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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-07-09

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. 127/13 09/07/2013

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] "Presidency" notes that the reference in the UN draft report "any new-found wealth belongs to all Cypriots" is positive
  • [02] A fortune is spent by Turkish political parties for the "election campaign"
  • [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns Egyptian Army shooting of protesters
  • [04] The Cost of the coup in Egypt to the (AKP) government
  • [05] Gezi Park closed to public only hours after official opening
  • [06] Converse election scenarios in Ankara

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] "Presidency" notes that the reference in the UN draft report "any new-found wealth belongs to all Cypriots" is positive

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.07.13), under the title "There are wrong approaches", reports that the so-called presidency in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus evaluated the latest draft report by the UN Secretary-General regarding the activities of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) from 16 December 2012 to 20 June 2013.

    The so-called presidency notes that the report is seen to be penned trying to keep a balance, but it includes a set of mistaken approaches and facts besides the positive and negative facts, adding that the initiatives to correct them continue.

    The paper reports that according to the "presidency", they got a draft report of the activities of the UNFICYP and the Security Council will take a decision on this issue, which will be published as an official report in the coming days.

    Moreover, the "presidency" repeated that at the first glimpse the draft report is carefully worded, adding that the draft report includes some paragraphs on the UNSG good offices mission, the dinner which held on 30 of May between the two leaders, the developments of the Technical Committees and the work regarding the restoration of Apostolos Andreas Monastery in occupied Karpassia.

    However, the "presidency" argues that the positive developments regarding the dinner of the leaders and the restoration work of Apostolos Andreas Monastery, which were reportedly as a result of the proactive policy and the initiatives that the Turkish Cypriot side has followed, are not clearly represented in the report. The "presidency" also claims that the developments in the work of the Technical Committees, mentioned in the draft report, are a result of the flexible and constructive stance that the Turkish Cypriot side has followed on the issue.

    Furthermore, the "presidency" notes that the reference on the report that the discovery of offshore gas reserves is the mutual wealth of both communities in Cyprus and will also involve a deeper cooperation on the issue, is positive.

    [02] A fortune is spent by Turkish political parties for the "election campaign"

    Under the title "A fortune for the elections", Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.07.13) reports that with the exception of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the other Turkish political parties in the breakaway regime are spending a fortune for their "election campaigns" for the forthcoming 28 July "parliamentary elections".

    The paper notes that the four parties will spend 2.510.000 Turkish Lira for their campaigns while the amount of money that the four independent "candidates" will spend will reach 20.000 Turkish Lira.

    The paper writes that the election campaign budget of the Democratic Party ?National Forces is reaching a record and is going to total 1.500.000 Turkish Lira and notes that each individual "MP candidate" will spend 30.000 for his campaign. The National Unity Party (UBP) is spending 1.000.000 TL and the candidate will spend 12.000 each. The Communal Democratic Party (TDP) has a budget of 500.000 TL. As regards the CTP, it stated that the party will announce its 'election campaign" budget after the "elections".

    [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns Egyptian Army shooting of protesters

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.07.13) reported that Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that people who staged a sit in to return democratic governance in Egypt were fired upon and over 50 people were killed as well as 500 others were wounded in front of the Republican Guards Headquarters of Cairo in Egypt.

    The ministry stated that it strongly condemned the attack in the name of basic humanitarian values and added that ?the attack which targeted people as a whole can be seen as an event which may cause vitally serious developments in Egypt. "We call on the International community to take the side of democracy and support the Egyptian people while they fight for democracy," said the ministry.

    Regarding allegations about evacuation of Turkish citizens from Egypt, an official with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that "there is no decision taken for such an action."

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.07.13) also reports that Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu discussed the recent developments in Egypt with a number of his counterparts over the phone on Sunday and Monday.

    Davutoglu discussed the steps taken to return to democracy again in Egypt on the phone with Sweden, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, Poland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Brazil, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Qatar and Morocco.

    According to diplomatic sources, Davutoglu's telephone diplomacy on Egypt has been continuing.

    [04] The Cost of the coup in Egypt to the (AKP) government

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Milliyet (08.07.13) publishes the following article by Kadri Gursel:

    "Our ruling Islamists first established a fictitious link between Gezi Park and Tahrir 2. Now, it seems that they want to supposedly express their solidarity with the victimhood of the Muslim Brotherhood government that was ousted by a coup in Egypt. They intend to convert this "solidarity" into legitimacy for crushing the opposition of civil society in Turkey even more. However, it will be impossible to do this.

    I am not saying that "it is impossible to crush civil society." I am saying that it is impossible to invent a basis of legitimacy for it or to make the world believe this.

    In any event, any insistence on policies of repression that were amply proven wrong when these led to a social explosion on 31 May and caused instability would not serve any purpose other than creating even more instability.

    The predicament of our ruling circles reminds me of one of the aphorisms of great American humorist and actor Will Rogers: "If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging."

    Unfortunately, this is precisely what the government is doing today. The government found itself in a hole it dug itself because of ominous policies. Now, instead of thinking about how it can get out of it, it keeps digging.

    As they continue digging, let us think about the real consequences of the coup in Egypt for an AKP-led Turkey.

    The losses are large and even strategic. The Muslim Brotherhood [Ikhwan] government in Egypt was the strategic partner of an AKP-led Turkey in terms of economic and political ties. An Ikhwan-led Egypt was the sine qua non of the "new Middle East order" or the "new Islamic world" for which Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has claimed leadership and authority.

    Our visionaries will obviously not be able to build the new regional order with their only remaining ally HAMAS in an eastern Mediterranean basin where Syria's Bashar al-Asad cannot be ousted. At this point, with the Ikhwan ousted in Egypt, it is not even worth discussing the An Nahda-led unobtrusive Tunisia.

    Another important aspect of Ikhwan for the vision of the AKP was that Egypt allowed [Turkey] to exercise soft power. We know that the AKP wanted to transfer to the Ikhwan its knowledge and experience in organizational and campaigning techniques in democratic processes and to activate the "AKP model" in Egypt. However, that Ikhwan government is no more. Consequently, the AKP has much less room to exercise soft power now.

    The "soft power" that was exercised through financial assistance was evidence of the scale of importance Ankara attached to the Ikhwan-led Egypt. Last October, when Egypt was struggling to secure a loan of $4.8 billion from the IMF, Ankara extended Cairo a five-year $1 billion loan, with no payments for three years. That was a large sum for both countries. Now, that $1 billion will not pay the expected political dividends.

    Entrepreneurs from Turkey have investments and businesses amounting to billions of dollars in Egypt. Egypt is a very big and important country. Ankara must be careful not to break its ties with Cairo so as to ensure that Turkey's material interests are not harmed. In the meantime, Ankara rightly called the coup a "coup" and criticized Western capitals for not calling the coup by its name.

    In other words, Ankara is now obligated to do business with the coup government in Egypt. This is likely to cause additional "loss of moral ground. "Apparently, in terms of realpolitik, there is not much difference between calling and not calling a coup a "coup."

    Finally, from Prime Minister Erdogan's perspective, the most concrete and immediate loss caused by the coup in Egypt is that he will not be able to visit Gaza for an indeterminate period. The Prime Minister has not been able to set the country's agenda since the "Gezi eruption." He appears to be stuck in a reactive position. An initiative in Gaza for domestic consumption purposes was seen as a potential exit from this downward spiral. Now another way has to be found.

    We would have had neither the Gezi Park episode nor Tahrir 2 if the Ikhwan had heeded Erdogan's advice to adopt secularism and if the Prime Minister had stuck to his own advice."

    [05] Gezi Park closed to public only hours after official opening

    Turkish daily Hurriyet (09.07.13) reports that Taksim Gezi Park, which has become the heart of the anti-government movement sweeping the nation, was briefly opened to public use yesterday before access to the park was blocked again by police officers three hours later.

    The decision to block access to the park came amid a call from the Taksim Solidarity Platform inviting protesters to the park for 7 p.m. The park was opened earlier with a small ceremony attended by Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu, Mayor Kadir Topbas and other local officials.

    [06] Converse election scenarios in Ankara

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper 907.07.13) publishes the following article by Goksel Bozkurt:

    "The slowing down of the resolution process following the Gezi Park incidents and recently the news about the military coup in Egypt has deeply affected political scenarios for 2014. These unpredicted domestic and international developments have brought contrary election scenarios. In deep discussions in the capital city, two converse scenarios are being whispered. These are converse because both of them make previous expectations vain and both have setups that would turn the routine calendar for the 2014 period upside down.

    The first of the scenarios envisions that three ballots are set up in August 2014. The local elections scheduled for March 2014 and the presidential election in June 2015 will be rescheduled for August 2014. There is no constitutional obstacle to that happening. There is a constitutional clause that says local elections are to be held every five years, but another paragraph allows the simultaneous holding of three elections.

    The 127th article of the Constitution, regulating local administrations, has a clause that says: "Local elections one year before or one year after general elections are organized together with general elections." Based on this article, the ruling party can reschedule the 2015 elections to August 2014, and without any need to change the Constitution, can automatically postpone local elections five months later to August.

    Well, what would the ruling party and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gain from the merging of the three elections cause? In this case, Erdogan might have the opportunity to shoot several birds with one stone. For example, the negative effects of such developments as the Gezi incidents, the stage at which the resolution process stands, international developments, the economic outlook, and the erosion after ruling for more than 10 years, will not be experienced in local elections. He will gain five extra months to make up for a possible negative picture and can spin the period into a favorable one.

    A possible loss of strength that might come up in the March local elections, which might create a negative effect on the presidential elections, will thus be eliminated by a postponement. Besides all that, Erdogan would hold the authority to determine the candidates both in local elections and in general elections. He would select the Mayors and the Deputies - even if it was for the last time - and would continue maintaining his influence in the party in the post-election period. If he does not wish to switch places with President Abdullah Gul in a similar model to the Putin-Medvedev one, then he can turn the merging of three elections into an advantage. Most importantly, if he is successful in these elections and obtains enough seats in Parliament to change the Constitution, then he may submit the new Constitution, including the presidential system, to society.

    No doubt, developments unfolding until the fall will show whether this scenario will be implemented or not. However, in the case that the ruling party wants to hold three elections simultaneously, then it has to push the button immediately after the opening of the Parliament in October, because the March 2014 local elections calendar will start on December 2013.

    In another converse scenario that is being whispered about in Ankara - but which has a very low chance of happening - is an "ambush" election in the fall. There is no such tendency yet in the government or the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), but there are assumptions elsewhere that the AKP will inevitably have to draw the card of the "ambush" elections in light of internal and external developments. It is particularly whispered that problems that might occur in the solution process of the Kurdish issue could oblige the government to take an "ambush" election decision.

    The AKP wing excludes both scenarios and says they do not believe either has any possibility of occurring. They especially reject the possibility of an ambush election in the fall, but say it is only "difficult" for the three election merger in 2014, if not "impossible"...

    We have come to the end of the Constitution Conciliation Commission's work. The stances of the leaders are important, but after this point it is an extremely weak possibility that a new Constitution will be written from scratch with the signatures of the four parties underneath. Despite this, there has been a new activity going on recently Instead of forming a Constitution from scratch, the aim is to prepare a "Constitution Consensus Package." The formula goes as such: There are nearly 60 clauses regarding fundamental rights and freedoms that the four parties have agreed upon. If the presidential system is not included, than 20 more clauses can be added to it. In this case, a constitutional amendment package of about 80 clauses bearing the signature of four parties can be approved.

    Executives of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) are discussing the resolution process with Abdullah Ocalan on Imrali island prison, and with top names in the Kandil Mountains. According to rumors, several options including "delaying the withdrawal" are being debated. They are uncomfortable with the government not taking any steps. On the other hand, the government is acting slowly, saying: "The withdrawal has not happened completely."

    I asked an influential Cabinet minister, "When is the package arriving?" I received the answer that more time was needed. I have the impression that Erdogan will announce its content in the next stage, but will leave the submitting of the wide package to Parliament until after the complete PKK withdrawal."

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    YH


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