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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-03-02

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 <>



  • [01] More on Akinci- Tillerson phone conversation
  • [02] Kerry sent a thank you letter to Akinci for his contribution to the negotiation process
  • [03] Atun met with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan
  • [04] Israeli Ambassador to Ankara: "The Cyprus deal could speed up Turkey energy project"
  • [05] Ertuguloglu: "The TRNC should be the basis not an alternative for the solution"
  • [06] CHP's Yilmaz: "The Cyprus peace talks should not resume until the decision for 1950 Enosis referendum is dropped"
  • [07] CTP is submitting a "vote of censure" against the UBP-DP "government"; Early "elections" in the horizon
  • [08] Figures on the "unemployment rate" and the number of "university students" in the breakaway regime
  • [09] Havadis argues that the chairman of EVKAF had a cardiac arrhythmia due to pressure by the "government" and the "army" for the occupied beach of Ayios Georgios
  • [10] Bila takes helm as editor-in-chief at Hurriyet after Erdogan criticized Dogan's leading Hurriyet newspaper over a story which created tension between the government and the Turkish Armed Forces
  • [11] Journalist Hasan Cemal given 11 month suspended sentence for 'insulting the President'
  • [12] Cavusoglu: "Germany oppresses Turks, turns blind eye to terrorists"
  • [13] Police arrest dozens of suspected FETO members in a new operation across Turkey


    [01] More on Akinci- Tillerson phone conversation

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.03.17) reports about the telephone conversation that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci held with the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and writes that the latter expressed his country's appreciation for the efforts made for reaching a bi-communal, bi-zonal solution.

    Tillerson also stated that the new US Government is ready to offer any kind of support for the solution within this frame.

    The paper, citing information, writes that Tillerson said that the solution is not only important for the "two peoples" of the island but for the whole region.

    On his part, Akinci informed Tillerson about the latest phase of the Cyprus negotiations noting that the procedure reached the point of the five-party meeting. He also referred to the decision to commemorate the 1950 Enosis plebiscite at schools in the Republic of Cyprus and explained the reasons why this decision caused such a reaction by the Turkish Cypriots. He also claimed that the issue of the presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus may have played an important role for this decision.

    On the issue of energy, Akinci stated that this should be a source for co-operation and not a source of conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean region and expressed the belief that the new US Secretary of State being an experienced politician is aware of this.

    Finally, Akinci stated that a solution cannot be reached with the efforts of only one side in Cyprus and expressed his satisfaction for the close interest of the new US administration on Cyprus.


    [02] Kerry sent a thank you letter to Akinci for his contribution to the negotiation process

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.03.17) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci received a thank-you letter from the former US Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the process reached at the negotiations.

    According to information cited by Kibris, Kerry stated that the contribution of Akinci's leadership and dream is great for the procedure to reach is final point and to the five-party meeting.


    [03] Atun met with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.03.17) reports that the so-called minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun, who participated in the Council of Ministers' meeting of the 13th Economic Organization Summit in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, started his contacts in Pakistan.

    According to the paper, Atun met during a dinner with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan Sartaj Aziz. According to a statement issued by his "ministry", Atun exchanged views with Aziz regarding the improvement of the "bilateral relations" between Pakistan and the "TRNC" as well as the improvement of the relations between the breakaway regime and the Economic Organization Summit. (CS)

    [04] Israeli Ambassador to Ankara: "The Cyprus deal could speed up Turkey energy project"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.03.17) reports that the new Israeli Ambassador to Ankara Eitan Naeh said on Wednesday that a Cyprus peace deal would speed up Israel's project to provide gas to Turkey.

    "We think that the solution to the Cyprus problem can speed up the energy project," Naeh said, while speaking to reporters in Turkey, adding that it was a "win-win" for everyone.

    "A Cyprus solution will make life easier for all," Naeh further said, referring to exporting gas from the Leviathan field off Isreal's coast, discovered in 2010 and set to begin production in 2019.

    The best way for gas to be exported between Turkey and Israel would be a pipeline via the territorial waters of Cyprus.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.03.17) reports that Naeh told reporters that the two countries aim to enhance cooperation in energy, and discussions are continuing on both intergovernmental and private-sector levels, noting that Turkey and Israel could reach 8 billion dollars in trade volume within a few years.

    A delegation of Turkish business leaders will travel to Israel between May 14 and 17. Israel has invited Turkey's Economy Minister, Nihat Zeybekci, to participate in the visit, but the Turkish side has yet to provide confirmation about his plans. Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen also plans to visit Turkey in 2017 as part of both countries' focus on economic ties as a vital dynamic to their bilateral normalization process.

    Israel wishes to hold a joint economic committee meeting in May, with confirmation pending regarding the participation of Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, the head of the committee on behalf of the Turkish government.

    Israel and Turkey are pursuing discussions for the construction of a pipeline that would carry Israeli natural gas to Turkey and onward to European markets.

    Delegations from the Turkish and Israeli Energy Ministries recently paid reciprocal visits and discussed the transfer of energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean to global markets through Turkey. The countries also discussed Turkey's work to end Gaza's electricity crisis through Ankara's purchase of fuel from the Palestinian Authority to operate a power plant in Gaza.

    Turkey and Israel aim to finalize a deal by summer regarding the transfer of Israeli gas, which is expected to flow by 2021, to Turkey.

    The parties are discussing the formation of a consortium for the construction of a pipeline, although it is not yet clear whether the state-owned Turkish Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) or a private company from Turkey will join the consortium.

    Cohen will pay a visit to Istanbul in April for an international meeting, while the Israeli government has also invited Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, but Ankara reportedly has yet to respond.

    Turkey and Israel reached an agreement in June to normalize ties and end acrimony caused by an Israeli naval raid on the Mavi Marmara Turkish aid ship, which was trying to breach Israel's blockade of Gaza in 2010. Ten Turkish activists were killed in the raid.

    Under the reconciliation deal, Israel agreed to compensate the families of the victims while Turkey agreed not to hold Israeli nationals criminally liable for the incident.

    [05] Ertuguloglu: "The TRNC should be the basis not an alternative for the solution"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (02.03.17) reports that Tahsin Ertugurloglu, self-styled foreign minister of the regime, has alleged that if the negotiating process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will continue, the negotiations should be held on the basis of "a state to state" from now on. Speaking on a television program, Ertugruloglu argued that he is not saying that they should not return to the negotiating table, but "this should be done wisely".

    He claimed: "If there will be negotiations from now on, I would say this: I will come if there are negotiations from state to state. That is, we will sit at the table as TRNC. In my view, the expression that 'if there is no solution, our alternative is the TRNC' is not a correct expression. We should say that 'if I am going to sit at the table, I will sit for negotiations from state to state'. The TRNC should be the basis for the solution, not the alternative. We should take part in the partnership as TRNC".

    Ertugruloglu alleged that the Greek Cypriot side has committed a serious mistake in the negotiations and should pay the price for this.

    Referring to the map submitted by the Turkish side, Ertugruloglu criticized the fact that a map had been submitted and alleged that they did not see this map and the "sensitivities" of the "government" were not taken into consideration.

    Asked whether the negotiating process has collapsed, he claimed that he had been trying to point out to this fact from the very beginning, as he had no expectation from this negotiating process, because he was predicting that no result could be taken.

    Erturgruloglu said that they attach importance to their lobbying activities and they continue such activities, but they do not advertise them, because they attach importance to "effective initiatives". He alleged that the only alternative of the Turkish Cypriot "people' is not to establish a partnership with the Greek Cypriots and that this is only one of their alternatives.


    [06] CHP's Yilmaz: "The Cyprus peace talks should not resume until the decision for 1950 Enosis referendum is dropped"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.03.17) reported that the Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy leader Ozturk Yilmaz speaking at a news conference in the Turkish Parliament on Wednesday, stated that the Cyprus reunification talks should not resume unless a controversial decision by the Cyprus Parliament to back Enosis celebrations is dropped.

    Yilmaz alleged that the main reason for a halt in the Cyprus talks was the decision to introduce annual celebrations to mark a 1950 referendum calling for the island to be annexed to Greece.

    "The move has seen peace talks on the island come to a halt", Yilmaz claimed. .

    [07] CTP is submitting a "vote of censure" against the UBP-DP "government"; Early "elections" in the horizon

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (02.03.17) reports that Turfan Erhurman, chairman of the main "opposition" Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has said that today they would submit at the "assembly" a "vote of censure" against the National Unity Party (UBP) Democratic Party (DP) "coalition government". In statements to the paper, he noted that the CTP will meet with the other "opposition" parties and ask them to sign their proposal. "In addition, with the statement made yesterday by Mr prime minister, the early elections are on the top of the country's agenda now", he said referring to "prime minister" Ozgurgun's statements.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (02.03.17) recalls that Ozgurgun had challenged the "opposition" stating that if it had brought to the "assembly' a proposal for "early elections", he would have signed it. The paper reports that a quorum was not secured yesterday at the "assembly" and this is why the CTP decided to submit its "vote of censure" today. Kudret Ozersay, chairman of the People's Party (HP), which is not represented in the "assembly", argued that the CTP should submit a proposal for "early elections" and not a "motion of censure", since with the latter the confidence to the "government" will be reiterated and UBP's "deputies" will "come together".

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.03.17) reports that Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has stated that they will support CTP's "motion of censure" and will submit a proposal for "early elections". Ozyigit noted that the "government" cannot solve "people's" problems and that the solution is to hold "early elections".

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (02.03.17) reports that the "early elections" have come onto the agenda again because of the fact that the "coalition partners" cannot agree on the issue of appointing Mehmet Ali Rifki in the "court of auditors". Rifki is supported by the UBP, after three months he will be retired and if he is elected his pension will increase by 200 thousand Turkish liras.

    The paper writes that responding to a question, Tahsin Ertugurloglu, self-styled foreign minister of the regime, said that the "early elections" might be held in the autumn of 2017.


    [08] Figures on the "unemployment rate" and the number of "university students" in the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.03.17) reports that the so-called minister of labor and social insurance Hamza Ersan Saner, in statements during the "5th Career's day event" which was organized at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University ("DAU") by the Turkish Cypriot chamber of trade (KTTO) and the so-called Turkish Cypriot chamber of industry ("KTSO"), said, inter alia, that the unemployment rate for the youth in the "TRNC" between the ages of 18-35 has reached to 9.8% and added that they are ready to undertake steps in order to reduce this rate to the minimum.

    Saner also stated there are 93 thousand "people" which are registered in the "social insurance fund" and added that 42 thousand out of them are foreigners. "If the number of unemployed persons is 12,000 then there is a mistake here. Our duty is to educate the right person to the right job", Saner added.

    Speaking in the framework of the same event, the so-called minister of education Ozdemir Berova, stated, inter alia, that the level of the "higher education" in the "TRNC" is one of the basic reasons they confront the future with optimism. Berova added that currently there are 90 thousand "university students" in the "TRNC" and explained that 80 thousand out of them are "foreign students".


    [09] Havadis argues that the chairman of EVKAF had a cardiac arrhythmia due to pressure by the "government" and the "army" for the occupied beach of Ayios Georgios

    Under the title "Benter had a heart spasm among the politicians and the army", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.03.17) reports that the real reason for the health problems of the chairman of EVKAF Ibrahim Benter has been revealed. The paper argues that Bender has felt stressed because on the one hand he was suffered political oppression by the "government" of the breakaway regime regarding the transfer of liability of the occupied beach of Agios Yeorgios in Keryneia to a private operator, and on the other hand he had to face the military system in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    According to sources close to EVKAF administration, the "military authorities" did not want casinos to be constructed on the occupied area, which has been known as "landing point" since the Turkish invasion in 1974 and has a symbolic significance.

    The paper further argues that for four months Benter had not submitted to serious pressure from the "government" and resisted to sign a "leasing contract", but at the end he had to sign. The "military authorities" reacted by telling him "we trusted you, how did you sign?".

    Bentev is currently at Istanbul hospital due to cardiac arrhythmia.


    [10] Bila takes helm as editor-in-chief at Hurriyet after Erdogan criticized Dogan's leading Hurriyet newspaper over a story which created tension between the government and the Turkish Armed Forces

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (online, 01.03.17) reports that journalist and columnist Fikret Bila has taken the helm as the editor-in-chief of Hurriyet, the largest daily newspaper in the country, from Sedat Ergin, who said he would return to writing columns because he was tired.

    This change of editor-in-chief came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Dogan's leading Hurriyet newspaper over a story it ran hinting at tensions between the government and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (online, 01.02.17), Erdogan said on Tuesday at Ataturk International Airport before leaving for a regional economic summit in Pakistan that a story last week by a Turkish daily including alleged criticisms of Turkey's army chief was "shameless and worthless".

    Last week, Turkish daily Hurriyet published a feature story including alleged criticisms of Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.

    According to Hurriyet, anonymous military sources criticized last week's end to the headscarf ban in the military, Akar's foreign visits with Erdogan, and his recent visit to the Kardak Islets (Imia) in the Aegean Sea.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (online, 28.02.17) reported that Turkey's military made a statement on a recent debate over a report in daily Hurriyet that was also heavily criticized by President Erdogan.

    The military said on Feb. 28 that recent "unfounded and ill-intentioned" criticism toward the Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar aimed at casting a shadow on the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) struggle against terrorism.

    Following such criticism, the military made the following statement to a journalist; however the TSK said that it did not use any expressions of "unease":

    "We regret efforts to blur the agenda with allegations and defamation at a time when the Euphrates Shield operation [in northern Syria] is progressing successfully. Suggesting that there are problems between the Turkish Armed Forces and the government distorts the issue", read the statement, adding that the interlocutors for the "answers to the criticism were known".

    Daily Hurriyet ran an article by Ankara Bureau Chief Hande Firat on Feb. 25, which cited military sources outlining the General Staff's stance on seven issues on which they had been subjected to criticism. The headline of the newspaper read "Seven Answers to Seven Criticisms," while the headline on the inside page read "Unease at military HQ".

    The headline on the inside page specifically drew Erdogan's criticism.

    "Of course the headline on the inside was very ugly", he told reporters at Ataturk International Airport before leaving for a regional economic summit in Pakistan.

    "These expressions have disturbed us and they have disturbed the TSK even more. It is impossible that our armed forces would not be disturbed about an issue that disturbs us. We are like the organs of the same body", Erdogan said, defining the report as rude.

    "Neither the newspaper's management and bosses nor the staff are capable of writing such a headline; they cannot be," he said, adding that legal steps would be taken," he said.

    The President said that the "Seven answers to seven criticisms" headline would also bring the military forces under suspicion. "Those who are trying to set us at odds with each other will pay a heavy price for that.I do not find such approaches acceptable at a time that we need brotherhood more than ever," Erdogan said.

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, meanwhile, said it was unfair to accuse Hurriyet's Ankara bureau chief Firat on the matter, criticizing the army for "trying to convey its disturbances through the media".

    "The accusation toward a female journalist who played a successful role in thwarting the coup d'etat on July 15 [2016] thanks to the news she covered is, in our opinion, a strange contradiction and distortion," Bahceli told his party members in parliament on Feb. 28.

    F?rat, the Ankara representative of CNN Turk at the time, was the first journalist to put Erdogan online via FaceTime during the bloody coup attempt on July 15, 2016, allowing him to make a call to the nation to take the streets to foil the attempt.

    The Istanbul headquarters of Hurriyet and CNN Turk, two Dogan Holding media companies, were raided by coup soldiers during the attempt before they were dragged out by police in clashes.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet (28.01.17) released the following statement on row over report:

    "A story that was published on daily Hurriyet's first page on Feb. 25 with the headline 'Seven Answers to Seven Criticisms' was penned based completely on an institutional 'briefing' by the Turkish General Staff upon questions from the daily's Ankara representative, Hande Firat, according to a statement from the newspaper.

    The expression of 'Unease at military HQ' in the headline, above a secondary line that said 'Claims and criticisms are weakening [the army] on seven issues', from Hurriyet's editorial department was not taken from the briefing a point that was also noted in a related statement by the General Staff".

    Hurriyet's statement continues as follows:

    "The expression of 'unease' in Hurriyet's story was used in order to explain the situation created by the aforementioned claims and criticisms targeting the General Staff.

    However, unfortunately, after the story was published, we saw that this expression could be understood as if there was unease in the General Staff against the government.

    It didn't cross our minds that such a meaning would be attributed to that headline. Such an intention is absolutely out of the question. Even if that was not the intention, the 'Unease at military HQ' headline can be seen as an editorial mistake that goes beyond its purpose. For that, we are sorry.

    The weakening of our army and attempts to drag it into domestic politics are situations that every Turkish citizen should reject.

    The army remaining under the orders of civilians that acquire their posts in elections is an essential condition for our democracy."

    [11] Journalist Hasan Cemal given 11 month suspended sentence for 'insulting the President'

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (01.03.17) reported that the prominent Turkish journalist Hasan Cemal was convicted on March 1st on charges of "insulting the President," receiving a suspended sentence of 11 months and 20 days over an article published in 2016.

    The Ankara 24th Criminal Court of first instance ordered the deferment of the announcement of the verdict over an article in which Cemal quoted remarks by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?cdaroglu about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    The Prosecutor claimed that Cemal "exceeded the limits of criticism" by accusing Erdogan of "dictatorship and corruption" in a January 16, 2016 column on the T24 news website.

    Cemal had testified in October 2016, saying remarks about the President in his column had been uttered by K?l?cdaroglu and they should be evaluated within the scope of freedom of expression.

    The court gave him a suspended sentence of 11 months and 20 days in prison on charges of insulting the President.

    Separately, Cemal was sentenced to a 15-month suspended prison term on charges of "conducting terror propaganda" and "praising crime and criminals" on February14.

    He is also on trial for terror-related charges allegedly committed while he was serving as a one-day editor-in-chief of daily Ozgur Gundem as part of a solidarity campaign with the now-closed paper.

    [12] Cavusoglu: "Germany oppresses Turks, turns blind eye to terrorists"

    Turkish daily Sabah (02.03.17) reports that Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized the German authorities for turning a blind eye to terror group sympathizers which have been threatening Turkey's national security.

    Cavusoglu also claimed that the Turkish citizens are facing systemic oppression in Germany. "Germany systematically oppresses Turks residing in Germany and it is a safe haven for terrorists", stated Cavusoglu.

    "Germany is also sending terrorists to Turkey. As racist attacks continue to target Turkish-run mosques and Turkish associations across Germany, the Turks in Germany but also the German citizens of Turkish origin are methodically exploited by the German state. Turks who live in Germany are systematically oppressed", Cavusoglu further claimed.

    "Germany's oppressive tactics include coming up with various methods such as distorting the facts about Turkey in the state-mandated educational curriculum to give Turkish children to unwanted families," he added.

    Pointing to the recent crisis between Turkey and Germany that began after German police raided the homes of four imams affiliated with the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) on the grounds that they had conducted espionage on behalf of the Turkish government against the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO) that is accused of masterminding the failed July 15 coup last year, CavusoGlu said that these espionage allegations are also part of Germany's oppressive tactics aimed at intimidating Turks in Germany.

    Cavusoglu also urged Germany to halt activities such as raising money and drug trafficking in their country. He said: "Even though they [Germany] do nothing to prevent the activities of terrorist organizations that harm Turkey, Germany also sent terrorists to Turkey", added Cavusoglu.

    Stressing that Germany has become a safe haven for terrorists and alleging that Berlin willfully accepts those who work against the interests of Turkey with open arms, Cavusoglu continued by saying that "[A] Swiss court recently decided to extradite a member of the PKK terrorist organization as well as a terrorist from the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C). Both of these terrorist asked to be sent to Germany, which means that Germany is a safe haven for terrorists."

    Touching upon the recent scandal regarding Germany's Foreign Intelligence Agency the BND, which allegedly spied on the phones, faxes and emails of large numbers of foreign journalists, he stressed that despite freedom of speech in Germany, "They are also wiretapping all the phones that are used to communicate abroad and when we throw this in their faces, they react," he added.

    Despite the commercial, economic and cultural ties between Turkey and Germany, bilateral relations between the two countries have hit a new low as a result of Germany's open support of terrorist groups; namely, FETO, the PKK and the DHKP-C. Berlin was also under fire for embracing Turkish journalist Can Dundar, who faces terror charges in Turkey in a case regarding his exposure of state secrets. Dundar, who currently resides in Europe while he is being tried in absentia, was received by then-President Joachim Gauck last year in Berlin.

    [13] Police arrest dozens of suspected FETO members in a new operation across Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.03.17) reported that the police arrested dozens of suspects across the country on Wednesday as part of nationwide operation against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), according to police sources.

    Police have so far arrested 71 people across 18 provinces after the Chief Public Prosecutor's office in the central Konya province issued arrest warrants for at least 98 suspects, the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.

    The source added that 25 of the suspects were remanded in custody.

    Local police sources, asking to remain anonymous due to restrictions on speaking to the media, spoke of various other operations taking place on Wednesday.

    In the southern province of Antalya, three suspects were arrested over suspected links to the FETO organization, according to the statement issued by the province's police department. Two others were arrested in eastern province of Malatya as well, a local gendarmerie command announced Wednesday. Two former teachers were also arrested in the southeastern province of Adiyaman.

    In simultaneous operations carried out by the Balikesir Chief Public Prosecutor's office in five provinces, 26 former school teachers were detained over the alleged use of an encrypted messaging service called ByLock.

    In the northeastern province of Erzincan, a local court remanded 18 former police officers in custody, again over the use of the messaging service.

    The smartphone app is believed to have been cracked by Turkish security agencies before the foiled coup and reportedly identifies tens of thousands of FETO members, which the government blames for the attempted takeover.

    In addition, six suspects in the northern province of Samsun, three others in north-western Bursa province were also detained as part of a nationwide FETO probe.

    The suspects have been accused of being members of an armed terrorist organization, managing an armed terrorist organization and of financing terror.

    Since the foiled coup, operations have been ongoing in the military, police and judiciary, as well as in state institutions across the country, to arrest suspects with alleged links to FETO. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    (AK / AM)

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