Chief of General Staff, Defence Minister, and Force Commanders on the Council.

    A number of military officers, including some generals and admirals, will no longer sit on the council.

    Under other reforms, the Gendarmerie will now be answerable to the Interior Ministry, so the Gendarmerie commander will also no longer sit on the council. The defense minister will also replace the deputy chief of general staff as the council's secretary-general.

    The new regulations also stipulated the establishment of a National Defence University, which is slated to be an umbrella body encompassing all educational institutions of the Turkish Army. With the formation of the university, all current military academies will be closed and all military education will be administered through the newly-formed institution.

    The university will be tied to a rector and will feature institutions that will educate staff officers and provide graduate-level education and operate Land Forces, Navy Forces and Air Force schools, non-commissioned officer colleges and non-commissioned officer vocational schools for higher education.

    The university's rector will be chosen by the President out of three names suggested by the Defence Ministry and also approved by the Prime Minister. The umbrella institution's establishment will be formed by decisions of the cabinet.

    The Defence Ministry will be tasked with executing all administrative aspects of the institutions as it will appoint heads for the institutes, hire the necessary academic personnel and regulate admissions conditions.

    According to the new regulation, students who are set to graduate from military academies by Aug. 30 will not be appointed to posts of commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

    Regarding the new regulation on the education aspect of the military, Erdogan also announced the decision to close down current military schools, including military high schools, and that all students from various high schools would be able to enter military education institutions under the roof of the National Defence University. Erdogan also hinted that the new regulation would instil an academic identity in military education institutions, saying that they will function on an academic undergraduate and graduate education basis, not a rank basis.

    The regulation instigated that current students enrolled at both military high schools and military academies will be transferred to high schools and universities that would be chosen based on the scores they got during their admission period.

    With the dismissal of some 1,389 military personnel with the decree law on July 31, the number of total personnel dismissed since the coup attempt reached 3,073.

    Another aspect of the overhaul planned for the military concerned its health institutions. As part of the recent decree law, the Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) and other military hospitals will be brought under the control of the Health Ministry.

    [09] Incirlik Air Base first destination on US military chief's Turkey visit

    According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (online, 31.07.16), U.S. Army Chief Joseph Dunford is visiting Turkey today (July 31), making him the first top U.S. official to visit Turkey after the failed coup attempt on July 15, under the disrupted relations between NATO's two largest military powers.

    Dunford's visit came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's harsh criticism of the CENTCOM commander's controversial comment regarding the jailed pro-coup soldiers.

    Dunford's visit to Turkey was expected to reconcile and to clarify the turbulence over the U.S.'s position after the coup attempt. But his visit to Incirlik Air Base as the first leg of his visit gave rise to questions as the base is accused of being the headquarters for commanding the coup attempt by the U.S. military.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 31.07.16) reports that Dunford and Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar will meet on Aug. 1 at the Turkish military headquarters in Ankara after the U.S. commander's visit to Incirlik Air Base.

    Akar and Dunford have held two phone conversations since the coup attempt to set things right, particularly at Incirlik, which was closed for a couple of days after the attempt, as well as regarding U.S. flights over Syria.

    Dunford's visit will play an important role in putting military-to-military ties back on track after two weeks of turbulence, as some Turkish officials and pro-government newspapers have continued to accuse the U.S. of orchestrating the coup attempt through a Gulenist faction in the army, while U.S. officials have categorically denied these claims.

    The two generals are expected to discuss ways to rectify ties between the two militaries and particularly to ensure the continuation of effective joint action against ISIL, while also reviewing the current state of developments in Syria and Iraq. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (DPs /ICh)


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