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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-12-29
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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. 250/16 29.12.2016
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Akinci: Not possible to solve all outstanding issues at the Geneva summitUnder the title: "The Turkish army will not be withdrawn", Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (29.12.16) reports about the interview that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci gave to the Turkish Service of BBC.
Akinci argued that the complete withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the island as demanded by the Greek Cypriot side and Greece is not possible. "This is a red line for the Turkish Cypriot side", he said, adding that a limited number of troops will remain on the island in the event of a settlement as this is a necessity.
Referring to the forthcoming Geneva summit Akinci stated that if Greece and Cyprus insist on a settlement which includes "no guarantees and no armies," then the "negotiations will end before they even begin."
Akinci argued that his demand for a Turkish military presence on the island and a system of guarantees, which the Greek side wants to scrap as an "anachronism," stemmed from his desire "not to experience war again."
"I want a preventive force so that we don't live such days of war again," he said, adding that Turkey would not annex the island's occupied part in the event that negotiations and the summit do not lead to a solution. "The Turkish Cypriots do not have such a desire", he said. "What the Turkish Cypriots want is a solution that will provide safety to them. What kind of a solution? A bi-communal federation. If this is not possible then the TRNC will continue its road. […] Life will go on", he argued.
Akinci further stated that he hopes that there will be a positive outcome of the Geneva summit. However, he said that we should not expect all the parameters of the Cyprus problem to be solved but a framework to be set. He also said that the aim is the creation of such an environment in Geneva so as a referendum to be held in spring of 2017.
 Afrika argues that the recent visits of Siber and Ertugruloglu to Ankara is an indication that Erdogan does not trust AkinciUnder the title: "The Cypriot visitors to Ankara", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (29.12.16) reports about the recent contacts that the so-called foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu and the "speaker of the assembly", Sibel Siber held in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan during the last days.
The meetings were held at the Presidential Palace in Ankara and, as the paper notes, no statements were made after the meetings were completed.
Citing information, Afrika writes that political circles evaluated these contacts as an indication of a lack of trust by Erdogan towards the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. The paper also notes that while the Greek Cypriot side held contacts in Athens for having a strategy for the forthcoming Geneva meeting, no contacts were announced between Erdogan and Akinci on the issue.
 Ertugruloglu met with Cavusoglu and TurkesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (29.12.16) reports that the so-called foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu, within the framework of his contacts in Ankara, held separate meetings with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and also with the Deputy Prime Minister, Responsible for Cyprus Affairs Tugrul Turkes.
During the meetings, the latest developments regarding the Cyprus issue and also the "bilateral relations" between Turkey and the occupation regime were discussed. .
Ertugruloglu returned to the breakaway regime last night after completing his contacts.
 Ozgurgun alleged that occupied Lefka area could become an investment paradiseTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (29.12.16) under the title: "It will become an investment paradise", reports that so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun visited the other day the occupied Lefka area, which became yesterday with the unanimous "approval" of the "assembly" the "6th district" of the occupation regime.
Ozgurgun was accompanied by the so-called minister of public works and communication Kemal Durust, the so-called minister of interior Kutlu Evren and other "deputies".
Speaking during his visit to occupied Lefka, Ozgurgun stated that Lefka area must be declared as a special "district", one without casinos where the social, cultural and historical fabric of the region is preserved.
He alleged that if they succeed in achieving this, occupied Lefka area would become an investment paradise.
Explaining that the "government" decided to declare occupied Lefka as the "6th district" of the occupation regime, Ozgurgun argued that this decision was taken in order to counter the threat of a decreasing population in the area and the possible closure of schools.
 Erdogan accused US-led coalition forces of supporting terrorist groups in SyriaTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.12.16) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that he has evidence that U.S.-led coalition forces have given support to terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Syrian Kurdish forces.
"They [anti-ISIL coalition forces] were accusing us of supporting Daesh," Erdogan told a press conference in Ankara alongside visiting Guinean President Alpha Conde on December 27, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.
"Now they've all vanished and they're giving support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG and the PYD. It's very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos," Erdogan alleged.
Erdogan also accused the coalition forces of not supporting Turkey in its campaign to liberate northern Syria town of al-Bab from ISIL militants.
"The coalition forces are unfortunately not keeping their promises," said Erdogan, adding that coalition forces were displaying a different stance than previously promised.
