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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-12-16

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. 242/16 16.12.2016

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci met with the Russian Ambassador to Cyprus
  • [02] Ozgurgun said: "Morfou cannot be given away"
  • [03] Foreign political experts say that Turkey will go to the negotiation table strengthened
  • [04] Atun: "The period for applying the economic program signed with Turkey was wasted due to the change of governments"
  • [05] Things not going well for the breakaway regimes' economy according to former economy "ministers"
  • [06] Figures on the "foreign workers" in the occupation regime
  • [07] A document prepared by Turkey on the breakaway regime's "structural transformation program" causes reactions
  • [08] Columnist: "Newspapers are being destroyed here; (Turkey's back garden TRNC)"
  • [09] The "Trade union platform" stages a general strike and protest today in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [10] Erdogan and Obama discussed latest situation in Aleppo; Erdogan: Europe put its security in risk by alienating Turkey
  • [11] Putin and Erdogan agree to hold Syria peace talks in Astana
  • [12] Turkey joins international anti-Daesh meeting in UK
  • [13] Turkish Parliament to begin debating constitutional amendment proposal next week
  • [14] Turkish court accepts indictment against HDP co-chair

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci met with the Russian Ambassador to Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 16.12.16), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met with the Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Stanislav V. Osadchiy this morning.

    The latest stage reached in the Cyprus negotiations process and the forthcoming conference on Cyprus was discussed during the meeting held at Akinci's office.

    Akinci's spokesman Baris Burcu and his special advisor for political affairs and history Meltem Onurkan Samani were also present at the meeting.

    No statement was issued to the press before or after the meeting.

    [02] Ozgurgun said: "Morfou cannot be given away"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 15.12.16), self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has said that "his party will not support a settlement in which Guzelyurt (editor's note: the occupied town of Morfou) will be given away as a territorial concession".

    He said that the UBP's Party Assembly will be evaluating Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci's invitation extended to him and leaders of other parties with seats in "parliament" to attend the talks in Geneva.

    Speaking on a TV program, Ozgurgun alleged that the Greek Cypriots had received everything they have been demanding at the negotiating table and claimed: "Unfortunately they got everything they wanted, whether it was on the issue of governance and power sharing or economy. If we were to talk about the concessions they made on the economy chapter there will be nothing left of either the TRNC economy or the Turkish Cypriot people in 10 years. All these issues have been concluded. These issues are only waiting to be finalized because of the agreed principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed".

    Pointing out that it was important to speak clear so as to prevent confusion and misunderstanding, Ozgurgun said that the only thing the Greek Cypriots had not succeeded in achieving yet was the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus. "I know what's going to happen at the 5-party conference. They're going to try and pressure Turkey into taking steps on the issue of guarantees, insisting that everything else is agreed on. However Turkey will not fall into such a trap", he added.

    He also stated that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's participation in the 5-party conference was an indication of the importance Turkey attached to a solution in Cyprus.

    On the issue of the occupied town of Morfou, Ozgurgun said that his party's views on the matter were open and clear.

    "Guzelyurt can never be given away. We will not endorse or support any settlement which envisages the return of Guzelyurt. Just the opposite, we would stand against such a decision", he stressed.

    Ozgurgun also pointed out that they never believed that Turkey would approve of a settlement that would give occupied Morfou away as a territorial concession. "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his visit to the TRNC in 2008 had made it openly clear that they would not give Guzelyurt. That position has not changed", he added.

    Asked to comment on the UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide's views against the need for the continued presence of Turkish troops on the island, Ozgurgun said that this was a senseless statement as Mr Eide, a Norwegian diplomat, never faced such issues in his own country.

    "This may not be an issue in Norway but it must be known that the presence of Turkish Armed Forces in Cyprus since 1974 has acted as a deterrent, allowing peace and calm to flourish. Mr Eide, may not know about this so maybe someone should inform him", Ozgurgun argued.

    [03] Foreign political experts say that Turkey will go to the negotiation table strengthened

    Under the title: "They came to a verged end", Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (16.09.16) reports that foreign political experts expressed the view that Turkey will come to the negotiation table for the Cyprus talks, that will take place in Geneva, more strengthened compared to the past. These are the views of Atat Atun, professor at the "near east university" and Hasan Koni, professor at the Culture University of Istanbul.

    Speaking to Ankara Anatolia news agency, Atun said that no decision will come at the negotiation table that will make things difficult for Turkey at the talks. He also said that information in the western press that the Greek Cypriot side has an advantage in its hands and is strengthened at the talks or that the Cyprus problem will be solved the way Turkey wants it to be solved and that Turkey and the "TRNC" have a new road map, are not accurate.

    Koni stated that the UN will try to put pressure on Turkey and that the five-party meeting is riskier than the bilateral meetings because Greece will have to express its view in front of Britain and these will be discussed in front of the international public opinion.

