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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-04-02

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. 60/14 01-02.04.14

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu pleased with Anastasiades' meeting
  • [02] Nami: The pace of the Cyprus talks must be speeded up
  • [03] Ozersay is going to Moscow today; Statements on the negotiations process
  • [04] Siber's contacts in London: She met with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's Secretary General
  • [05] How Turkish Cypriot political parties assess the local election results in Turkey
  • [06] Davutoglu met with Kerry, Hague and Fule, asked for acceleration of the Cyprus talks
  • [07] Apologies for the photo shoot scandal in a Greek Orthodox cemetery in occupied Keryneia
  • [08] Deep Purple will perform in the occupied area of Cyprus despite protests
  • [09] TDP, BKP and Baraka Culture Center asked for KTOS's support for the forthcoming "local elections"
  • [10] The local election results are being contested; protests against the results
  • [11] Kilicdaroglu warned of "witch-hunt"
  • [12] Columnist assesses the elections' results and says that Erdogan will focus on Cyprus talks among other topics in the foreign front
  • [13] Davutoglu defends YouTube ban

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Eroglu pleased with Anastasiades' meeting

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 01.04.14), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades met on Monday for two hours and 45 minutes at the official residence of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative Lisa Buttenheim.

    The two leaders, in addition to reviewing the work carried out by their respective negotiators Kudret Ozersay and Andreas Mavroyannis, also discussed proposals brought to the table, particularly proposals on confidence building measures. An agreement was reached to complete the screening process as soon as possible and to move to the next stage of the negotiations process

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Eroglu said that the next stage of the talks once the screening process is completed will be to bring bridging proposals to the negotiating table.

    Noting that they had also found the opportunity to discuss confidence building measures, Eroglu claimed that "an agenda was trying to be created in the South on the issue of confidence building measures". He added: "These proposals can become of value when it concerns and interests the two peoples on the island. We focused on this and discussed in detail these proposals".

    Reminding that there was a decision to meet with Anastasiades once a month, Eroglu said: "We found the opportunity to get to know each other and our ideas better. I can say that it was a good, sincere and a productive meeting. We shall give you more details once we discuss the issues of substance".

    [02] Nami: The pace of the Cyprus talks must be speeded up

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 01.04.14), self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami said that any steps to be taken in the Cyprus negotiations process must lead to a comprehensive settlement.

    Speaking to "BRT" on Tuesday morning, Nami said that the current talks were not proceeding in the way envisaged by the joint statement. "The expectations for a settlement on both sides are much higher. Both sides are ready. Even the Church in the South has expressed its support", he said.

    Pointing out that time is still needed for a process of give and take to begin; in spite all the support that existed for a solution, Nami said that the latest statements showed that the Greek Cypriot side was still not ready for a process of give and take.

    Claiming that the Greek Cypriot side had slowed down the process, Nami said that it will not be possible to reach anywhere by meeting only once a month, something which he added had been conveyed to their Greek Cypriot counterparts. "Meeting once a week at the negotiators level is unacceptable. The pace must be speeded up", he added.

    Stating that the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades was working for a settlement with a team of 70 experts, Nami underlined the need to appoint an expert on the Cyprus Turkish side for each topic and chapter discussed.

    Nami said that all "state and government institutions" needed to prepare if the two sides were to move onto a process of give and take.

    "We have been making this offer to Eroglu for a very long time and are still waiting for a reply. The process commenced with the joint statement but it has not proceeded accordingly" he said. Nami also highlighted the need for more collaboration and cooperation with Eroglu's office in order to move the process forward and to start a process of give and take.

    Also touching upon the issue of Confidence Building Measures, (CBMs) Nami said that everyone had to get rid of the perception that CBMs were equal to opening the fenced off town of Varosha. "CBMs entail and involve a wide range of issues and areas from roaming, to the environment and commerce as well as other areas of daily life. We need to focus on issues which have an impact on our everyday lives", he added.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 01.04.14) reported that according to press release by self-styled foreign ministry, Nami, within the framework of his contacts in Germany, had an interview with German weekly newsmagazine 'Der Spiegel'. The interview was published under the headline "Cyprus 'a Historical Opportunity'.

    During the interview, Nami evaluated his contacts in Germany and refereed to the Cyprus problem and the negotiation process in Cyprus.

    "During the process of reunification, we demanded Germany's support. Finally, Turkish and Greek Cypriots are ready for this step after 40 years so this should not fail. We are here for that purpose", Nami said.

    Stressing that Germany can make positive contributions to the negotiation process, Nami said that the Germans are powerful within the European Union and experts on the issues of reunification. Pointing out that Turkish Cypriots are not members of the European Union and live under isolations, Nami claimed: "Today, our university students cannot participate in Erasmus and Socrates programs, our businessmen cannot make direct agreements in the European Union countries and there is not any direct flight to North Cyprus".

    Moreover, stating that compared to the EU countries, "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus) is less developed; Nami said that a special program is needed to reach the EU standards in the fields of infrastructure, administration and education.

    Expressing that in case of reunification of the island, Europe's dependency on Russia can be reduced due to the gas reservoirs around the island, Nami said "We can help Europe on this issue".

    Pointing out that the agreement can be ready to be signed within a few months, Nami said: "However, the Greek Cypriots should act quicker". Replying to a question if there is a possibility for a failure of the negotiations and the permanence of the island's division, Nami said: "No one desires a two-state solution. What is really desired is a federal state structure. The necessary political will exists for this, so, now it is time to take further steps."

    [03] Ozersay is going to Moscow today; Statements on the negotiations process

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.04.14) reports that the Turkish Cypriot negotiator, Kudret Ozersay is departing for Moscow today where he will hold high level contacts at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ozersay will be accompanied by the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu's adviser on political affairs, Gunes Onar and the director/representative at Eroglu's office, Gulfem Veziroiglu Sevgili.

    The paper recalls that since the resumption of the Cyprus talks on 11 February, Ozersay had held contacts in Ankara, Athens, Brussels, New York and Washington.

    Sources close to Eroglu's office told Kibris that holding direct contacts with Moscow is very important because of Russia's being a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

    The paper points out that the visit is being held in a period during which "cold winds" are allegedly blowing in the relations between Russia and the Republic of Cyprus, because of the issue of Crimea.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot Kibris Postasi newspaper (online, 02.04.14) reports that in statements to illegal Bayrak television, Ozersay referred to the solution of the Cyprus problem and argued that "the solution is close but its full form cannot be foreseen".

    He argued, inter alia, the following: "This negotiation process is different from the others. With the economic crises both sides agree on the fact that the current status quo cannot be maintained?There is an expectation for both communities' wish for change to be reflected on the leader's attitude. In this positive period the negotiations benefit from the communities' will towards solution. But there is a risk for this positivity to end if the people do not see any progress?The influence of international actors cannot be overlooked, especially US is closely watching the process?The solution should be found by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. A solution that is not found by the Cypriot communities will not be a permanent one?"

    Referring to the incidents during a speech by the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Limassol, Ozersay said that this kind of actions "should be condemned and eliminated" in 21st century.

    He added: "The Greek Cypriots feel embarrassed because of the attack. The issue was also discussed by the leaders during the leaders' meeting. In a possible federal partnership this kind of actions may cause trouble. For that reason we should tackle them beforehand?Further steps should be taken for certain changes before the comprehensive solution. The solution of the problems should not be indexed to the political solution?State and government officials need to explain TRNC's perspective to the world. There have been different comments on this but the negotiation process is much more crucial than any of them?In order to reach to a comprehensive solution both parties should step the middle?We share many things with the press but some topics are withheld in order to keep our hand strong regarding the issues which require bargaining?The solution is close but cannot be foreseen. Whether or not we reach an agreement we have many things to do in order to solve our issues. We should not sit around and wait for a solution to happen?"

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Siber's contacts in London: She met with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's Secretary General

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (02.04.14) reports on the contacts of the self-styled speaker of the "assembly" Sibel Siber in London and writes that she met with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's Secretary General Dr William F. Shija.

    According to the paper, speaking during the meeting, Sibel stated that while the negotiations are continuing in Cyprus, the will of the Turkish Cypriots for a solution continues as well. She said that the Turkish Cypriot community is one of the two communities of UN-parameters bi-communal solution of the Cyprus problem and their voice must be heard. She said that she conveys a request by the Turkish Cypriot community so that the voice of its elected representatives to be heard at the Commonwealth meetings.

    According to the paper, the meeting, which was organized by the Turkish Cypriot lobby in London, took place at the CPA's Secretary General's official residence. The Chairman of the UK's All-Party Turkish Cypriot "Parliamentary Group" and Commonwealth Program Director Meehakshi Chair and the Finance Director Joe Omorodion were also present during the meeting.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (01.04.14) reported that within the framework of her contacts, Siber met with the representatives of the British Council of Turkish Cypriot Associations, the British Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Turkish Women in Great Britain at the "TRNC Representation Office" in London.

    Speaking during the visits, Siber said that the Turkish Cypriot population residing in the UK should have qualified power in addition to numbers. She added that this effective power will have a locomotive effect for Turkish Cypriots to express themselves.

    Noting that she had learned that there were around 300 thousand Turkish Cypriots living in the UK, Siber said "this is where our power and strength lies in Europe. Our children should know their mother tongue, read and learn about their own history and culture because people who live here can make great contributions to Turkish Cypriot society."

    Meanwhile, the "parliamentary delegation" consisting of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces "deputy"" Birikim Ozgur, the Democrat Party National Forces "deputy" Ergun Serdaroglu, the National Unity Party "deputy" Izlem Gurcag and the Social Democratic Party "deputy" Zeki Celer joined Siber in London on March 31.

    [05] How Turkish Cypriot political parties assess the local election results in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (02.04.14) reports that Kutlay Erk, general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has argued that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's target to join the European Union (EU) has not changed and for this reason Erdogan allegedly wants to solve the Cyprus problem. Asked to comment on the local elections results in Turkey, Erk argued that "we need Erdogan's vision".

    The paper notes that the CTP's hope for a solution in Cyprus is still the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its president and Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    In statements to journalists, Erk referred to a meeting they had held with Erdogan in 2003 and said: "In that meeting Erdogan had explained the developments which would happen and his targets, and put forward his projection for today. All his predictions have come true today. We saw that Erdogan has a vision". Erk expressed the belief that Erdogan will exert efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Meanwhile, in statements to Kibris Postasi (01.04.14), CTP's Turkish Cypriot politicians evaluated the Turkish local elections results. CTP's "MP" Asim Akansoy said, inter alia, the following: "I think there were three major factors affecting the results. Firstly AKP acted correctly during the selection of the local candidates?They ran a very successful PR and communications campaign. They reflected the determination which the Turkish voters wanted to see. In general Erdogan showed himself more. But at the local scale candidates put their own projects forward... It seems like corruption allegations did not affect the results. Secondly, we see that social media bans did not affect the results either. Thirdly, the discussions on parallel state-Gulen movement and government contributed to AKP as Erdogan was seen as more promising for their future?"

    Moreover, the self-styled minister of public works and transport, Ahmet Kasif, who is coming from the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG), said that the results indicate a wish for stability in Turkey and that the country has come united around Erdogan's views. "I congratulate him and his party", he noted.

    Furthermore, the self-styled deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP), Faiz Sucuoglu said that the AKP received more votes than expected and that high tension existed during the election period. He went on and added: "?It is important that the Prime Minister and the leaders of the opposition act immediately in order to ease this tension. Unfortunate events have happened during this period. Prime Minister Erdogan should be more embracing. This polarization is not good for anyone".

    Finally, Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) said: "AKP really managed to keep its power despite major demonstrations and corruption scandals. It was a test for the people of Turkey and this test resulted in AKP's success. The opposition should question itself?Maybe there is a problem there. If you notice the opposition parties tried to make these elections more than what it actually was, that is a local election. They tried to make this election more about Gezi Park protests, 17 December period and called AKP to account for all this. But this did not happen and locality won this elections. More than the major projects the local ones targeting local needs became more popular and won over the national ones."

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Davutoglu met with Kerry, Hague and Fule, asked for acceleration of the Cyprus talks

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.04.14), Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, during his Brussels visit, met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague and talks touched on the 40-year-old Cyprus dispute between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

    Davutoglu praised the U.S.'s contributions towards finding a solution, but said Turkey would want more U.K. involvement. "We want to accelerate the negotiation process," he said. "The recent momentum is relatively positive, however, it needs to be result-oriented."

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 02.04.14) reports that Davutoglu, speaking upon questions regarding the Cyprus problem to the press after his meeting with European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Stephan Fule, said: "The current momentum is highly positive. However it is important that the momentum should be focused on the results. We do not think a delayed process would result in a solution".

    According to the reports Davutoglu's meetings with John Kerry and Fule both had the Cyprus problem as the main agenda topic.

    "We think negotiations should speed up. The Turkish Cypriot side also wishes the same. Otherwise, if the process is prolonged, solution would be difficult" said Davutoglu.

    He also said that they had been talking with self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami on the phone during this process.

    [07] Apologies for the photo shoot scandal in a Greek Orthodox cemetery in occupied Keryneia

    Under the front-page title: "Apologies", Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (01.04.14) reports on the issue related with the photographs taken in a Greek Orthodox cemetery in occupied Keryneia, showing Turkish Cypriot models posing next to graves of Greek Cypriots and writes that after the Church in the Republic of Cyprus has transferred the issue to the UN and the EU officials, the "chairman" of the "Religious affairs department" in the occupied area of Cyprus, Talip Atalay expressed his apologies and said that they would take measures so that similar incidents to be avoided in the future. Atalay added: "we have to show respect to religious places, cemeteries and temples, no matter on which religious groups they belong".

    Meanwhile, commenting on the issue, Bilal Bastemur, one of the models, who has been posed next to Greek Cypriot's graves, in statements to the paper expressed his apologies to the Greek Cypriots and said that they are aware that they have done a mistake. He said that they took these photos not on behalf of any company or business but only for their agency and added that they did not know that these photographs would cause such anger and pain.

    Also, in statements to Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (02.04.14), a 17 years old model with the initiatives T.O, who has been taken also photos next to the graves, said that desecration was not their purpose and expressed her sincere apologies saying that its being one year since the photos were taken and that she has done only what they told her to do, as soon as she undertook duties to the photography agency.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (01.0414, online version) reported that according to Kibris newspaper, the photographer who did not want to be named, apologized for the unfortunate incident and said that he regretted for causing pain. The photographer also said that during the photo shoot they did not realize that the graves were not all empty and added: 'empty or not, what we have done unintentionally was very wrong, and I want to apologize for the pain it caused".

    Also, the "foreign relations secretary and deputy secretary general" of the Turkish Cypriot Social Democratic Party (TDP) Deniz Birinci expressed her reaction on a TV program in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and said that "we do not have tolerance for any kind of disrespectful act whichever community it comes from".

    Birinci also urged the Greek Cypriot community not to judge the Turkish Cypriot community as a whole because of the incident and said: "As we cannot blame all of the Greek Cypriot community for the ELAM attack, you should not blame the Turkish Cypriot community as a whole for this".

    (AK)

    [08] Deep Purple will perform in the occupied area of Cyprus despite protests

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 31.03.14) published the following letter by Deep Purple's front man Ian Gillan sent to Cypriots regarding their widely discussed Cyprus concert.

    "(?) My views are not necessarily those of the rest of the guys in Deep Purple. So, please take this as a personal opinion.

    We - DP - have never been on one side or the other when it comes to performing music. (?) The diplomatic and cultural side door was always open for art, entertainment and sport, no matter how frightening and confrontational all the rest of it was.

    Amongst many of the countries we have visited are Israel, Lebanon, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Greece, Turkey, Armenia, USA, Venezuela, Argentina, UK, China and Japan; all of which have a conflict with somebody or another, and all with behaviour and traditions that someone else doesn't like. (?)

    The nearest I ever came to banning myself from performing in a country for political reasons was very close to home. And so I was involved, had a stance, took a side. Tony Blair's illegal and murderous adventure in Iraq made me angry, and ashamed enough to think about excommunicating Britain; sounds silly but I was very angry. However, it went against our historical position, which is: To perform anywhere we are invited, regardless of local difficulties/conflict, wars, earthquakes, riots, typhoons, strikes, rebellions, gun-fire and so on. Therefore we continued to perform in the UK.

    And so it should be with Cyprus, across the divide. And may I add that our many previous visits to Turkey and Greece have been fabulous; I personally have friends in both countries."

    [09] TDP, BKP and Baraka Culture Center asked for KTOS's support for the forthcoming "local elections"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (02.4.14) reports that a delegation of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), the United Cyprus Party (BKP) and the Baraka Culture Center continue their contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus with the aim to receive support for the forthcoming "local elections" to take place in the occupied area of Cyprus next June.

    As the paper writes, the delegation of these parties, met yesterday with officials of the Turkish Cypriot Teacher's Trade Union (KTOS) and met specifically with the chairman of KTOS, Guven Varoglu and the general secretary of the union, Sener Elcil.

    The delegation asked for KTOS support to their "common struggle" aiming to bring democracy and peace in the "island" to ease the people's lives in the occupied area of Cyprus and to be self-administrated in their "country".

    In statements during the meeting, the chairman of KTOS trade union, Guven Varoglu referred to the latest developments on the Cyprus problem stressing the need for all Cypriots to participate to this process.

    Commenting on the alliance between the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Party (DP) for the forthcoming local elections, Varoglu expressed the opinion that this alliance would not be limited only to the "local elections", but will constitute the basis for an alliance between the two parties for the "presidential elections".

    Also, the general secretary of KTOS, Sener Elcil said that they would not accept to meet and support those who are against their principles.

    (AK)

    [10] The local election results are being contested; protests against the results

    According to Turkish daily Sabah (01.04.14), political parties' objections to the results of Sunday's local elections are catalogued and assessed at the Supreme Election Board (YSK). The head of YSK, Sadi Guven, assured all parties yesterday, noting that all objections would be assessed in a timely manner.

    Statements have been made by a number of political parties objecting to the results of the March 30 local elections. Guven expressed that the objections were legal and he called on political parties and citizens to remain calm.

    In Ankara, Mansur Yavas from the Republican People's Party (CHP) claimed his party won in the capital but the votes were not counted properly. He stated that Melih Gokcek from the AK Party had interfered in the results. In the Susuz district of Kars province, AK Party candidate Murat Uray disputed the results and called for a recount of the votes. His objection was accepted by the Susuz Elections Judge who said the new results would be announced in a few days. In Bartin, the CHP objected to the results and the district's local assembly and officials are currently doing a recount.

    Responding to journalists' questions at the YSK, Guven stated that there is currently a difficult process underway in response to disputes of the final results of the elections. Noting that parties are legally entitled to dispute election results, Guven stated that it was a natural process and he didn't think it would pose a problem for the local election boards.

    On the same issue, Sabah reports that after CHP and AK Party's objections 124 ballot boxes in the province of Yalova were recounted. Unofficial results showed AK Party had won the race for mayor in Yalova with just one more vote.

    After CHP objected and demanded a recount to the city's election board, CHP became the new victor by 5 votes.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 01.04.14) reported that the Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul candidate Mustafa Sarigul has also called for the recounting of votes in local polls for "a better acceptance of the results."

    Sarigul, who lost against incumbent Mayor Kadir Topbas from the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) by eight points, said the incident-filled counting process was marred by power blackouts in several Istanbul districts and irregularities at ballot boxes.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.04.14) reported that police fired a water cannon into a crowd in the Turkish capital, Ankara, Tuesday to push back people protesting against Sunday's local election results outside the Supreme Electoral Council.

    The group, chanting slogans, gathered in front of the council building to protest the results which have the AK Party leading the polls.

    The riot police then intervened to disperse the protesters using water cannons and stun grenades after having warned them.

    The local election results are being contested in some provinces, especially in Ankara where it appears the AK Party won.

    [11] Kilicdaroglu warned of "witch-hunt"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 31.03.14) reported that the main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has evaluated his Republican People's Party's (CHP) results in the March 30 local elections as a "start", while warning of a possible "witch-hunt" after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's aggressive victory speech.

    "I admit that we did not collect as many votes as we expected. But we are going step by step, assimilating [the results]. We will get more in touch with the people, tell them more truths," Kilicdaroglu said during a press statement March 31, adding the result that most gratified him was the victory of the CHP's candidate in the southern province of Hatay.

    Kilicdaroglu also slammed Erdogan's victory address in front of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters on the balcony of his party headquarters in Ankara, describing it as an "antagonizing" speech. "He has clearly started to threaten democracy, the law and social groups. You cannot threaten any citizen as long as the CHP exists. You are going to start a witch-hunt? What happened to the rule of law?" he asked.

    Kilicdaroglu added that he expected pressure from the government to increase in the coming months. "They have been trying to shape the opposition, because [Erdogan] does not tolerate any opposition. He has shaped the state, then the judiciary. But you will not be strong enough to shape the CHP as you wish," he said.

    Kilicdaroglu also criticized the presence of family members and aides implicated in the graft scandal on the balcony, including Erdogan's son Bilal, who stood next to his father throughout almost the entire speech.

    The CHP head once again rejected claims of collaboration with the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of orchestrating the graft probes against the government.

    While denying rumours of resignation as "absurd and completely false," Kilicdaroglu stressed how the CHP had increased the number of its votes in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir significantly.

    [12] Columnist assesses the elections' results and says that Erdogan will focus on Cyprus talks among other topics in the foreign front

    Columnist Ibrahim Kalin, in Turkish daily Sabah (02.04.14), under the title "Winners and losers", evaluates the results of the local elections in Turkey and writes that the government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will focus now on the foreign front.

    "(?) As expected, Prime Minister Erdogan's ruling AKP came out as the clear winner of the March 30 local elections. This is a major victory for any party that has been in power for 11 years.

    (?)

    While Erdogan enjoys another electoral victory, his sixth since 2002, the opposition parties are the sore losers. The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) increased its vote by a few points to 27.8% but lost major cities such as Antalya, Artvin and Tunceli where it has previously been rather strong. CHP is once again cornered in the coastal cities, though this time without the big city of Antalya, and has shown no presence in central and eastern Anatolia. CHP's unholy alliance with the Gulenists brought it no profits, only exposing its unprincipled pragmatism.

    (?)

    The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), winning 15.2%, ran a sluggish campaign and performed equally as poor to lose several cities to the AKP.

    Winning about 6.4% in eastern Anatolia, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) won some new cities but failed to increase its votes across the board. The Turkish and Kurdish versions of 19th century nationalism once again had no national appeal.

    The election results made two things clear: The Gulenist claim to have millions of supporters is a self-proclaimed urban legend and their attacks on Erdogan and his family had practically no impact on the religious-conservative base in Turkey.

    (?)

    With another comfortable win behind it, Erdogan's government can now get back to the main issues of political reform, economic growth, EU negotiations and the peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue. Even the unfinished business of writing a new constitution might be given fresh consideration. On the foreign policy front, the government will now focus on the Cyprus negotiations, ongoing civil war in Syria, upcoming elections in Iraq and the normalization of relations with Israel.

    As noted by many, this election was not a local election but a vote of confidence for Erdogan. He passed that vote. (?) Regardless of their political affiliation, gender or class, all Turkish citizens have benefitted from the political stability and economic growth of the last 11 years. On March 30, they voted for stability and development against ideological adventures.

    The results also show that the vast majority of the Turkish electorate does not approve of attempts to subvert and shape politics through such illicit means as illegal wiretappings, baseless allegations and smear campaigns.(..)"

    [13] Davutoglu defends YouTube ban

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.04.14), Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has defended blocking access to video-sharing website YouTube.

    Every country takes measures concerning its national security if it is at risk, Davutoglu said Tuesday in Brussels, where he attended a summit meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers.

    "Every country across the world protects the rights of its citizens and takes measures in matters relating to national security," Davutoglu said.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.04.14), under the title "Turkey justifies YouTube ban for insult to Ataturk", reports that the ban on YouTube has been legally justified by a law that penalizes insults to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, rather than the publication of leaked voice recordings of a top security meeting on Syria.

    The court decision referred to by the Turkish Telecommunication Authority (TIB) did not cite any law that potentially penalizes the leak of secret files.

    Cyber-law expert Gokhan Ahi told Hurriyet that the court might have used any video insulting Ataturk as an excuse to ban access to all of YouTube's content from Turkey. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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