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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-08-04

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. 143/14 02-04.08.14

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Only 12% of the registered voters from Turkey voted in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [02] AKP official: Erdogan will be a proactive President; Turkey will not abandon the Turkish Cypriots for gaining something in the EU
  • [03] Elcil: "The Turkish Cypriots are not a part of Turkey, they are equal partners in Cyprus"
  • [04] Sabanci Holding to open a Hilton Hotel in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [05] Increase on the number of students who study at illegal universities
  • [06] Hotel capacity during Bayram was 10% less compared to last year
  • [07] OSCE slams the use of public funds for Erdogan's presidential campaign
  • [08] A week to go in polls: AKP celebrating early victory
  • [09] More than 1,000 Turks fighting for the ISIL
  • [10] Erdogan renewed his strong criticism against ongoing Israeli offensives on the Gaza strip
  • [11] Turkish people are naively proud of themselves, survey shows
  • [12] The Greek newspaper "Apogevmatini" published in Turkey to close down

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Only 12% of the registered voters from Turkey voted in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.08.14) reports that the voting procedure abroad for the Presidential Elections which will be held in Turkey on 10 August was completed yesterday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. The turnout was lower than expected. While ninety thousand persons from Turkey had the right to vote in the occupied area of Cyprus for these elections, only eight thousand persons were registered to vote. The number of the persons who voted reached 11 thousand and 131 voters including those who voted in spite of the fact that they had not been registered.

    The self-styled ambassador of Turkey to the occupied part of Nicosia, Halil Ibrahim Akca used his right to vote the day before yesterday in a lyceum in the occupied part of Nicosia. After the completion of the voting, Akca said that he had been informed by the people working during the elections about "their experiences". He noted that the turnout in the occupied area was 12% and added that for making an evaluation as to whether this is low or high, the results in other parts of the world should be seen.

    Akca said that questions exist as to whether the 92 thousand voters registered in their election list is an actual number and up to date. He noted that the "embassy" does not possess details on this number and noted that this information is in Turkey's Higher Election Council (YSK). He said that roughly one third of this number is students, one third temporary workers and one third persons having "double citizenship". He said that they do not know how many of the students were registered in Turkey and how many of the temporary workers are in the occupied area of Cyprus for the summer.

    The ballot boxes from the occupied area of Cyprus were sent yesterday afternoon to Ankara.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] AKP official: Erdogan will be a proactive President; Turkey will not abandon the Turkish Cypriots for gaining something in the EU

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.08.14) reports that Yasin Aktay, Vice President and responsible for Foreign Relations of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has argued that the AKP will continue its policy of being "one step ahead" in Cyprus and that Turkey abandoning Cyprus for the sake of the EU is out of the question.

    In statements to Havadis, Aktay claimed that within ten years, the AKP did many things which the previous governments were not able to do in Cyprus and added that the most important thing was that they explained to the world that they are right on this issue. "Together with the AKP governments we showed to the world that the Greek Cypriots are those who are not right on the Cyprus issue", he alleged.

    He added that at this stage they ?allegedly- offer their support to the negotiating process in Cyprus and pointed out that the important thing for them is for the pre-1974 experiences of the Turkish Cypriots not to happen again. He reiterated the Turkish allegation that the Turkish invasion of Cyprus prevented the genocide against the Turkish Cypriots and more harm to happen to both the Turkish and the Greek Cypriots.

    Aktay argued that Turkey wants a positive result in the ongoing negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, but according to the information they get, things are becoming difficult due to the stance of the Greek Cypriots on the convergences achieved in the past and their insistence on allegedly not showing the necessary will for the solution. He claimed: "The Greek Cypriot side should change its stance in order for a solution in Cyprus to be reached. Let no one make the mistake to think that Turkey will leave the Turks of Cyprus alone in their just cause. Turkey will not let go its just cause in Cyprus, it will not abandon the Turks of Cyprus for the EU or for taking anything else".

    Asked whether the current situation in Cyprus is sustainable, he said that the existence of "two states" in an island is not a very good situation for the world, but when we see who exhibits a will for living together, we see that the Turkish Cypriots voted by 60% in favor of the Annan Plan and the Greek Cypriots said no.