    He also said that Turkey is in a more advantageous position regarding the Cyprus problem compared to the past, since there is a nationalist environment now in the EU with the election of right wing leaders and the EU has lost its economic advantage over Ankara.

    (CS)

    [04] Atun: "The period for applying the economic program signed with Turkey was wasted due to the change of governments"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (16.12.16) reports that the self-styled economy and energy minister Sunat Aun stated that the period of the economic program, signed with Turkey (2013-2015) was wasted because of the changes of "governments" that took place in the breakaway regime during that time.

    Atun was speaking at the "assembly" after the voting of the "TRNC budget" for his "ministry" which was up to one billion, 63 million, 906 thousand and 100 Turkish Lira.

    He stated that the main reason that economic development in the breakaway regime was under the level expected, was that the economic program with Turkey was signed delayed. He also said that the "ministries" will have to re-evaluate the practices followed due to the currency rate that is changing rapidly lately.

    (CS)

    [05] Things not going well for the breakaway regimes' economy according to former economy "ministers"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.12.16) reports that two former "ministers of economy" and one trade union chairman made statements about the economy of the breakaway regime noting that things are not going well.

    Ersin Tatar, "deputy" with the National Unity Party (UBP) and former economy "minister" stated that "public dept" is a great problem for the breakaway regime. He also stated that the buying power of the "people" has been reduced.

    Birikim Ozgur, "deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) said that the economic growth will be limited to 2,4% and noted that this could cause poverty and significant financial problems to the Turkish Cypriots.

    On his part, Hur-is Trade Union's chairman Yakup Latifoglu stated that the "government" should take measures for increasing the lowest salary noting that on July 1st the lowest salary was equal to 634 US dollar and now it is 524 dollars.

    (CS)

    [06] Figures on the "foreign workers" in the occupation regime

    Under the front-page title: "There are 38 thousand foreign workers in the TRNC", Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (16.12.16) reports that the "chairman" of the "Turkish Cypriot tradesmen and craftsmen chamber ("KTEZO"), Mahmut Kanber stated that there are 38 thousand foreign workers in the "TRNC" and that the number of "workers" who pay social security tax are approximately 81 thousand.

    Allleging that the number of the population in the occupied area of Cyprus is 300 thousand, Kanber stated that they experience difficulties with the "health and education system", adding the following: "There are difficulties here with the foreign labor. The difficulty we experience is with the persons who have insurance and their family consists of five members, who is also utilize this advantage. We experience the same problems and difficulties in education and health", Kanber explained.

    (AK)

    [07] A document prepared by Turkey on the breakaway regime's "structural transformation program" causes reactions

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.12.16) published a document prepared by Turkey's Chief Advisor's Office on Cyprus Affairs addressed to the Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes' office regarding an evaluation held on 27 October 2016 by "Turkey's Technical Committee" on the course of the breakaway regime's "structural transformation program" and the decisions taken following this evaluation.

    Chief Advisor on Cyprus Affairs, Tugrul Biltekin refers to the "actions which have not been taken" by the breakaway regime's "authorities" and notes that they decided to convey to these "authorities" the measures needed to be taken within the framework of the "reviewing activities". These activities, which should be taken in December 2016, are the following:

    - Decision by the "council of ministers" to readjust the working hours in the "public sector".

    - Adopting the accrual accounting in the "state".

    - Preparing an "action plan" against the underground economy.

    - Preparing a "law" on the profession of accounting audit.

    - Preparing and implementing an 'educational action plan".

    - Changing the criteria for granting scholarships in order to decrease the expenses for the scholarships.

    - The practice of permanent staff will be implemented and the current teachers will be distributed accordingly.

    - A "law" on "factoring finance, finance lease companies" will be prepared.

    - The conditions for the adequacy of the "universities" will be determined and controlled.

    - Preparing new "laws" regarding incentives aiming at effectively using the resources allocated for all the incentives in tourism except for the investments.

    - Completing the "legal infrastructure" of the public transport system.

    - Publishing the "Agricultural Master Plan for 2017-2020".

    - Cooperating with Turkey's Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock on the issue of establishing and developing an 'agricultural integrated registration system".

    - Implementing an "employment strategy and action plan".

    - Preparing a "protocol" and a "professional adequacy law" according to the "National Adequacy Standards" established by Turkey in harmony with the EU acquis.

    The paper writes that it was also decided to give the breakaway regime the sum of 85 million Turkish liras (TL) in October 2016 for use in the payments of the month as follows: 20 million in the "public sector's" budget deficit, 15 million for "other" use of the "public sector", 25 million in "defence aids", 12,5 million in the real sector of the economy and 12,5 million in infrastructure.

