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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-12-20
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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. 244/16 20.12.2016
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Akinci: The Geneva conference is the last chance for a solution in Cyprus; The guarantees could be re-evaluated after 15 yearsThe five-party conference to be held in Geneva on 12 January is the last chance for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and if no result is reached there will not be another effort for a solution in the near future, argued Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in an interview with Al Jazeera in Turkish (19.12.16, http://www.aljazeera.com.tr/al-jazeera-ozel/cenevre-konferansi-son-firsat).
Replying to a question, Akinci said that the aim of the two sides is to hold a referendum in the end of the process and that "we wish for this process to be concluded after so many years". Pointing out that for the first time a date for a meeting between the two communities and the guarantor powers was determined, Akinci added:
"Therefore, this is the last stage now. A lot of progress has been achieved until today on various chapters of the Cyprus problem, but some issues are still waiting for an agreement. These are some issues including the chapters of governance, the property, the territory and issues of security and guarantees. If a solution is reached on these issues at the Geneva Summit, reference could be made to a referendum. This is our target. However, if we cannot achieve this and we cannot settle this solution in Cyprus within a federal framework, we should return and say this honestly to our communities. The two communities have been trying to settle this for 50 years. Twelve years ago we reached very close, we held a referendum. Even though as Turkish Cypriots we said yes, the other community said no and we reached no result. Now I am saying it clearly: We are exerting the last effort of our generation. Mr Anastasiades and I are persons of the same generation. We want to leave a more viable island to the future generations. […]"
Asked as to whether the hope for a solution in the near future will be exhausted in case there is no conclusion in Geneva, Akinci replied: "Unfortunately, if such a situation occurs, I do not think that such window of opportunity could open again easily. Therefore, it would not be wrong if it was described as the last chance".
Asked to comment on how Turkey's and Greece's presence at the table will influence the negotiations and how he evaluates the stance of the sides, Akinci alleged that Turkey has done whatever it could to contribute in the process and supported the view that representatives from Greece and Turkey should have been present at the Mont Pelerin summit to start discussing the issue of security and guarantees, in parallel to the discussion of the internal matters by the community leaders.
"Unfortunately, however, there was no such decision by Greece", he said and argued: "We hope that they will offer the necessary contribution, because we predict that a solution will have benefits not only for the island, but for Turkey and Greece as well. We predict that it will influence positively Turkey's agreements with the EU. […] If two communities, which belong to a different nation and religion, could leave their differences aside, we think that this will be a very good example. Therefore, we think that Europe and other countries should help".
Asked whether he expects change in the "intense American interest" in Cyprus during the newly elected President Trump's term in office, Akinci wished that the problem is solved before Trump overtakes his duties and added that the current American leadership continues exhibiting interest in Cyprus. Akinci noted that the important thing here is the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, because "if we do not help ourselves, no one will be able to help us". "This is why the Greek Cypriot side should also exhibit the determination we are exhibiting within the measures of realism", he alleged.
Asked what he predicts as regards the "timetable" which will come out from Geneva, Akinci replied that the two sides will exert efforts to come as close as they can on the points they disagree until 9 January, something which the leaders will continue trying in Geneva between 9 and 11 January. Noting that they will work for preparing maps on 11 January, Akinci alleged:
"We will prepare a map over 29,2% and perhaps they [will prepare a map] over 28,2%. We have taken a serious step on the percentage issue. Now we are expecting them also to take a step. The problem in the Mont Pelerin was the following: We said that we should completely finish the territory and then to pass to the chapter of guarantees and security. This is why we entered into a deadlock. Now things are not so. At the point we have reached, the sides will prepare their maps and the work will continue on these. Turkey, Greece and Britain will be involved on 12 January as regards the issues of security and guarantees. A working method is discussed during which different meetings in different rooms could be held, not necessarily between five parties. Of course, this will also happen at the right time and place. This is why we are referring to five countries, in fact. However, while we the two leaders are meeting in one room, the other three could be meeting in another room or Turkey and Greece could be meeting in a room. The participants are these five. Moreover, the EU may be present as an observer as agreed by the two sides. Mrs Mogerini and Mr Junker may also come. I have conveyed this to them during my meetings in Brussels. No one else will be invited. In any case, we are carrying out this process under UN's auspices. If there is a positive result there, this will be a great success. The way for a referendum will be paved. I think that a date for the referendum could be given there. This might be in the mid-2017, even though this is not absolute. We will submit to referendum a final text of agreement which will be including everything. If reaching this agreement in January is possible, then the federal state's constitution will be prepared. The two founding states will prepare their own constitutions. There will be some issues as regards the implementation. All these will be prepared, provided that we succeed in January. If these take us 2-3 months, a process during which the communities will digest the big text will begin. All these could be expected to take 2-3 months again".
