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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-05-17

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. 92/13 17/05/13

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Reference by Erdogan to Cyprus at Obama's presence
  • [02] Syria crisis dominated Erdogan-Obama meeting; statements by Erdogan and Obama in a joint press conference
  • [03] Turkey and the US agreed to create a high-level committee to liberalize trade between them
  • [04] US official: "No doubt about Turkey's gold trade with Iran"; He warned that US will impose sanctions
  • [05] Turkey's Energy Minister carried out contacts in the USA; he met with his US counterpart
  • [06] Cicek met with Schulz in Brussels; he demanded the representation of the occupation regime in the EP and called the occupation regime as an ajar prison
  • [07] Swoboda proposed a package deal to revitalize Turkey-EU accession talks; he proposed the opening up of Varoshia by Turkey and in return the occupation regime to have direct trade with the EU
  • [08] Kucuk alleges that "the rules of the game should change" in Cyprus
  • [09] Ozgurgun evaluates Kucuk's contacts in the US; He stated that the occupation regime has 22 "representation offices" abroad
  • [10] Turkey's Development Minister: "Turkey to be a member of IMF's executive board"
  • [11] "US support to Turkish positions"
  • [12] US Ambassador Koenig gave a lecture on the "US policy in the Eastern Mediterranean"
  • [13] A cooperation protocol between the "municipality" of occupied Keryneia with the municipality of the 4th district of Bucharest
  • [14] Ozyigit accused of the occupation regime that needs the approval of the AKP for any appointments
  • [15] The so-called TRNC assembly will attend the Crans Montana Forum in Azerbaijan
  • [16] CTP's congress postponed for 7 July; Two candidates for the leadership
  • [17] CTP, TDP, DP and Ahmet Kasif discuss submitting a "motion of censure" against UBP "government"
  • [18] Moody's raised Turkey's credit rating to investment grade

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Reference by Erdogan to Cyprus at Obama's presence

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.05.13) reports that Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the ground for reaching an overall solution to the Cyprus problem is more appropriate than ever. Under the title "This opportunity should not be wasted", the paper refers to statements made by Erdogan during his joint press conference with President Obama at the White House after their meeting held yesterday.

    Responding to a question, Erdogan said: "We believe that the most appropriate ground, than even before in the past, has been created for reaching an overall solution in Cyprus and we wish for this opportunity not to be wasted now".

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (17.05.13) reports that Erdogan referred to the "TRNC" in his statements at White House's Rose Garden. This, argues Haberdar, caused astonishment, satisfied the Turkish Cypriots and it is expected to seriously annoy the Greek Cypriots. The paper publishes comments by the self-styled foreign minister of the regime, Huseyin Ozgurgun and two former "foreign ministers".

    Ozgurgun said that Erdogan used the name of a "state" which he recognizes and supports. He argued that Erdogan's statements include a "serious message" and added that he is certain that Erdogan had told Obama that he would make this move. Turgay Avci said that Erdogan insistently uses the name of the "TRNC" everywhere he goes in the world and never gives concessions on this issue, even if he is at the White House. Tahsin Ertugruloglu said that Erdogan once more showed how sincere and determined he is in his policies of bringing the so-called existence of the "TRNC" to prominence.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (17.05.13) reports that during his 2.5-hour meeting with the American President, Erdogan did not find the support he expected on the issue of Syria. The paper writes that Erdogan referred to the Cyprus problem and adds that the main issue of Obama-Erdogan meeting was Syria. According to the paper, responding to Erdogan's demand for a more active interference against Assad, the American President said that this was not something which the USA could do alone.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Syria crisis dominated Erdogan-Obama meeting; statements by Erdogan and Obama in a joint press conference

    Under the title: "Obama, Erdogan reaffirm Assad must go", Turkish daily Today's Zaman (16.05.13) reported that the US President Barack Obama said that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad needs to leave power for a political solution in Syria, after meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

    Speaking at a joint press conference, Obama made his administration's stance clear on the position of Assad in a political settlement, underlining that he must depart to pave the way for a solution. "We're going to keep increasing the pressure on the Assad regime and working with the Syrian opposition," Obama said. "We both agree that Assad needs to go."

    Erdogan says the US and Turkey have overlapping goals when it comes to Syria. Neither leader mentioned that the US and Turkey remain far apart on just how to handle Syria's bloody civil war. Erdogan did not directly answer a question about what he asked from Obama on Syria.

    Obama said the United States can't act alone to bring peace to Syria and needs the cooperation of international partners. "There's no magic formula for dealing with an extraordinarily violent and difficult situation like Syria," Obama said.

    (...)Offering his condolences to victims of the Reyhanli bombings, Obama said both countries are determined to jointly fight against terrorism in the face of enduring threats.

    Praising Turkey's economic success over the past few years, Obama said he will renew efforts to deepen trade ties between the two countries.

    During the press conference at rainy Rose Garden, Erdogan said he intends to go ahead with a planned trip to the Gaza Strip next month despite pressure from the United States to delay it. "I place a lot of significance on this visit in terms of peace in the Middle East," Erdogan said, adding that he also plans to visit the West Bank on that trip. He said he hopes his visit will contribute to reconciliation efforts in Palestine.

    When asked about the use of chemical weapons in Syria and what an American response would be, Obama said he reserves the right to resort to a range of both diplomatic and military options if he receives conclusive proof that Assad's government has used chemical weapons in the country's civil war.

    Obama said there was evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria but that it is important to get "more specific information" to confirm that before deciding how to respond.

    Asked about Turkey's investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Erdogan said the Turkish side is sharing any information with allies, not only the US but also others, including the UK.

    Obama, who had insisted chemical weapons use would be a "game changer," made clear, however, that Washington was keeping all options on the table, though he did not provide specifics.

    "There are a whole range of options that the United States is already engaged in", he told reporters. 2And I preserve the options of taking additional steps, both diplomatic and military, because those chemical weapons inside of Syria also threaten our security over the long term as well as our allies and friends and neighbours."

    Erdogan said Turkey was in "full consensus" with the United States on the need to end the bloodshed in Syria and for a political transition to a government without Assad.

    Also, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.05.13) the U.S. President Barack Obama praised the ongoing Kurdish peace process in Turkey during his joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Obama said the United States was giving full support to the Turkish government's talks with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). "I want to take this opportunity to commend you and the Turkish people for your courage in seeking a historic and peaceful resolution of the PKK violence that has plagued Turkey for so long", Obama told reporters.

    "And just as the United States has stood with you in your long search for security, we will support efforts in Turkey to uphold the rule of law and good governance and human rights for all", he added.

    Today's Zaman reported that in addition to Obama, the Turkish Prime Minister met with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry over lunch and held talks with Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner later on Thursday. Erdogan and his delegation later met American businessmen at the US Chamber of Commerce and attended a dinner at the White House.

    Erdogan started his seven-day trip in the US with a ground-breaking ceremony for the Turkish-American Culture and Civilization Centre in Maryland on Wednesday.

    Erdogan became the first Turkish leader to be greeted by a US military ceremony at an airport in Washington in a sign of strong ties with the United States.

    Erdogan's spouse, Emine Erdogan, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also accompanied him during his trip.

    In addition to Davutoglu, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, European Union Minister Egemen Bagis, Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz, MIT's intelligence chief Hakan Fidan and a number of businesspeople also accompanied Erdogan during his trip to the US.

    [03] Turkey and the US agreed to create a high-level committee to liberalize trade between them

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.05.13), Turkey and the United States will create a high-level committee that will focus on increasing trade and investment between the two countries, the U.S. President Barack Obama announced during his joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington on May 16.

    Alongside the Syria conflict and strategic issues such as Middle East peace, the economic partnership was also at the top of the agenda for Erdogan's visit. "Over the past four years, our trade has surged and U.S. exports to Turkey have more than doubled. As the United States pursues a new trade and investment partnership with the EU, I want to make sure that we also keep deepening our economic ties with Turkey," Obama said, praising the development of the Turkish economy in recent years.

    "The Prime Minister deserves much credit for some of the reforms that are already taking place," he said.

    Erdogan said there was a need to strengthen the economic relationship with free trade agreements and to increase the amount of trade. "Bilateral economic relations between Turkey and the United States have to be improved, and we both have this aim. Ten years ago, our trade stood at $8 billion; at the moment, trade stands at $20 billion. But this amount is still not sufficient," Erdogan said.

    Close to 90 businesspeople are accompanying Erdogan during his US trip that includes a visit to the Silicon Valley in California.

    Also, Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.05.13) reported that speaking on the same issue, Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan on Thursday said that Turkey and the US agreed on establishing a High Level Working Commission to liberalize trade between the two countries.

    In a written statement released on Thursday, Zafer Caglayan said that the decision to establish the working commission came as part of talks between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Barack Obama in Washington today.

    "The commission will evaluate the impact of a possible Transatlantic Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement between the US and the EU on Turkey and would work to boost economic relations between Turkey and the US", Caglayan said.

    [04] US official: "No doubt about Turkey's gold trade with Iran"; He warned that US will impose sanctions

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.05.13) reports that a top United States official has said that there is no question that there was gold going from Turkey to Iran, stressing that the U.S. would rigorously enforce "without fear or fail" sanctions starting on July 1 that ban governments or private companies from selling gold to Iran.

    David Cohen, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, told lawmakers in testimony that there had been an increase in gold sales to Iran in response to the sharp depreciation in Iran's currency, the rial.

    The rial has lost two-thirds of its dollar value since late 2011 as a result of Western sanctions targeting the banking system and oil exports over Tehran's disputed nuclear activities, putting many Iranians under financial pressure.

    "I can assure you we are looking very carefully at evidence that anyone outside of Iran is selling gold to the government of Iran," Cohen told the House of Representatives' Foreign Relations Committee in testimony on Iran on May 15.

    From July 1, the U.S. will ban the transfer of any precious metals or gold to Iranian state and private institutions, as well as Iranian citizens, as part of its effort to pressure Iran to curb its nuclear program.

    Asked whether he was aware of a rise in gold sales from Turkey to Iran, Cohen acknowledged there was "no question that there is gold going from Turkey to Iran."

    Turkey, Iran's biggest natural gas customer, has been paying Iran for its imports in Turkish Liras, because U.S. sanctions over Tehran's nuclear program prevent it from paying in dollars or Euros. Iranians then use those liras, held in Halkbank accounts, to buy gold in Turkey, and couriers carry bullion worth millions of dollars in hand luggage to Dubai, where it can be sold for foreign currency or shipped to Iran.

    However, after a one-month halt in January, Turkey exported almost $381 million worth of gold to Iran in March, Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) data showed.

    The U.S. have blacklisted two Dubai-based trading companies, accusing them of helping Iran evade financial sanctions and effectively cutting them off from the U.S. financial system.

    (?)

    [05] Turkey's Energy Minister carried out contacts in the USA; he met with his US counterpart

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.05.13) reports that the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said that 19 countries and 39 companies cooperate with the regional administration in northern Iraq and added: "how could it be that the Iraqi constitution is not violated by those countries but by Turkey".

    Yildiz accompanied Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at his visit in Washington and had talks with some interlocutors.

    Yildiz told journalists that he held a three-hour-long meeting with his American counterpart Daniel Poneman yesterday and that he come together with Carlos Pascual, the State Department's Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs and a delegation.

    Minister Yildiz said the talks were extremely efficient and that they evaluated the bilateral projects with the Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and many other countries.

    Upon the question of "Are there any countries which have similar agreements with the administration of northern Iraq?" Yildiz said: "There are 19 countries and 39 companies, so has the Constitution of Iraq been violated by only Turkey's job but not the other's- This is not a right approach. These are trade agreements. I'm repeating, it doesn't matter whether public or private company, they see no harm if the trade contracts are signed. The oil is being produced right now. The central Iraqi government transfers money, these are experienced there. This is not a new issue".

    "We have begun this oil project in north of Iraq because we believe it is true, and we continue for the same reason. We don't have any hesitation and we haven't come here with a blurred mind. We have discussed the decisions elaborately as a state of law and then, evaluated the issues related to private companies standing there. The Republic of Turkey is a state of law here and never stands in an illegal process", Yildiz also said.

    [06] Cicek met with Schulz in Brussels; he demanded the representation of the occupation regime in the EP and called the occupation regime as an ajar prison

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.05.13) reported from Brussels that the Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek said that the "TRNC" should be represented in the European Parliament as it was represented in the Council of Europe.

    Speaking during a press conference on Thursday after meeting with the European Parliament President Martin Schulz, Cicek said: "TRNC should be represented in the parliament here. Because, it has been represented in the Council of Europe. Two different attitudes from two European organizations are not justifiable, and the situation is unpleasant. We also talked about this with Schulz".

    Turkish Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Nihat Ergun also participated in the meeting.

    Regarding Turkey's accession to EU, Cicek said: "50 years have passed after Ankara Agreement was made. We said what we have to say during these 50 years. Our demands are obvious and European Union's stance towards us is obvious".

    Cicek said further the following: "Turkey should progress in the EU issue from now on. The nations applied the EU for membership many years after Turkey are now members of EU, even though they did not fully complete all the required criteria for the accession comparing with Turkey."

    Also, speaking during a press conference at Turkey's Permanent Representation in the EU on Thursday, Cicek said that Turkey's EU accession process was the country's strategic aim and government policy.

    (?)

    Touching onto the Cyprus issue, Cicek stressed that Turkey and the "TRNC" were wronged, and this was known by everybody, as he said. He underscored that Turkey was on the side of peace and permanent solution.

    Moreover, referring to Cicek's contacts in Brussels, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (17.05.13) covers the issue under the title: "The embargoes have turned the TRNC into an ajar prison".

    The paper writes that Cicek defended the occupation regime during his contacts in Brussels.

    Speaking about the so-called embargoes, Cicek said: "The TRNC has been turned into an ajar prison because of these unfair implementations. A lot of difficulties are experienced for the entries and exits, and there are also a lot of difficulties on their representation. The removal of this unfairness and the representation of the TRNC parliamentarians at the EP will constitute the first step".

    (AK)

    [07] Swoboda proposed a package deal to revitalize Turkey-EU accession talks; he proposed the opening up of Varoshia by Turkey and in return the occupation regime to have direct trade with the EU

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (16.05.13) reported that Hannes Swoboda, the President of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, has proposed a comprehensive package of measures to re-energize Turkey-EU relations that were practically halted with not a single chapter opened in the negotiations in almost three years.

    "A new package would give a clear signal that we have a new relationship with Turkey," said Swoboda, one of the most well-known European politicians in Turkey, putting the blame on both sides for the lacklustre performance in Turkey-EU relations. He said the EU lacked a clear position on Turkey while the Turkish government has been sending mixed signals on required reforms. "What we need is courage on the EU side and the on Turkey side to come up with a package [of reforms] to bring relations to a whole new level," he added.

    The Socialist leader predicted that the recent change in the political landscape in France and "Greek Cyprus", as the Republic of Cyprus is called by Zaman, will make this progress possible, saying that if the package is a good one, the promotion of ties between Turkey and EU will be possible. The package in Swoboda's opinion should aggregate a series of measures that have already came up in different schemes in Turkey-EU talks including visa-free travel along with the addition of fresh ideas to give a real incentive to both sides.

    "There are two things which could be done. Opening chapters and progress on Cyprus," he underlined, stressing that the EU cannot have any influence on Turkey, unless it opens chapters in negotiations. He also said he believes the newly Greek Cypriot leader, as President Anastasiades is called by the paper, is a reasonable man who can be convinced on a deal if Turkey offers to open up the town of Varosha to "Greek Cyprus". He said in return the "Turkish part" of the divided island would be able to have direct trade with the EU, while blocked chapters for Turkey's accession process would be released.

    Describing the package deal as a "win-win" situation, Swoboda said neither Turkey nor the EU can have everything in negotiations. Emphasizing that both the EU and Turkey need each other, he asked: "Can Turkey be successful in the Middle East without the EU? "If we are less successful, Turkey is less successful. This is an equal partnership."

    Swoboda stated that it was wrong to focus on membership while there are too many issues that both Turkey and EU needs to tackle in what he described "in partnership" sprit. "It helps to get together and to work together. That is the most important thing," he said, adding that having good cooperation is more important than going for full membership and then failing in that.

    Regarding the settlement process in Turkey, the socialist leader asked for more openness and transparency in the process, stressing that the government should make it clear that there is indeed a new process to solve the decades-long Kurdish problem in Turkey. "The more transparency, the more openness, and the better it is. You have a lot of rumours that are not founded. But they are here and are destroying the climate. An open climate is absolutely better," he explained.

    He acknowledged that the process is a difficult one and needs time to be resolved. Swoboda also pointed out the need for Turkey to opt for decentralization and regionalization for better governance though he was not favoring the one along ethnic lines. (?)

    "Swoboda did not hide his frustration with the current Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government when it comes to wavering on commitments for democratic reforms and attempts to roll back on reforms already achieved. He said he understood the process of democratization is not easy, there may be mistakes along the way and perhaps some drawbacks and admitted that Turkey needs strong leadership.

    (?)Swoboda gave credit to Erdogan; however on curtailing the power of the military in Turkish politics." Perhaps one of the most successful reforms was pushing back the military," he underlined. Yet he said the military is still powerful on national security issues like Kurdish and Cyprus problems. Swoboda declined to pass judgment on the ongoing Ergenekon trial, but highlighted problems of long pre-trial detention and slow proceedings as problems in Turkish judicial system.

    (?).

    Swoboda said also that Erdogan lost the role of mediator in the Middle East in a wider sense when he downgraded ties with Israel. Stressing that what Israel had done to the aid flotilla in May 2010 as 'totally unacceptable', he nevertheless said Erdogan needed to have some political capital in the Jewish state to help Palestine. "If Erdogan wants to help Palestine, he has to have some weight to discuss the issue also with Israel," he said. "Erdogan lost that chance," he lamented.

    On the Syria policy, he criticized the Turkish government for subscribing in what he called an "illusion" whereby the isolated Bashar al-Assad would go away very quickly. "I've felt Syria is a much more complicated case. It is not so easy a thing," he said, adding that Turkey as neighbour could have more possibility to influence all these developments in Syria. "He [Erdogan] has overestimated their role as regional power," Swoboda added.

    [08] Kucuk alleges that "the rules of the game should change" in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.05.13) reports that Irsen Kucuk, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, said yesterday that the United Nations should be more actively involved in the Cyprus problem. In statements to Kibris during his visit to the USA, Kucuk claimed that the Turkish Cypriots could not remain indifferent to the regional and global developments and argued that "we will either give direction to the developments, or the developments will lead us to points we do not know".

    Kucuk noted that during his contacts in America he asked for the Greek Cypriots to allegedly be "encouraged" in the direction of the solution of the Cyprus problem. "I have undertaken initiatives on the issue of the Americans playing a more active role", he argued.

    Kucuk said also that during his meeting with the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, he underlined that they expect the more active participation of the UN in the process within the forthcoming period. He claimed that the fact that the UN has recently started to undertake a more active role on the Cyprus problem is important from the point of view of UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon's interest and expectations as regards this issue.

    Kucuk alleged that both he and the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan are holding "comprehensive contacts" on the issue of achieving a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of 2013. "Our target is to make Cyprus and its area a basin of peace and cooperation", he alleged adding that in cooperation with Turkey they continue their efforts to solve their own problem.

    Kucuk noted that the presence of representatives of the USA and Britain on the island on 29 May, the day on which the dinner between the community leaders will take place, shows that the Cyprus problem has come onto the agenda of the international community again. He alleged that the efforts which his "government" has internationally been exerting for so long, started giving results.

    Meanwhile, Kibris (17.05.13) reports that Kucuk's contacts in Washington have been covered by American and Canadian media. The paper writes that a report on Kucuk's contacts by Associated Press's correspondent, Desmond Butler is published on the webpage of media such as Vancouver Sun and Montreal Gazette. The title of the report is "Turkish Cypriot leader in Washington seeking US help for the solution of the Cyprus problem".

    Finally, illegal Bayrak television (16.05.13) broadcast that Kucuk has also given a video-conference interview to AB Haber news website as part of his contacts in the US. Kucuk claimed that Turkish Cypriot side expected President Anastasiades to allegedly show the same courage and leadership he had shown during the Annan Plan period.

    According to Illegal Bayrak, Kucuk alleged: "It is at this point that we expect the US to take on an effective role in motivating the Greek Cypriot side towards a solution. The rules of the game must change. The US could take on active role in achieving this. Things cannot continue the way they are forever. We are saying that we should solve this problem and that the basis for this exists. All we need is political will".

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Ozgurgun evaluates Kucuk's contacts in the US; He stated that the occupation regime has 22 "representation offices" abroad

    According to illegal Bayrak television (16.05.13), the so-called foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has highlighted the importance of the Cyprus problem being brought to the agenda during foreign contacts.

    Ozgurgun said that his "ministry" was well informed of all foreign contacts held abroad by the "TRNC state", as he described the occupation regime, and added that "representatives" from the "foreign ministry" were accompanying the so-called prime minister during his contacts in the US.

    Answering to reporters' questions on Kucuk's contacts in the US, Ozgurgun said that contacts and meetings with foreign officials on the Cyprus issue have been going on for years.

    "Even though the TRNC is not internationally recognized we have representatives on various platforms and indirectly our presence is acknowledged. Today we have 22 representation offices around the world, a figure raised from only 3 representation offices 10 years ago", Ozgurgun said.

    "The TRNC has representation offices from Pakistan to the US, in Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain and Sweden. It is only natural that these offices hold contacts", he added.

    Stating that his "ministry" was well informed of all "TRNC" contacts held abroad, Ozgurgun said that Kucuk was being accompanied and assisted during his US visit by members of his staff.

    Stating that the "prime minister" had repeated calls made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu for the resumption of talks aimed at reaching a comprehensive solution in Cyprus, Ozgurgun said that it was important for the premier to receive the support of US officials in this direction.

    [10] Turkey's Development Minister: "Turkey to be a member of IMF's executive board"

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.05.13) the Turkish Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz said on Thursday that Turkey would be a member of the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), being in the position of making decisions about other countries.

    "Turkey will not be in the position of a country about which decisions are taken but it will be in the position of making decisions about other countries," said Yilmaz in a meeting in Turkey's eastern province of Ardahan.

    Yilmaz emphasized that they were aiming to develop Turkey in every area and have it become one of the most powerful 10 economies by 2023.

    "We took over 25 billion USD IMF debt but we have not lent any loan to IMF; on the contrary, we are able to give a loan of 5 billion USD to IMF now," said Yilmaz.

    [11] "US support to Turkish positions"

    TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW, 15.05.2013, Item 1].

    According to the paper, the letter describes Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu as "TRNC President Dervis Eroglu" and President Anastasiades as "new Greek Cypriot President". The paper reports that the signing of this letter by 22 members of the US Congress caused astonishment and is assessed as a result of "Prime Minster Erdogan's decisive stance".

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] US Ambassador Koenig gave a lecture on the "US policy in the Eastern Mediterranean"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeniduzen (17.05.13) reports that US Ambassador to Cyprus John M. Koenig participated in a conference titled "US policy in the Eastern Mediterranean" on May 15, held at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU), as a speaker.

    Speaking to an audience of students and academicians, Ambassador Koening pointed out the cooperation between US and Turkey, while he was giving them a brief on the US policy in the eastern Mediterranean. He also stressed the joint working areas of Turkey and USA like the problem of Syria and the embargoes imposed on Iran due to the nuclear programme.

    He also commented on the Cyprus problem. Stressing the importance of finding an urgent solution for the Cyprus problem, for the two communities, who live in the island, for Turkey and the USA, Ambassador said that the US is ready to give any kind of support that will bring a joint solution for both sides playing an active role in the Cyprus settlement.

    During the meeting with the dean of "DAU" Prof. Dr Abdullah Y. Oztoprak, prior the conference, US Ambassador said that the university should be proud for having students from 75 different countries and wished them to continue their success.

    [13] A cooperation protocol between the "municipality" of occupied Keryneia with the municipality of the 4th district of Bucharest

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily (17.04.13), the deputy mayor of the 4th district of Bucharest municipality Alexandru Leonte Popescu, who is currently visiting the occupied town of Kyreneia, signed yesterday a cooperation protocol with the so-called mayor of occupied town of Kyreneia Sumer Aygin.

    The protocol envisages the cooperation on the education and culture fields. The "municipality" of the occupied Keryneia has also become a twin municipality with the municipality of 4th district of Bucharest, Romania.

    Popescu said that they will exchange students next month as the first step of their cooperation, adding that the students will have the opportunity to know closely the culture of each other.

    [14] Ozyigit accused of the occupation regime that needs the approval of the AKP for any appointments

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeniduzen (17.05.13), Cemal Ozyigit, general secretary of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), criticized the ruling "government" of the National Unity Party (UBP) that in order to make some appointments, they need the approval of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). He explained that the UBP "government" is trying to appoint someone from the outside at the directorate of the religious foundation (Evkaf) with the approval of AKP, adding that it's like there is no person in this "country" to be appointed as head of the Evkaf.

    Ozyigit furthermore said: "As in the past, some appointments were attached to the civil-military bureaucracy of Turkey, now the appointments are attached to the approval of AKP."

    [15] The so-called TRNC assembly will attend the Crans Montana Forum in Azerbaijan

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (17.05.13), the so-called TRNC assembly approved yesterday the decision that the "executive board" of the so-called TRNC assembly will participate in the Crans Montana Forum, which will be held in Azerbaijan between 26 June and 1 July.

    The delegation of the "assembly" that will participate in the meeting, will be consist of one "deputy" of the National Unity Party (UBP) and one "deputy" of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) with the so-called TRNC assembly speaker Hasan Bozer.

    (Trans. Note: The Crans Montana Forum has been an International Organization, Swiss owned and managed since 1986.

    The yearly June Forum offers a one of its kind and world-renowned platform of networking, gathering high-caliber personalities from around the world, representing Governments, International Organizations and Businesses.)

    [16] CTP's congress postponed for 7 July; Two candidates for the leadership

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.05.13) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) decided last night to change the date of its congress and carry out discussions in the direction of submitting a "motion of censure" at the "assembly" for overthrowing the National Unity Party (UBP) self-styled government and holding "early elections" by the end of September.

    The congress, which would have been held on 30 June 2013, is postponed for 7 July 2013.

    According to Havadis, CTP "deputy", Omer Kalyoncu is expected to run for the post of the president of the party against its current leader, Ozkan Yorgancioglu.

    (I/Ts.)

    [17] CTP, TDP, DP and Ahmet Kasif discuss submitting a "motion of censure" against UBP "government"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (17.05.13) reports that the chairmen of the three "opposition" parties, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and the Democratic Party (DP) met yesterday at the "assembly" with Ahmet Kasif, leader of the National Unity Party's (UBP) "deputies", who oppose to self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk.

    According to the paper, during the meeting they discussed the issue of submitting a "motion of censure" against the UBP "government" signed by all the "deputies" of the opposition parties and the opponents of Kucuk within the UBP.

    The signature of 26 "deputies" is needed for overthrowing the "government". The plan is for overthrowing the "government" with the 19 votes of the "deputies" of the "opposition" parties and seven votes of "deputies" from the UBP. The group that opposes to Kucuk within the UBP consists of 10 "deputies", writes Yeni Duzen, but not all of them are positive on the issue of overthrowing the "government".

    (I/Ts.)

    [18] Moody's raised Turkey's credit rating to investment grade

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.05.13) reported that the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan announced on Wednesday that Moody's raised Turkey's long-term credit rating by one notch to "Baa3," the bottom of investment grade ratings, noting that Moody's decision came less than two months after Standard & Poor's credit rating increase. Babacan said the move was accurate but belated.

    "Thanks to the steps in the right direction undertaken in the economy, the market indicators were at the same level as the countries that had investment grade ratings. The decision brought our credit rating closer to the market indicators," he said.

    Praising Turkey's improved "economic and fiscal metrics", the Moody's noted: "Since the beginning of 2009, Turkey's debt burden has fallen by 10 percentage points to a manageable 36 percent of GDP, and Moody's expects this decline to continue in the coming years." Secondly, the agency cited "progress... on a wide-ranging institutional reform program that Moody's believes will gradually erode the country's external vulnerabilities." These include increasing investment in personal pensions, a new commercial code and moves to reduce energy dependence.

    Moody's said it expects Turkey's ability to finance its debt to strengthen as the proportion that is denominated in foreign currency drops, noting a decline in the measure from 46.3% in 2003 to 27.4% in 2012.

    Meanwhile, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, who is currently in the United States accompanying Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also said that Turkey deserved much better ratings. "Now two of the three big credit agencies put us in investment grade ratings; we expect big direct and portfolio investments," he said in a statement, adding that interest rates on loans would be lower. "This is an opportunity for our companies. They should use it wisely", he added.

    Moody's had stated last month that the ongoing Kurdish peace process in Turkey would be beneficial for its credit rating. "The conflict in the country's southeast has been a longstanding source of political uncertainty constraining Turkey's creditworthiness," the rating agency had said in its Credit Outlook publication. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio


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