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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-06-30
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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. 119/14 28-30.06.14
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 The results of the "municipal elections"; "Voters" said "no" to the "constitutional amendment"Under the title "People said 'change'", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.06.14) reports that "people" changed 15 out of the 28 "mayors" in the "municipal elections" held yesterday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. According to the paper, the "elections" were "sealed" by the change happened in three major occupied cities: Nicosia, Famagusta and Keryneia.
The major "coalition partner", the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) increased the number of the "municipalities" it possessed from 8 to 14, but it lost the three major cities. This is described by the paper as "the biggest surprise of the elections". The CTB-BG lost the "municipalities" of Nicosia, which is described as the "flagship", Famagusta and Morfou. CTP-BG's candidate in Nicosia, Kadri Fellahoglu, "mayor" until yesterday, lost the race by Mehmet Harmanci, who was supported by the Social Democracy Party (TDP), the United Cyprus Party (BKP) and Baraka Cultural Centre. Oktay Kayalp, who has been "mayor" of occupied Famagusta since 1994, lost the post from Ismail Arter, independent candidate supported by the "main opposition" National Unity Party (UBP) and Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG). Moreover, CTP-BG's candidate in occupied Keryneia, Sumer Aygin lost by Nidai Gungordu, who was supported by the UBP and DP-UG.
The 28 "municipalities" in the occupied area of Cyprus were distributed as following after the yesterday's "elections: CTP-BG 14, UBP 5, TDP 1, DP-UG 1 and Independent 7.
CTP-BG won in the following "municipalities": Goneyli (Ahmet Benli, 54.12%), Lefka (Aziz Kaya, 32.35%), Kythrea (Osman Isisal, 55.05%), Dikomo (Yuksel Celebi, 64.65%), Lisy (Ahmet Latif 31.52%), Yerolakkos (Hulusi Manisoy, 55.80%), Rizokarpaso (Suphi Coskun, 51.17%), Gialousa (Mesut Yikici, 48.65%), Agios Amvrosios (Cemal Erdogan, 40.46%), Galateia (Cemil Saricizmeli, 38.99%), Lefkonoiko (Hasan Oztas, 57.75%), Komi Kepir (Ahmet Sennaroglu, 54.84%), Tziaos (Salih Bayraktar, 43.95%) and Louroudjina (Hasan Barbaros, 87.10%).
UBP won the following "municipalities": Morfou (Mahmout Ozcinar, 52.50%), Lapithos (Fuat Namsoy, 59.90%), Pergamos (Ilker Edip, 46.91%), Vadili (Mehmet Ardahan, 51.11%) and Assia (Habil Tulucu, 34.08%).
TDP won occupied Nicosia with Mehmet Harmanci (38.58%) and DP occupied Akanthou with Hayri Orcan (47.56%).
The following "municipalities" were won by independent candidates: Famagusta (Ismail Arter, 54.48%), Keryneia (Nidai Gungordu, 45.00%), Trikomo (Hasan Sadikoglu, 31.82%), Karavas (Firat Ataser, 51.47%), Mehmet Hulusioglu (Agios Epiktitos, 60.32%), Katip Demir (Agios Sergios, 39.92%) and Ali Oncu (Sinda, 40.99%).
Under the title "Election that went beyond the ordinary", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (30.06.14) reports that "change" was the result of the "local elections" and notes that the UBP lost more than half of the "municipalities" it possessed and that the CTP won 14 "municipalities", but lost Nicosia, Famagusta and Keryneia. The paper refers to the votes and the percentages received by the candidates of the parties and notes that they were distributed as following:
Party candidate Total of valid votes Percentage %
CTP 38810 37.89
UBP 29470 28.77
TDP-BKP 8156 7.96
DP-UG 6984 6.81
YKP 189 1.06
Independent 18800 18.35
Total 102409 100
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (30.06.14) reports that Harmanci's victory in occupied Nicosia reminded of Mustafa Akinci's victories in the same "municipality" in the past.
Under the title "Radical change", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.06.14) reports that a climate of "mourning' existed last night at the CTP's headquarters because they lost the three big cities. The paper notes also that the UBP did not win any "municipality" in occupied Trikomo area, in which the party had biggest power.