Replying to another question, Akinci reiterated the view that "if there is no rotating presidency, there will not be a referendum" and alleged that this is an "indication of the Turkish Cypriot people's need for equality". Noting that both communities are sensitive on issues of security and guarantees, Akinci argued that these issues cannot be solved with "wholesale approaches", such as "there will be zero army and zero guarantees" or "the guarantees cannot be touched and they should continue unchanged".
Expressing the view that a way could be found for the Greek Cypriot community not to consider as threat the satisfaction of the Turkish Cypriot community's need for security and guarantees, Akinci alleged: "If the hard approaches are abandoned, something which we are expecting from Greece, we can turn fears into cooperation". He claimed that the Turkish Cypriots cannot accept the approach saying that "you are in the EU, you do not need security" and added: "Our people do not perceive this in that manner. We say let us live it, let us see and let us reevaluate it accordingly. I think that this is the most reasonable approach".
Asked to define the date of this "re-evaluation", Akinci referred to "at least 15 years" alleging that "the 15 years will show us that the new system which we will establish works". He claimed:
"Now, we should see this in elections for three terms, our community should see that a Turkish Cypriot could become president of this federal structure. Cyprus' natural gas resources in Eastern Mediterranean are a wealth in which we are also partners. We should see in these 15 years that we unite this gas with the Israeli gas and send it to Europe through Turkey. We should see that the water sent to northern Cyprus from Turkey is used by the Greek Cypriots as well. An economic interdependency should be formed. The two communities should see that they have things to benefit from Turkey's friendship. They should give the opportunity for us to live these new perspectives. Then we will come back and reevaluate the need for guarantors and armies. […]"
Asked to comment on Russia's view in the process, Akinci said that he expects important countries, including Russia, to contribute positively. He noted that during his recent meeting with the Russian Ambassador to Nicosia, he told him that Russia should establish a dialogue with the Turkish Cypriots and listen to their views as well. Arguing that Russia should play a positive role in the solution process, he reiterated that the Geneva conference will be held only with the participation of the two communities and the three guarantor powers. He concluded:
"The EU could be an observer. More than these [participants] will complicate things. We conveyed to them this stance of ours sincerely. There is no need for Russia to participate in the meeting, but we expect them to contribute positively".
 Russian Ambassador to Turkey assassinated in AnkaraTurkish Hurriyet Daily news (20.12.16) reports that the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was assassinated at an art exhibition in the Turkish capital of Ankara, Russia and Turkey have confirmed.
Karlov was shot by a gun while making a speech at a photography exhibition in the Turkish capital, the Russian Embassy said, adding that it believed that it was a radical Islamist attack.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova later announced that Karlov succumbed to his wounds.
Accompanied by Health Minister Recep Akdag and Defense Minister Fikri Isik, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu later announced that the attacker was a 22-year-old police officer identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas.
Soylu said Altintas was born on June 24, 1994, in the Soke district of the western province of Aydin. The Minister also added that Altintas had been on duty for two-and-a half years at the riot police unit in Ankara and was a graduate of a police vocational school in Izmir.
Soylu said three more people were wounded in the attack, which he described as "provocation," adding that while one of them was discharged from hospital, the other two injured were being treated in the hospital. Soylu stated that Altintas was 'neutralized' in a special operations police operation at the scene.
"Our dear friend lost his life," Soylu said.
Altintas's mother and sister were detained in operation at their residence in Soke during an operation, CNN Turk reported.
Meanwhile, Putin also described the assassination of Karlov as "a provocation."
Hurriyet Ankara representative Deniz Zeyrek said the attacker first shot into the air and later shot the envoy in the back. He shot the envoy for the second time after the scene was evacuated. It has also been reported that the attacker entered the scene by showing a police identity and wearing a suit.
The attacker reportedly shouted "Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria! As long as our brothers are not safe, you will not enjoy safety".
Russian Foreign Ministry also said the Russian side was in contact with Turkish authorities about the attack.
The exhibition was held by the Embassy at a cultural center in central Ankara and was announced one week earlier.
The attack comes one day before Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu heads to Moscow for talks on Syria with his Russian and Iranian counterparts, Sergei Lavrov and Javad Zarif, respectively. Cavusoglu was on the plane to Moscow during the time of the attack.
Karlov, who started his career as a diplomat in 1976, worked extensively in North Korea over three decades, before moving to Ankara in 2007, according to a biography on the Russian Embassy's website. He became Ambassador in July 2013.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Russian President Vladimir Putin and informed him over the attack, CNN Turk reported.
Meanwhile, the attack drew condemnations from world leaders and international organizations.
 Turkey strongly condemns assassination of Russian envoyTurkish Hurriyet Daily news (20.12.16) reports that Turkey strongly condemned the killing of Russia's Ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov as a result of an armed attack vowing to arrest perpetrators and to bring them before justice.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he "vehemently condemns the dastardly and bloodthirstily slaughter" of Karlov. The Turkish President said the assassination was an "open provocation" made against the Turkey-Russia relations, adding that he and Putin had agreed that this was an act of provocation. "As we have agreed with Putin, we will launch a joint investigation commission," said Erdogan.
The President also highlighted an increasing cooperation between the two countries, which resulted in the recent evacuation of civilians from the civil war-hit Aleppo in Syria. "This cooperation will continue in determination," he said. The President also said himself, the Prime Minister, the Interior Minister, the Health Minister and other related officials have been working on the issue.
Turkish Foreign Ministry in a written statement, stated that the perpetrators will face justice for their action. The Ministry designated the attack on Karlov as a "terror organization."
"It's been learned with great sorrow that Andrey Karlov, the Ambassador or the Russian Federation lost his life as a result of an armed attack during the opening of a photo exhibition," the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement. While cursing the attack, the statement informed that the gunman was neutralized vowing all the connections of this incident will be brought to light and all responsible will be brought before the court.
"Ambassador Karlov is a unique diplomat that earned appreciation of all state cadres by his professional and personal competences as he carried out successful works at a very difficult time in Turkey. His memory will always be with us. We will not allow that this attack will overshadow Turkish-Russian friendship," it added.
The statement offered Turkey's condolences to the people and the state of Russia.
In addition, the Turkish Prime Ministry said it condemned the attack in a statement, adding that Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev.
In a separate statement, Defense Minister Fikri Isik also strongly condemned the attack against Ambassador Karlov.
"It's attention grabbing that this attack has taken place before the meeting our Foreign Minister will hold talks in Moscow," Isik said in a statement.
 Russia's Duma confirms Syria meeting in Moscow despite assassination of Ambassador in AnkaraAnkara Anatolia news agency (20.12.16) reports that Moscow talks about the future of Syria involving Russia, Iran and Turkey will go ahead on Tuesday despite the murder of the Russian Ambassador to Ankara, the Interfax news agency cited Leonid Slutsky, a senior parliamentarian, as saying.
The Foreign and Defence Ministers of Russia, Iran and Turkey are due to discuss the future of Syria in Moscow on Tuesday. Slutsky is chairman of the State Duma or the lower house of Parliament's international affairs committee.
 "Russian ambassador's murder might have consequences"Under the above title, Hurriyet Daily News (20.12.16) publishes the following article by Murat Yetkin:
"I knew Andrey Karlov in person. The Russian Ambassador to Ankara was from the old school, a Cold War warrior, who even served in North Korea. In the worst times of Turkish-Russian crisis over the Syria-plane downing affair, Karlov did not lose his calm.
His last words before being shot by Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas from his back were that "It is always easy to destroy, but difficult to construct," on the opening of a Turkish-Russian photograph exhibition in Ankara on Dec. 19 in the in the evening.
Before firing his pistol, the attacker shouted slogans at him about children killed in Aleppo because of Russia in Turkish and broken Arabic (which sounded similar to Al Nusra rethoric, but not exactly so according to some security analysts) and said "Neither you, nor me are going to leave here alive."
The police immediately sealed the building of the Arts and Culture Center of the municipality of Ankara's Cankaya district and evacuated the civilians. This is supposed to be one of the maximum security areas in Turkey. In the 50 meters radius, there are the U.S., German and Austrian embassies, the Ankara Chamber of Industry, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), the Chief Prosecutor's Office of the Court of Appeals and the Russian Trade Office. It is near to the Ataturk Boulevard, where Prime Minister passes every day, sometimes more than one time, to go to his office.
But if you carry a police badge, like this young police officer, you do not have any difficulty in entering security areas. There are claims that he might be a member of the secret network of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-resident Islamist preacher who is accused of masterminding the July 15 coup attempt, but then how on earth he might have saved himself from mass dismissals in wake of it.
When the attacker shot and killed the Russian ambassador, Turkish Foreign
Karlov's murder has not only taken the dimension of terrorism a level up in Turkey but is likely to have consequences in Turkey's international relations and in the political balances in the Middle East, especially if the perpetuators of the murder will not be spotted -sooner the better- and approved by Russians.
Turkey failed to protect the life of a diplomat, who was under its responsibility. Karlov was the first Ambassador assassinated in Turkey. That is a shame for Turkey. It is the responsibility of the government to move this burden from the shoulders of Turkey and the Turkish people."
 Man detained after shooting into air in front of US EmbassyAnkara Anatolia news agency (20.12.16) reports that a man fired a few rounds of a rifle into the air in front of the American Embassy early Tuesday [20 December], hours after the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was assassinated here, police said.
Authorities said Sahin S. approached US Embassy in Ankara's Cankaya district and fired eight to nine times with the rifle he had concealed in his coat.
He was taken into custody and an investigation is underway, according to police who said extraordinary security measures have been taken around the area.
Police special forces neutralized the assailant in an operation that lasted approximately 15 minutes.
In addition, Hurriyet Daily News (20.12.16) reports that the United States Embassy in Ankara and its Consulates in Istanbul and Adana will be closed for normal operations on Dec. 20 after an individual approached the Embassy in Ankara and discharged a firearm, the Embassy said.
Meanwhile, the Iranian Embassy in Ankara announced that its Consulates in the three Turkish cities of Istanbul, Trabzon and Erzurum will be closed on Dec.20 after the Russian envoy's killing.
"All consular services in Iranian Consulates in Istanbul, Trabzon and Erzurum will be closed on Tuesday, December 20. We urge all Iranians to avoid visiting these locations," the Embassy said in a statement on its website.
 Denktas said that the Cyprus issue has entered a serious and critical stageTurkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (20.12.16) reports that the Democratic Party (DP) held last night the 10th meeting of its youth branch.
Addressing the meeting, Serdar Denktas, leader of the DP and self-styled deputy prime minister and minister of finance, referred also to the Cyprus talks. He said that the Cyprus issue has entered a very critical stage and the youth, especially, should follow very careful this process. Although there is not a written text yet on the Cyprus talks, Denktas urges the DP youth to speak up their views on the Cyprus issue, on radio and tv stations, social media, in social meetings, etc.
 "Turkish Cypriot platform" issued a statement about the solutionTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.12.16) reports that the "Turkish Cypriot Platform" issued a statement in the framework of the "21-25 December struggle and martyrs week" alleging that it will never abandon the sovereignty and the existence of the "people".
Evaluating the Cyprus negotiations, the "platform" stated that it will never forget the sacrifices made and claimed that it will not accept a solution that will not safeguard the political equality and the Turkish guarantees.
 Thirteen new "TRNC citizenships" were granted, ten were annulledTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (20.12.16) reports that the so-called council of ministers has decided to grant the "TRNC citizenship" to the following 13 persons according to the "immigration law no 25/1993, article 9 (1)(c)":
• Adem Hacihasanoglu, born in Arakli, 1981
• Bulent Yasargil, born in Istanbul, 1967
• Remzi Alemdar, born in Terme, 1976
• Nurettin Erakman, born in Vezirkopru, 1956
• Mustafa Yalap, born in Nusaybin, 1986
• Mehmet Tahir Kul, born in Midyat, 1978
• Nur Hilal Kiziltas, born in Ankara 1987
• Mevlude Kiziltas, born in Kilis, 1959
• Remziye Bayrakci, born in Antakya, 1991
• Serdar Demir, born in Nusaybin, 1997
• Muzeyyen Akkus, born in Aksehir, 1996
• Ahmet Bilaloglu, born in Arakli, 1993
• Basma Sadde Igbaria, born in Israel, 1990
The "decision of the council of ministers" on granting "citizenships" to these persons, was published in the "official gazette" on December 15, 2016.
