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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-05-20

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. 93/13 18-20/05/13

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] The breakaway regime is heading towards early "elections"
  • [02] BKP stressed the need for "early elections" and for a federal solution on the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Davutoglu discussed with Kucuk his earlier meeting with Kerry on the Cyprus problem
  • [04] Davutoglu may illegally visit the breakaway regime over the weekend-Yorgancioglu suggest the visit is related to the UBP crisis
  • [05] Eroglu said the dinner between the two leaders in Cyprus can take place either 29 or 30 of May
  • [06] Yildiz: "No job for companies that work with the Greek Cypriots"
  • [07] Bagis: "Hopefully, we see one day TRNC as an independent country in the UN"
  • [08] Saner and Ustel tried to promote the breakaway regime in the US through lobbying activities
  • [09] Caglar to attend PACE meeting in London
  • [10] The occupation regime attends a "religious summit" in Armenia
  • [11] The occupation regime to export poultry products to Egypt
  • [12] Transfer of Israeli gas to Turkey depends on the solution in Cyprus
  • [13] The President of the EU Council is not allowed to address the TGNA
  • [14] Erdogan conditions Hamas-Fatah reconciliation for Israeli-Palestinian peace. He voices caution over "tie-mending" with Israel
  • [15] Erdogan: We may have 3 polls in 2014
  • [16] Turkish media has not stood up enough against Bashar al-Assad: PM Erdogan
  • [17] Government under fire for limiting freedom of press, favouring state-run media
  • [18] Turkish TV channel Show TV was taken over by the TMSF
  • [19] Tough test awaits Kilicdaroglu over division of CHP

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] The breakaway regime is heading towards early "elections"

    Turkish Cypriot Gundem Kibris web site reports today (20.05.13) about the crisis in the National Unity Party (UBP) and the motion of census which was submitted by some UBP members together with the parties of the opposition and notes that the breakaway regime is heading towards early "elections".

    According to the website, the proposition of the opposition parties for the conducting of early "elections" on September 29 was accepted to be discussed by the "assembly".

    Ahmet Kasif, "MP" with UBP stated that they gathered 27 votes together with the parties of the opposition and that they submitted a motion of census against Kucuk's "government" today during a conversion of the self-styled assembly. On his part, the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Ozkan Yorgancioglu confirmed that the signatures of 27 "MPS" were gathered. The chairman of DP Serdar Denktas said that now it is them that have the majority of votes in the "parliament". TDP chairman Mehmet Cakici also confirmed that 27 signatures were gathered for the motion of census. Cakici also stated: "No-one can impose a prime minister over us".

    Replying to Cakici, Kucuk said that they are not afraid of the "elections" and added that he went to the USA as "prime minister" and returned as an "MP". Confirming that election could be held on September 29 Kucuk said: "Here it is your 29 of September. Come and get it. We are not afraid [?] You are living in a great fantasy".

    The Turkish Cypriot press reports today (20.05.13) about the crisis in the National Unity Party (UBP) and notes that the self-styled prime Minister Irsen Kucuk shortened his visit to New York in order to follow the developments in his party which most probably will force his "government" to early elections.

    Under the title "Critical week", Halkin Sesi writes that following UBP's convection, Kucuk stated that four members of UBP, Ahmet kasif, Hasan Tacoy, Turkay Tokel and Afet Ozcafer, who are the main figures of the party's opposition, will be brought in front of UBP's discipline committee. In addition, it was decided that early election could be called for August 18th.

    Afrika reports on the issue under the title "Now not even AKP can save Kucuk", and notes that the conflict between the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will end up with the shattering of UBP. The paper writes that the road of Kucuk, who represents Erdogan and of Ahmet Kasif who represents Eroglu is coming to an end the regime is heading towards early elections.

    Kibris writes that the opposition group of UBP, along with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and the Democratic Party (DP) are ready to vote in favour of a motion of censure against Kucuk's government and notes that 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, writes the paper.

    [02] BKP stressed the need for "early elections" and for a federal solution on the Cyprus problem

    Under the title: "What is important is the federal solution", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.05.13) reported that United Cyprus Party (BKP's) organizing secretary, Abdullah Korkmazhan, in a written statement, said that the political parties in the occupied area of Cyprus which are represented in the so-called assembly have no difference with the National Unity Party (UBP).

    Korkmazhan accused the so-called UBP government of the non-solution of the Cyprus problem and of the current status-quo, supporting that the UBP is a coalition which only interest to protect its own best interests.

    Stressing the need for the Turkish Cypriots to be rescued from the so-called government, Korkmazhan said that it is important for the "UBP government" to resign and to go to "early elections". However, Korkmazhan added that the most important thing is for the Turkish Cypriots to have the right to be self-administrated, to be able to have a new status based on the principles of social justice and democracy and to achieve a federal solution in Cyprus".

    (AK)

    [03] Davutoglu discussed with Kucuk his earlier meeting with Kerry on the Cyprus problem

    According to illegal Bayrak television (18.05.13), the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk met with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in New York. Kucuk's contacts with UN and US officials as well as future steps to be taken, were discussed during the meeting.

    According to "BRT", the continuation of the Turkish Cypriot side's determined stance towards reaching a settlement on the Cyprus problem was emphasized during the meeting.

    Speaking afterwards, Davutoglu said that he had taken up in detail with Kucuk the meeting he had held earlier with his US counterpart, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, which had focused on the Cyprus problem.

    He said that concrete proposals had come up during his meeting with Kerry or earning momentum to the solution process in Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will be visiting the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus in the coming days.

    Kucuk, speaking at the opening gala of the festival and the Turkish Day parade in New York, reiterated the known views of the Turkish Cypriot side on the Cyprus problem.

    [04] Davutoglu may illegally visit the breakaway regime over the weekend-Yorgancioglu suggest the visit is related to the UBP crisis

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (20.05.13) reports that the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk said that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to pay an illegal visit to the breakaway regime over the weekend.

    Kucuk who was speaking about his contacts in Ney York, said that he is in full agreement in every aspect with Davutoglu.

    Commenting on Davutoglu's visit, the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CHP) Ozkan Yorgancioglu stated that if the Turkish Foreign Minister is visiting in order to be informed on the Cyprus problems' developments there is no issue, however if he is visiting in order to interfere in the interior issue, there is an issue.

    [05] Eroglu said the dinner between the two leaders in Cyprus can take place either 29 or 30 of May

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.05.13) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu stated that the planned dinner between him and President Nikos Anastasiades can take place either on 29 or 30 of May.

    Eroglu who was asked by a journalist on his expectations from the dinner said that it this would be the creation of a cordial atmosphere prior to the negotiations and to provide opportunity for a road map.

    [06] Yildiz: "No job for companies that work with the Greek Cypriots"

    Noting that "clear messages" have been given during Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to the USA, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (18.05.13) reports that Turkish Minister of Energy and natural Resources, Taner Yildiz has said that the natural gas in Cyprus is "an equal right of the two sides" and added that Turkey will give no job to companies which work with the Greek Cypriots in the area.

    According to the paper, the message given by the Turkish side to American officials, who "tested the waters" as regards Turkey's views on the issue of the ongoing explorations for natural gas and oil in Eastern Mediterranean, was that "the gas is illegal without recognizing that it is an equal right of the two sides and the distribution of the income is made equally". The Turkish delegation noted also that the companies which work with the Republic of Cyprus will not take any jobs from Turkey.

    During the meetings between the delegations of the two sides, the issue of exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the USA to Turkey was discussed. The American delegation has reportedly said that selling LNG on high prices to the Turkish market would cause increase of the price of LNG in the American market and that this sale is impossible in the near future. Yildiz said that their demand as regards LNG is still valid, but the Americans told them that they would not be able to sell them LNG until including 2016.

    Noting that energy was one of the issues discussed during Erdogan's visit to the USA, the paper reports that initiatives were undertaken during the meetings as regards Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), which is reportedly preparing for "important projects" with American "oil giants" and soon will make announcements on the issue. Yildiz said that they will continue their discussions on the issue of carrying out joint explorations for oil.

    Yildiz said that he evaluated with President Obama's Special Envoy on International Energy Affairs, Carlos Pascual issues concerning many countries such as the Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran and Iraq and discussed joint projects. He said that they also discussed the issue of northern Iraq and wondered why Turkey should not cooperate with this region, in which 39 firms from 19 countries do business. He argued that Turkey cooperates with both "northern and southern Iraq".

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Bagis: "Hopefully, we see one day TRNC as an independent country in the UN"

    According to the Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.05.13), Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, addressing the crowd after the 32nd Turkish Day Parade in New York, said: "The more our citizens in the US are powerful, the more Turkey is powerful in the world."

    Bagis also emphasized that Turkic world was represented in more numbers in the UN and expressed his hope about "TRNC" existence as an independent country soon.

    [08] Saner and Ustel tried to promote the breakaway regime in the US through lobbying activities

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 17.05.13), the so-called minister of public works and communications Ersan Saner and the so-called tourism, environment and culture minister Unal Ustel, who also held contacts in the United States, have underlined the importance of lobbying activities in explaining the "reality" of the "TRNC" (Edit. Note: the breakaway regime in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus) to the international community.

    Speaking to the "BRT" correspondent, Saner described his contacts in the US as fruitful and positive. "The TRNC is still being kept under embargoes but we need to explain to the international community that this is not our fate. Lobbying activities are so important in this respect", he said.

    Saner said it's also important to prevent Republic of Cyprus from presenting reportedly misleading and false information about the "TRNC".

    Ustel also evaluated his contacts in the US, stating that he was involved in a series of lobbying activities with the aim of proving the facts about the "TRNC" to international circles. He added that they opened a stand at the Turkic World events where the "TRNC" was promoted.

    [09] Caglar to attend PACE meeting in London

    Turkish daily Afrika newspaper (18.05.13) reported Mehmet Caglar, so-called MP with the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) in the occupied area of Cyprus will attend the meeting of the the Committee on Culture, Science and Education of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), which is taking place between May 20-21 in London.

    Caglar will also be accompanied by Resa Savas Pasaoglullari, "director" of Press, Foreign Relations and Protocol of the so-called assembly.

    The "delegation" will carry out contacts in the UK, writes the paper. It is expected to return back to the occupation regime on May 23.

    (AK)

    [10] The occupation regime attends a "religious summit" in Armenia

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (19.05.13), reports that representatives from the "Presidency of the Religious Affairs" of the occupation regime are participating to the 6th Meeting of Presidents of Religious Affairs of the Balkan Countries, which is taking place in Tiran, Armenia.

    According to a statement issued by Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs, the occupation regime, along with other countries such as Armenia, Nagorno- Karabag, Kosovo, FYROM, Bosnia Herzegovina, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Slovenia are participating to the summit.

    (AK)

    [11] The occupation regime to export poultry products to Egypt

    Under the title: "200-400 tons of poultry products to be exported per month", Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (19.05.13) reported that a delegation of the "Turkish Cypriot Businessmen Council" (KTIAK) held a business visit in Egypt where they carried out a series of contacts, they held several business meetings, participated to a trade forum and made business agreements.

    According to a statement issue by the KTIAK, they held a visit to Cairo, Egypt in the framework of the organization of the visit by the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUCSON) and the coordination of the Aegean and Western Mediterranean Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (ESIDEF).

    In the first day of their stay in Egypt, a 30 person delegation of ESIDEF and KTIAK engaged in several contacts with businessmen from Egypt and also held bilateral talks after participating first to a trade and investment forum.

    During the last day of their visit, the delegation visited also several Egyptian firms' factories and working places.

    The paper writes that as a result of the contacts they Turkish and Turkish Cypriot businessmen held in Egypt, around 200-400 poultry products per month will be exported from the occupation regime to Egypt.

    (AK)

    [12] Transfer of Israeli gas to Turkey depends on the solution in Cyprus

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (20.05.13) reports that Hugh Pope, International Crisis Group's Project Director in Turkey, has argued that the solution of the Cyprus problem is absolutely necessary for transferring the Israeli natural gas to Turkey through Cyprus.

    In an interview with Hurriyet, Pope said that the most evident message from Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to the USA was that the USA is not willing to carry out a military operation to overthrow the Syrian regime and added that if Erdogan was hoping for this, he was disappointed. He said that Erodgan has remained alone for the last one and a half years in his policy of strongly demanding President Assad's leaving his post. According to Pope, this crisis has shown that Turkey has not the mechanism to change anything in the area alone, neither militarily nor diplomatically.

    When he was asked to comment on Erdogan's "surprising emphasis" on Cyprus during his meeting with President Obama, he claimed: "It is true that the conditions in Cyprus have changed. After Christofias and Talat tried, it was proved that the model of bi-zonal, bi-communal federation will not work. No one wants this. The new leader of the Greek Cypriots, Nikos Anastasiades is a persons who had said 'yes' to the Annan Plan at the expense of committing political suicide. He is open to the idea of confederation, which has been Turkey's dream all along. I cannot understand why Ankara follows a stance that insults this man, instead of issuing statements that support him. And the most tragic thing is that they do not realize that they insult him. With the economic crisis, the Greek Cypriots have started searching for something else. The EU trump card which they possess is not so powerful any more".

    Asked why Turkey should allegedly "bare her own neck" for a solution process in an environment where she has not many expectations from her EU bid, Pope said that Erdogan's dealing with this issue now is "a very good timing", because the natural gas explorations in Eastern Mediterranean are at a critical stage. He added: "The Greek Cypriots have not yet been able to prove how much gas they have. It is not known whether the Greek Cypriots have any gas. However, Israel has gas. Besides, it is preparing to evaluate the idea of transferring it with a pipeline to Turkey over Cyprus. Of course, a solution in Cyprus is absolutely necessary in order for this to happen."

    Asked whether the interest of the USA in Cyprus had to do with the natural gas, he said that he did not know, but what he knew for sure is that the Americans were very interested in the gas in Eastern Mediterranean. He said that Turkey should solve politically the Cyprus problem, normalize its relations with Cyprus, put her EU accession course in a normal track and then she will "take the gas".

    (I/Ts.)

    [13] The President of the EU Council is not allowed to address the TGNA

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (19.05.13) reports that the request of Herman van Rompuy, President of the EU Council, to address the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) during his visit to Ankara on 23 May has been rejected. The paper points out that van Rompuy had been opposed to Turkey's accession to the EU before his appointment to his current post and had allegedly made some statements that "pushed diplomatic limits".

    The official pretext given for the rejection of Rompuy's request was that such address "was not in harmony with the agenda". According to the paper, Rompuy's request was rejected because of his opposition to Turkey and the "risk" of having a low interest for this speech.

    During his visit to Turkey, the President of the EU Council is expected to meet with President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan.

    (I/Ts.)

    [14] Erdogan conditions Hamas-Fatah reconciliation for Israeli-Palestinian peace. He voices caution over "tie-mending" with Israel

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.05.13), Turkey's Prime Minister, replying to questions after he delivered a speech titled "Global Order and Justice in the 21st Century" at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) in Washington on Friday, said that Hamas and Fatah reconciliation was a must for Palestine-Israel normalization process. He added: "First of all, Hamas and Fatah should reconcile with each other. If not, negotiations with Israel cannot yield any results as it did not until now."

    Erdogan expressed that besides Gaza, he would also visit the West Bank in June.

    Moreover, A.A (18.05.13) reported that Erdogan, addressing a Washington conference at the SETA on Friday, reiterated that his country's relations with Israel cannot go back to normal unless the Jewish state met Ankara's three key demands to restore ties.

    He went on: "This is a process that has just begun and we are at the beginning of the road. We had three headlines here: The first one is apology, which has been solved. The second is compensation, which is still being discussed. And third is the lifting of the embargo on Palestine. Without these three, we won't take those steps."

    [15] Erdogan: We may have 3 polls in 2014

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 19.05.13) reported that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan once more signalled readiness to bring his party's own draft Constitution to a people's vote in absence of a consensus in Turkey's much-anticipated parliamentary work to write a new Constitution, as he also eagerly insisted on considering a presidential system.

    "Openly, I'm also losing my hope. We want the presidential system to be opened to debate," Erdogan was quoted as saying, while speaking with a group of journalists during an official visit to Washington.

    "Which mentality would be eliminated in case of a presidential system? No doubt, they are worried that their mentality will be eliminated. If no result is yielded, then the Plan C occurs; we will introduce our own draft," Erdogan added. "We have 326 deputies. We would introduce it to secret vote at Parliament. You know it will be a closed vote [session]. Maybe some brave individuals will come out despite party pressure," he said, adding that they were also ready to serve with the current Constitution if their own draft was not eventually adopted.

    "We will go to referendum if we reach the [required] number. Three elections [voting] may come in 2014," he said, referring to the fact that local elections will be held in March 2014 and presidential elections in August 2014.

    [16] Turkish media has not stood up enough against Bashar al-Assad: PM Erdogan

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 19.05.13) reported that the Turkish media has failed to take a stand against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying May 19 while speaking with a group of journalists during an official visit to Washington.

    "Through the process, even our print and visual media haven't stood against [Syrian President] Bashar [al-Assad]. Moreover, there are [media] which act together [with the al-Assad regime]."

    Erdogan also said the media's reaction to the main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu's words likening him to al-Assad was not strong enough.

    "The media should have made more reports against the main opposition leader, who labelled this country's prime minister as a 'murderer,'" he said.

    The Republican People's Party (CHP) head said last week that there was "only a difference of shades" between Erdogan and al-Assad, adding that both were oppressive leaders. He held Erdogan accountable for the loss of lives in the border town of Reyhanli.

    [17] Government under fire for limiting freedom of press, favouring state-run media

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 19.05.13) with the above title reported that journalists and press associations have directed criticism at the government, accusing it of monopolizing information and placing freedom of the press at risk after private news agencies and newspapers were prevented from covering several events last week.

    To the dismay of many, only the state-run Anatolia news agency and Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) were allowed to cover visits by Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin and Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu to the people in Antakya State Hospital who had been injured by the Reyhanli car bomb attacks last weekend. When main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu visited the victims at the same hospital on Monday, only reporters from TRT and Anatolia were allowed to cover Kilicdaroglu's hospital visit, while reporters from the Cihan news agency, the Ihlas news agency and the Dogan news agency were not allowed to do so.

    More than 50 people were killed and many more wounded on May 11 in Hatay's town of Reyhanli near the Syrian border. Turkish officials have blamed the attack on a group linked to the Syrian regime. Apparent discrimination against these media outlets continued later in the week as they, apart from Anatolia -- were barred from covering a historic moment in Ankara on Tuesday when the country's central bank paid Turkey's final loan instalment, around $421 million, to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    Only Anatolia was invited to cover the ceremony, while other private news agencies or reporters from newspapers were not given permission to cover the event. Anatolia reported the news only to its subscribers.

    At a time when successive reports from international institutions slam Turkey for its poor performance with regard to freedom of the press, these incidents added further fuel to the fire.

    Cihan General Manager Abdulhamit Bilici told Sunday's Zaman that allowing only one media outlet to cover a public event due to reasonable grounds such as lack of space, security concerns, etc., can be acceptable; however, in such cases the content of the news should be shared with other media outlets without the use of a logo of the media outlet allowed, content should be expressed in the language of the media and a pool system should be implemented.

    "This approach [of preventing certain media from covering the news] is completely against press freedom, the people's right to have access to information and free competition. We want double standards to be eliminated," he said.

    Media Association Chairman Salih Memecan voiced similar concerns and said that censorship of the press should be completely lifted as soon as possible and that such attempts by the government damage freedom of the press in the country.

    According to Ragip Duran, a veteran journalist and an academic on the communications faculty of Galatasaray University, preventing some agencies and journalists from covering certain events turns the government into a power centre that hides facts from society or manipulates facts.

    Media Ethics Council (MEK) President Halit Esendir said the move to prevent some media outlets from covering certain events does not comply with press freedom and that it is an unfortunate act made against the people's right to have access to information. "We expect authorities to show respect for freedom of the press," he said.

    According to Media Association Secretary-General Deniz Ergurel, the exclusion of news reporters other than TRT and Anatolia is clearly discrimination and unfair and unacceptable in terms of press freedom and the public's right to have information. In addition, he said there is no written law that gives the state media more privileges than private media outlets, and this is also unacceptable in terms of business ethics. "News agencies make money by selling news to their clients. When a state official prefers the state media over the other outlets, this is clearly discrimination," Ergurel told Sunday's Zaman.

    The Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) also condemned the treatment received by private news agencies in Hatay in a statement it released last Tuesday. It also called on the government to give up such discriminatory accreditation practices against media outlets. "The fact that only state-owned media outlets were permitted to attend events organized by the government in recent times can be seen as clear proof that the government is in favour of 'monologism' in the press. The government is trying to control the news and impose censorship on the press," the TGC stated.

    [18] Turkish TV channel Show TV was taken over by the TMSF

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.05.13), the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund of Turkey (TMSF) has announced that it has taken over two companies from Cukurova Group -- national television channel Show TV and vehicle manufacturer BMC -- as part of its efforts to liquidate the debt the group, one of the largest in Turkey, owes to TMSF, the Turkish deposit insurer.

    The companies had been taken over before and were returned to the group upon penning protocols and setting a pay-back schedule, a statement from TMSF said.

    "Cukurova group has failed to fulfil its financial obligations and has not made any payments to remove the default status within the grace period the Fund specified as of September 2012," the statement said.

    The takeover is a result of lingering debt owed to the government by Cukurova Group CEO, Mehmet Emin Karamehmet, in relation to a banking sector collapse and severe recession that happened in 2001, when several banks had sustained huge financial losses on loans given to companies within the group. Karamehmet so far has had to pay upwards of $4 billion to the government to settle his debt.

    [19] Tough test awaits Kilicdaroglu over division of CHP

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 19.05.13) reported the following:

    "The division within the Republican People's Party (CHP) between its neo-nationalist and reformist camps has not yet been resolved and seems to have reached an impasse.

    The reformist wing of the CHP has already confessed that it feels foreign within its own party. It has also admitted that although it had been invited to change the CHP, it no longer has a chance to contribute to the party's process of change and renewal.

    My sources within the CHP as well as some political analysts who wish to remain anonymous have indicated to me that this feeling of alienation and being the 'other' within the CHP could result in the division of the party. This is why a difficult test awaits CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

    Kilicdaroglu is having difficulty pursuing his policy of maintaining balance between the two sides is trying to buy time by adopting a critical discourse as regards the government. His usual harsh criticism of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) grew into hostility towards the ruling party. In this way, Kilicdaroglu managed to please both camps within his party to a certain extent and to maintain his policy of finding balance between the neo-nationalists and reformist wings of his party. However, the peace process to solve the country's long-standing terrorism issue has broken the spell of this hostile discourse.

    The level of confrontation between the two camps has reached a peak. Both sides have made their own statements regarding the ongoing peace process, with the neo-nationalists against it and the reformists in support of the process. Despite the objection of Kilicdaroglu, the neo-nationalist wing of the CHP held a press conference in Parliament and issued a call for unity within the party. They underlined that a statement made by the reformist wing of the CHP, and which has been supported by several intellectuals, is rife with the discourse of the AK Party and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and asked the CHP leader to correct this mistake.

    Kilicdaroglu, who had previously noted that he supported the statement by the reformist wing, backpedalled and adopted a position that would appeal to the neo-nationalist wing. At the same time, however, he could not make any corrections to the reformist wing's statement, which has been accused of being in line with the positions of the AK Party and BDP.

    Thus, Kilicdaroglu needs to change his party's agenda.

    Would changing the focus of his criticism to Turkey's foreign policy -- and Turkey's Syria policy in particular -- provide a way out for Kilicdaroglu? With the twin car bombings in Hatay's Reyhanli district, Kilicdaroglu took the opportunity, holding the Prime Minister responsible for the deaths of 51 people in Reyhanli and claiming that Erdogan's authoritarian tendencies are comparable to those of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    When a meeting between Kilicdaroglu and Hannes Swoboda, president of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, was cancelled after the Socialist politician rejected Kilicdaroglu's claim that Erdogan's authoritarian tendencies are comparable to those of Assad, Kilicdaroglu even considered this development an opportunity to change his party's agenda.

    Now, the question that Kilicdaroglu is struggling to answer is whether the CHP should eliminate its neo-nationalist wing and revitalize itself or stick to its traditional position and allow its reformist wing to abandon the CHP?

    The first option is what the late Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit chose to do when he distanced himself from the stricter policies of the CHP, and the second was the path of Ismet Inonu, the second President of Turkey and the second leader of the CHP. However, in both cases, the CHP lost 5-10% of its votes.

    While some of the neo-nationalist members of the CHP say they should cooperate with the Workers' Party (IP), others believe they should remain within the party to struggle against the reformists. The CHP's local branches are also urging the neo-nationalist wing to remain within the CHP.

    Kilicdaroglu is trying to delay any possible division within the party ahead of next year's elections.

    Just like the process of drafting the new constitution, the rift within the CHP will have a marked impact on Turkey's major issues." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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