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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-12-19
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 240/13 19.12.13
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Eroglu briefed the political parties on the joint statementTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (19.12.13), under the title " Full support from the political parties to the Turkish Cypriot proposal", reports in its front page that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu briefed yesterday at his "office" the four political parties represented at the "assembly". The four parties have fully supported the latest proposal that the Turkish Cypriot side submitted to the Greek Cypriot side on the text of the joint statement.
Meanwhile, Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, replying to the paper's questions, said that Anastasiades did not accept the Turkish Cypriot proposal and that he will prepare a counter-proposal. Eroglu's special representative Osman Ertug, in statements to the paper, said that they haven't any official reply from the Greek Cypriot side, however, he added, if it's correct what has been said, they had expected a reply to their proposal and not a counter-proposal from Anastasiades.
Ozkan Yorgancioglu, leader of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) and self-styled prime minister, said, after the briefing, that a reply has not come yet from the Greek Cypriot side, adding that he Greek Cypriot side should give a reply as soon as possible, so the negotiations can start.
Replying to a question whether the expression "single sovereignty" exists or not in the latest Turkish Cypriot proposal, Yorgancioglu said that if there is the expression, it was also at the Annan plan, and Talat and Christofias had already agreed on this, so there is nothing odd to this. He noted that it is not correct to say many details regarding the context of the text, however, he added, it is a reality that all these facts have already been agreed in the past.
Leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Huseyin Ozgurgun, commenting on the briefing, said that he doesn't think that they are in the correct path, adding that the negotiations should start without restrictions and conditions.
Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democrat Party - National Forces (DP-UG), said that all parties proved their support for both the proposal and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. He said that he hopes that the joint statement would be approved by the Greek Cypriot side and the negotiations would start. In case of rejection the proposal, Denktas said that nothing has remained for the Turkish Cypriot side to do.
The Leader of Communal Democracy Party (TDP) Cemal Ozyigit noted that the draft statement is parallel to TDP's views and the Turkish Cypriot side should not take any step back on the joint statement.
Meanwhile, Serdar Denktas, commenting on the negotiation process to the paper, said that the issue of sovereignty, which is included in the joint statement, contains risks. He also thinks that the joint statement should not be a condition for the resumption of the negotiations.
Referring to the occupied port of Famagusta, Serdar Denktas said the "port of Famagusta is an open port and not a closed one", adding that ships from all over the world come and go.
Moreover, New Cyprus Party (YKP), in a written statement evaluating the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, said that both sides play a "game" of accusations each other.
 Erdogan on bribery raids: It's a dirty operationTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.12.13) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said a "dirty operation" against the government is being carried out, commenting on a bribery and fraud operation that has targeted the sons of three Cabinet members along with some 80 business people and bureaucrats.
"There is a very dirty operation here," Erdogan said in Ankara during a press meeting. He said there were "some circles inside and outside of Turkey" that are seeking to hinder Turkey from its rapid growth, adding that his government would not allow "political plotting."
Erdogan said that the domestic extensions of the "dirty operation" were partly nestled in the government. "They are also seeking to harm the banks. It is most remarkable. This [organization] has extensions in Turkey, and has an international arm," he said and added that the ministers whose sons are suspected of involvement remain "sensitive" to the issue. Erdogan said the officers had been removed for abuse of office and similar changes could continue if necessary in other provinces too.
 Arinc: Ministers may resign if involved in bribery-Bagis is also said to be a suspect involved in corruption scandalTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.12.13) reports that Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that ministers who have been involved in a corruption investigation may leave their posts "if they are involved in a crime,", commenting on one of the biggest scandals to ever hit Turkey.
"We believe that our ministers are innocent. But that does not mean that we will protect them if they are involved in a crime concerning their sons. They may seek [permission] to leave or our prime minister may demand [their resignation]. We are going to see what they will do soon," Arinc told reporters at a press conference in Ankara.
The paper writes that EU Minister Egemen Bagis is also said to be a suspect involved in corruption and bribery.
Arinc described the latest operation as "a well-planned operation which includes methods of psychological warfare to tarnish the government," adding that they would disclose those who are responsible for attempting to discredit the administration. "If there's an illegal organization within the state, we will detect it. If there's an organization whose members use their authority for their own interests, we will reveal it within the shortest time possible," he said.
Arinc was asked whether he was referring to Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen's movement with the term "illegal organization" amid widespread speculation that the government is planning to launch an operation against followers of Gulen who are influential in the police and judiciary. "It is incorrect to associate a meaning to my comments that would create a confrontation with the [Gulen] community," Arinc said.
 New details revealed about Turkey's on-going graft probeTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.12.13) reports that the details are gradually being revealed regarding the on-going corruption investigations, which first shocked the country on Dec. 17 when the sons of three ministers, a mayor, and several businessmen were detained on bribery charges.
The operations were made up of three separate investigations.
The first raid was launched against Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab on allegations that he was running a crime ring. The Azeri businessman is accused of paying bribes to Cabinet members to cover his suspicious money transactions and get Turkish citizenship for his relatives and his men in the alleged crime gang.
Zarrab allegedly gave bribes to Interior Minister Muammer Guler's son Baris Guler, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan's son Salih Kaan Caglayan, and Halkbank General Manager Suleyman Aslan, in order to enable the transactions of money and gold between Turkey, Iran and Russia, daily Hurriyet reported on Dec. 18.
The second probe was for illegal construction permits given to several firms in exchange for bribes. Environment and Urbanization Minister Erdogan Bayraktar's son Abdullah Oguz Bayraktar, construction tycoons Ali Agaoglu, Osman Agca and Emrullah Turanli, Environment Ministry General Manager Mehmet Ali Kahraman, Environment Minister Adviser Sadik Soylu, Emlak Konut GYO General Manager Murat Kurum, TOKI Istanbul estate department head Ali Seydi Karaoglu, Environment Ministry planning official Turgay Albayrak, TOKI city planning branch head Yavuz Celik and 14 others are detained as part of this second probe.
The third probe is into allegations of construction permits given to a firm by Istanbul's Fatih Municipality, despite reports ruling that this construction would threaten the safety of the newly built Marmaray tunnel.
Fatih Mayor Mustafa Demir and Sevinc Dogan, the owner of the RCI architecture and design firm, are among the 32 people in custody as part of the probe. It is also alleged that a gang worked with the municipality to get permission to construct buildings on protected natural sites within the municipality's borders.
The Istanbul Public Prosecutor's Office has said that two of a total of three probes currently underway concern violations of the construction law and the coast law.
Istanbul police chief dismissed amid bribery probe into high-profile names
In addition, CNN Turk (19.12.13) reported that Istanbul Police Chief Huseyin Capkin has been dismissed from his post over the issue.
 Turkish journalist Ilicak fired after calling on ministers to resignAccording to Hurriyet (19.12.13) well-known Turkish journalist Nazli Ilicak was fired from the daily Sabah on December 18 after criticizing ministers whose sons are involved in a bribery investigation.
Ilicak, in speaking to the daily Hurriyet, said the daily's administration cited a "clash of ideas" as an excuse for the move. While on a CNN Turk news program Ilicak said the ministers whose sons had been detained as part of the fraud and bribery operation should resign.
 Turkish Islamic scholar Gulen rejects any link to graft probeTurkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (19.12.13) reports that Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen has rejected any link to an on-going corruption probe in which 52 people, including well-known businessmen, the sons of three ministers, and a number of advisors, have been detained as part of a major investigation into alleged bribery linked to public tenders.
Gulen strongly denied allegations that the probe was launched as part of a row between the government and the Hizmet movement. He dismissed claims circulating in national media, and deemed news reports suggesting that the faith-based Hizmet movement has "launched a war" against the government as ill-intentioned and a figment of the media's imagination.
 Senior US diplomat to visit Turkey amid corruption probe; Washington: Don't draw us into your family fightAccording to Hurriyet (19.12.13) a senior U.S. terrorism and financial intelligence diplomat is expected to visit to Turkey tomorrow, amid the on-going corruption operation targeting high-profile figures.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen was set to travel to Germany, the U.K., Turkey, and Israel this week, in order to continue the Treasury's engagement on issues related to illicit finance, including the implementation of existing international economic sanctions against Iran. Cohen is scheduled to visit Turkey tomorrow, daily Hurriyet reported. Cohen had warned Turkey in 2011 about trading with Iran, a country under international sanctions for its nuclear program.
In addition, the United States has told Ankara it has no any intention of getting involved into what it calls "a family fight," denying conspiracy theories suggesting Washington's role in the on-going struggle between the government and the powerful Gulen community that has exploded with a new corruption probe.
"Please don't draw us into your family fight here. We don't want one side or the other to feed this conspiracy idea that we are against the prime minister or against Fethullah Gulen Hocaefendi," U.S. officials told the Hurriyet Daily News yesterday. The message was also delivered to the Turkish government through diplomatic channels on the same day. "We really don't interfere. Not only because it's inappropriate, it's simply because we are unable to. As foreigners, what we do is respect Turkish democracy," officials said.
 CPJ report: Turkey listed again as leading jailer of journalistsTurkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (19.12.13) reports that for the second year in a row, Turkey has been listed as having the highest number of journalists in prison, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which prepares annual reports on victimized journalists across the world.
Turkey, which has 40 journalists in jail, is followed closely by Iran with 35 and China with 32. The report states that the number of journalists in Turkish jails has declined to 40 from the previous year's 49, as some were freed pending trial and others benefited from new legislation that allowed defendants in lengthy pre-trial detentions to be released for time served.
The CPJ especially pointed to dozens of Kurdish journalists who were imprisoned on terrorism-related charges and another group jailed for allegedly participating in anti-government plots. Criticizing Turkey's highly controversial Counterterrorism Law (TMK), the CPJ says, "Broadly worded anti-terror and penal code statutes allow Turkish authorities to conflate the coverage of banned groups with membership."
 Price hikes at the occupied area of the Republic of CyprusAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 18.12.13), self-styled prime minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu, making an announcement regarding price hikes before entering the so-called council of ministers meeting on Thursday morning, said that the price hikes in petrol and cylinder gas was not the self-styled government's policies and that the hikes were due to world exchange rates and rises in foreign currency.
He also said that the "government" did not determine the price rise in cylinder gas. The increase was under the control of 3 firms that traded in cylinder gas. "The price hike in petrol is tied to world markets and they are done periodically every 15 days", Yorgancioglu said.
He also said that the price hikes were not as high that it should lead to reactions in the public and in newspapers, giving examples of petrol prices in the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey and noted that compared to other countries petrol prices in the "TRNC" were low.
Meanwhile, "BRT" also broadcast that the "Cyprus Turkish civil servants union" (KTAMS) will be going on general strike on Friday in protest at the latest price hikes. Union leader Ahmet Kaptan made a statement to the "BRT" announcing the union's decision to go on general strike.
Explaining that the country was passing through difficult times, Kaptan claimed that the price hikes had been tied to a routine and that workers buying power had been diminished. "Both civil servants and private sector workers do not have the strength to survive against such price hikes", said Kaptan and slammed the "government" for being insensible.
 Turkish firm which won the tender for illegal Tymvou airport involved in Turkey's fraud operationTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.12.13) reports that "deputy" with the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Mehmet Cakici issued a question to the self-styled government yesterday noting that the Turkish firm which won the tender for illegal Tymvou airport involved in Turkey's fraud operation. Cakici asked how this development will affect "Tymvou airport" and the breakaway regime in general. Cakici was speaking at the 'assembly".
Replying to the question, so-called minister of public works and transportation Ahmet Kasif said that Turkey's issues do not concern the breakaway regime.
 Breakaway regime participate as observer in the workshop of the Competition Authority of the OICTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.12.13) reports that the breakaway regime participate in the workshop of the Competition Authority of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), with the observer status.
The meeting took place in Istanbul between 9-10 of December.
 Mayor of Hatay on Syrian border leaves ruling AKP for main opposition CHPHurriyet (18.12.13) reports that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) accepted Lutfu Savas, the incumbent mayor of the Hatay province on the Syrian border, into its ranks.
Savas, who recently resigned from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), is expected to be nominated for the same post against the AKP's nominated candidate, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION