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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-05-16

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 <>



  • [01] Eroglu speaks in a conference in Sakarya; defends Turkey's guarantees
  • [02] Eroglu: "TRNC is able to survive thanks to the support of motherland Turkey"
  • [03] Downer says if Cyprus is not reunified Turkey could never join the EU
  • [04] Cakici says the regime plans to give its "citizenship" to tens of thousands of persons
  • [05] Tatar invited Turkish Cypriot businessmen to export their products to third countries through Turkey
  • [06] Unal Ustel on the "TRNC" economy
  • [07] Bozer met with a delegation of the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh
  • [08] BKP leader met with a South Korean delegation in occupied Cyprus
  • [09] "Yachts set sail for the TRNC"
  • [10] Irsen Kucuk continues the illegal distribution of plots of land in the occupied area 11. A settlers "association" supports the creation of Imam Hatip schools in occupied Cyprus
  • [12] Beratli withdraws his candidacy for the CTP leadership
  • [13] Reactions to Esendemir's bomb attack; A suspect has been arrested
  • [14] Yeni Volkan alleges that the Greek Cypriot enclaved persons in Karpass peninsula owe to the regime money for electricity

  • [15] UN LDC-IV ends with Istanbul Action Plan
  • [16] "Thousands rally against web censorship in Turkey"
  • [17] MHP answers to threats against its leader
  • [18] Stefan Fule said Turkey must fulfill its commitments
  • [19] PACE Chief expresses support to Turkey's EU Bid
  • [20] "Turkic American Alliance opens new headquarters in Washington D.C."
  • [21] Turkey's jobless rate down to 11.5%


    Statements by Eroglu during his visit to Turkey, an interview by Alaxander Downer to Yeni Duzen, a statement by Mehmet Cakici that the regime is preparing to grant its "citizenship" to tens of thousands of persons, the visit of self-styled ministers Tatar and Atun to Turkey to participate in the opening ceremony of a Turkish Cypriot store in Mersin, and other internal issues are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend.

    The papers refer also to the announcement of the targets of the regime in the field of tourism for 2011 and the first six months of 2012, a visit by a delegation of businesswomen from Bangladesh to the occupied area of Cyprus, developments on the issue of the bomb attack against journalist Mutlu Esendemir, and the celebrations on the occasion of 19th May, National Day of Youth and Sports in Turkey.

    [01] Eroglu speaks in a conference in Sakarya; defends Turkey's guarantees

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (13.05.11, online) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu delivered a speech at a conference titled the "Cyprus Peace Operation with Cypriot War Veterans" at the Sakarya University, organized by the University and the Turkish War Veterans Association.

    Addressing the conference, Eroglu said that the Turkish side wanted the continuation of Turkey's active and effective guarantees in Cyprus and a new partnership that is based on the existing realities on the island. He stated again that the continuation of Turkey's active and effective guarantees in Cyprus is a red line for the Turkish Cypriots, and said that everyone is aware of Cyprus's strategic importance for the region.

    "Our aim is to create a new partnership based on a bizonal, bicommunal, political equal founding states in Cyprus" supported Eroglu who also met with the Sakarya Governor Mustafa Buyuk and with the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality Zeki Tocoglu.

    Bayrak also reports (14.05.11, online) that Eroglu, speaking to the press during his contacts in Sakarya, noted that the Turkish side's proposal for a time limit to the Cyprus negotiations will be put to the agenda of the tripartite meeting to be held in Geneva on the 4th of July. Eroglu reiterated that everyone will go on their way unless a solution is reached during that time limit. He also stated that it will be clear in the course of time whether the UN mission will continue or not in case of a failure to reach a solution in Cyprus.

    [02] Eroglu: "TRNC is able to survive thanks to the support of motherland Turkey"

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (15.05.11, online) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, addressed a "TRNC promotional night" at Turkan Saylan Cultural Center in Maltepe Municipality, Istanbul. Eroglu said that this event allowed the "TRNC" and Turkey to embrace one another and reminded that the "Cyprus Turkish people" had spent a lifetime trying to unite with their brothers.

    "We were able to unite with our brothers on the 20th of July 1974 and with the support of motherland Turkey we have reached where we are today", claimed Eroglu and reminded that the Cyprus cause was a national cause for Turkey since 1955 and Turkey has been meticulously working on it ever since.

    Furthermore Eroglu claimed: "At the end of many years of struggle a state was established by the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus. [?] We are working towards overcoming the problems being experienced by the state. [?] We were able to survive, despite the imposed embargoes, thanks to the support given by Turkey."

    Eroglu also highlighted that the promises given by the EU regarding the "embargoes" had not been kept and accused the EU that trying to impose an additional protocol in Cyprus is nothing more than a double standard.

    He continued to explain that the "TRNC" and Turkey were in solidarity and searching for a solution that would protect the rights and interests of Turkey and the "TRNC". Eroglu concluded his speech by pointing to the importance of Turkey declaring 2011 as the year of "North Cyprus tourism".

    Moreover, Eroglu upon his return to the occupied area claimed, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (16.05.11), that such visits and conferences are important because they can isolate the different voices that appear from time to time and the "Turkish Cypriot voice" to be heard in Turkey

    [03] Downer says if Cyprus is not reunified Turkey could never join the EU

    Under the title "Alexander Downer: If the Cyprus problem is not solved, Turkey could never become member of the EU", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (15.05.11) reports that Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor for Cyprus, has said that Turkey could not become a member of the European Union (EU), if Cyprus is not reunified through a bi-zonal bi-communal federation.

    In an exclusive interview with Yeni Duzen, Downer noted that a solution in Cyprus could be "a development which will guarantee Turkey's accession into the EU". Noting that Cyprus is an extremely big obstacle in Turkey's accession into the EU, Downer said a solution on the island would be very helpful in the relations between Turkey and Greece and the stability in Eastern Mediterranean.

    Referring to the tripartite meeting to be held in July between the Cypriot leaders and the UN Secretary-General, Downer said their view (UN's view) is that this meeting should be really substantive. He noted that the meeting will not be held in order for the UN Secretary-General "to take inventory", adding that this is a meeting held for "strengthening the process" on concrete points. He said the expectation of the UN is for a momentum to be created for the intensification of the process in the remaining period of this year.

    Downer argued that the elections are "one of the factors which bring this process closer to an end". "We expect the sides to come with a methodology and a plan which will conclude these negotiations", said Downer expressing the hope that the sides will be able to do this.

    Downer said the sides might have different opinions and dreams, but the choices in Cyprus are limited. He recalled that the UN Secretary-General had stated that reconciliation should be reached in Cyprus and added that Cyprus could be unified only through a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation on the basis of political equality and a single international identity. "I think that the leaders understand this", he noted.

    Asked whether the UN has a definite timetable regarding the negotiations, Downer said they do not set a definite timetable, but they say that the momentum should not be lost. "If we could not reach a federal solution, the momentum will be lost", he argued. Downer referred to the interruption of the talks because of the "elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus and the change in the Turkish Cypriot leadership with Eroglu's win. He said parliamentary elections will also be held in the government-controlled areas of Cyprus and Turkey and added that the Cyprus presidency of the EU Council and the presidential elections in the government-controlled area will follow. All these, he added, makes holding in-depth negotiations difficult.

    Asked whether the UN is determined to carry out this process until the end, Downer pointed out that the UN will continue encouraging the sides to reach an agreement, but it is obvious that the international organization does not deal with this problem only, as there are many problems in the world. He noted that Cyprus is not the only important problem in the world and that there are other important problems. He said the Cypriots should solve their problem and if they could not do this, the international community will focus on other problems in the world.

    Responding to a question on a possible international conference regarding the Cyprus problem, Downer said an international conference might be held in the end of the process for the discussion of the international aspects of the problem. He noted that this conference might give acceleration to the process, but this is something which will happen in the end.


    [04] Cakici says the regime plans to give its "citizenship" to tens of thousands of persons

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (14.05.11) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has stated that the "government" of the breakaway regime is carrying out "legal" preparations for granting its 'citizenship" to tens of thousands of persons. In statements on Friday during a meeting with the "Lefkosia Mukhtars' Association", Cakici reiterated that in case this happens, his party will take the issue to international courts.

    He said he submitted a question twice at the "assembly" on the issue of the "citizenship", but he did not receive any satisfactory answers. He noted that he demanded the names of those who have been granted the "citizenship" during the last six years, because bogus marriages are conducted only due to the fact that some people want to take the "citizenship" of the regime.

    Cakici said 6.000 persons were granted the "citizenship" through marriage during the past 5-6 years and asked for the help of the "mukhtars" to find out which of these marriages are bogus.

    Cakici noted that the "government" hides the names of those who became "citizens" of the regime and plans to give the "citizenship" to tens of thousands of people under the new "law". Arguing that this would be a planned transfer of population, Cakici said his party does opposes the granting of the "citizenship" to some persons through marriage, but it opposes the bogus marriages and granting the "citizenship" to persons who are not married. Cakici said they will carry the issue of the planned transfer of population to international platforms and courts. He noted that they will do it for the first time as a party represented in the "assembly".


    [05] Tatar invited Turkish Cypriot businessmen to export their products to third countries through Turkey

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.05.11), self-styled minister of finance Ersin Tatar, self-styled minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun with the Turkish State Minister Zager Caglayan inaugurated yesterday the opening of a new store named "6A furniture" in Mersin, Turkey. The store is owned by a Turkish Cypriot businessman.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony, Atun noted that "with such steps, they will try to break down the unjust isolation". He also said that this step is an important step for the foreign trade of the breakaway regime.

    During his contacts in Adana with businessmen and industrialists, Tatar invited them to cooperate with Turkish Cypriot businessmen and to export the products of the breakaway regime to Turkey and then to third countries through Turkey.

    [06] Unal Ustel on the "TRNC" economy

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (16.05.11) reports on statements by self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture Unal Ustel who announced the prestige projects and the short, medium and long-term targets of the so-called ministry of tourism for 2011 as well as for the first six months of 2012.

    Speaking during a press conference in occupied Lefkosia, Ustel stated that the tourism income during the previous year was 386 million dollars adding that for this year their expectation is to reach 420 million dollars. "Our biggest will is to increase the tourism income so that to create a source that will be a remedy for our economic difficulties", Ustel said.

    Referring to the promotion of the occupied areas abroad, Ustel said that they started promoting the "TRNC" in Turkey and the UK with the aim to attract more tourism especially from Turkey since the tourism from Turkey show a reduction during the last years.

    Ustel expressed also his disappointment for the fact that the "KKHY" did not launched flights yet; however, he said that this will not have a big reflection on tourism since more that 600 charter flights from 13 different countries are to be landed in the "TRNC".

    Explaining the projects which are under preparation and the restorations they are planning to make in the future, Ustel, inter alia, referred to the project for the restoration of the train station building in occupied Morfou and to the construction of a museum department in the interior of the Kantara castle.


    [07] Bozer met with a delegation of the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (13.05.11) reported that a delegation from the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh is holding contacts in the "TRNC". Within the framework of their contacts on the island they paid a visit to the "speaker of parliament" Hasan Bozer.

    Speaking during the visit, the head of the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh Fatema Nasreen Awal Mintoo pointed to the importance of developing the relationship between the two Muslim "countries" and promised that she will start initiatives when she returns to her country.

    Hasan Bozer for his part pointed to the importance of Bangladesh for Turkey and the "TRNC" and expressed the hope that the relationship between Bangladesh and the "TRNC" will develop even further with this visit.

    [08] BKP leader met with a South Korean delegation in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.05.11) reported that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), met with a delegation of the "Korea 21st Century Research Institute" that is affiliated with the South Korea Democratic Labour Party. As the paper reports, the Korean delegation is in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus for contacts.

    Speaking to reporters, Izcan said that one of BKP's biggest targets is to create good relations with foreign countries. Referring to the similarities between South Korea and the occupation regime, Izcan said that the international solidarity is very important for peace, noting that the mutual assistance between countries that experience similar problems is inevitable.

    [09] "Yachts set sail for the TRNC"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot weekly newspaper Cyprus Today (14.05.11 in English) writes the following: "Fifty eight yachts will sail to the TRNC on Friday for the 23rd Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally (Emyr).

    And this year there will be some new items on the itinerary, with a cocktail party to be hosted at the Girne [occupied Keryneia] American University-owned Camelot Beach.

    The rally will also call at the new Karpaz Gate Marina, at Yeni Erenkoy,[occupied Kokkina] where an evening reception will be given for the 186 yachtsmen of 15 nationalities, including British, German, French, Turkish, Belgian and Israeli.

    The Emyr's TRNC representative, Altan Houssein, said: 'This is a very important event for the TRNC and its recognition ? the worldwide yachting world is a small community and this event will show that North Cyprus exists and is open to yachtsmen. It will also help the economy of the country. We are very excited that the rally will encompass a total of 146 miles and 21 ports in five countries.'

    Mr Houssein said there were no problems this year with mooring the boats at the Delta Marina and the New Harbour, after lack of space last year threatened to take Girne [occupied Keryneia] off the rally route.

    'But we would have appreciated a little more attention from the public works and transportation ministry for this important event,' he commented.

    The rally begun in Istanbul on April 22, and has passed through several Turkish ports before heading for North Cyprus.

    The yachts are due to leave the Karpaz [occupied Karpassia] on May 26 bound for Lebanon, Israel and Egypt, but a planned stop at Lattakia, Syria, has been cancelled because of unrest in the country.

    Mr Houssein said: 'There are no problems in Israel or Egypt. All ports are open and without any problems.'"

    [10] Irsen Kucuk continues the illegal distribution of plots of land in the occupied area Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi Vatan (16.05.11), under the title "55 rural plots of land in Agios Georgios Spatharikon were given to youngsters" reported that during a special ceremony organized in Agios Georgios Sport Club in occupied Agios Georgios Spatharikon in occupied Trikomo village, the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk has distributed to youngsters "title deeds" for 55 rural plots of land.

    As the paper writes, at the ceremony, the so-called minister of interior and local administrations Nazim Cavusoglu as well as the "mayor" of occupied Trikomo, Halil Orun and other Turkish Cypriot "officials" participated.

    In his statements during the ceremony, Kucuk said that a total of 55 "title deeds" were distributed to youngsters in the framework of the "national implementation" followed by the "UBP government" to help youngsters for their settling down.


    [11] A settlers "association" supports the creation of Imam Hatip schools in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (14.05.11) reported that the "Culture and Solidarity Association of the people from Konya" extended its support to the statements of the "chairman" of the so-called department of religious affairs Talip Atalay, on "the creation of religious vocational schools (Imam Hatip) and theology faculties" in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Issuing a written statement, the "association's" general secretary Fazli Asci noted that the majority of the "population" in the occupied area is Muslim. He went on and condemned those who consider as a "malevolent intention" the demand, regarding those who give religious education in schools and mosques, to become citizens of the breakaway regime and having their education in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    [12] Beratli withdraws his candidacy for the CTP leadership

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (14.05.11) reported that Nazim Beratli, one of the five candidates for the leadership of the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) to be elected during the party's general assembly on June 5, withdrew his candidacy. As Beratli, inter alia, stated, there was not any quarrel or argument, noting that he withdrew because he believes that an election process with five candidates will not result to a powerful president. "And the election of a non-powerful president means the postponement of the problems existing inside the party for another two years," Beratli noted. He also added that during the election, he will support the candidate that "is closer to the change", without referring to any name.

    With Beratli's withdrawal, the four remaining candidates for the upcoming party elections are Omer Kalyoncu, Kutlay Erk, Ozkan Yorgancioglu and Mehmet Caglar.

    [13] Reactions to Esendemir's bomb attack; A suspect has been arrested

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (14.05.11) reported on the reactions after the bomb attack, suffered for the second time, the journalist Mutlu Esendemir, editor-in-chief of Kanal T television.

    Issuing a written statement, the chairman of the "Foreign Press Association" Fevzi Tanpinar, strongly condemned the attack against Esendemir, who is a member of the "association", and noted that they could not hide their surprise for the event that took place for the second time.

    In addition, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot "Journalists Association" Cenk Mutluyakali, noted that they watched the attacked suffered by Esendemir with sorrow and worry. Condemning the event, he also called on all the "competed authorities" to investigate the issue very careful.

    On his part, the general secretary of the "Civil Servants" Trade Union (Memur-Sen) Mehmet Mutlu, said that above all, unity, cooperation and tranquillity is needed.

    Meanwhile, the paper reports that Bulent Attar has been arrested as a suspect for the bomb attack.

    [14] Yeni Volkan alleges that the Greek Cypriot enclaved persons in Karpass peninsula owe to the regime money for electricity

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan (14.05.11) reports that the chairman of the "Electricity Authority Employees' Trade Union" ("EL-SEN") Tuluy Kalyoncu claimed that the Greek Cypriot enclaved persons in occupied Karpass peninsula owe to the regime seven trillion and 134 billion Turkish liras for the electricity they use. He alleged that the politicians prevent the "Electricity Authority" (KIB-TEK) from cutting the electricity supply to the enclaved Greek Cypriots. He wondered when the self-styled minister will order the electricity supply to the enclaved Greek Cypriots to stop.

    "The Greek Cypriots in Karpass use electricity for free and the TRNC citizens pay the money. What kind of a job is this", wonders Yeni Volkan.



    Protests in Ankara and Istanbul by thousands of people against a decision of the Information & Communication Technologies Authority (BTK), the rallies by the political parties on the upcoming general elections, Azerbaijan winning the Eurovision song contest, tension in south-eastern Turkey due the killing of 12 PKK militants, statements by Erdogan on violence in Syria, Stefan Fule's interview in Milliyet on Turkey's EU membership, and other domestic issues are covered in the Turkish press over the weekend.

    [15] UN LDC-IV ends with Istanbul Action Plan

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (13.05.11) reports from Ankara that the Istanbul Action Plan, providing a road map for the least developed countries in the next 10 years, was made public on Friday at the end of the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) in Istanbul.

    The 50-page document, which is titled "Action Plan for the Least Developed Countries in the Term 2011-2020" encompasses problems experienced by the least developed countries and offers advices in order to deal with such problems. The Istanbul Action Plan also evaluated the Brussels Action Plan which had drawn a road map for the past 10 years, saying that "while the Brussels Action Plan made positive contributions to the least developed countries, many of the plan's stated goals were not reached".

    The Istanbul Action Plan aims to reduce the number of 48 least developed countries by half by the year 2020.

    The Istanbul Action Plan listed certain areas with priority as follows:

    -Development of infrastructure, energy, science-technology, private sector under the heading "Production capacity"

    -Development of agriculture, food security and rural areas



    -Education, population and basic health, development of youth, preservation, water and irrigation, equality of women and men, strengthening women and social security

    -Economic shocks, climate change, environmental sustainability, reducing risks during natural disasters

    -Using local resources, official assistance for development, foreign debt, direct international investment, donations

    [16] "Thousands rally against web censorship in Turkey"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review (15.05.11, online) reports that thousands of people gathered on Sunday in central Istanbul to protest the government's plan to implement an Internet-filtering system in August. Carrying posters reading "Free banned links now" and "Hands off our Internet," the crowd expressed its objection and held sit-down strikes during their two-hour march.

    The government has said the filtering system will offer users the option of choosing between varying levels of access to the Internet with the main goal being to protect children from indecent content. Critics, however, have expressed doubt about the government's intentions.

    The group included writers from "Eksi sozluk" (Sour Dictionary) electronic platform. They said the Prime Ministry's Information Technologies Board, or BTK, plans to restrict people's right to reach unbiased information with the online-filtering system. "For families who want to protect their children, there are plenty of filtering systems that are presently provided free of charge. Therefore we are against this system's compulsory application. We do not want filtering systems tracing people 24 hours a week," said one protester.

    Internet users who were previously accessing forbidden websites through altering their DNS measures will no longer reach those sites under the new regulation, said Ece Ozturk, an "Eksi Sozluk" writer, saying that people will not have a chance to know which websites are censored in the four packages: standard, family, children and domestic. "Every user will be given a username when choosing one of those packages. However, as we do not know what is censored, we will be penalized," said Ozturk.

    On the other hand, some protesters said people should have the freedom to decide what is harmful for them and this application does not have any difference from wiretapping. "There are so many forbidden websites that people enter by pretending as if they were connecting from abroad. People's freedom of choice will be lost. This will resemble wiretapping because people's every move will be traced," said another protester.

    People have protested against the Internet-filtering system by marching in more than 40 Turkish provinces across the country. However, the turn out in Ankara and other locations was quite low.

    [17] MHP answers to threats against its leader

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (15.05.11, online) reports that a group that has published sex videos which have led to the resignation of senior politicians from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is now threatening to release more tapes if the party's leader does not resign.

    The group, which calls itself "Farkli Ulkuculuk" (Different Nationalism), said in a letter published on its website that MHP leader Devlet Bahceli has until 10 a.m. on May 18 to resign. "We are giving you a final warning. We do not want to release tapes that we have in our possession," the letter said, warning that the videos released so far are only "the tip of the iceberg."

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.05.11, online) reports that MHP has sent an open letter to all nationalist groups in Turkey, calling on them not to fall into the ruling party's trap. "The evil axis has taken the support of foreign forces. Their target is the MHP," read the letter announced by deputy leader Semih Yal?1n on Sunday.

    [18] Stefan Fule said Turkey must fulfil its commitments

    In an exclusive interview with daily Turkish daily Milliyet (14.05.11), EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule has urged Turkey to add fresh momentum to its accession talks, noting  Do not sacrifice EU membership bid to the election campaign".

    Noting that Turkey must fulfil its commitments, Stefan Fule said: "The rules of the game are pretty clear. Turkey has made some commitments and it is up to Ankara to take certain steps to make headway." Fule said Turkey has a number of options to make progress in its membership talks, citing the Ankara Protocol as one of those options. "The moment Turkey begins implementing the Additional Protocol, the eight suspended negotiation chapters will be opened," he said.

    [19] PACE Chief expresses support to Turkey's EU Bid

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.05.11) reported that the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Mevlut Cavusoglu stated in a press conference in Turkey's Mediterranean province of Antalya on Friday that Turkey would shoulder the burden of the European Union (EU) when it becomes a full member.

    Cavusoglu said that Turkey believed in and contributed to Europe and European goals, and would continue to contribute to Europe and its institutions in the following years. "Turkey will not be a burden on the EU when it becomes a member, but instead it will shoulder the union's burden and will contribute to the EU in every sense".

    The Bureau of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities met in Antalya within the framework of the Turkish chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (COE).

    Cavusoglu said that Turkey is much stronger in the COE today than ever, and Turkey had become an esteemed country thanks to its reforms, and thus had taken its place in all COE institutions.

    Moreover, Keith Whitmore, President of the Congress, said that Turkey is a bridge connecting Asia and Europe to each other, and Turkey had a significant role in initiatives to be launched by COE member countries and by the EU in the transformation process in African countries.

    The Bureau of the Congress is responsible for preparing proposals relating to general policy, the budget and election observation missions.

    In their Antalya meeting, the members of the Bureau will examine in particular cooperation with the intergovernmental sector, as well as local and regional elections in Albania and Moldova. The agenda of the meeting also includes discussions on the Council of Europe's Neighbourhood Policy, the Congress' Budget, the report of the Group of Eminent Persons and the preparation of the Congress' 1st Statutory Forum in June.

    [20] "Turkic American Alliance opens new headquarters in Washington D.C."

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (12.05.11, online) reports that the Turkic American Alliance (TAA), a leading Turkish-American organization, opened new headquarters last week in Washington, D.C. Turkey's Ambassador to the US Namik Tan, California Congressman Bob Filner, Ohio Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, and Indiana Congressman Todd Rokita attended the opening ceremony. Among the participants were also the Ambassadors of Kyrgyzstan and Malta to the US as well as Turkish artists and intellectuals.

    The TAA represents more than 200 institutions, including cultural associations, entrepreneur unions and private schools. The new central office of the TAA in Washington, D.C., also includes multi-purpose conference halls.

    [21] Turkey's jobless rate down to 11.5%

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (16.05.11, online) reports from Ankara that Turkey's statistics authority (TurkStat) made public the results of a household labour force survey for February 2011 on Monday. The authority said that Turkey's jobless rate decreased by 2.9 points to 11.5% in February 2011 compared to the same month of 2010. Jobless rate was 14.4% in February 2010.

    TurkStat also announced that the unemployed population in the country dropped to 2.964.000 in February, as the number of the employed rose to 22.802.000. The institution said that the non-agricultural jobless rate was 14.2% while youth unemployment stood at 20.6%.

    Moreover, the consumer confidence index in Turkey was up in April by 0.03% to 93.46 points over the previous month, showed a survey jointly conducted by TurkStat and the Turkish Central Bank. The index indicates an optimistic outlook when it is above 100. It gives a pessimistic outlook when it is below 100 and refers to neither optimistic nor pessimistic outlook when it is equal to 100. The confidence index was 93.43 points in March.The increase in the consumer confidence index stemmed from the improvements in consumers' assessments concerning their purchasing power in the next and present period, as well as the general economic situation, TurkStat said. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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