Under the title "A strong 'no' in the referendum", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper reports that the "people" did not approve the 21-"article" "constitutional amendment package" which had been jointly prepared by the four political parties represented in the "parliament" of the breakaway regime and was submitted yesterday to "referendum" together with the "municipal elections". According to the results of the "referendum", 103.490 valid votes were distributed as following: "yes" 39126 votes or 37.81% and "no" 64364 votes or 62.19%.
Referring to the results, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (30.06.14) reports that "people" dealt one blow to the "parliament" and one to the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). "The people gave to the parties, which are in a parliament, a lesson which they will never forget", notes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (30.06.14) describes this result as "strong message" to the entire "parliament" and mainly to the CTP.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (30.06.14) reports that the results of the "elections" turned upside down the politics in the occupied area of Cyprus. According to the paper, the attention now is turned towards the developments which will happen "after the results of the elections are digested". Commenting on Harmanci's victory in occupied Nicosia, the paper writes that TDP gave the message that "it is now influential in the politics" in the occupied area of Cyprus and that it can win "elections". Referring to the result of the "referendum for the constitutional amendment", the paper notes that this result caused comments saying that the "parliament" does not represent the "people" any more. According to the paper, some "deputies" had been holding a campaign in favor of the "no" vote. On its webpage (29.06.14), the paper reported that according to first "unofficial statistics" announced by Nevvar Nolan, president of the so-called supreme election committee, the general voter turnout was approximately 65%.
 Politicians comment on the results of the "municipal elections" and the "referendum" for "constitutional amendments"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.06.14) reports that Ozkan Yorgancioglu, chairman of the the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) and self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has argued that during both the "municipal elections" and the "referendum" for the "constitution", more than one parties and in some areas more than two parties have made an alliance in order for the CTP-BG to lose. In statements after the announcement of the results last night, Yorgancioglu said that "this is actually the reflection onto today's elections of an operation held for the presidential elections" and added that whatever some circles will do, the so-called presidential elections will not end in the way they want.
Referring to the "constitutional amendment", Yorgancioglu drew the attention to the agreement between the four political parties in the "parliament" on this issue and argued that, in spite of this, only the CTP called on the "people" to vote "yes" to this amendment. He added that, at all places they had been visiting, they saw some "deputies" from all parties who were holding a campaign in favour of the "no" vote to this "amendment". "In all areas we witnessed that in practice parties which said 'yes' to the constitution behaved negatively and their deputies worked against the constitutional amendment", he noted and added: "We respect the result. If our people give us authority over 34 deputies in the future, our target is to change this constitution in a manner which will include the expectations of the people".
Yorgancioglu said that they achieved their target of winning 14 plus "municipalities" and that for the first time they won four out of the five "municipalities" in occupied Trikomo area, in Lefka and Lefkoniko. He noted that they will carry out separate evaluations of the result in every town in which the CTP lost the "elections".
Meanwhile, Huseyin Ozgurgun, leader of the "main opposition" National Unity Party (UBP), said that his party received more votes than they expected and that UBP achieved a great success. In statements to illegal BRT on the results of the "elections", Ozgurgun argued that especially the fact that the candidates supported by the UBP won in the big cities and the candidates supported by the main "coalition partner" CTP-BG loss should be evaluated as a success of the "main opposition". "There are very important messages in this election and everyone should read this well", he said arguing that the UBP, which experienced very serious problems in the "parliamentary elections" of the 28th of July, 2013, was able to gather its strength in a short period of time and this is important for them.
Referring to the "constitutional amendment", he claimed that the "amendments" had not been explained well to the "people" and described as "interesting" the result of the "referendum". He said that they will evaluate the issue and added: "We had warned on this issue, we warned that it should have been explained well and be submitted to referendum together with the presidential elections".
Moreover, Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) evaluated his party's victory in occupied Nicosia and said that the change has started and added they will continue their struggle and change will soon be spread to the whole "country". He noted that they will continue working in Nicosia from the point at which former "mayor" Mustafa Akinci had left it and that "after 24 years a young dynamic person coming from the same school of thought" has come to prove how a modern capital could be materialized.
Furthermore, Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG) and self-styled deputy prime minister of the regime, has said that their biggest gain in the "elections" was the "municipality" of occupied Famagusta. Evaluating the result of the "elections", Denktas noted that their candidate won easily in occupied Akanthou, but they lost the "municipalities" of Yialousa and Galateia "due to problems caused by the central government". He said that three of the independent candidates supported by the DP-UG won. Noting that they lost two out of their three "municipalities", he argued: "However, winning a municipality such as Famagusta is worthy of all of them".
Referring to the result of the "referendum" for the "constitutional amendment", Denktas argued that the "no" vote is due to the fact that the "people" had not been adequately informed and that the issue had not been discussed satisfactorily within the public. He noted that they should have postponed the "voting" on the "constitution" so that they could discuss it more. He said that he started explaining the issue only during the last week.
Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (30.05.14, online) reports that evaluating the result of the "referendum" for the "constitutional amendment", the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu argued that "the no vote should be read as "work on a more comprehensive constitutional amendments package by including everyone".
Eroglu also said that preparing a "constitution" is not an easy process adding that this job is carried out by both experts and politicians. He alleged: "However, this process was somehow rushed to be held at the same day with the local elections. This draft was not really digested by the people. Some knew what it included but some voted 'no' without a conscious reason. So I hope this will lead to a more comprehensive amendment to be prepared".
 Akinci hints he may run for "presidency"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (30.06.14) reports that the former "mayor" of the occupied part of Nicosia Mustafa Akinci stated that he may consider running for a position "that will embrace all colours of Cyprus".
Akinci was a guest of a TV program on illegal BRT where he evaluated the "election" and referendum results.
He said that Mehmet Harmanci's win in the occupied part of Nicosia, "showed that people are in need of a more inclusive approach to local administration and that the approach of Harmanci and his team addressed this need by adopting a progressive, inclusive and democratic approach".
Akinci who publicly gave full support to Harmanci's candidacy said that "Harmanci managed to embrace all colours of Nicosia" and that he as well may do the same "for a different position embracing all colours of Cyprus".
Hinting that he may run for the next "presidential elections", Akinci said his support for Harmanci had no hidden agenda and that if he runs for the "presidency" that decision will be based on evaluating the dynamics correctly.
 Eroglu met with the South African negotiator Roelf MeyerAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 30.06.14), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met today with the South African negotiator Roelf Meyer.
Eroglu's spokesman Osman Ertug, his undersecretary Hasan Gungor and the Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay attended the meeting which was closed to the press. No statement was issued before or after the meeting.
 Eroglu reiterated his views on the issue of citizenshipAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 27.06.14), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, during a meeting with the Culture and Solidarity Society for Alexandretta (Hatay), said that everyone in Cyprus has an expectation for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
He claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side is working to reach a settlement which will allow a peaceful and secure existence for everyone on the island.
Commenting on the sensitive issue of citizenship in the Cyprus negotiations process, Eroglu said that all countries had communities from other nationalities and added that people from Hatay living in the "TRNC" is a good example of this.
Touching upon the Cyprus talks, Eroglu claimed that they are working sensitively towards achieving results in the negotiations but complained that they are unable to reach any form of compromise with the Greek Cypriot side. We have serious differences, particularly regarding our citizens who came to the island from Turkey after the 1974 Turkish peace operation (editor's note: as he refers to the Turkish invasion to Cyprus in 1974). The 'TRNC' is a state and that any citizenship granted by this state will be valid as and when a settlement is reached and a new partnership is created", he added.
Eroglu also alleged that "all citizenships granted by a state are under the protection of that state's constitution. It is not possible to expel or revoke their citizenships without true cause".
Noting that this is one of the Turkish Cypriot side's unalterable issues, Eroglu claimed that "all persons granted TRNC citizenship regardless of their origin will automatically become citizens of the new partnership state".
 Ozersay in Ankara for consultations on the Cyprus talksAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 28.06.14), Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay, accompanied by members from the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team, Director and representative of the negotiating team Gulfen Veziroglu Sevgili and Advisory and Political Affairs Manager for the "presidency" Gunes Onar, carried out a day visit to Ankara on Friday.
Ozersay held meetings with the Turkish Foreign Ministry's Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and ministerial officials who are responsible for the Cyprus-Turkey-Greece and Mediterranean region.
Ozersay announced that during his meetings they had discussed the latest phase reached at the Cyprus negotiations process and other developments taking place in the eastern Mediterranean region. He also said that they discussed the future steps that will be taken on the Cyprus issue in accordance with mutual benefits with Turkey.
According to information released by Ozersay, the Greek Foreign Minister Undersecretary Mitsialis who the Turkish Cypriot side met with during the simultaneous visits carried out to Ankara and Athens by the two Cypriot negotiators, will be carrying out similar meetings with the Greek Cypriot side at the beginning of next week.
Just as it was stated in the joint statements, meetings have been foreseen with all actors involved in the Cyprus negotiations process and with this in mind Ozersay has been carrying our visits to America, EU capitals and Russia. Ozersay drew attention to the fact that he will be carrying out similar visits with guarantor countries as well in the near future.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (28.06.14) reported that Ozersay flew quietly on Friday morning to Ankara. The paper also noticed that the arrival of Ozersay to Ankara coincides with the meeting of Turkey's Foreign Minister Davutoglu with the US Secretary of State John Kerry the previous day in Brussels.
 Yorgancioglu participated in an energy symposium in IstanbulAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 28.06.14), the self-styled prime minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu attended an energy symposium titled "Game Changers: Energy, Investment and Geopolitics" in Istanbul on Friday.
Evaluating his contacts in Istanbul on his return to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Yorgancioglu said that during the symposium they discussed how the natural gas and petroleum in Iraq, Russia, Caucasus, Cyprus and Israel can be distributed to the markets and under what condition and price.
Noting that important people around the world also took part in the energy symposium, Yorgancioglu said that they had informed the attendees about how the natural reserves in the Mediterranean can contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem.
On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.14) reported that Yorgancioglu in an interview to AA said that the revenue from the natural gas findings belongs to the island as a whole.
"They want to make use of the gas until the Cyprus question is resolved, but they want us benefit from it after the solution of the problem," Yorgancioglu said about the Greek Cypriot attitude on the subject. "This is unacceptable because once they benefit the gas revenue, they might be unwilling to look for a solution," he told Anatolia Agency.
Yorgancioglu said that the question of healing the island's division should be resolved first and the revenue should be shared fairly after that.
Yorgancioglu emphasized that the gas belongs to the entire island, and criticized the Greek side's position on the issue.
Regarding the current stage of the Cyprus peace talks, Yorgancioglu claimed that the Greek Cypriots want to neglect the outcome of previous talks, and want to start over from scratch instead of building on issues that have been already agreed on.
Yorgancioglu said that he maintains hope that energy findings in Cyprus could become a catalyst for peace between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.
He also claimed that Turkey is the best route for transfer to Europe not only of gas from Cyprus, but also from Lebanon, Israel and Egypt, as it is the most secure, cheapest and the most sustainable way.
Yorgancioglu said the findings will not only help improve relations in the island but they will lead also to good relations between Turkey and Israel, Israel and Lebanon, Israel and Egypt, as well as providing an alternative energy source and route for Europe. He concluded that once natural gas projects succeed, solar energy in the island might become a focus of international investment.
 Former general secretary of DP resigned from partyTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (28.06.14) reports that Bengu Sonya, former general secretary of the Democratic Party (DP) and one of the party's establishers resign from DP.
According to the paper, Sonya expressed his disagreement for the DP's decision regarding the local "elections" held on Sunday and for the politics the party follows.
 Foreign buyers in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus may lose their homesUnder the title "Foreign buyers may lose homes", Turkish Cypriot weekly newspaper in English Cyprus Today (28.06.14) reported the following:
"Foreign buyers face losing their homes after a court ruled that the Lapta site which they were built should be sold off to compensate its owners.
The homebuyers are appealing against the judgement by Girne District Court this month over a dispute between landowner Bulent Yuksebas and contractor taser Niyazi Hilkat.
Uk-born Mr Hilkat, a partner in family-run construction company Great-stone, had agreed with Mr Yurksebas to build a total 19 houses on the site, with 13 of them to be sold and the remainder handed over to the landowner.
Since 2006, the 13 properties were sold to foreign buyers ? many of them ? British, both holiday home-owners and residents ? but none has received title deeds despite each handing over an estimated 150.000 British sterling.
Now the court has ordered that the entire 19-donum site be sold to compensate Mr Yuksekbas, whose six houses were not finished by the developer before he quit the TRNC some year ago to return to Britain.
Nine people, representing five of the houses, were co-defendants in the case and on Wednesday lodged an appeal at the High Court against the Girne ruling.
The High Court yesterday issued an order that the sale judgement should not be enforced pending the appeal, according to information from the buyers' lawyers, Peyman Erginel and Gunes Mentes.
Kathleen Harrison, one of the nine co-defendants, who bought from Greatstone in 2006, said: 'We wanted to take part in the court case asking for the transfer of title deeds, but the court gave its verdict without referring to our claims. We are facing a huge injustice.'
She added: 'What would you think if you went to the UK, bought a house and fulfilled all the conditions of the sale contract, and one day while you waiting for the title deeds you are told the court has ordered the sale of the whole plot ? since the separate title deeds of the houses were not issued ? due to disagreement between the contractor and someone that you have never met?'
Mrs Harrison said that the ruling showed up 'a serious flaw' in the TRNC legal system that she said would 'have a negative bearing on the construction sector in particular and the country's economy'.
She added: 'We will continue to ask for our legal rights at appeal, at the European Court of Human Rights and in many other places.'
Marian Stokes, of the HomeBuyers' Pressure Group, said the 'dreadful situation' had been going on for four years.
'Those homebuyers have spent their money on those properties but they did not get title deeds. The issue should have been resolved between the disputing sides and those people should be given the deeds for their houses.'
Cyprus Today was unable to reach Mr Yuksekbas for comment despite several attempts. Neither Mr Hilkat, who did not take part in the court hearings, nor any other partners of Greatstone were available."
 "Head of religious affairs department" spoke about religious developments in the breakaway regimeTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (29.06.14) publishes an interview with Talip Atalay "head of religious affairs department" of the breakaway regime who spoke about the reactions against the launching of a theological school in the occupied area of Cyprus, the building of new mosques and related issues.
Atalay criticized the reactions regarding the opening of a theological school, saying that such school existed in Cyprus even before a similar school established in Turkey adding that the Turkish Cypriots do not know their own history. He went on and added that neither the ruling party in Turkey nor any other institution in Turkey can put up intrigues against the Turkish Cypriots. On the imams who come to occupied Cyprus from Turkey, Atalay said that the imams in occupied Cyprus are not enough; therefore persons from abroad are coming to fill these duties.
He went on and said that it is not true that mosques are built constantly in the breakaway regime, noting that mosques must be built so that to be used instead of churches. He said that in the 1940s there were 300 mosques in Cyprus and nowadays the number of mosques is 149, which is increased to 192 if you count the churches as well. He claimed that it is not true that churches are used as mosques adding that this is a different thing to be discussed.
Finally, referring to the relations with Archbishop Chrysostomos B, Atalay said that the "religious language is the language of peace".
 The International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations spotlighted in its safety bulletin that political dispute in Cyprus created uncoordinated and potentially conflicting air traffic servicesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.06.14) reported that the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) on its third safety bulletin since 2001 spotlighted that "the protracted political dispute that has created uncoordinated and potentially conflicting air traffic services (ATS) in part of the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR)".
Noting that the airspace of concern extends "northward to Turkey from the Turkish Cypriot?governed northern part of Cyprus, an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea", the bulletin from IFALPA reminds flight crews about "unique operational risks" in this part of the Nicosia FIR, "especially the potential for confusion about which ATS area control center (ACC) has authority". IFALPA urges pilots to be aware of consensus recommendations from global aviation organizations on how to handle communications. The recommendations address the fundamental issue of controllers from the "Greek Cypriot ACC and the Turkish Cypriot ACC" providing instructions to aircraft crews although these ACCs do not communicate directly with each other.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recognizes only the Republic of Cyprus and its Nicosia ACC as responsible for ATS in the Nicosia FIR, writes the paper.
 The breakaway regime is participating in the 17th TURKSOY Painters MeetingTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.06.14) reported that the breakaway regime is participating in the 17th TURKSOY Painters Meeting which is taking place in Azerbaijan between 16 of June and 5 of July.
According to the paper sixteen artists from Azerbaijan, Kazakistan, Kirgystan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Baskurdistan and other countries are participating in the meeting.
 Gul said he will not run for second termAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.06.14), Turkey's President Abdullah Gul has confirmed on Sunday that he will not stand in the forthcoming presidential election due on August 10.
"I already told this to Prime Minister before the March 30 local elections. I won't be a candidate," Gul told reporters in Istanbul.
 CHP and MHP to announce Ihsanoglu as presidential candidate while internal opponents suggest a different candidateAccording to Turkish daily Sabah (online, 29.06.14), Turkish academic and diplomat Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has been nominated for the country's presidential race by the two main opposition parties. The Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) submitted his nomination to the parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek on Sunday.
While 111 signatures by Deputies were collected to submit Ihsanoglu's nomination, 21 CHP Deputies including Deniz Baykal, party's former leader and current Deputy from Antalya; Guldal Mumcu, the deputy chairman of CHP; as well as Deputies Emine Ulker Tarhan and Huseyin Aygun refused to sign.
A total of 111 CHP MPs out of 134 supported his candidacy, while all MHP lawmakers signed his nominating petition.
 HDP announces co-chair Demirtas as presidential candidateAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 30.06.14), the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has announced party co-chair Selahattin Demirtas as its candidate for the upcoming presidential elections in August.
The HDP, which could become the kingmaker in a possible second round, had previously stated that it would run with its own candidate during the first round of polls on Aug. 10.
The party was founded as a sister party of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), also including a number of smaller left-leaning parties.
Demirtas, who had been the BDP's co-leader, was elected to co-chair the HDP earlier this month.
 Ankara criticized US bill on Christian propertiesAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 28.06.14), Turkey has strongly criticized a U.S. House committee bill that directs the State Department to monitor the return of property confiscated from Christians in Turkey and the "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus).
"While the clear and concrete steps that Turkey has taken for the improvement of the rights and freedoms of all of its citizens, including for the non-Muslim minorities are evident; attempts by anti-Turkish circles in the U.S. Congress, driven by domestic political considerations, to push such unconstructive and baseless initiatives are unacceptable," Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement June 27.
The bill, which passed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, requires the U.S. Secretary of State to provide an annual report to Congress regarding Washington's efforts to secure the return and restoration of stolen, confiscated, or otherwise unreturned Christian properties in Turkey and northern Cyprus.
Terming the bill as "null and void as far as Turkey is concerned," the statement stressed that such initiatives were incongruous with the existing spirit of partnership and alliance between the two traditional allies.
Lauding the adoption of the bill, the Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America Ken Hachikian said the measure sent a strong signal to Ankara that it must come to terms with its obligations to Armenians.
Turkey rejects the claim, saying that both Turks and Armenians were killed when a portion of the Armenian population sided with invading Russians and staged an armed revolt against the Ottoman authority during the First World War.
The uprisings were followed by a decision by the government in Istanbul to relocate the Armenians living in eastern Anatolia.
 KRG Natural Resources Minister: Iraqi Kurds won't declare state 'without telling Turkey'According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 30.06.14), the Kurds will not surprise Turkey with the establishment of a possible independent state, according to Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami.
"Our relationship is strategic, not opportunistic. Therefore, with any steps we take, whether confederation or some form of independence or something else ? I don't think our leadership will do anything without Ankara being fully aware. There shall not be any surprises for anybody. There will be very continuous, fraternal consultation," Hawrami said.
Hawrami's statement came as Iraqi Kurds have seized on recent chaos in Iraq to expand their autonomous northern territory to include Kirkuk. KRG President Masoud Barzani visited Kirkuk last week and said there was no going back on autonomous Kurdish rule in the oil city.
"Looking at the map, you have to think 'where is our future?' Is our future with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or with Baghdad, who doesn't even send our budget. Today Iraq needs Kurdistan more than ever," Hawrami said.
Hawrami said the export of oil was one of the KRG's constitutional rights. "We have the right to produce, to sell and to market oil. We act accountably and responsibly to our counterparts. What we sell is transparent, what we receive is transparent. We are entitled to 17% of Iraq's oil.
Currently, we are receiving nothing; we are entitled to much more. Our policy is basically to maintain our constitutional rights," he said, while rejecting claims that the administration had sold oil to Israel. "We haven't really sold oil to Israel directly or indirectly. I think people are trying to politicize the issue as if we are close to Israel," he said.
Meanwhile, the paper also reported that an independent Kurdish state was a reason for war in the past, however the situation has changed, according to Huseyin Celik, spokesperson for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
"In Turkey, even the word 'Kurdistan' makes people nervous, but their name is Kurdistan," Celik told the Financial Times. "If Iraq is divided and it is inevitable, they are our brothers. Unfortunately, the situation in Iraq is not good and it looks like [the country] is going to be divided," he added, while cautioning that Kurdish independence was not Turkey's "number one choice."
Celik also blamed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the United States for the ongoing bloodshed in the neighbouring country.
"They didn't bring peace, stability or unity [to Iraq]; they just left chaos, widows and orphans. They created a Shia bloc to the south of our country," Celik added. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION