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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-12-30
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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. 251/16 30.12.2016
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Ak?nc?: "2017 could be year of a solution"According to illegal Bayrak television (30.12.16) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci stated that he will be attending the summit in Geneva unwaveringly and determinately with the goal of establishing a new federal Cyprus where Turkish Cypriots could live equally, freely, securely and where they could exercise their own political will.
Akinci was speaking at the annual "presidential" New Year's reception hosted for journalists.
Stating that a new year with it brought new hope, new beginnings and heralded a new term, Ak?nc? drew attention to the various conflicts and problems experienced around the world.
Describing 2016 as a difficult year, Akinci stated that efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus had intensified over the past year.
He added that the date for a five-party conference had been set and a conference on Cyprus had been planned.
Pointing out that the effort put forward by the Turkish Cypriot side should not be underestimated, Akinci reminded that crucial meetings will be held in Geneva. "It is not possible to determine how these meetings will be concluded but we shall be attending the talks in Geneva in determination with the goal of establishing a new federal Cyprus where Turkish Cypriots will be able to live in equality, freedom, security and where they can exercise their own political will" he said.
Ak?nc? pointed out that a political framework for a settlement plan will emerge if the Geneva talks succeed. "We shall need to fill in the framework of a settlement. A Constitution and federal laws will need to be drafted. No doubt strenuous work will be carried out to finalize even the smallest details before the first half of 2017. It is possible to complete all these in a couple of months if the political framework exists. The last mile is always the hardest", he added.
Ak?nc? stated that several issues pertain to territory, security and guarantees, property, rotating presidency under governance and power sharing and active participation in decision making were issues pending an agreement.
He further underlined the importance of being reasonable and realistic when heading off to the talks in Geneva. "2017 can be made a year for a solution and peace" he said.
Ak?nc? also pointed out that there is no settlement plan yet on which he could call on the people to support. "However the "no" campaigns on both sides has already started mobilizing" Akinci argued, adding that this was against the interests of the Turkish Cypriot "people".
 Eide will hold contacts in Greece and Turkey prior to the Geneva summitTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.12.16) reports that Espen Barth Eide, United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus, will hold meetings on the beginning of next week in Turkey and Greece according to information given to the paper by the UN spokesman in Cyprus Aleem Siddique. Eide, who will have high level meetings in the two countries, will start preparation for the forthcoming Geneva meeting.
The paper also writes that the two sides in Cyprus are also getting ready for the Geneva summit and notes that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will hold "high level meetings" in the next few days.
In addition, officials of the Turkish and the Greek Foreign Ministries held contacts in Ankara where the possibility of a meeting between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was discussed.
 Crisis between Ankara and the so-called government over the "economic protocol"; Ozgurgun due to Ankara for a series of contactsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.12.16) reports that so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun went to Ankara for a series of "officials contacts".
According to the paper, Ozgurgun will pay a courtesy visit to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday the 2nd of January. He will also meet with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Tugrul Turkes.
Within the framework of his "contacts", Ozgurgun will discuss with Turkish officials the "financial protocol" signed with Turkey and the problems experienced on its implementation.
Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (30.12.16) under the front-page title: "Behind the doors' protocol crisis with Ankara", reports that the failure of the so-called coalition government to implement the provisions of the "2016-2018 economic and financial protocol agreement", created a crisis.
Especially after the recent statement made in the "assembly" by the so-called minister of finance Serdar Denktas that "if they continue like this, they would not be able to pay the salaries of February", so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun was forced to go to Ankara urgently in order to have contacts about this issue.
The paper adds also that the so-called government did not succeed to fulfill by December 2016, none of the 33 provision of the "protocol. Also, allegations say that Ankara has not sent the entire amount of its "economic contribution" for the month of December.
 Ozgurgun announced that he will be attending the talks in GenevaTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (online-30.12.16) reports that so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has stated that he as well as the so-called deputy prime minister, "minister of finance" and chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) will attend the Geneva summit on the Cyprus problem that will take place between January 9-12.
Ozgurgun stated that he will proceed to Geneva representing the National Unity Party (UBP).
 Erhurman on the Cyprus problemAccording to illegal Bayrak television (29.12.16) the leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman stated that his party did not perceive any threats against the interests and rights of the Turkish Cypriot "people" at the stage reached in the Cyprus negotiations process.
Speaking to illegal TAK news agency ahead of the talks in Geneva, Erhurman reminded that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during his last visit in the "TRNC" and following his contacts, had expressed his happiness from seeing that all political parties in the "TRNC" were in harmony on the Cyprus issue. He, however, criticized the change of tone of the "coalition partners".
"Those very same parties had underlined the need to hold a five- party conference. Today they are arguing that the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people are not being protected and that they would vote 'no' in a possible referendum" Erhurman said.
Stating that the CTP has approached the negotiations process with seriousness and responsibility, Erhurman stated that they did not inform the public on the course of the negotiations unless the "president" himself did.
"However, we like the officials of the Republic of Turkey, do not see any steps being taken that could harm the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people. If we did, of course, as a political party with responsibilities towards the Turkish Cypriot people, we would not support the process and demand the end of the talks" he said.
 KTOS annual calendar which questions "historical truths" created a lot of reactionTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (30.12.16) reports that the annual calendar for the year 2017 of the Turkish Cypriot Trade Union of Elementary Teachers (KTOS) created a lot of reaction in the breakaway regime due to its content.
The calendar contained information on certain historical events which contradicted to the "official history" taught in Turkish Cypriot schools. For example is featuring that in 1958 Greek Cypriots were slaughtered in Guionelli or that the events of December 21, 1963, with the death of two Turkish Cypriots by Greek Cypriot policemen that led to the clashes between the two communities in Cyprus and divided Lefkosia, were actually a provocation.
There were also reactions on the fact that Archbishop Makarios was presented as the "President of the Republic of Cyprus" on a text next to the date August 3 that reports about his death.
A lot of reaction took place in social media and many Turkish Cypriots, circulated photos of the pages of the calendar, while many organizations and nationalist parties condemned KTOS.
Party of Rebirth (YDP), which is the newly established party of settlers, laid a "black wreath" in front of KTOS' headquarters.
Leader of People's Party (HP) Kudret Ozersay issued a statement condemning the calendar and appealed to the public not to put all teachers in the same basket.
Threats were sent to KTOS and its members. The general secretary of the union Sener Elcil defended the organization's actions and said that he is ready to discuss the issue with anyone and any platform.
The Denktas Foundation called for a "criminal investigation" against KTOS and would organize a protest against the organization.
Reporting on the same issue, Halkin Sesi writes that the so-called minister of education Ozdemir Berova alleged that the calendar is "an open attack against our country and its values".
 Sucuoglu on the new hospital to be built in occupied FamagustaAccording to illegal Bayrak television (29.12.16), so-called minister of health Faiz Sucuoglu has announced that the tender for the new "hospital" to be built in occupied Famagusta has been finalized and that the foundation for a 120 bed capacity "hospital" will be laid in January 2017.
Sucuoglu made the above statement in a television program he attended on illegal BRT.
Evaluating the "public health services" in the "TRNC", Sucuoglu stated that there were some problems in this area but that serious steps would be taken in the coming year to overcome these problems.
Referring to the "state hospital" that will be built in the occupied part of Nicosia, Sucuoglu said that 9 projects had come from Turkey regarding the 700 bed capacity hospital and that they were working on these projects.
 Truce declared in Syria on Turkish-Russian planTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (29.12.16) reported that Turkey and Russia have brokered a nationwide cease-fire between the regime and opposition forces in Syria with hopes that it will be followed by talks for a negotiated political solution in the war-torn country.
The cease-fire will begin on December 30 and will exclude groups designated as terrorists by the United Nations, meaning the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusra.
"As is known, we have long been working hard to launch negotiations between the regime and the opposition for a comprehensive political resolution of the conflict, to cease violence and to provide humanitarian aid. As a result of our efforts, an agreement between fighting parties in Syria to begin a cease-fire as of 00.00 on December 30, 2016, has been reached. We welcome this development," Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a written statement that was released on December 29.
The agreement stipulates the cessation of all armed attacks, including aerial campaigns, and stopping efforts to expand territory under one's control.
"Groups deemed terror organizations by the U.N. Security Council are excluded from this agreement," the statement said, adding that Turkey and Russia supported this deal as two guarantor countries.
Turkey, Russia and Iran signed a declaration on Dec. 20 in Moscow to outline their joint position on Syria with a commitment to launch fresh political talks between the regime and opposition groups. The declaration named the three countries as guarantors of the process.
"It's very important that all parties conform to this agreement. Turkey and Russia will jointly follow the cessation of hostilities as they have given strong support to it," the statement read. It also called on Iran in an indirect way to provide necessary support to the agreement by using its influence on fighting groups.
Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called for the Hezbollah to be withdrawn from Syria.
The Ministry recalled that Turkey played a decisive role in the evacuation of Aleppo and the provision of a nationwide cease-fire in Syria. It also added that it would continue its efforts to revive talks on a political transition process in Syria under U.N. auspices and in line with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254.
Turkey also underlined its support for possible political negotiations between the regime and opposition groups in Astana in mid-January. Along with two negotiating parties, Turkey, Russia and Iran will also be in Astana.
"The talks in Astana will be under our auspices. But we won't share the table and negotiate with [the regime]," Cavusoglu said in an interview with A Haber on December 29, stressing that Ankara believes President Bashar al-Assad cannot realize any political transition in Syria.
 Erdogan and Putin discussed Syria truce and Astana talks over the phoneTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (29.12.16) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed a cease-fire agreed by Bashar al-Assad's regime and opposition groups, as well as the upcoming Astana talks, in a phone conversation on December. 29, the state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Erdogan and Putin exchanged their views on the cease-fire agreement that is set to begin on December 30, which could be brokered by the joint efforts of Ankara and Moscow as guarantor countries.
The two leaders also spoke about the upcoming Astana talks expected to be held between the al-Assad regime and the opposition groups with the objective of facilitating a political transitional process to end six years of unrest in Syria.
"In the wake of the situation in Aleppo, our country launched intense diplomatic efforts under orders from the President in early December to stop the clashes and facilitate humanitarian assistance," Ibrahim Kal?n, a Presidential Spokesperson, said in a statement on the Erdogan-Putin conversation.
"In this sense, the Syrian opposition and representatives of the Russian Federation held talks in Ankara, which were facilitated by Turkey. The talks led to an agreement between the regime and the opposition. The agreement will enter into force across the country at midnight tonight [Dec. 30]," he added.
Kal?n said that Turkey considered the cease-fire an important step in resolving the Syrian conflict.
"Along with the Russian Federation, we support this arrangement as a guarantor. Naturally, the ceasefire does not cover groups designated by the United Nations Security Council as terrorist organizations," he said.
"The arrangement aims to expand the cease-fire in Aleppo to other parts of Syria, secure uninterrupted humanitarian assistance and revitalize the political process. The president will continue to work toward the success of the Astana process," he added.
 Parliamentary Constitutional Committee passes draft law on constitutional amendmentsTurkish daily Sabah (30.12.16) reports that a Turkish Parliamentary Committee early onFriday passed a bill on constitutional change that proposes a switch to a presidential system of governance.
The bill, submitted by the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's 316 lawmakers, will now be presented to Parliament after passing through the committee following nine days of talks.
It gives the executive power to the President and Vice Presidents while abolishing the post of Prime Minister, lowers the age of candidacy for Parliament from 25 to 18, and increases the number of MPs from 550 to 600 in accordance with the growing population, among other amendments.
AK Party and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have struck an agreement over constitutional change, which will help them carry the bill to a referendum.
Constitutional change -- in particular, the call for a presidential system -- has been on the political agenda since Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the former Prime Minister and AK Party leader, was elected Turkey's President in August 2014.
That election was the first time a Turkish President was directly chosen by popular vote.
In the current parliamentary model, the Turkish people vote for 550 members of Parliament. The government is formed by minimum number of 276 lawmakers.
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.
 Poll in Turkey reveals that the public support for the constitutional change is at 55%Turkish daily Sabah (29.12.16) reported that according to a poll conducted by MAK consultancy, the public support for a constitutional change currently stands at 55%.
55% of the interviewees said they are in favor of a new Constitution and will say yes in a possible referendum. While 55% were in favor of the constitutional change, 29% said no and 16% abstained from declaring a certain point of view.
MAK consultancy also asked the interviewees for which political party they would vote in a hypothetical snap election. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) stood at 51.9% and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) at 24.7%.
While the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) increased its votes to 13.4%, the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) failed to pass the 10% national election threshold, standing at 7.2%.
According to the new proposed draft Constitution, the President will be able to continue with a party affiliation, which is one of the most significant changes to the presidential system, while in the current Constitution the President is not allowed to continue their party affiliation and should have a non-partisan stance.
 Journalist Ahmet S?k detained over tweet in Istanbul; Two other releasedAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.12.16) the police detained prominent Turkish journalist Ahmet S?k in Istanbul on December 29 as part of an investigation launched by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office.
Award-winning journalist S?k was detained over several tweets and his articles for daily Cumhuriyet, Anadolu Agency reported.
S?k was transferred to police headquarters ahead of his referral to court. He will not be permitted to contact his lawyer for five days, which is among the measures introduced as part of the state of emergency that was declared after the failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by Gulenists.
S?k also confirmed his detention on his Twitter account. "I am being detained. I will be taken to the prosecutor's office regarding a tweet," he tweeted.
S?k was detained on accusations of making "terror propaganda" and denigrating the Turkish Republic, said judicial authorities and police, according to Anadolu Agency. It said he had been detained over tweets about the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), as well as articles for daily Cumhuriyet.
S?k and journalist Nedim Sener were jailed as part of the controversial Oda TV case in 2011. Both journalists spent more than a year in prison while awaiting trial before the publication of S?k's book, titled "The Imam's Army," which focused on the organization of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen's followers within the police and the judiciary during the time when the movement and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were close. The duo was eventually freed on March 12, 2012.
S?k has won numerous awards, including the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2014.
Meanwhile, one of Turkey's most prominent contemporary novelists and an internationally prominent linguist who has also made widely praised translations of Western novels into Turkish were released on probation on December 29 after being arrested on charges of "making terrorist propaganda" for daily Ozgur Gundem, which was closed in August on terrorism charges.
Author Asl? Erdogan and linguist Necmiye Alpay were among journalists and intellectuals tried in one of the cases into Ozgur Gundem, a daily that was closed over its alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Erdogan has been held in jail for 132 days since her detention and Alpay has been held behind bars for 120 days.
Release decisions were issued for Erdogan, Alpay, former Ozgur Gundem Co-Editor-in-Chief Eren Keskin, writers Filiz Kocali and Rag?p Zarakolu, license holder Kemal Sanc?l? and arrested News Editor Zana (Bilir) Kaya.
Acting News Editor Inan K?z?lkaya, who is also on arrest in the case, was not released. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION