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

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. 62/14 04.04.14

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu: Anastasiades contradicts with the negotiation procedure
  • [02] Ozersay: Russia's stance is important for the negotiating process
  • [03] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce participated in the 30th Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture plenary session
  • [04] Cakici: There is no progress in the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Former Turkish Foreign Minister: The "two states" in Cyprus could be recognized by foreign countries
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot columnist: Eroglu's proposal on demining Cyprus is tantamount to throwing the "early solution" into a minefield
  • [07] BKP: Turkey's local elections were the darkest elections of Turkey's history
  • [08] Turkey declares Ergenekon a "terrorist organization"
  • [09] More EU funds for Southern Gas Corridor project
  • [10] Preparatory schools start shutdown one year before deadline
  • [11] Turkish Foreign Ministry bans use of cell phones on its premises after leak
  • [12] Columnist: Erdogan needs 3 million votes for presidential elections

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Eroglu: Anastasiades contradicts with the negotiation procedure

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 03.04.14), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's office issued a written statement on Thursday as a response to Cyprus President Anastasiades' comments during his high level contacts.

    Below are some highlights from the statement:

    "Anastasiades, who is visiting Brussels in the framework of the EU-Africa summit held a meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. According to the information we have, during that meeting Anastasiades complained about the Turkish Cypriot side's attitude and accused us for not acting according to the parameters of the joint declaration. In addition to that Mr Anastasiades allegedly said: 'As long as Mr Eroglu is the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, I don't believe we can find a solution'. Furthermore, he told the UN SG that the process would gain momentum after the presidential elections in 2015's spring. It is reported that during the statement, which Mr Anastasiades gave after his meeting with the UN SG, he said 'there is no other option for solution rather than transforming the Cyprus Republic to a federal regime'.

    These statements contradict with the continuing negotiations' procedure and its essence. These words create fears about the real intention of the Greek Cypriot side. There are worries that the real intention of the Greek Cypriot side is not to find a solution as soon as possible but to delay the process. The fact that Mr Anastasiades held a unilateral meeting with the UN SG and gave a false impression of the Turkish Cypriot side's attitude is worrying, especially during this period in which the hopes for a solution are increased.

    It is a known and agreed upon parameter that the new federal structure will be a new entity. So the new structure will not be a transformed version of the Greek Cypriot Administration."

    [02] Ozersay: Russia's stance is important for the negotiating process

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.04.14) reports that the Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay held contacts yesterday at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the negotiating process in Cyprus. Ozersay met with Andrey Maslov, Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Fourth Department for European Affairs, and diplomats who are responsible for Cyprus issues.

    After his two and a half hour contacts, Ozersay said that they have exchanged views on the negotiations process aiming at finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. He noted that they discussed at which stage the negotiating process is, the way Russia sees the process and what could be done for reaching a result. Ozersay recalled that this is the fourth visit held to Moscow on behalf of what he described as "TRNC presidency" and argued that the negotiations for a comprehensive solution have been institutionalized.

    Emphasizing that Russia's stance is important for the negotiations, Ozersay said that his visit was important from the point of view of "briefing one of the important actors within the UN Security Council on the process and explain what kind of a solution the TRNC looks for".

    Meanwhile, in statements to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.04.14), Ozersay said that his contacts in Moscow were useful and expressed the view that "a healthy dialogue has been established between Moscow and us". Noting that "there is nothing more natural than consulting with Russia", because the Cyprus problem is a dispute which is on the agenda of the UN Security Council.

    "It is important to convey sound information on the issue of the Turkish Cypriots' positions, demands and sensitivities, because, due to various reasons and our limited capacity until today, some prejudices caused some negative results", he alleged adding that this is the reason why they must explain well their views and expectations.

    Referring to the issue of Crimea, Ozersay argued that the crisis there did not exceed a certain point because of the mutual dependency that exists between the sides involved in the issue. He expressed the view that this situation could constitute an example for Eastern Mediterranean, where relations of mutual dependency between the sides that are in conflict with each other could establish stability.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce participated in the 30th Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture plenary session

    Turkish Cypriot daily Realist newspaper (04.04.14) reports that the newly elected chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (TCCC) Fikri Toros participated in the 30th Islamic Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture plenary session which was held in Tunis.

    The paper writes that Toros and TCCC member Unut Vehit who also participated in the plenary session held contacts in Tunis.

    According to the paper, Toros stated that in case a solution of the Cyprus problem is reached, "North Cyprus" will be the only Muslim country member of the EU, adding that this would set an example and will set bridges with other countries.

    [04] Cakici: There is no progress in the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (04.04.14) reports that Mehmet Cakici, "deputy" with the Social Democracy Party (TDP) stated there is no progress as regards the Cyprus problem.

    Cakici, who evaluated the latest developments of the Cyprus problem, criticized what he called a "merciless rivalry" between the "foreign minister" Ozdil Nami and the Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay. He said that as regards the negotiations there is nothing new and they are at the same point they were two years ago. He said that the joint statement was the only positive thing but as he argues, this is not enough.

    [05] Former Turkish Foreign Minister: The "two states" in Cyprus could be recognized by foreign countries

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.04.14) reports that the former Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yasar Yakis has said that the current situation in Cyprus, that is "the two state solution", could be recognized by foreign countries in case the solution of the Cyprus problem is prolonged.

    Yakis has paid a two-day visit to the island in order to participate in a Turkish-Greek Forum. In statements to Kibris, Yakis, who served as Foreign Minister during the Annan Plan period, argued that different elements exist now in the Cyprus problem compared to ten years ago. He expressed the view that the issue created boredom in the international community and should be solved at last. He said he is hopeful on the issue of the solution in Cyprus. He recalled that a leader who had voted 'yes' to the Annan Plan is President of Cyprus now and that the Church, which has allegedly "hard" views on the Cyprus problem, offered its support to the joint declaration signed between President Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu.

    Noting that the positive elements in the process are giving him hope, Yakis said that the USA has undertaken a more active role compared to the past because of its own interest.

    Referring to a report by the International Crisis Group which points out to a "two state solution" in Cyprus, Yakis said that the issue has been discussed during the meeting and the Greeks in the forum noted that they are strongly against such a development. Yakis noted, however, that he was not sure whether these people represented the view of the official authorities of their country. He added: "It has been said that Greece will definitely not agree with this. I do not know whether it will agree or not, but I estimate that when no other way remains, the current situation will slowly be accepted by the international community. The international community is tired of this. If there is no solution, the de facto situation will, willy-nilly, be accepted". And the de facto situation means two states?"

    Referring to the local elections result in Turkey, Yakis argued that the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) victory and the fact that it came out more powerful from the elections, will facilitate AKP's acting in a more determined manner on difficult issues such as Cyprus. "It means that it will not fear expressions such as 'Cyprus is being sold'", he added.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Turkish Cypriot columnist: Eroglu's proposal on demining Cyprus is tantamount to throwing the "early solution" into a minefield

    Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (04.04.14) under the title "Full support to Eroglu by me", columnist Sami Ozuslu refers to Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's proposal regarding the demining of Cyprus. Ozuslu reports that absolutely no one who supports the solution could oppose to this proposal and adds, inter alia, the following:

    "?While the citizens in the streets wonder whether a solution will be reached within this year and began hoping again on the issue of the solution, Eroglu considers appropriate to 'increase confidence' instead of substantial issues. And he chooses the 'minefield' for [showing] his will for confidence building measures! Undoubtedly, there is no possibility of Eroglu not knowing that a serious fund is needed for the demining issue and this is a project which needs to be spread in time for a period that could be considered as long. That is, if the demining will increase 'confidence', this is not something which could happen within a short period of time. Taking a decision and a step in this direction is positive of course, but while the expectation for an early solution exists from the negotiating table that took months to be established, Eroglu's proposal has no other meaning that throwing the issue into a 'minefield'. Moreover, the issue of the 'minefields' is not such a very appropriate channel from the point of view of strengthening 'rapprochement' and 'cooperation'?

    If Eroglu really wants to submit confidence building measures with the intention of creating confidence, melting the ice between the two communities and preparing them for the solution, I have some humble suggestions. For example, he could bring together the GSM operators and propose that they should secure that our telephones receive signal in the south and those of the Greek Cypriots receive signal in the north. He could open for debate the speeding up of a project for a road which will pass through the buffer zone in order to eliminate the suffering of Louroudjina village. He could suggest a friendly football match between Turkish and Greek Cypriot politicians. A discussion could be held on proposals such as the leaders' undertaking an initiative for a 'peace concert' in the buffer zone and bringing together artists?"

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] BKP: Turkey's local elections were the darkest elections of Turkey's history

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (04.04.14) reports that Abdullah Korkmazhan, General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), described the latest local elections in Turkey as the "darkest elections of Turkey's history".

    In a written statement, Korkmazhan criticized the policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government regarding the restriction of the freedom of expression, the excessive violence of the police, which resulted to the death of children, the bribes, the corruption scandals, and so on?

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Korkmazhan said that Erdogan's vision for a Cyprus settlement has no place there, and added that the Turkish Cypriot community will not give permission to be deceived on this matter.

    [08] Turkey declares Ergenekon a "terrorist organization"

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.04.14), an alleged conspiracy to topple Turkey's government has been officially defined as an "armed terrorist organization" for the first time by a Turkish court.

    The so-called 'Ergenekon' network has also been accused of operating as a "deep state" within the Turkish Armed Forces.

    The Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court on Thursday finished a 16,000-page decision on the long-running case which has seen hundreds of generals sentenced to prison on charges of plotting to topple Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party government.

    [09] More EU funds for Southern Gas Corridor project

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.04.14), the Southern Gas Corridor project, set to open in 2019, has gained increasing importance for Europe as events in Ukraine have highlighted the need for the continent to diversify its energy supply.

    Companies working on the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline - a project to supply Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe via Turkey - will be able to apply for EU financial support, worth a total of 6 billion euro till 2020, according to the office of the EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.

    The Southern Gas Corridor is estimated to cost around US$45 billion. A future expansion of the project is planned - by adding natural gas from Northern Iraq, Turkmenistan, Eastern Mediterranean and possibly Iran.

    [10] Preparatory schools start shutdown one year before deadline

    Turkish daily Sabah (online, 04.04.14) reports that after the government set the deadline for the closure of preparatory schools as Sept. 1, 2015, prep schools began closing down. In the past three months, 43 prep schools were closed, and for the first time in six years, the number of prep schools fell below 3,600, though their number saw a steady decline in recent years.

    Currently, over 1 million students attend prep schools across Turkey, while another 27,000 students attend study centres, a name used to describe smaller prep schools.

    The preparatory schools sector brings in approximately $1 billion each year according to the government, and Gulenists are estimated to control 40% of these prep schools.

    [11] Turkish Foreign Ministry bans use of cell phones on its premises after leak

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 04.04.14) reports that the use of cell phones inside the Foreign Ministry will soon be prohibited to prevent future espionage attempts, officials have announced in the wake of the illegal recording of a meeting between Turkey's top security officials, including the Foreign Minister.

    Diplomats and other Ministry personnel will not be allowed to carry their cell phones inside the ministry and, in addition, the meetings to be held in the ministry will take place in a cell phone-free environment, the paper has learned.

    The move is part of a substantial plan to tighten the security inside the ministry which is expected to be implemented soon when accomplished.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru confirmed to the Daily News that efforts were underway to tighten security inside the Ministry and its premises elsewhere. "We were already very careful on these issues, but this incident has shown that we have to scrutinize security measures we have been implementing," Koru said.

    [12] Columnist: Erdogan needs 3 million votes for presidential elections

    Columnist Sedat Ergin, in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 04.04.14), writes that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will need to make one of the toughest decisions of his political venture within the coming two months.

    He has two options. A) He will either continue as the Prime Minister and in order to make this possible, he will make changes to his party's statutes. B) He will decide to ascend to the Cankaya Presidential Mansion and will exert all his power for the two-round presidential elections.

    According to Ergin, Erdogan is engaged in evaluating his possible course of action in reviewing the local election results of Sunday. If the power equilibrium of the 2011 general elections were valid today, then it would have been very easy for him to make this decision. The reason for this is that he had received 49.8% of the votes (in total, 21,399,000 votes). Based on this, he could have put the key in his pocket to the Cankaya Mansion with little effort.

    However, even though Sunday's elections resulted in an absolute victory, it has also shown a substantial decline in their votes. Cankaya is no more a slam dunk for him in the first round. The vote erosion he has experienced which is over six points will force him to form alliances.

    The number of registered voters in Turkey last Sunday was 52,695,000. According to unofficial results, 46,510,000 people voted and the number of valid votes was around 44,725,000.

    The vote distribution of the main parties nationwide looks as follows: Justice and Development Party (AK Party): 19,455,000 (43.5%), Republican People's Party (CHP): 11,444,000 (25.6%), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP): 7,875,000 (17.6%), BDP and HDP total: 2,952,000 (6.6%), Felicity Party (SP) 1,248,000 (2.8%) and Great Union Party (BBP): 713,000 (1.6%).

    Let us assume that the valid votes of Sunday were repeated in the first round on Aug. 10. In this case, in order to be elected in the first round, Erdogan needs a minimum of 22,363,000 votes; however he is short 2,900,000 votes. He will have to fill this gap.

    Erdogan might turn to conservative parties such as the SP and the BBP. The total votes of these two parties are a little shy of 2 million. This support is not enough. In this case, the Prime Minister might opt for a very critical alternative. He may need to choose between two parties, one which predominantly focuses on Turkish nationalism, the other over Kurdish identity, which makes the two at odds with each other.

    When we look at the naked reality of figures, theoretically, when he draws all the votes of BDP to his side, he will be able to easily open the door of the mansion in the first round. However, it is the nature of politics that the Kurdish political movement will seek something in return for this support.

    However, there is a significant political risk Erdogan has to weigh here: In the event that he considers ascending to Cankaya with Kurdish votes, then it might make it a risky choice that he only counts on this option because of the nationalist-conservative masses in the Black Sea, Central and East Anatolia that constitute the stronghold of his party's grassroots and also the reactional response of west of Turkey.

    At this stage, Erdogan has to take into consideration that he has lost around 2,200,000 votes compared to the 2011 general elections and that the MHP is on a rising trend. The MHP won around 5,575,000 votes in 2011 and on Sunday it gained 7,875,000 votes, corresponding to 17.6%. This is a clear increase of 2,300,000 votes.

    It may be argued that as much as Erdogan leans towards BDP, the shift of votes to the MHP will accelerate.

    There is no doubt that in the event of a second round, it would become the most important variable in the equation as to whether the MHP and CHP form a strong alliance over one candidate. Erdogan may take all the risks and make a presidential move assuming he would win in the second round. Also, he may choose to remain in the Prime Ministry considering it is not necessary to take all these risks.

    Indeed, another factor that might keep him at the Prime Ministry is that the quest to expand the powers of the presidency has not been finalized. Of course, the motive to conclude the fight he launched against the Gulen community may constitute another reason for him to stay at the prime ministry. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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