    Meanwhile, Yeni Duzen (16.12.16) reports that the above document caused reactions in the society. Political parties and trade unions' representatives described it as "surrendering document".

    Erdogan Sorakin, general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), argued that the National Unity Party Democratic Party (UBP-DP) "government" signs whatever Turkey puts in front of it and does not show "the necessary sensitivity" in the stage of implementation.

    Asim Idris, general secretary of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said that this 'administrative mentality' does not represent the Turkish Cypriots.

    Ersin Tatar, UBP "deputy", said that the provisions of the program are expected to be implemented because otherwise the flow of money from Turkey might be interrupted.

    Ahmet Kaptan, KTAMS trade union chairman, argued that the working hours in the "public sector" will be extended until 17.30.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Columnist: "Newspapers are being destroyed here; (Turkey's back garden TRNC)"

    Under the above title, Basaran Duzgun in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.12.16) refers to the problems of the Turkish Cypriot press and to the case of Turkish businessman Temel Bulut, who is accused of victimizing many property buyers in the occupied area of Cyprus and Turkey [see Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Bulletin, 13.12.16, Item 6].

    He writes, inter alia, the following: "The journalist, who was doing the interview, asks: 'Why do you want to issue a newspaper?' The man gives a worldly-wise answer: 'Media equal power. And there is no journalism here'. This interview is published in Medya Magazine, the publication organ of the Journalists' Union. [] Only three years ago. During the days in which the shady capital coming from Turkey was held in high esteem here. During the period of those who tried to spread here their dirty businesses from Istanbul. During a time in which politicians and so-called journalists held dirty capital in high esteem. It is true that this period is continuing and the Turkish Cypriots are paying the price The man insulted us all by saying that 'there is no journalism here' and started issuing a newspaper. [] In spite of the fact that he suffered a damage of hundreds of thousand liras every month, he distributed presents, gave houses for free as a promotion, and tried to deal a blow to many newspapers, including Havadis. I have to note with regret that even my closest friends whom I considered as 'my brothers', put his money in their pocket, abandoned us and preferred to become servants under his command. Even when we warned them many times that 'you are making a mistake', they attempted to write disgusting articles saying 'Bulut represented the TRNC in Dubai'. Workers who read this and were dreaming of becoming owners of a cheap house, fell into the trap of this man, borrowed money and gave it to Bulut. Bulut got the money and ran away. He did the same in Turkey. []"

    Noting that Bulut's newspaper was published only for three years, Duzgun reports that 74-year-old Turkish Cypriot Halkin Sesi newspaper, "which sealed our history", has also decided to close down. Its shareholders noted that as of 1 January 2017, the paper will continue publishing through the Internet, the columnist says and argues that in this manner they are trying to "avoid kindly the disgrace of closing down Halkin Sesi, which belongs to all of us".

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] The "Trade union platform" stages a general strike and protest today in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (16.12.16) reports that the Trade Union Platform has announced that it will stage a general strike today in all "public offices" and schools, while, at the same time, it will take on other protest actions as well.

    According to the paper, "trade unionists" will go to the place where the deadly accident took place on November 29 on the occupied Pentadaktylos Mountains and commemorate the people who died there. Later on, they will proceed to the "assembly" with the aim of collecting signatures from the opposition party "deputies" for the opening of investigations against the three "ministers", the so-called minister of education, the so-called minister of transportation and public works and the so-called minister of labor and social insurance and also with the aim of submitting a vote of no confidence against the so-called government.

    In a written statement, the platform announced that it will continue the struggle against the mentality of leading the "country" to chaos by not implementing the daylight saving, not taking measures for the traffic security e.t.c.

    ()

    (AK)

    [10] Erdogan and Obama discussed latest situation in Aleppo; Erdogan: Europe put its security in risk by alienating Turkey

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.12.16), Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he discussed the current situation in Syria's Aleppo and Iraq with U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday.

    In remarks made during a press conference in Ankara with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor, Erdogan said: "We had a long conversation with Obama. I told him about the evacuation problems in Aleppo and he asked how he could help".

    The President said the massacre and oppression committed against the people of Aleppo was now out in the open in front of the whole world. "Having such a tragedy in the 21st century is a shame for humanity. If we want a solution in Syria, the current situation in Aleppo must be taken under control," Erdogan said.

    Referring to Turkey - EU ties, Erdogan said other countries acted cautiously during the European Union General Affairs Council on Tuesday despite an attempt by Austria to block Turkey's accession process.

    The President thanked Slovenia for backing Turkey's EU membership process, but, he said, it is impossible for Turkey to accept the union's block on opening new chapters in the accession talks.

    "A safe Europe without Turkey is highly unlikely," he said, adding that alienating Turkey from the EU would put peace and stability in the region at risk.

    He said Turkey would use a backup plan if the EU did not send its promised aid for refugees in the country. "We do not have to obey every decision the EU makes about us [Turkey]. Because Turkey has gained nothing from the EU," Erdogan said.

    For his part, Slovenian President encouraged the EU-Turkey dialogue talks. Pahor said: "I believe most of the EU does not want the trust deficit between Brussels and Ankara to reach a point where Turkey's European path gets suspended or even abandoned."

    [11] Putin and Erdogan agree to hold Syria peace talks in Astana

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 16.12.16) reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Dec. 16 that he had agreed with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to hold peace talks on Syria in the Kazakhstan capital Astana.

    Speaking at a news conference during a visit to Japan, Putin also said Russia would now be pursuing talks on a "nationwide" ceasefire in Syria.

    [12] Turkey joins international anti-Daesh meeting in UK

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.12.16), British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said on Thursday that during Ministers meeting, they do not see a political future of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, according to.

    "There is no victory in bombing hospitals and restricting humanitarian aid and ending up in a country you only control 40% of and is half destroyed with millions dispersed and hundreds of thousands killed. That is no victory," Fallon's said at a joint news conference with U.S. Defence Chief Ashton Carter after the meeting.

    "We don't see a future for Syria with President Assad," he said. "On the contrary, we continue to work for a political settlement in Syria that is genuinely pluralist that can involve all sectors of Syrian society but not Assad himself."

    Fourteen nations were represented at the meeting in London, including Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik.

    Carter termed the coalition's campaign in the region a success and thanked Isik and Iraqi Chief of Staff Gen. Othman al-Ghanimi for participating in the meeting.

    Isik held one-on-one meetings with his British and American counterparts following the ministerial gathering.

    A statement from Carter's office said that during the meeting, the secretary thanked Turkey for its significant contributions to the counter-ISIL campaign, especially "Operation Euphrates Shield" Ankara launched in late August to clear Daesh from along its border with Syria and, its efforts to close its borders to the terror group.

    According to Turkish ministry sources, Isik underlined during the meeting that Turkey's fight against the PKK would continue and thanked members for their condolences for the recent terror attack in Istanbul and the attention to Turkish sensitivities during operations in Syria and Iraq.

    Isik also emphasized in meetings with Carter and Fallon that long-term success against Daesh's ideology depends on Western communities fighting Islamophobia that is especially on the rise.

    [13] Turkish Parliament to begin debating constitutional amendment proposal next week

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.12.16), the Parliamentary Constitution Committee will commence reviewing a constitutional amendment proposal to usher in an executive presidential system with vastly enhanced powers for the head of state next week, while the main opposition vowed to struggle against the amendment.

    The committee is expected to launch the process on Dec. 20, and is expected to review the proposal and issue its report to Parliament within 45 days.

    The talks in Parliament will proceed in two stages. MPs will first discuss the entirety of the proposal and then discuss and vote on each item.

    In the second stage, lawmakers will vote on each article and then vote for the entire package. If the bill gathers between 330 and 367 votes, it will be taken to a referendum within 60 days.

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) currently possesses 316 seats in parliament, but it drafted the proposal together with the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which has 40 seats, thus meaning the document is likely to secure enough support to fall within the 330-367 band.

    The discussions in the general assembly are expected to be held in the first week of January 2017, with any referendum likely to be in the first week of April.

    The AKP submitted the bill, which suggests granting the President extended authorities, to the parliamentary speaker on Dec. 10 following an agreement between the government and the MHP.

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) spokesperson Levent Gk criticized the government for imposing a presidential system while the country is facing terrorist attacks. "We do not consider the amendment of the constitution to be appropriate for the sake of Turkey, and we will fight against this both within and outside parliament", Gok said Dec. 15.

    Defining the constitutional amendment as "a search for a direction toward an authoritarian regime", Gk said the amendment would cause further polarization in the country.

    Gk also said they expected the political base of the MHP to join their struggle. "We expect the MHP base and MHP lawmakers to fulfil their historic responsibilities by taking a counterattack on the constitutional amendment."

    [14] Turkish court accepts indictment against HDP co-chair

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.12.16) reports that a legal indictment calling for a co-chair of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to serve five years in prison was accepted by a court in the eastern province of Van on Dec. 15.

    The Public Prosecutor's Office in Van charged HDP co-chair Figen Yuksekdag with "making propaganda for a terrorist organization" and acting against Turkish electoral law.

    The charges stem from an October 2015 incident in which Yuksekdag reportedly referred to slain outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants as "martyrs" during an election campaign speech.

    According to the indictment, Yuksekdag should receive a five-year jail term if convicted.

    She is already in custody on terror-related charges along with a dozen other HDP lawmakers, including fellow party co-chair Selahattin Demirtas. The lawmakers face prosecution under anti-terrorism legislation after their parliamentary immunity was lifted earlier this year. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (DPs/ICh)


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