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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-12-23
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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. 247/16 23.12.2016
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Akinci: No Change in Agreement on 1 DecemberTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.12.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that the two sides and the three guarantor countries will be at the negotiation table during the conference in Geneva on 9 January. Referring to the differing comments on the conference, he noted that a change has not been made in the text of agreement the two leaders reached on 1 December and said: "According to the agreement on 1 December, the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides will hold talks on matters related to the five chapters on 9, 10, and 11 January. There are important pending issues among them. They will try to solve them. The talks will continue in the form of a five-party meeting as of 12 January. In other words, the three guarantor powers will participate in them. That is very clear."
Recalling that the sides involved might be invited if necessary accordance with a provision in the agreement, Akinci noted: "We very clearly outlined our position on that. The EU was represented in Burgenstock 12 years ago. It might be represented as an observer in Geneva as well. However, the main participants are quite clear. They will be the representatives of the two communities and the three guarantors. I believe that the differing views that are expressed on the matter, which is very clear, are meaningless."
Akinci made a statement and replied to questions when he returned to his office after attending the meeting of the two leaders. Responding to a question on the tenders south Cyprus (translator's note: as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus) issued on sounding for natural gas, he said that he did not expect drilling operations to begin in the near future. Stressing that the natural gas resources are the wealth of the two communities and not only one of them, he said that they should be considered as a basis for cooperation, not a factor that creates tension. That, he noted, can be achieved.
Akinci further argued that the most logical approach after a solution is found would be to join the wealth around the island with Israel's natural gas to transport it through Turkey to meet Turkey's and Europe's needs. Stressing that transporting the natural gas through Turkey would be the cheapest and shortest way, he said: "We do not expect the issue to become a problem in one way or another when we have such a serious conference ahead of us. Various steps are being taken. We believe that the initiatives that might be made will be very wrong. The steps that might be taken on the matter might lead to mutual initiatives. That will be useless. It will only create tension in our relations".
Asserting that he does not expect drilling operations to begin in the near future, Akinci recalled the collapse of the talks after the arrival of the Barbaros research vessel and other problems as a result of similar steps in the past.
Akinci noted that the different positions the sides hold on security and guarantees are no secret and stressed that "a result will not be achieved if one of the sides continues to insist on calling for zero guarantees and zero troops. Likewise, describing the guarantees as untouchable will not contribute to a result".
 Ozgurgun reiterated that the agreement to be reached on the Cyprus problem should include Turkey's active and effective guaranteesTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (23.12.16) reports that so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, in statements yesterday during a meeting with the "association of martyr' families and war veterans", referred, inter alia, to the Cyprus negotiation process and alleged that the solution to be reached on the Cyprus problem should not ignore the reality of two "states" and should include the political equality, the bi-zonality and Turkey's active and effective guarantees in Cyprus.
Ozgurgun also claimed that an agreement that would not be based on these criteria cannot be accepted. He also stressed the need for the agreement to be reached to safeguard that the incidents experienced in the past would not be repeated.
 Siber: "The Turkish Cypriot people will not abandon Turkey's guarantees"According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 22.12.16), the self-styled speaker of the "assembly" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus Sibel Siber has alleged that the Turkish Cypriot "people" will not abandon Turkey's guarantees as the bitter experiences of the past are still fresh in the memories of the community.
Delivering a speech at the Turkish Democratic Party's (TDP) General Congress held in Skopje on the 18th of December which she attended as a guest of honour, Siber claimed that "the Macedonian Turks and the Turkish Cypriot people had strong bonds even if they lived in different geographies".
She also underlined the importance of strengthening relations between the Balkan Turks and the Turkish Cypriot "people" through mutual visits and organising joint cultural and social activities.
Claiming that the biggest strength of the Turkish Cypriot "people" in its struggle for existence is unity and solidarity of the people, Siber pointed out that "Macedonian Turks" should do the same. "The cultures should be integrated with each other but should never be assimilated", Siber argued, adding that different cultures enrich the world.
Also touching upon the Cyprus negotiations process during her speech, she argued that the Turkish Cypriot "people" were always willing to reach a viable and a just solution. She also claimed that the bitter experiences of the recent past are still fresh in the memories of the Turkish Cypriot "people" which was why Turkey's guarantees are indispensable in any settlement agreement to be reached.
 Erdogan: Turkey in 'biggest fight since War of Independence'According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.12.16), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey is engaged in its biggest fight since the War of Independence.
In his address at the presidential complex in Ankara, Erdogan expressed the country's determination to fight against terrorism and added: "As the world and our region are being reshaped in this critical period, we would have seen ourselves in the situation as the Treaty of Sevres [that was imposed on the Ottoman Empire following the end of the World War I] had we not acted now. Turkey is engaged in its biggest struggle since the War of Independence".
About the difference between the past and present fight, he said: "We are facing asymmetrical attacks now in contrast with the past's fight. Terror organizations are just the pawns. The main struggle is with the forces behind them. These powers put pressure on our sensitive points wherever they see."
The President said Turkey was doing what it was expected to do and added: "We couldn't stand still against those who put our country under threat and we do what is expected to be done. On the other hand, we are maintaining diplomatic ties with Russia, the U.S., Iran and Iraq as well as the Gulf countries, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia".
 Turkish Deputy with Akinci and Eroglu; Eroglu accused the Turkish Cypriot side of showing flexibility and making concessions at the negotiating tableTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.12.16) reports that the Gaziantep Independent Deputy in the Turkish National Assembly, Umit Ozdag and his accompanied delegation, who are illegally visiting the occupation regime for several contacts, met yesterday with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
According to the paper, during the meeting, an exchange of views was made towards the latest developments on the Cyprus problem. No statements were made before or after the meeting.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (23.12.16) reports that Ozdag and his delegation met also with former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.
Speaking during the meeting, Eroglu stated that the Cyprus negotiation process has entered its final stage and alleged that it is the Turkish Cypriot side which made concessions and show flexibility.
Criticizing President Anastasiades' statements, Eroglu claimed that they show that there will be no result at the talks. Eroglu reiterated also his known positions concerning Turkey's guarantees on Cyprus.
 Turkish Deputies and the Turkish settlers' party are concerned about the developments in the Cyprus talksTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.12.16) reports that a delegation from the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) and the Revival Party (YDP), as the newly established party of the Turkish settlers in Cyprus is known, met yesterday at breakfast in a hotel in the occupied part of Nicosia. Erhan Arikli, YDP's chairman and Umit Ozdag, Deputy with the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) in the past and currently independent Deputy addressed the meeting.
In his statements, Ozdag explained that the reason of their illegal visit to the island is their concern about the Cyprus negotiations and alleged that the situation is worse than in the beginning of 2016, when he had again visited the island. He claimed that the Turks lost a war in Cyprus and that an agreement of surrendering will be signed. This agreement will turn Cyprus into Crete and into a Greek island, he alleged.
Ozdag said that when they return to Turkey, they will hold a press conference and explain the recent developments in Cyprus. "We will use every way for the Turkish public opinion to wake up", he argued and claimed that efforts are being exerted for places, which had been taken with the blood of Turkish soldiers in Cyprus, to be given away to the Greek Cypriots.
In his statements, Arikli alleged that it is not known whether a "state" named "TRNC" will exist after 12 January, that many concessions were given in the negotiations, that the solution which is being discussed is worse than the Annan Plan and that this will pave the way for the annihilation of the Turks from Cyprus. Arikli further claimed that Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci has given concessions on issues concerning the population and the bi-zonality, the property, the rotating presidency and the crossvoting. He also alleged that the Turkish side has "lost" EVKAF's religious foundation's properties.
According to Arikli, the de facto population in the occupied area of Cyprus is 380 thousands, but it was limited to 220 thousand in the negotiations. He said that Turkish Cypriots living abroad could also return to the island and criticized the fact that "the issue of population has hastily been registered".
Referring to the property issue, he alleged that the Greek Cypriots were given the right of having the first say, that 500 thousand "title deeds" exist in the "country" and that people will be obliged to go to court for solving their cases, because they will come face to face with such a solution.
Arikli also alleged that the island will be turned into a powder keg because 20% of the Greek Cypriots will settle in the "area under Turkish sovereignty", as he described a possible future Turkish Cypriot constituent state. He also described as "concession" the crossvoting and argued that the Greek Cypriots will vote for Turkish Cypriots who will be ideologically close to them.
Referring to the guarantees, Arikli alleged that the guarantees included in the 1960 Constitution cannot change and requested from the Turkish Deputies to convey this view to President Erdogan.
 Turkish former Ambassador argues that they should think of a plan B' and a plan C' in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Democrat Bakis newspaper (23.12.16) reports that Unal Cevikoz, former Ambassador at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has argued that if no solution to the Cyprus problem is reached, the Turkish side should think of alternative plans.
Addressing a seminar at illegal Near East university, under the title: "The basic parameters of the Turkish foreign policy in Cyprus", Cevikoz said that the Turkish foreign policy is facing very serious problems today and added that the Treaties of Lausanne (1923) and Montreux 1936) are very important for Turkey. He further expressed the view that a debate on these Treaties must not open because in case a debate opens, "I think that Turkey's sovereignty and independence will be put in a very serious danger".
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Cevikoz alleged that the possibility of the Greek Cypriot side to vote "yes" in a referendum is very low and argued that the "yes" vote in the Turkish Cypriot side might not be as many as in the past. "Therefore, it is said that the possibility of a no vote to the solution exist if the solution does not satisfy the Turkish Cypriots", he claimed and added: "For this reason, the negotiations should continue for a period of time but if in the end they could reach nowhere, the time will come for us to think seriously of some other alternatives, such as plan B' and plan C".
 The European Commission proposes modernizing Customs Union deal with TurkeyAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.12.16), Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, speaking at a press conference at the Ankara Chamber of Industry on Thursday, said that Turkey aims to finalize its update to the Customs Union agreement by the end of the first quarter of 2017.
He added that a very important decision had been taken on Wednesday with the approval of EU Commissioners to launch negotiations on an update to the Custom Union agreement that Turkey aims to officially finalize by the end of the first quarter of 2017 and put it into effect by the end of the year.
On Wednesday, the European Commission said: "The upgrade of the EU-Turkey trade relation forms an essential part of the efforts made by the EU and Turkey to deepen their relations in key areas of joint interest identified at the EU-Turkey summit of 29 November 2015 and in the EU-Turkey statement of 18 March 2016."
Zeybekci said: "This is a very uplifting and important decision. We were able to conduct trade [previously] only in industrial products with the EU, a market where we make 48.5% of our overall exports. We will now widen the scope to include also agricultural goods, services and public procurements.
"Secondly, we will be able to participate in a decision-making mechanism [in the Customs Union agreement].Thirdly, Turkey will become a party to new free trade agreements the EU signs with other economies," he added.
Turkish officials have repeatedly criticized free trade agreements signed by the EU with other countries, such as the U.S., which would effectively open Turkey's market to exports from such states, with no reciprocity.
Despite not being a member of EU, Turkey is a member of the Customs Union agreement since 1995.