"Whether they do or they don't, we will continue along this path in a determined way. There is no going back on the path we have set out on," he added.
Turkey regards the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing the People's Protection Unit (YPG) as terror organizations due to their links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), with which it has been fighting against since mid-1980s.
Turkey and the U.S. are at odds with the designation of the PYD and YPG, as the U.S. sees the two groups as "reliable" partners in their fight against ISIL in Syria. The U.S. along with the European Union designates the PKK as a terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, later in the day, the U.S. State Department rejected as "ludicrous" the accusations by Erdogan that the U.S.-led coalition supported ISIL, though making a distinction to the support given to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
 Cavusoglu: "Cease-fire solution in Syria close"; Turkey has reportedly agreed with MoscowTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.12.16) reported that Turkey and Russia are close to brokering a new agreement that would expand a cease-fire between the government and opposition groups to all of Syria, Turkey's top diplomat has said, underlining that "terror organizations" like Syria's Democratic Union Party (PYD) will not be allowed to participate in upcoming talks in Astana.
"We are still working on it. It could be put into place at any moment. It's about expanding the cease-fire. We are also working for a negotiated political solution," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said while speaking to reporters on December 28 on the sidelines of a presidential reception.
Cavusoglu's words confirmed an Anadolu Agency report early on December 28 announcing a fresh deal between Ankara and Moscow. Turkey and Russia secured the safe evacuation of civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo two weeks ago and have been working to expand the cease-fire.
The proposed agreement was introduced to the Syrian government and opposition groups for their approval and suggested the implementation of a cease-fire as of midnight on December 28. The process is regarded as an important milestone for the Russia-proposed Astana talks to be held between the government and opposition under the auspices of Russia, Turkey and Iran.
There are still talks ongoing on who will participate in the Astana talks. Cavusoglu stated that terror organizations would be excluded from the cease-fire. He also added that the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) would not attend the Astana talks.
(…)Meanwhile, the cease-fire will reportedly begin at 12 a.m. local time at the start of December 29. Iran is also included in the deal with Turkey and Russia and "sanctions will be imposed if the cease-fire is broken," CNN Turk reported, quoting anonymous Foreign Ministry sources. Syrian government and opposition groups will kick off negotiations in Astana if the cease-fire is successful, according to the sources.
When asked about Iran's role, Cavusoglu stated that, "Iran should influence Shiite groups, primarily Hezbollah."
According to a Turkish diplomat, the text holds a notion of constructive ambiguity about the names of the terrorist groups, referring to Ahrar al-Sham as an example. The cease-fire also includes a suspension of air strikes, according to the diplomat. The parties will implement a series of confidence-building measures until the Astana meeting.
The Kremlin said it could not comment on the cease-fire report. "I cannot answer that question right now," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in a conference call.
"I don't have sufficient information," he said, adding that Moscow was constantly in touch with the Turkish side to discuss details about Astana talks for potential Syrian peace talks.
Earlier, state-run Anadolu Agency reported that Ankara and Moscow agreed on a cease-fire deal in Syria in a move to extend the current truce in East Aleppo to all over the country.
 Kilicdaroglu: "Turkey will soon shake hands with al-Assad"; He reiterated that his party will reject constitutional changeTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (29.12.16) reports that the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu has claimed that Turkey that will soon meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to join forces against jihadists in Syria, describing Turkey government's five years of fruitless attempts to topple al-Assad as the worst defeat in the country's foreign policy history.
"Turkey guaranteed the territorial integrity and unity of Syria. In the near future, it will also sit around the same table with al-Assad under Russia's auspices. Turkey will cooperate with al-Assad against ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] in Raqqa, al-Bab and elsewhere. They will shake hands with al-Assad," Kilicdaroglu told Ankara bureau chiefs in a meeting late on December 27.
"They went to Moscow willy-nilly and signed the agreement [on Syria]. Now, they will also go to Astana and sign another agreement. It has become clear that the only leader in our region is Russia," Kilicdaroglu said. "That's why I call this 'worst defeat ever in our foreign policy'", he added.
Kilicdaroglu referred to a joint declaration announced by the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran on December 20 in Moscow that labeled the three countries as guarantors of maintaining the territorial integrity and unity of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as of providing a peaceful solution to the unrest. Turkey's participation has been interpreted as a major U-turn on its Syria policy that was focused on ousting al-Assad from power.
