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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-03-16

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 52/17 16.03.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] "Eide: It was not possible for the deadlock to be overcome"
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot daily insists that the UNSG should announce an appointment with Akinci
  • [03] Columnist in Kibris argues that the UN want to arbitrate in the Cyprus talks
  • [04] "The book of the negotiations is closed"
  • [05] Ertugruloglu: "Accepting the UN's arbitration would be a suicide for us"
  • [06] Turkish origin Mehmet Emin Ozcan is the "new director" of the occupation regime's "central bank"
  • [07] "Head of the Turkish Cypriot Travel Agents Union" proposes to advertise themselves as "Cyprus" and not as "TRNC"
  • [08] Progress of the works in Deryneia and Apliki barricades
  • [09] Erdogan and Yildirim say that they are against far-right politics, unlike Europeans
  • [10] Istanbul terminates sister city protocol with Rotterdam after Erdogan's call
  • [11] Turks hack Twitter accounts of Borussia Dortmund, UNICEF and others after diplomatic row
  • [12] Dutch investment in Turkey not at risk in diplomatic row: EU Minister
  • [13] Turkish Justice Minister slams EU's ruling on headscarves
  • [14] Turkish Minister tells UN of 'inhumane treatment' by Dutch
  • [15] Number of Israeli tourists to Turkey up by over 60%
  • [16] Turkey's unemployment rate rises to 12.7%, highest in seven years

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] "Eide: It was not possible for the deadlock to be overcome"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (16.03.17) reports that UNSG's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide has said that the deadlock in the Cyprus negotiations was not overcome yet and that the resumption of the negotiations will take a little bit more time. In statements yesterday after a two-hour meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Eide noted that when they return to the negotiating table they should work in a much more productive manner.

    Moreover, Eide said that the UN does not intend to undertake the role of the arbitrator in the negotiations and that he discusses with the leaders not a UN plan, but the methodology put forth by the leaders in various statements and emphasized on the substantial issues.

    Eide stated also that no plans exist for holding a meeting in New York between the community leaders and the UNSG.

    Referring to his meeting with Akinci, Eide described it as "very long and constructive" and added he would meet with President Anastasiades as well and discuss with the leaders the issue on how they will return to the negotiating table and what they will do when they return. He said that he briefed Akinci on some contacts he had held in Washington and elsewhere, noting that his visit to Washington was better than he expected and that the US support to the negotiating process in Cyprus continues.

    The Norwegian diplomat noted that the deadlock has not been overcome and that some things should be done in order for the ground for the resumption of the talks to be created.

    "The problem was not overcome, but it can be overcome", he noted pointing out that the necessary will exists in both sides.

    Referring to the arbitration issue, he said:

    "I personally am determined to continue the process at the level of the leaders. The UN has no intention to undertake an arbitration duty in the process. We have tried this in the past and understood that it does not work".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Turkish Cypriot daily insists that the UNSG should announce an appointment with Akinci

    Under the title "A difficult exam for Guterres on the Cyprus issue", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (16.03.17), referring to its yesterday article on a possible meeting of the UN Secretary General with the two Cyprus leaders in New York, reports that "the news came like a bombshell in both sides". It has been stated that the request of Cyprus President Anastasiades for a meeting with the UN Secretary General has become as the "most difficult exam" for Guterres regarding Cyprus.

    It is reported that "the Turkish Cypriot side will feel discomfort in case that the UN Secretary General Guterres announces a date of a meeting with Anastasiades but at the same time not a meeting with Akinci". The paper further reports: "Sources close to the presidency said that there is not any problem for Guterres to meet with Anastasiades, however for practical/ethical reasons, Guterres should also give an appointment with Akinci within a reasonable time and the announcement of this meeting should be done before the meeting with Anastasiades. Otherwise, comments, thinking that the UN does not act equally in both sides, will gain strength above this incident in Washington".

    (DPs)

    [03] Columnist in Kibris argues that the UN want to arbitrate in the Cyprus talks

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.03.17) Emine Davut Yitmen argues that "while discussions are held on the issue of changing the method in the negotiations in order for giving life again to the Cyprus talks", the Republic of Cyprus entered into the "election atmosphere". The journalist reports, inter alia, the following:

    "[] It is understood that in case of the resumption of the negotiations, the UN demands an active duty as near as arbitration even if it cannot become 'arbitrator'. It is known that the Greek Cypriot side is very annoyed by the arbitration method which has been tried in 2004. Within this framework, the UN might exert an effort to take direct steps, to undertake an initiative on some issues without using the word 'arbitrator'.

    It is estimated that there are some questions in the Turkish side on the issue of 'impartiality' together with the active participation of the UN.

    Therefore, the issues of the UNSG's Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide's impartiality and until where the limits of his activity reach bear great importance in the method.

    Eide believes that success will not be possible without a change of methodology in the Cyprus negotiations. While the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration Anastasiades wants change of methodology in the negotiations, president Akinci, who preferred to remain silent on this issue for a while, stated that he agrees with the view that the method is not sufficient anymore for producing results []".

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] "The book of the negotiations is closed"

    Under the above title in its column "Letter from Afrika", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (16.03.17) reports that "Mustafa Akinci, who had started working very pretentiously to solve the Cyprus problem and pumped people with hope with the statements he made, has done the very opposite in the end and became the person who closed the book of the negotiations in the island". The paper notes, inter alia, the following:

    "[] Akinci left the table using such an argument that it will not be easy anymore for any Turkish Cypriot leader to return to the table from now on. Akinci said that he would not return to the table because the decision in the parliament in the south regarding enosis has not been annulled. Those who will come after him will also not return. They will also say the same thing. []

    Anyway, this uproar started as if Cyprus will be united with Greece or as if the Greek Cypriot community wants enosis, has become a chewing gum in the mouth of the officials from Turkey []

    Surely you have heard what Mevlut Cavusoglu is saying, whose ears do not hear what his mouth is saying after being sent away from the Netherlands as he deserved. The Greek Cypriots, he said, want to unite the island with Greece and this is why the negotiations were interrupted! Oh please. At least Akinci should correct him. He replies quickly to Anastasiades in every occasion, but he keeps quiet before the incoherent statements by Turkish officials. Could he not say to Cavusoglu that 'the Greek Cypriots did not ask to unite with Greece, they only say that they will teach and commemorate this in schools'?

    Eide made a last effort yesterday. He met for two hours with Akinci. He tried to convince him to return to the table. However, again he could not succeed. Surely he has also understood now that other reasons lie under his leaving the table. []

    Like those before him Akinci also protected Turkey's interests. He sacrificed his own community. []"

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Ertugruloglu: "Accepting the UN's arbitration would be a suicide for us"

    Under the front-page title: "UN's arbitration would be a suicide", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (16.03.17) reports that the so-called foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglou in statements to a televised program broadcast by ADA TV, described as a "very dangerous issue" the UN's arbitration which is proposed, as he claimed, for the negotiation talks and alleged the following: "Accepting the UN's arbitration would be a suicide for us. If the arbitration becomes accepted, then the decision taken by the UN will have a binding force".

    Referring to the forthcoming April referendum in Turkey for the constitutional amendments, Ertugruloglu stated that he would vote "yes" in the referendum. He also argued: "My expectation is that the yes decision in Turkey will also have a reflection to us. I consider the presidential system as a way out for the TRNC as well".

    On the Cyprus negotiation process, Ertugrulloglu expressed the view that there is no meaning to continue negotiating with "south Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus. Stating that he finds strange the efforts exerted by Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci to keep the process alive, Ertugruloglu called on Akinci to give up from the approach "Regulate the Enosis decision and we will return to the table".

    ()

    (AK)

    [06] Turkish origin Mehmet Emin Ozcan is the "new director" of the occupation regime's "central bank"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.03.17) under the title: "Islamic 'tune' at the TRNC's central bank" reports that for the first time in the history of the "TRNC's central bank" a "political appointment" is made for the post of its "director".

    According to the paper, Mehmet Emin Ozcan of Turkish origin, who had previously served during the Justice and Development Party (AKP) period in the administration boards of "state banks", such as the Vakiflar Bank and Zirrat Bank, has been "appointed" as "director".

    The paper described the "appointment" as a "political one" and Ozcan as a person "expert in the Islamist banking sector". The paper adds that at the same time an "amendment law" of the "TRNC banking sector" has been submitted for discussion in the so-called assembly. The "amendment law" envisages also the "participation banking" which gives powers to the "central bank" and constitutes the basis for the "Islamist banking sector".

    (AK)

    [07] "Head of the Turkish Cypriot Travel Agents Union" proposes to advertise themselves as "Cyprus" and not as "TRNC"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (16.03.17) reports that Orhan Tolun, "chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Travel Agents Union", evaluating the tourism market in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus this year, argued that there is an increase of 12% in the hotel occupancy rate on January 2017 compared to January 2016.

    Speaking to the paper, Tolun proposed that some measures should be taken in order the increase in tourism to be continued. He proposed that the tourism advertisements should be done as "Cyprus" and not as "TRNC" (translator's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus). Noting that they should show to the foreign tourists that the "TRNC" is a European destination, Tolun added that the tourist travel agents should organize tours by using Larnaka airport and not "Ercan airport" (translator's note: the occupied airport of Tymbou). He stressed that this is an important element for increasing the number of tourists.

    Stating that the number of tourists going to Turkey has been decreased due to "insecurity reasons" in Turkey, Tolun suggested that they should mark themselves under European destination and not under Turkey's geography and at the tourism fairs and exhibitions should be promoted as "Cyprus" and not as "TRNC".

    (DPs)

    [08] Progress of the works in Deryneia and Apliki barricades

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.03.17) reports that the progress and the coordination of the works for the opening of the Apliki and Deryneia barricades were discussed yesterday during a meeting headed by Gurdal Hudaoglu, who is one of the advisors of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

    According to the paper, the first phase for the opening of Deryneia barricade which included the paving of the road with asphalt is completed while the budget was released for the second phase of the project. Tenders are expected to open within two weeks for the third and fourth phase which included the infrastructure for electricity, water and communication.

    (CS)

    [09] Erdogan and Yildirim say that they are against far-right politics, unlike Europeans

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (16.03.17) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey has no problem with the people of European countries and criticized EU politicians for the problem of fearing anything that is non-European.

    "We have no enmity toward Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium or France. We certainly have no enmity toward other European countries. We are one of the first countries that applied for EU membership. It is the shame of Europe that they have given visa liberation to states outside of the continent while they are trying to close all doors on Turkey," Erdogan said amid the recent row between the Dutch and Turkish government over the deportation of Turkey's Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from Rotterdam early Sunday.

    "The EU is moving toward drowning in its own fears. The fear of Turks, fear of Islam has hit the ceiling. They have become enemies to everything that is not from them, they are even afraid of the refugees who are seeking asylum because they have nothing else left to hold onto in life," President Erdogan claimed during a speech at a rally in Turkey's central Afyon province, emphasizing the increase in far-right politics among EU states.

    Erdogan alleged that the EU has no right to give anyone a lesson about democracy, law, freedom and justice. "They emptied out the EU with their anti-Turkey manner. Look at the U.K., they put the Brexit to referendum and decided to leave. The EU has no right to teach a lesson to anyone. Fascism is making the rounds on European streets," he argued.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also said yesterday that it is "not the people of Germany and the Netherlands," but rather enmity against Turkey is a product of EU politicians.

    "I condemn the politicians of Germany and the Netherlands. Actually, most of the population there is not against Turkey; they are the friends of Turkey," Yildirim said during a rally in northeastern Ardahan province.

    [10] Istanbul terminates sister city protocol with Rotterdam after Erdogan's call

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.03.17) reports that the Istanbul Metropolitan Munipality city council on March 15 unanimously terminated its sister city protocol with the Netherland's port city Rotterdam, amid an ongoing diplomatic row between the two countries.

    The move comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan said he ordered Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to end the metropolis' sister city pact with Rotterdam.

    "I told our Prime Minister last night. I told him that he should urgently inform our Istanbul Mayor [Kadir Topbas] and may he break our sister city agreement with Rotterdam unilaterally, as it is impossible for us to be sister cities with such people," Erdogan said a rally in the inner Aegean province of Afyon.

    Istanbul and Rotterdam signed the town twinning protocol on June 24, 2005.

    Subsequently, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb paid one of his first visits to Istanbul after taking office in 2011.

    Istanbul has 40 sister cities in four continents along with the Dutch port city.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.17) reports that a Turkish-Dutch friendship group in Turkey's parliament group will be abolished within the week following the eruption of a diplomatic crisis with the Netherlands, the group's chair, Ertugrul Soysal, has said.

    The group will act in accordance with the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) decisions, Soysal said, adding that the managerial board of the group was planning to resign this week and abolish the group.

    The abolition of the group is part of the four sanctions announced by Turkey's cabinet that largely focuses on the political and diplomatic sphere. Turkey has also filed complaints at top international institutions on the grounds that the Dutch government violated the 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations with its actions against Turkish ministers.

    Stating that they are planning to clarify the matter within a few days within the framework of the cabinet decisions, Soysal said the opinions of opposition party members in the group would also be solicited.

    Soysal also said the Netherlands' moves to not permit Turkish Ministers to campaign in the country was unacceptable, discourteous and a breach of international law.

    Following Soysal's announcement, AKP group deputy spokesman Mustafa Elitas stated that the AKP-affiliated members of the group had resigned on March 15. "We will not take part in the group until there is an apology," Elitas said.

    [11] Turks hack Twitter accounts of Borussia Dortmund, UNICEF and others after diplomatic row

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.03.17) reports that Turkish hackers have hacked a number of Twitter accounts following a diplomatic row with Germany and the Netherlands over a ban on Turkish Ministers entering the country.

    Among the hacked accounts were those of Borussia Dortmund, UNICEF USA, Amnesty International, Forbes, BBC North America, Reuters Japan, and Duke University.

    Hackers shared a video of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Davos 2009 with his famous "One Minute" dialogue with former Israeli President Simon Peres.

    "A little bit of an Ottoman Slap to you, see you on April 16," the hackers added in a reference to the referendum on controversial constitutional amendments.

    The hackers reportedly did not explain the connection between such institutions such as Toyota Italy and Duke University and Turkey's diplomatic spat with EU members.

    The hacked accounts were subsequently reclaimed.

    [12] Dutch investment in Turkey not at risk in diplomatic row: EU Minister

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.03.17) reports that Dutch investment in Turkey is not at risk from the recent diplomatic row between the two countries, as Ankara's ire is focused on the Dutch government, not its people or businesses, Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs told Reuters.

    In an interview Omer Celik said he believed the time has come for Turkey to reassess its migration deal with the European Union, as it has become clear the bloc would not take a fair stance on its promise to grant Turks visa-free travel.

    While one Deputy Prime Minister has said that economic sanctions could be in the works, Celik said Ankara was making a call to businesses worldwide that Turkey was a safe country for investment.

    "Dutch businessmen who invest, have businesses and create employment in Turkey are included in this (call). They are definitely not part of the crisis," he said, as quoted by Reuters.

    Asked if Dutch companies active in Turkey would be impacted by the row, Celik said: "The private sector, business world, tourists and the people of the Netherlands are not a part of the crisis."

    Trade between the Netherlands and Turkey has tripled over the past 10 years, making the Netherlands one of Turkey's main investors. The bilateral trade ties reached $6.6 billion at the end of 2016. Turkey's exports to the country were at around $3.6 billion during that period.

    Only last year, the Netherlands took 14% of share in Turkey's FDI inflow with $956 million.

    In tourism terms, a total of 906,336 Dutch people visited Turkey last year, taking around 3.6 %of share in total arrivals.

    In 2015, this figure was 1.2 million, and 1.3 million in 2014.

    There are around 2,700 Dutch companies in Turkey, including ING Bank and Rabobank.

    [13] Turkish Justice Minister slams EU's ruling on headscarves

    Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (16.03.17) reports that Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag has slammed a ruling by the European Union's highest court that allows companies to ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols.

    "The decision taken by the European Court of Justice is a destruction of international regulations on human rights, freedom of work, freedom of religion and conscience, as well as a breach of EU values," Bozdag told reporters in the Central Anatolian province of Yozgat on March 15.

    "To force people to make a choice between their faith and work do not befit the dignity of the democratic state of law. It is a great primitiveness and a great, outdated practice. It carries no other meaning but a resurrection of a medieval mentality in the 21st century at the hand of courts," he said.

    His comments came after the EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice, made a decision on March 14 which allows companies to ban their employees from wearing the Islamic headscarf, "but only as part of prohibitions including other religious and political symbols."

    Stating that discrimination, racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia are on the rise in European countries,

    Bozdag said European governments had started to use those discourses rather than fighting against them.

    "To a certain extent, it is explicable that people have such approaches," he said. "However, it is unacceptable for courts such as the European Court of Justice or Belgian court, whose main role is to sustain human rights, law, and justice in spite of all those negativities, to uphold such extremism and destroy the law and justice by making more extreme decisions than them."

    He also said such decisions did not have the ability to destroy the freedom of religion and conscience.

    "This decision has shown that the democracy, human rights and supremacy of law in Europe only goes so far as to the consent of radicals, the enemies of Islam and racists who do not respect others' freedom of belief," he added.

    [14] Turkish Minister tells UN of 'inhumane treatment' by Dutch

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.17) reports that Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya told a UN session Wednesday she recently endured "inhumane treatment" from the Netherlands government, in contravention of diplomatic protocols.

    "The Netherlands violated several European and UN conventions by restricting the freedom of speech and movement of a woman Minister who has diplomatic immunity," Kaya told the session on the status of women.

    Kaya was barred Saturday from meeting the Turkish community in Rotterdam, and was barred entry to the Turkish mission building, considered as part of the Republic of Turkey in line with diplomatic conventions.

    She said special operations officers who surrounded her vehicle were authorized to use deadly force and Turkish citizens waiting to welcome her were attacked by police dogs and horses.

    "On behalf of my country and all women, I strongly condemn this biased, racist and xenophobic treatment," she said, adding that the world should not "remain silent" to the Dutch government's actions.

    Tensions remain high between Ankara and Amsterdam after the incident. Turkey has suspended high-level ties and announced the Dutch envoy would not be allowed to return from a current leave.

    Kaya also condemned a decision by the EU Court of Justice that bans headscarves in workplaces.

    "This decision clearly plays into the hands of extremists," she said.

    The ban would make it more difficult for Muslim women to be active in social and business circles if they are compelled to choose between their faith and their careers, she added.

    [15] Number of Israeli tourists to Turkey up by over 60%

    Turkish daily Yeni Safak (15.03.17) reports that Turkey has seen a boost in the number of Israeli tourists following the normalization of ties last summer, according to the owner of a tour company in the southwestern province of Mugla, which is home to popular holiday resorts such as Bodrum and Marmaris.

    "We were planning to bring 2,500 Israeli tourists in March and April, but the number has already exceeded 4,000," Kaan Yardacilar told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

    "In 2016, we brought 6,500 tourists to Marmaris. This number will likely double or even triple this year," he said.

    He also noted a change in the profile of Israeli tourists traveling to Turkey.

    "Tourists who came from Israel in the last two years were Muslim Arab citizens. But this year's first and second groups who came to Marmaris were all Jewish.

    "It looks like 2017 will be much better than last year," he said.

    Turkey and Israel renewed ties in June 2016 following a six-year split over the attack on the Mavi Marmara humanitarian aid ship. Israeli commandos had killed 10 Turkish activists aboard the Gaza-bound vessel.

    [16] Turkey's unemployment rate rises to 12.7%, highest in seven years

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.03.17) reports that Turkey's unemployment rate hit 12.7 % in December 2016, the highest since March 2010, while youth unemployment stood at 24 %, official data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) showed on March 15.

    The unemployment rate saw a rise of 1.9 % compared to same month in the previous year, according to TUIK. Unemployment also saw a 0.6-point increase from the previous month, with an eighth consecutive rise since last August.

    The seasonally changing unemployment rate was 12 % with a 0.2 %age point increase.

    The number of unemployed persons aged 15 and above was realized as 3.87 million with 668,000 persons, an increase in the period of December 2016 in Turkey compared with the same period of the previous year.

    In the same period, non-agricultural unemployment rate was 14.9 % with 2.2 %age point increase.

    Youth unemployment rate, including persons aged 15 to 24, hit 24 % with a 4.8 %age point of increase.

    The data showed that the economy experienced a weak growth so as not to ease the unemployment rate, but the government's campaign to boost employment could downward the rate by the second quarter of the year, according to analysts.

    "Several measures were taken to stimulate economic activity. The government recently announced a subsidy that aims to encourage employers to hire additional employees. These steps might help curb the rise in unemployment as of February," said Gokce Celik, a chief economist at QNB Finansbank, as quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency.

    She, however, warned that the main trend in job creation will be driven by the growth outlook, so unemployment might remain at elevated levels unless economic activity picks up meaningfully.

    Unemployment is one of the biggest problems in Turkey and the government will solve it together with the private sector, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said early March 15.

    "When the economic growth decreases fewer than 5.5 %, a hike in the unemployment rate becomes unavoidable. As the cabinet members, we have totally mobilized to support growth and employment," he said, as quoted by Reuters.

    The government's employment encouragement campaign, which was announced early in February by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, aims to create 2 million new jobs.

    Some 232,085 new jobs were created across Turkey in February after the government started a campaign to boost employment, government officials announced early March.

    The number of people employed was 26.67 million in the December period, which covered November, December and January, up by 221, from a year earlier, data showed.

    The labor force participation rate was another factor in the report explaining the rise in unemployment despite solid job creation.

    The labor force participation rate (LFPR) was 51.6 %, up 0.7 %age points or 888,000.

    .

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (CS/ AM)


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