    Aktay alleged: "It means that a will in the direction of accepting the Turks does not exist in the Greek Cypriot sector. Another reality is that a unification which will be made irresponsibly has no future. Therefore, the two equal sovereign states should be accepted as a parameter. Actually, no other way except for this is left in Cyprus. Of course, the sides accept that they have a common future and destiny on the island. (?) Turkey has from the very beginning been providing and supporting formulas which were not closing the door for two equal states within this framework and at the same time a common structure with which they could act together. (?) Accepting Cyprus in the EU without a solution to the Cyprus problem was a big mistake (?)"

    Referring to the presidential elections in Turkey, Aktay said that Prime Minister Erdogan will be a "proactive President" if he is elected. He noted that Erdogan will be "in the field" and will show interest to everything.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Elcil: "The Turkish Cypriots are not a part of Turkey; they are equal partners in Cyprus"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (02.08.14) reported on statements by the general secretary of the "teachers' trade union" (KTOS) Sener Elcil, who in a written statement criticized strongly the statements made by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Binali Yildirim to a televised program, during his recent visit to the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Referring to Yildirm's statements, Elcil said that Yildirim talked about "integration" and "separation of Turkish Cypriots and Turkish citizens" and added: "This show us that on the one hand Turkey emphasizes on the solution and on the other hand it wants the integration of the north part of the island. The Turkish Cypriots are not a part of Turkey; they are equal partners in Cyprus", said Elcil adding that KTOS will continue to exert efforts for the "common country struggle".

    Accusing Turkey and the AKP government for its integration policy in Cyprus, Elcil called Yildirim to stop dreaming about the integration of the occupied part of Cyprus with Turkey and added that they will continue to struggle for a common country and not for the integration.

    Stating that in one part of his speech Yildirim made a "discrimination of Turkish Cypriots and Turkish citizens coming from Turkey", Elcil stated that it is useful for Mr Yildirim to remember that "in the northern part of our island there is no separation of Turkish and Turkish Cypriots". "It is useful for him to remember the continuation with Turkey's hands of the existence of the occupation and population policies which are contrary to the Geneva Convection".

    Elcil added also that it is the Turkish Republic State which is responsible for the implementation of the occupation and population policies in Cyprus and not the people, he said.

    (AK)

    [04] Sabanci Holding to open a Hilton Hotel in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (04.08.14), Polat Alper reports that a "second wave of investments" from Turkey in the occupied area of Cyprus in the field of hotels construction is expected. Alper describes as the "first wave" of these investments the construction of Kaya Artemis, Cratos and the Gardens of Babylon Hotels as well as the decision taken by Net Holding to increase the number of its hotels.

    Claiming that according to confirmed information which he acquired, a second wave of such investments are about to take place, Alper argues that these will be hotels of three thousand beds each and adds that a hotel the construction of which is about to be completed in occupied Agios Epiktitos village will start operating under the name of "Sheraton". Another hotel in occupied Karavas will reportedly be demolished and a Rixos Hotel, world-wide known trade mark, will be built in its place.

    "One of the most important developments is that Sabanci Holding has decided to invest with more than one hotels in the TRNC as a continuation of the worldwide known Hilton SA Hotels which it owns in Turkey", writes the columnist adding that the local partner of Sabanci, the Ercantan family are realizing this investment within the framework of a new local firm they have established.

    Alper argues that it is seen that the solution "which cannot be reached between states", has been materialized in the business world since a long period of time, as all these are done with agreements made with these trademarks, with the consent and the cooperation of those who have the licenses of the same trademarks in the government-controlled area of the island, who therefore raised no objections.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Increase on the number of students who study at illegal universities

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (04.08.14) the number of students who study at the "universities" in the occupied area of Cyprus has been increased by 7,000 comparing to last year's figures, and reached to 62, 726.

    The paper points out that in spite of the fact that the number of universities in Turkey has been increased, the majority of students who prefer to carry out their studies in the occupied area of Cyprus are Turkish citizens writes the paper. The number of Turkish students who study at illegal universities in the academic period 2012-2013 was 31, 968 while in the period 2013-2014 it reached to 34, 858.

    Meanwhile, the number of Turkish Cypriots students has reached to 15, 210 with an increase of 3,777 comparing to last year.

    A remarkable increase has been also observed on the number of students coming from third countries and especially on students coming from Nigeria. According to the figures, the number of foreign students during 2007 was 3,038, while in 2012-2013 academic year, it reached to 11,643 and in the period of 2013-2014 to 12, 658.

    The illegal Near East university (YDU) is on top of the list most preferred by "students", according to the paper with 21, 467 students in the academic year 2013-2014, and second comes the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) with 16, 054 students.

    The paper points out that foreign students have contributed in 2013 to the occupation regime's economy with 1 billion 800 million TL.

    (AK)

    [06] Hotel capacity during Bayram was 10% less compared to last year

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (03.08.14) reports that the "chairman" of the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers' Association (KTOB) Huseyin Aktig said that the capacity of the hotels, including the 5 star hotels with casinos, in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus during the holiday period of Bayram was only 76%. He added that the capacity of the hotels was 10% less compared to the same period last year.

    [07] OSCE slams the use of public funds for Erdogan's presidential campaign

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.08.14), concerns that have prompted Europe's security body OSCE to deploy a mission to observe Turkey's upcoming first direct presidential election have apparently been proven right, as an interim report by the mission has highlighted a wide range of flaws.

    "The campaign activities of the Prime Minister are large-scale events, often combined with official government events. While other candidates actively campaign, the public visibility of their campaigns is limited," said an interim report released July 31, with only days to go before the first round scheduled for Aug. 10.

    A Limited Election Observation Mission (LEOM) deployed by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) released its report at a time when the opposition parties and presidential hopeful Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's two competitors are increasingly voicing their unease with lack of transparency with Erdogan's campaign funding.

    "Mr Erdogan's campaign is well-organized, well-resourced and benefits from a high degree of visibility through regular travel to the regions, which combines official visits to provincial governors with large-scale rallies that are often followed by iftar [fast breaking dinner], at times organized by the municipality. In Istanbul, Mr Erdogan's campaign banners and trucks prominently featured at the entrance of municipal tents used for iftar," said the report which was released only a day after the end of three-day long Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of holy month of Ramadan.

    The delegation noted that a representative from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) informed them how their party had launched an extensive door-to-door campaign during which it distributes large boxes containing various food items, T-shirts, mouse-pads and cups.

    "On 25 July, Mr Erdogan openly campaigned during the inauguration of the high-speed train between Istanbul and Ankara," the mission said.

    Overall, the report made clear that key recommendations made by OSCE earlier remain unaddressed, including those related to citizen and international observation. "The law does not provide sanctions for breach of campaign finance provisions," it said, while also recalling that candidates are not entitled to receive public funding.

    Turkey has been a member of the 57-member OSCE since its very inception in 1975, when it was formed as a standing conference.

    [08] A week to go in polls: AKP celebrating early victory

    Journalist Serkan Demirtas, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 04.08.14) with the above title, reports with just a week left until the presidential polls, the three candidates and political parties supporting them seem to be intensifying their election campaigns, although Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is leading the public opinion polls for a comfortable victory, even in the first round.

    Turkey's 12th President will be elected on August 10 through a direct vote, as Erdogan and his two rivals, Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Selahattin Demirtas, are in a tough battle for the country's most prestigious position.

    Already confident that Erdogan will win the elections in the first round, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters has begun celebrations of their early victory and deliberations for the post-Erdogan era. The public opinion polls conducted by the AKP and some other institutions indicate that Erdogan will have a minimum of 52% of the votes in the first round and that the figure could go as high as 56% in accordance with the percentage of the turnout.

    There is speculation that Erdogan's team has already begun writing the "balcony speech" he will make late Aug. 10 after the announcement of his victory, just like he has done in the aftermath of all of his election wins. That shows the party is not thinking of August 10, but Aug. 11, the day when the AKP will officially start a new process to determine the new chairman of the party and therefore the new Prime Minister.

    Right after the elections, the AKP's central decision-making council (MKYK) is set to convene under Erdogan's leadership for the last time in which he would introduce his resignation from the party in line with constitutional obligations. At the same council meeting, the deputy leader of the AKP, Mehmet Ali Sahin, is expected to be nominated as the acting chairman to take the party to the General Convention within 45 days to elect the new leader.

    Under current conditions, it would not be an exaggeration to argue that the AKP has won the presidential elections in their minds, as they continue the process in self-confidence.

    Differently from the AKP, the two opposition parties, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), are seemingly less enthusiastic compared to the previous months in their joint bid to elect Ihsanoglu as President. Public opinion polls indicate Ihsanoglu will receive less than 40% of the votes, even less than the sum of the two parties' total votes.

    The cracks within the CHP over Ihsanoglu's nomination are still creating an obstacle in front of effective support from the social democratic party to their candidate. The current picture suggests Ihsanoglu is solely CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu's presidential candidate and not the party's institutional nominee. Except for Kilicdaroglu, no prominent CHP officials are actively taking part in the pre-election campaign, leaving the party's institutional support weak. It seems these officials want to leave Kilicdaroglu alone in accounting for Ihsanoglu's potential loss, which could be translated as preparation for an early defeat.

    The MHP, however, is continuing its low-profile backing of Ihsanoglu. MHP leader Devlet Bahceli is almost non-existent, except for some public rallies and his party officials refrain from giving the impression that they are allying with the CHP.

    Demirtas is eagerly carrying out his presidential campaign, holding public rallies both in the western and eastern parts of Turkey in his bid to remove their "ethnic party" tag. Public opinion polls show that Demirtas will win around 9% of votes, nearly two percentage points more than his Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). Demirtas' performance in the presidential elections will strengthen the party's hand in the ongoing Kurdish peace process and solidify his position in the Kurdish political movement.

    [09] More than 1,000 Turks fighting for the ISIL

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.08.14), "the number of Turkish citizens fighting under the umbrella of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is slightly more than 1,000, according to Turkish officials, who admit that they are unable to learn the exact number. The estimated number of armed ISIL fighters is around 12,000 to 15,000, which shows that Turks make up just less than 10% of the jihadist group.

    Turkey has long been accused of not efficiently controlling its borders to prevent those foreigners joining the jihadist extremist groups and stop the flow of weapons into Syria. In response to these criticisms, Turkish officials have noted the difficulty of controlling a nearly 900-kilometer-long border while blaming Western countries for not sharing intelligence on potential recruits for the jihadist groups.

    However, when it comes to Turkish citizens' participation in one of the world's deadliest groups, these explanations are unconvincing. Who organized the recruitment of these people for ISIL? What organizations sponsored these recruitments? Which routes have been used? Assuming the security forces and the intelligence are closely following the jihadist movements in Turkey, how did they fail to realize that more than 1,000 Turks have joined ISIL? Could it be because security forces and intelligence skipped their main duties and responsibilities as they are chasing what the government calls the "parallel state"?

    Whatever the answers to these questions are, there is one absolute reality: Turkey is facing the danger of the jihadist structure, both inside and outside. In Iraq, 49 Turkish citizens have been in ISIL captivity since early June. Due to the sensitivity of the issue, mainstream media does not frequently write on the issue, but one thing is certain: Somebody will have to answer some very disturbing questions once our citizens, including Turkey's consul general in Mosul, return home safe."

    [10] Erdogan renewed his strong criticism against ongoing Israeli offensives on the Gaza strip

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.08.14), Turkish Prime Minister and presidential candidate Recep Tayyip Erdogan has drawn a huge crowd of supporters for his campaign rally in Istanbul, with seven days to go until the first round of the elections.

    During a passionate address to his supporters, Erdogan renewed his strong criticism against ongoing Israeli offensives on the Gaza strip, which have left at least 1,830 Palestinians dead according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. "The goals pursued by Israel in Gaza are the same with what Hitler attempted to do to create a master race," Erdogan said.

    Erdogan also said: "They kill women so that they will not give birth to Palestinians; they kill babies so that they won't grow up; they kill men so they can't defend their country ... They will drown in the blood they shed," he said.

    Erdogan also criticized the international media for ignoring the death of 10 journalists and the assault on the building housing Anatolia Agency's Gaza office.

    "Are there any reactions from the world? Where are the international media and press organizations? You immediately stand up in support of terror criminals in Turkey, saying 'Journalists are under arrest!' Why don't you see the journalists killed in Palestine?" he asked.

    [11] Turkish people are naively proud of themselves, survey shows

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 04.08.14) reports that Turks are proud of their country's accomplishments even though there is no empirical evidence to justify this feeling, according to the findings of a new survey. "Turks are proud but they don't know why," said Professor Ali Carkoglu of Koc University, who conducted the survey together with Professor Ersin Kalaycioglu of Sabanci University.

    The findings of the survey, "Nationalism in Turkey and the World," which was conducted as part of the International Social Survey Program, revealed that religion is the primary factor shaping Turks' national identity.

    The survey suggests that the Turks are rather self-centred and there is a lack of feeling of international solidarity. This seems contradictory when we look at the reaction in the public about the Gaza bombardment. Carkoglu further stated:

    "The ruling party elites have increasingly become globalized. In every part of the world, the AKP [Justice and Development Party] leadership promised and delivered on being active. However, when it comes to the masses, first of all, foreign relations are extremely complicated; people find it extremely difficult to comprehend what is happening in the outside world unless the leader simplifies those relationships.

    In addition, this is a country that is increasingly becoming more open to the outside world, but we are not yet like the Swedes or the Germans. Many Turks do not have any direct link with the outside world. A typical Turkish family would not have had gone outside the country. The Turkish public at large is very parochial in a sense that life revolves around the family and the neighbourhood, and that's basically it. Beyond that first circle, there is not much going on in the Turkish public psyche; as such, politicians also use this in an almost official line of argument that "The Turk has no friend but the Turk."

    Although Turkey has been opening its economy to the world, the public is largely ignorant of that. The survey suggests that citizens are not fond of globalization, but the country seems to have benefited from that.

    People have been very proud of the economic accomplishments of especially the last decade or so. People are very impressed by, let's say, the construction business for instance; the whole landscape of the country has changed.

    But from the perspective of policy preferences, there is also unease about the market system. We have never found in our surveys any support for privatization, for instance. We have never found any support for a smaller government role in regulation. People want strong government intervention. People want the state to be active in economic life.

    People tend to see international competition as a threat, they tend to see the market system as insecure; they want protection. We have never found any popular public support for free-market economy policies despite the fact that Turkey has grown quite successfully primarily due to those policies, but the linkage in the minds of the people to the success of the free-market economy is very weak. They think that if the economy is doing well, it must be because of something that the state is doing correctly.

    So there is a disconnection between what people believe and the reality on the ground. People are, for instance, proud of Turkey's scientific accomplishments according to the survey, but there is no such empirical evidence to justify this pride as there is no such big accomplishment.

    Being proud of something is the easiest thing. We have no Nobel Prize winners in physics, chemistry and the natural sciences. Our universities are only just beginning to get into the top tiers of academia, and we have a long way to go to compete with the rest of the world. If you listen to the political elite you always hear this strange sense of pride in accomplishments. For instance with the World Cup: The prime minister argued that Turkey should have been there. There are countries with 4 million or 5 million people at the World Cup, and Turkey, with 70 million, people should have been there. This is a line of argument that totally neglects merit and true competitiveness and almost attaches a self-assured right to the basis of just being as populous as Germany, meaning Turkey should also play at the World Cup. But if you can't win any games, then you can't be at the World Cup. So I basically do not have a well-rounded theoretical framework to explain why Turks are so wrongfully proud of their accomplishments.

    Turkey is a parochial nation despite the government being very active. People are also a bit uneasy by the global challenges and threats. They see them not only as challenges but threats, too. For instance, migrants especially after the Syria crisis are now slowly being seen as a threat, as a source of insecurity. But even before the Syrian crisis, although Turkey was not an immigrant-receiving country, Turks were still under the surface quiet uneasy about incoming refugees and the incoming migrant population. It is also sign of continuing parochialism; on the other; those who don't speak our language are a source of threat.

    And the survey also says we are proud of our national accomplishments. We don't know why. Let's say we are naively proud. But being proud is the easiest answer.

    People don't feel close to Europe or to the Middle East; they basically feel close to only themselves. This global identity is something strange to Turkish mind. Turks are Turks and one striking fact is that we [asked] if everybody would be a Turk, would the world be a better place, and Turks gave a very high rating. No self-criticism whatsoever."

    [12] The Greek newspaper "Apogevmatini" published in Turkey to close down

    Under the title: "A 90 years old Greek newspaper has closed down", Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (04.08.14) reports that "Apogevmatini" newspaper, which is one of the most radical newspapers in Turkey published in Greek, is suspending its circulation due to economic difficulties.

    As the paper writes, Michael Vasiliades who is the owner of the newspaper and who lives in Istanbul since 1925 with the aim to offer the possibility to the Greeks living in Turkey and to the Greek Cypriot community there to be informed, has decided to close down his offices.

    In his statements on the issue, Vasiliades said that due to the economic crisis experienced in Greece and due to the reduction of the number of Greeks in Turkey, the paper circulation has been reduce dramatically.

    (AK) TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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