 "Citizenship was granted to 18 more persons"Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.12.16) with the above title reports that 18 more persons became "citizens" with a "decision of the council of ministers". The "coalition government UBP-DP" granted the "TRNC citizenship" to 18 more persons in a meeting of the "council of ministers". The "decision of the council of ministers on granting citizenships" to the following persons, was published in the "official gazette" on December 21, 2016:
• Serdal Gunduz, born in Zonguldak, 1979
• Ahmet Hamdi Bahceci, born in Ankara, 1984
• Ethem Bayraktar, born in Altinozu, 1989
• Mustafa Bahcesi, born in Sivas, 1957
• Mert Muhammed Beyoglu, born in Altindag, 1989
• Coskun Bilaloglu, born in Arakli, 1982
• Murat Dindi, born in Askale, 1974
• Aysegul Pac, born in Zile, 1959
• Zehra Acar, born in Selendi, 1982
• Ogulcan Sandikci, born in Cankaya, 1993
A "decision of the council of ministers" on granting "citizenships" to the eight following persons, was published in the "official gazette" on December 22, 2016:
• Gokhan Bilaloglu, born in Arakli, 1992
• Mehmet Ali Ergen, born in Osmaniye, 1978
• Gunes Aygul, born in Altinozu, 1994
• Sevda Demir, born in Nusaybin, 1995
• Nesrin Kirat, born in Reyhanli, 1993
• Samer Saade Igbaria, born in Israel, 1989
• Iryna Melnychenko, born in Ukraine, 1996
• Rufat Sharifli, born in Azerbaijan, 1993
Accordingly, the "council of ministers" decided to grant "citizenships" to Serdal Gunduz, Ethem Bayraktar, Mustafa Bahcesi, Mert Muhammed Beyoglu, Coskun Bilaloglu, Murat Dindi, Aysegul Pac, Zehra Acar, Ogulcan Sandikci, Gokhan Bilaloglu, Mehmet Ali Ergen, Gunes Aygul, Sevda Demir, Nesrin Kirat, Samer Saade Igbaria, Iryna Melnychenko, Rufat Sharifli, according to the "immigration law, article 9 (1)(c)" and to Ahmet Hamdi Bahceci and Mustafa Bahcesi, according to the "immigration law, article 9 (1)(B)".
 DP's ordinary congress to take place tomorrowTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (23.12.16) reports that the 10th ordinary congress of the Democratic Party (DP) will take place on Saturday, December 24.
According to the paper, the party's chairman Serdar Denktas will be the only candidate for the party's leadership. Delegates from the occupation regime and Turkey will attend the congress, writes the paper.
 Occupied Lefka to become a "district" very soonTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (23.12.16) reports that the "law, political affairs and foreign relations' committee" of the so-called assembly approved the "draft bill" concerning the occupied Lefka area to become a "district".
Commenting on the issue, so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, stated that the issue of Lefka becoming a "district", will be "officialised" after it's approval from the "assembly" next Thursday.
Recalling that Lefka has lost its right of becoming a "district" after 1974, Ozgurgun explained that it has exerted efforts for many years to gain this "right". "When Lefka will become a district, then the socio-economic and cultural development in the region will be intensified", Ozgurgun alleged, adding that this would mean Lefka's rebirth.
 HDP MP, Deputy Parliament Speaker Pervin Buldan released after testifying in IstanbulAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (online, 23.12.16), Kurdish issue-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Istanbul MP and Deputy Parliament Speaker Pervin Buldan was released on Dec. 23 after briefly testifying to a prosecutor in Istanbul, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Buldan was detained by the police at her residence in Istanbul in the early hours of the morning. "I have been detained", Buldan tweeted, as the party's official Twitter account also confirmed her detention.
Buldan gave an additional testimony to the prosecutor at the 6th Court of Serious Crimes at the Bak?rkoy Courthouse as a part of a lawsuit filed against her on charges of "praising crime and the guilty" and "engaging in terror propaganda" by the Igd?r Court of Serious Crimes.
She later left the courthouse with her lawyer after giving testimony.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, Buldan said she was forcibly brought to court after refusing to testify. "I told them that this situation was unlawful," she said.
Earlier, 12 MPs from the party, including its co-leaders, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, were arrested in November over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
 Turkey has reportedly started demolishing Ataturk's sculpturesTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.12.16) in its column "Letter from Afrika" and under the title: "Ataturk's sculptures are under demolition", reports that in the framework of the Turkish government's goal to build a new state in Turkey by 2023, the state has decided to demolish the sculpture of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Kemal Ataturk, in the city of Rize.
According to the paper, this gesture is taking place with the aim to turn Turkey into an Islamist state and to bury in history Ataturk's principles and ideologies.
Referring to the same issue, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (23.12.16) reports that "Ataturk's ideas association" reacted over the demolition of Ataturk's sculpture in Rize city and called the officials to immediately stop the demolition works, describing this development as "a memorial of 15th of July coup". The association warned that if they finally demolish the sculpture, they will rebuild it.
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