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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-12-19

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 <>



No. 245/17 19.12.17


  • [01] "Immovable Property Commission's" term of duty is extended for two more years
  • [02] Turkey's first drillship to arrive on December 31
  • [03] Two "candidate deputies" stated that "no embargoes are imposed in the TRNC"
  • [04] Information about foreign workers in the breakaway regime
  • [05] Erdogan and May discussed Jerusalem over phone
  • [06] Commentary: "Did Erdogan gain more than the Palestinians at the OIC summit?"


    [01] "Immovable Property Commission's" term of duty is extended for two more years

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.12.17) reports that a "draft-law" providing for the extension of the term of duty of the "Immovable Property Commission" established by Turkey in the occupied area of Cyprus was unanimously approved yesterday by the "assembly" of the breakaway regime.

    Speaking at the "assembly", Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and self-styled deputy prime minister of the regime, said that when the current self-styled government assumed its duties it found unpaid cases since 2013 and that most cases of the 2014-15 period have been completed until now. According to Denktas, 81 persons were compensated in 2013, 73 persons in 2014, 29 persons in 2015, 39 persons in 2016 and 70 persons in 2017. He argued that the system works slowly because it is complicated and alleged that in time it will be seen that the issue cannot be solved and the implementation of the global exchange of property system will become obligatory.

    In his speech, Huseyin Angolemli, self-styled deputy with the Social Democracy Party (TDP), alleged that the Greek Cypriots, who had been forced to abandon their properties in the occupied northern part of the island, can apply to the "commission" for their property and wondered where the Turkish Cypriots who abandoned property in the government-controlled area of the island can apply.

    Addressing the "assembly", Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that the issue is serious and that its importance was proved with the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights. He argued that one of the most important issues, which the "assembly" after the forthcoming "elections" will have to face, is how the "commission will be able to take decisions within a "reasonable period of time" and how it will secure financing. He noted that if the "commission" continues working in the same manner, they will face the danger of the ECHR deciding that the "commission" does not constitute an effective internal remedy. In such a case, he added, all economic activities will be negatively influenced and problems in tourism, the constructions and relevant sectors might occur.

    Mehmet Cakici, independent self-styled deputy, said that many people are waiting to be granted "equivalent property" in return of the property they have abandoned in the government-controlled area of the island and argued that there is not a just distribution of land in the "country". He said that the Turkish Cypriots should be harmonized with the ECHR like Turkey did and that they cannot remain outside the international law.


    [02] Turkey's first drillship to arrive on December 31

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.12.17,, Turkey's first drillship, the Deepsea Metro 2, is expected to arrive in Turkey by the end of December in preparation for exploratory offshore drilling in the Mediterranean Sea at the beginning of next year, shipping data showed on Dec. 18.

    The data showed that the ship, which will be used by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), left Norway's Hoylandsbygda port and is expected to arrive in Turkey on Dec. 31.

    Turkey has already undertaken oil and gas exploration using two seismic ships, but the DeepSea Metro 2 will be the country's first active drillship.

    The South Korean merchant vessel was produced in 2011, has a length of 229 meters (751 feet), and is capable of drilling into a maximum depth of 40,000 feet.

    Turkey's first seismic vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa has been conducting operations in the Mediterranean since April 2017, and a second vessel, the MTA Oruc Reis, is ready for exploration.

    Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak announced in October that Turkey would make its first deep drilling in 2018. He added that Ankara would conduct drilling activities with a new seismic vessel, which is due for placement on the country's inventory in the last quarter of this year, as part of natural gas and oil exploration activities in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

    Albayrak said that negotiations were almost complete for the Deepsea Metro 2. "We will make our own drilling activities with our [own] engineers," he added.

    [03] Two "candidate deputies" stated that "no embargoes are imposed in the TRNC"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (19.12.17) under the title: "There are no international embargoes imposed on our ports", reports on statements by Mustafa Erguven, "candidate deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in occupied Keryneia and CEO in a private international company operating in the Eastern Mediterranean region in the maritime sector.

    Erguven, in exclusive statements to the paper, claimed that the "TRNC's ports" are open not only for international trade but also for passenger transportation, alleging also that there are no obstacles for cruise lines under the international law.

    "Our ports have not been subjected to international embargoes; legal transportation is taking place in these ports. Our ports are included in international publications and are used as references in British Admiralty publications. Vessels from several countries are able to come to these ports. This is information that even high- rank officials do not know about and this is a tragedy []. Only the Greek Cypriot administration alleges that these ports are illegal. The Greek Cypriot side's lobbying efforts are directed towards preventing international vessels from carrying out activities in the TRNC's ports", Erguven further claimed.

    Meanwhile, the same paper reports that Bulut Akacan, "candidate deputy" with the National Unity Party (UBP) in separate statements to the paper, presenting the pre-election program of his party, stated that their main goal is to "integrate the TRNC with the international community".

    Akacan referred also to the "transferring of electricity from Turkey to the TRNC with underwater cables" and argued that the "implementation of the project" will be as beneficial as the "water transfer project".

    Referring to the so-called embargoes, Akacan claimed that there is no such a thing as "embargoes". "We have lobby activities and we carry out promotion activities", he argued.


    [04] Information about foreign workers in the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.12.17) reports that according to statistics gathered by economist Gorkem Celebioglu, there are 56,653 foreign workers who have a work permit in the breakaway regime. The paper notes that the number of foreign workers in Turkey, which has a population of 80 million, is only 64,426.

    The paper further reports that according to information by the "labor office" 2,224 "TRNC citizens" lost their jobs in 2016. During the same period the number of workers from third countries increased. In 2016, 3,111 persons from Pakistan worked in the "TRNC" while only 217 worked in Turkey during the same period, the paper notes.


    [05] Erdogan and May discussed Jerusalem over phone

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.12.17,, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May had a phone conversation late Monday, according to presidential sources.

    The two leaders discussed the recent developments on Jerusalem and bilateral relations, said the Turkish sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to media.

    Erdogan and May said the tensions that had arisen in the region after the U.S move on Jerusalem were worrisome. Erdogan and May emphasized that the two-state solution was the most rational path for the peace process. They also spoke about the U.S veto of the UN Security Council resolution that rejected the establishment of diplomatic facilities in the city of Jerusalem.

    They said new tensions that could put the peace process in the region at risk needed to be avoided, emphasizing the role of the international community.

    Erdogan and May also highlighted that the two countries were pleased with the improved cooperation between the U.K. and Turkey, especially in the defence industry.

    [06] Commentary: "Did Erdogan gain more than the Palestinians at the OIC summit?"

    Columnist Semih Idiz, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.12.17,, under the above title, wondered in the following commentary whether Erdogan gained more than the Palestinians at the OIC summit:

    "Time will tell if the Palestinians got anything concrete out of the extraordinary summit of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held in Istanbul on Dec. 13 following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call in his capacity as OIC term president.

    Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas seems happy enough with the results of the summit, which in its final communique also declared East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. This was what Turkey also wanted and pushed hard for, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that Washington would recognize Jerusalem as the undivided legal capital of Israel.

    However, Abbas must know that the OIC's recognition has no meaning until it can be translated into concrete actions that can counter Washington's Jerusalem decision.

    In the final analysis, the OIC only repeated the obvious, as there is not a single OIC member that has not accepted East Jerusalem as the de facto capital of Palestine, pending its de jure recognition following a settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute.

    Put another way, there is no Islamic country that will try to open an embassy in East Jerusalem to fulfil the ultimate implication of the OIC declaration. Looked at realistically, the OIC response to Trump's move was the minimum that could be achieved because none of its members, including Turkey, are prepared to impose sanctions on the U.S.

    OIC members could accept this declaration without any reservation because it places no burden on them, and does not force them into any new commitment.

    Regardless of what the Palestinians got, it is clear is that Erdogan got what he wanted out of the OIC summit. He is now using this to press ahead with his desire to become a pre-eminent Islamic leader pushing for the liberation of Jerusalem from Israeli occupation. In pursuing this mission he is also using his familiar rage and pouring vitriol on Israel.

    Of course, Erdogan cannot be too happy with the rebuke he got from Moscow after the OIC summit for calling Israel "a terrorist state," when Putin's spokesman said they did not agree with Ankara with regard to Israel.

    Nevertheless, he still managed to raise his profile among his domestic and international supporters in the region, at a time when he needs diversions to draw attention away from political and economic problems at home.

    Aware of this, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which also claims to be an avid supporter of the Palestinians, is challenging Erdogan to put his money where his mouth is by upgrading the level of the Turkish Consulate in East Jerusalem to full embassy status.

    Erdogan's rhetorical response is that this will be done once Jerusalem is no longer occupied. Even if he wanted, however, he could not do this today given that the consulate in question is part of Turkey's official diplomatic mission to Israel.

    Prior to the OIC summit Erdogan also suggested that Ankara could downgrade the status of its representation in Israel over Trump's declaration on Jerusalem. However, there are no indications at present suggesting he will do this.

    Erdogan has been down that road before and in the end was forced to normalize ties with Israel - due to a host of unavoidable considerations - without gaining much in return for the Palestinians. It seems he is not prepared to take that path again. He has instead opted to simply huff and puff against Israel, which seems good enough for his supporters, who are generally not prepared to question whatever Erdogan says or does.

    So the OIC summit appears to have served Erdogan's purpose for the moment. The Palestinians, on the other hand, will have to wait and see what concrete results they have actually gained from the summit, which Ankara has lauded as a historic turning point brought about by Turkey regarding the Jerusalem question."


    (DPs / PH)

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