The paper also reports that the so-called council of ministers has decided to cancel the decision of "council of ministers" on November 28, 2016, to grant "citizenships" to the following ten persons:
• Ozlem Tomak, born in Lefkosa, 1998
• Yasemin Tas, born in Samandag, 1983
• Mehmet Cil, born in Antakya, 1988
• Fuat Tosyali, born in Iskenderum, 1961
• Mehmet Fatih Tosyali, born in Iskenderum, 1966
• Ismail Altug Koyagasi, born in Istanbul, 1970
• Mustafa Atacan Erpek, born in Ankara, 1984
• Mehmet Demir, born in Karabuk, 1993
• M. Maamoun Habbaba, born in Halep – Syria, 1973
• Nesrin Kiritan, born in Reyhanli, 1993
 Akansoy: "The ratification of the immigration law is obligatory"Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (20.12.16) reports that the "budget" debate in the "assembly" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus continues.
Addressing the "assembly", Asim Akansoy, "deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that the "interior ministry" is an important ministry, because it gives services to the "people". Referring to the "citizenship" issue, Akansoy claimed that the expectation of "citizenship" by the people who live in the "country" (translator's note: the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) is the most fundamental human right. He added that the ratification of the "immigration law" is obligatory.
Underlining that the "citizenships" are "granted with decisions" of the "council of ministers", Akansoy explained that they grant "citizenships" when they considered is needed, and gave an example that the "citizenships" are "granted" to important businessmen who want them to make investments.
Noting that certain criteria should be presented on this issue, Akansoy said that the "minister" should announce these criteria.
Moreover, Kutlu Evren, self-styled minister of interior, said that 3,500 persons have been benefited by the "foreigners, revision and immigration law"
 Final Declaration of Socialist International hopes for a Cyprus settlement soonAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) was represented at the meeting of the Socialist International Mediterranean Committee held in Malaga.
CTP was represented by Armagan Candan, member of the CTP party committee and "deputy" in the "assembly" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
According to the Final Declaration of the Socialist International meeting in Malaga, they made a call on both leaders, who will meet in Geneva on January 9 to continue working to reach a bi-zonal, bi-comunal federal solution for Cyprus as soon as possible. It is also stressed at the declaration, not to miss this important opportunity and wish success to the international conference on Cyprus that will take place on 12th of January. In addition to this, they hope that the island of Cyprus will soon become an example of peaceful coexistence, cooperation and prosperity in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Candan, in his speech, briefed on the Cyprus talks and asked their support in order the process to be successful from the international meeting.
The General Secretary of SI, Luis Ayala, said that they support the Cyprus talks and expect a positive outcome from the Geneva meeting. He added that they wish to see Cyprus at the World Congress of the Socialist International in Colombia in March 2017 as a success story.
 Siber attended the convention of FYROM's Turkish Democratic PartyTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (20.12.16) reports that "speaker" of the so-called assembly Sibel Siber attended the 9th regular convention of the Turkish Democratic Party (TDP) of FYROM.
According to the paper Turkish origin Beycan Ilyas was elected as the new chairman of TDP.
 New "TRNC representative" in BiskentTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.12.16) reports that Atinc Keskin was appointed as the new "representative" of the breakaway regime in Biskent, after a decision taken by the "council of ministries".
He will take on his "duties" on January 9, 2017.
 Illegal TAK celebrating its 43rd anniversaryIllegal Bayrak (20.12.16) broadcast that Illegal Turkish News Agency-Cyprus (TAK news agency), is celebrating its 43rd anniversary of establishment this week.
The agency's "board of directors" paid visits to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and other "officials" on the occasion.
Speaking during the visit, the Chairman of the "TAK news agency's board of directors" Emin Akkor stated that the "state run news agency" was working closely with Akinci and his team in accurately informing the public on the Cyprus negotiations process.
Akinci for his part underlined the importance of keeping up with technological advancements in informing the public in the quickest and most reliable way. "The TAK news agency has a duty to inform the public both on domestic and foreign developments in an impartial manner" he said. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION