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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-12-20
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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
CONTENTSNo. 246/17 20.12.17
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Denktas: "They will buy votes again"; "The population will become 350 thousand"Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (20.12.17) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), has argued that he knows a party, which is preparing to buy "votes" for the forthcoming "parliamentary elections". In an interview with a group of Yeni Duzen's reporters, Denktas said that he will become a candidate in the next "presidential elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus and that the National Unity Party (UBP), the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Democratic Party (DP) will be the three biggest parties after the "parliamentary elections" of 7 January 2018. Noting that these three parties will have the "seats in the assembly" to form a "coalition government", Denktas argued that the possible "coalitions" are: UBP-CTP, UBP-DP or CTP-DP. He also said:
"[…] We also have public opinion polls. The People's Party (HP) is facing a problem with the election threshold. The Revival Party (YDP) will not even come close to the threshold. […]"
Moreover, Denktas was asked whether the reestablishment of the YDP with persons who had been members of DP and the establishment of the HP by Ozersay who had been a member of late Rauf Denktas' team, was a plan by some circles to redesign Turkish Cypriot politics. He replied "yes" and alleged: "However, before we thought that Turkey did this, but now I do not think the same thing. […] You said that the HP is going up, but actually it is going down. Since Ahmet Davutoglu [Turkish former Foreign Minister] was removed, Kudret Ozersay is going down". Asked whether "Kudret Ozersay was a project of Ahmet Davutoglu", Denktas claimed: "Yes. Their program was prepared in Ankara. We heard this from friends that were among them. It was not the first time that these projects were prepared. […]".
Asked whether Turkey interferes in these "elections", Denktas argued: "I did not see such a thing. They are focused on the 2019 [Translator's note: The presidential elections in Turkey]. Therefore, until now I have not felt such a thing".
Responding to a question as to whether the "exceptional citizenship" practice implemented by the breakaway regime's "government" was "ethical", Denktas said that the majority of the persons who had been granted "citizenship" were individuals to whom he as "minister" wanted to grant such a "right". "These children grew up with my children", he added and argued: "According to data of the supreme election council, the population is 230 thousand. This number will become 350 thousand. We need population in order for the machine of the economy to work. It is not possible for us to stand on our own feet with a small population. There is a need for permanent citizenships here. […]"
 "A total 190,551 are the eligible voters for the upcoming election" in the occupied area of CyprusAccording to illegal Bayrak television (20.12.17, http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=hec-announces-number-of-eligible-voters), "a total of 190,551 people will be able to vote in next month's general election, on Sunday, the 7th of January according to the TRNC High Electoral Council.
The latest figures were released following the completion of the mandatory 7 day waiting period for applications and objections to voting lists
According to information given to the TAK news agency, the distribution of voters according to districts is as follows. 61,062 people in Lefkosa (occupied part of Nicosia), 48,380 in Gazimagusa (occupied region of Famagusta), 39,784 in Girne (occupied region of Keryneia), 14,841 in Guzelyurt (occupied region of Morphou), 19,775 in Iskele (occupied region of Trikomo) and 6,709 in Lefke (occupied region of Lefka).
Previously the number of voters had been announced as 188,688 but the figure was raised by 1883 voters to 190,551 following objections filed during the waiting period."
 A new "survey" presents the UBP a distance ahead from the other parties; Only four parties will achieve "entering the parliament"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (20.12.17) reports on the results of a new "survey" conducted in the occupied area of Cyprus prior to the forthcoming "snap elections" which are scheduled to take place on January 7.
The survey was conducted by AKSEM ("Academic Centre for Continuing Education") with a sample of 774 persons and the method of face-face interview.
According to the survey, its seems that four parties, the National Unity Party (UBP), the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) the Democratic Party (DP) and the Communal Liberation Party- New Forces (TKP-YG) will certainly "enter the assembly".
According to the survey, the parties will receive the following percentages:
- UBP (National Unity Party) 33.04%%, CTP (Republican Turkish Party) 25.3%, TKP-YG (Communal Liberation Party-New Forces) 13.7%, Democratic Party (DP) 10.4%.
Also, according to the results of the survey, the other parties will receive the following percentages:
- YDP (Revival Party) 6.3%
- TDP (Social Democracy Party) 4.8%
- HP (People's Party) 5.1%
Meanwhile, comparing with the results of a previous survey, it seems that UBP, CTP, DP, TKP-YG and YDP increased their percentages while on the other hand it is a remarkable fact that the HP's percentages present a decrease of over 50% of its power, something that creates worries whether the party will be able to overcome the electoral threshold of 5% and enter the "parliament".
Also, according to the survey, taking into account a percentage of 23.1% which are still undecided, the "distribution of seats in the TRNC's parliament" will be formed as follows:
 "Religious Vocational School" to be constructed in occupied KeryneiaUnder the title: "Imam Hatip (Tr. Note: Religious Vocational School) at the heart of Keryneia", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (20.12.17) reports that the administration of EFKAV decided to offer for rent to the "Education Foundation of Turkey", a 70-donum area, between the occupied villages of Kazafani and Bellapais for the construction of an Imam Hatip lyceum.
EVKAF asks only for a 1000 Sterling Pounds per year as rent, writes the paper, noting that the decision has not yet been summited to the "council of ministers for approval".
The "Education Foundation of Turkey" was established with the aim of taking over the school established by the now terrorist FETO organization. The "Foundation" recently spent a lot of time trying to have some student dorms that belonged to FETO be transferred to it.
The "Education Foundation of Turkey" which came to occupied Cyprus with the help of EFKAV's "director" Ibrahim Benter soon aims to open schools that will provide religious education to the areas of occupied Keryneia and Trikomo.
 30 more were arrested in two different operations in Agri and the occupied area of Cyprus for allegedly having links with FETOTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (20.12.17) reports that as part of two operations conducted simultaneously in 20 provinces of Turkey (in Agri) and also in the "TRNC", 30 more commissioned officers were arrested for allegedly having links with the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETO).
Within the framework of the operation, two more persons are wanted by the police.
 Five new projects with EU aid were announcedTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.12.17) reports that the European Commission has announced five new projects which will be materialized with EU aid in the occupied area of Cyprus for supporting the local communities. The total of 2,6 million euro will be granted for these projects, which were presented yesterday.
A project in occupied Nicosia will be focused on domestic violence within the family and provide support to women who are victims of such behavior. The majority of the projects will be focused on the improvement of the services provided for the administration of solid waste. A solid waste transfer station will be built in occupied Keryneia area and a green waste composting installation in occupied Lapithos. Projects in occupied Agios Epiktitos and Dikomo will concern improvement of the environmental administration.
 US Embassy: January 2019 is earliest visa appointment date for Turkish citizensAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.12.17, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/january-2019-is-earliest-visa-appointment-date-for-turkish-citizens-us-embassy-124384), the U.S. Embassy in Turkey on Dec. 19 announced that the earliest date for visa appointments regarding non-immigrant applicants in its diplomatic missions in the country is January 2019, following a diplomatic spat that prompted the two NATO allies to mutually suspend granting visas. "In spite of long wait times, the U.S. Mission to Turkey continues to process non-immigrant visas. Appointments are available for January 2019, and applicants can as always choose to apply outside of Turkey," the Embassy stated on its Twitter account.
"#USVisa appointments are still limited, but we are prioritizing F, J, M, and petition-based work categories as well as applicants with medical and business travel," it added.
A U.S. Embassy official told the Hurriyet Daily News that visa appointments for student travel or urgent medical reasons are exceptions to this framework and will be prioritized.
 Erdogan repeats call for defending Jerusalem's status; Cavusoglu travels to attend UN's Jerusalem meetingAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.12.17), Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday renewed his call on UN member nations to back the status of the contested city Jerusalem. "I invite once again all UN member nations to defend the historical status of Jerusalem", Erdogan said during a joint news conference with his Djiboutian counterpart Ismail Omar Guelleh in Ankara and added: "We, as Turkey, will continue to follow this issue till the end".
On Monday, the U.S. vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that rejected the establishment of diplomatic facilities in the contested city of Jerusalem, breaking with the rest of the council.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (20.12.17, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2017/12/20/fm-cavusoglu-travels-to-us-to-attend-uns-jerusalem-meeting) reports that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will travel to the United States to participate in the planned United Nations General Assembly vote on Jerusalem on Thursday.
Foreign ministry sources said that Cavusoglu, who is currently attending a tripartite meeting with his Iranian and Azerbaijani counterparts in Baku, was planning to start his U.S. journey from Istanbul.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki will also be joining Cavusoglu, local media reported.
Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kal?n also said Tuesday that Turkey would resume intense efforts until Thursday for the Jerusalem decision to be accepted at the U.N. General Assembly. "In the case of a two-thirds majority, and we think with great probability that this majority will be formed, it will be confirmed in the U.N. that the Jerusalem decision by the Trump administration is unlawful," he said.
 Commentary: "How long can the AKP-MHP alliance last?"Columnist Serkan Demirtas, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.12.17, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/serkan-demirtas/how-long-can-the-akp-mhp-alliance-last-124412), under the above title, analyses in the following commentary the delicate coalition of Bahceli with Erdogan and how long this may continue:
"On April 16, a narrow win in a key referendum allowed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to overhaul the Turkish governance system into an executive-presidency model.
The AKP's main ally both during the parliamentary voting process and in the referendum was the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The AKP-MHP alliance is still in place, with MHP leader Devlet Bahceli becoming even more vocal in defending Erdogan than many AKP officials on certain issues.
Bahceli announced his support to the AKP's efforts to amend the country's constitution on Nov. 11, 2016, nearly three months after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. His argument was that the coup had proved the need for a stronger system to avoid future coup attempts or interventions.
However, many in Ankara had believed that Bahceli's main objectives were to save his MHP in future elections, as the vote of the MHP is in constant decline, to secure his kingmaker role and perhaps to be appointed as vice president after the next presidential elections, if Erdogan wins.
In this regard, an ongoing discussion behind closed doors in Ankara gains importance. The government needs to amend two key laws, the Election Code and the Political Parties Code, in line with the constitutional amendments to increase the number of MPs from the current 550 to 600 and lower the candidacy age to 18.
In a statement in early November, Bahceli said the current 10% electoral threshold was too high for the Turkish democratic system and needs to be reduced to a reasonable level. It was quite surprising to hear this particularly from Bahceli, who was a staunch defender of this threshold in order to keep Kurdish political parties out of parliament.
Two things seemingly prompted this change on Bahceli's side: First, the fact that his MHP risks remaining under the threshold, and second, the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) will have no difficulty in entering parliament in the next elections.
But Bahceli was not given the green light from the AKP on lowering the threshold. Instead, he was offered a change in the Political Parties Code so that pre-election alliances would be allowed. The MHP leader expressed his openness in negotiating the modalities of such an alliance with the AKP, but detailed studies conducted at the AKP headquarters have proven that pre-election alliances would work more to the advantage of opposition groups than the AKP-MHP coalition.
The reason for this argument is that such permission will allow small parties, like the Felicity Party (SP) and the Great Union Party (BBP), to join larger opposition parties, eventually increasing the number of seats they would get in parliament. Given the "No" bloc in the April referendum gathered 48.6% of the votes, pre-election alliance will allow opposition groups to consolidate even more.
Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m said on Dec. 18 that all these laws need to be amended by the end of March 2018, signalling that there will still be some time to draft them through consultations with the MHP.
The result of these works will surely say a lot about what one should expect about the sustainability of the AKP-MHP coalition. The April referendum indicated that MHP voters are no longer following the party leadership line on crucial issues. A similar reaction can also be seen during the presidential elections in which Erdogan must secure at least 50% plus one vote.
So, this delicate situation might prompt questions on how long a coalition with Bahceli would continue. As there are still two years ahead of the elections – if no early elections are held – will Erdogan re-think of abandoning his partnership with the MHP and instead adopt a new chapter in ties with the Kurds?
It's too early to find solid answers to these questions but political developments in the first quarter of 2018 will give strong projections."
 Tourism Minister: "Turkey's tourism revenue to reach $26 billion in 2017"According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.12.17, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-tourism-revenue-to-reach-26-billion-in-2017-minister-124394), Turkey expects 31.4 million tourists to visit the country this year and tourism revenues to reach $26 billion, Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Dec. 19.
Turkey also forecasts over 35 million arrivals in 2018, the Minister told Turkish broadcaster AHaber. He also said that tourism incentives would be offered on a 12-month basis rather than on a seasonal basis.
Amid a series of terror attacks, a failed coup attempt and a diplomatic crisis with Russia, the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey dropped to 25.3 million in 2016, down from 36.2 million in the previous year. Nearly 36.8 million foreigners visited Turkey in 2014.
Negative events slashed Turkey's tourism revenue in 2016 to $22.11 billion, down from $31.46 billion in 2015.
Turkey has seen a strong rebound in Russian arrivals as its bilateral ties with Russia has been normalizing.
More than 4.5 million Russians visited Turkey in the first 10 months of the year, marking a 496 percent year-on-year increase, a factor which will be key in giving a boost to Turkey's tourism revenue.
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