"Although Turkey agreed with Russia and Iran over Syria, it remains alone in fighting ISIL in northern Syria", he said. "Why are only our soldiers in the battlefield? Why don't they support us? We have made a deal with Russia but where are Russian forces? If they don't provide land forces, why are they hesitating in providing aerial backing? We are in agreement with them but still alone [in the field]", he stated.
Recalling that AKP officials in the past described Turkey as the game-setter in the Middle East and in the world but now could not even determine who is killing its troops in Syria, Kilicdaroglu said: "If the objective is to provide Turkey's security, we of course support the establishment of a safe zone and the operation on al-Bab. But what's the objective in al-Bab operation? Fighting ISIL or preventing a Kurdish corridor? What are we doing in farther south?"
K?l?cdaroglu also forecast that it would take nearly 10 years for Turkey to extricate itself from the Middle East swamp.
He also addressed ongoing works to implement partial changes to the Constitution that will shift the governance model to an executive presidential system.
Explaining why the CHP was not supporting the process led by the AKP and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Kilicdaroglu stated that the amendments were being imposed on just one person's demands and in the absence of a societal contract.
He also repeated that the amendments would mean a change in Turkey's system of governance and was therefore tantamount to treachery to democracy.
Although the AKP and MHP have enough seats to ensure the amendments are approved in Parliament to prompt a referendum in spring 2017, K?l?cdaroglu expressed his belief that there would be some defectors from the two parties. "We think it won't be approved in Parliament thanks to lawmakers with common sense," he said, recalling the Parliament had not even given Ataturk the right to dissolve it in the early years of the formation of the Republic of Turkey.
The CHP will stand against the charter changes but it should not only be the main opposition's task to oppose them, K?l?cdaroglu said, hinting the party would try to mobilize democrats, intellectuals and those who are pro-democratic. In Parliament, K?l?cdaroglu said he had demanded that former CHP chair Deniz Baykal defend the party's position when the draft is introduced to the General Assembly.
 The "President 'must be born in Turkey' condition" to changeAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.12.16) reported that the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's proposed law that the country's President does not have to be a citizen "born in Turkey" was accepted by the Parliamentary Constitution Committee on Wednesday.
According to the current Constitution's 8th chapter, the President must be a Turkish citizen and must be born in Turkey.
However, Wednesday's AK Party proposal offered to change the article in the chapter to President must be "among Turkish citizens", lifting the condition of being born in Turkey.
The approval was made during ongoing talks within the Committee over proposed changes to the Turkish Constitution.
In addition, the draft Constitution decreased the number of articles from 21 to 19 by removing the fifth article about the backup deputyship and postponement of elections; and the 15th article proposing to give all governmental institutions' establishments, assignments, authority and responsibilities to the President.
The resolution also offered to increase the number of Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors (HSYK) from 12 to 13 and to also include the Justice Minister and his undersecretary as members of the body.
Last month, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said a committee within the AK Party had completed its work on a draft Constitution that also included items concerning a presidential system.
The bill proposed to change Turkey's Constitution and governing system. The ruling government has long sought to replace the current parliamentary system with a presidential one, saying there are flaws in the setup which hold back Turkey's development.
The proposed changes would be put to a public referendum even if the government received the necessary votes in Parliament, Yildirim had said.
The new constitutional draft needs 330 votes to pave the way for a referendum.
The AK Party, with 316 seats, and the MHP, with 40, both back the bill.
The proposal was first presented at the Turkish Parliament's General Assembly after approval by the Constitutional Committee. The constitutional amendment would then be discussed at two parliamentary sessions of the General Assembly.
During the first session, the four political parties in the assembly and the government discuss the proposal as a whole and the articles separately, as well as any motions for amendment. The second session would be devoted only to the discussion of motions for amendment of articles.
If the draft Constitution gets more than 367 votes, it can pass directly without the need for a referendum. However, the AK Party has said it will hold a referendum, even if none is needed.
If two-thirds of the Parliament (367) approves the bill, the President can take it to a referendum; that vote would be held within 60 days.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized that he will push for a referendum even if the draft is approved by a two-thirds majority in parliament.
The change to the Constitution requires a 50% vote in favor in a referendum.
In the proposed presidential system, the electorate would vote for a person to form a government independently of Parliament, with no need of a vote of confidence. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION