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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-04-28

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. 77/15 28.04.15

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Erdogan engages in war of words with new Turkish Cypriot leader
  • [02] Arinc says that they should respect Akinci's statements; He will illegally visit the occupied area of Cyprus on 30 April
  • [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry on Akinci's election
  • [04] How the Turkish Cypriot press assesses the first dispute between Erdogan and Akinci
  • [05] Turkish columnists wonder what Akinci's victory means
  • [06] CTP's extraordinary congress will be held on June 14
  • [07] Tatar stated that the speculations for Ozgurgun' resignation should be evaluated
  • [08] HDP issued a congratulatory message to Akinci
  • [09] Ozgurgun calls on for early "elections"
  • [10] ECO workshop in occupied Keryneia

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Erdogan engages in war of words with new Turkish Cypriot leader

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 27.04.15) with the above title reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has engaged in a war of words with the newly-elected leader of Turkish Cypriots Mustafa Akinci over the nature of the relationship between the two countries.

    "Do his ears hear what he says?" President Erdogan said during a press conference on April 27 after being asked by a journalist if he approved of a recent statement by Ak1nc1, the "new president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus).

    Ak1nc1, a leftist moderate who has promised to press for a peace deal in Cyprus, was elected as the Turkish Cypriot leader in a run-off on April 26. He had reiterated his position that the status of the relationship between Turkey and "Turkish Cyprus" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) should change. "It should be a relationship of brothers/sisters, not a relationship of a motherland and her child," he had said.

    "Even working together as brothers has its conditions. We paid a price for northern Cyprus. We gave martyrs and we continue to pay a price," Erdogan said on April 27. "For Turkey, northern Cyprus is our baby. We will continue to look at it the way a mother looks at her baby," he added.

    Akinci, whose live interview with CNN Turk television was interrupted due to Erdogan's press conference, fired back immediately.

    After listening to Erdogan's words in the studio, Akinci stressed on air that he had been elected president by the Turkish Cypriots. "Doesn't Turkey want to see its baby grow up? Should we always stay a baby?" he asked, stressing that he stands behind his words, which were "heard not only by [his] ears, but uttered by [his] conscience, heart and brain."

    Akinci then cut the interview short, saying he had to answer a phone call from Erdogan. Speaking after the phone conversation Akinci said that the phone conversation was in a "friendly" atmosphere and that he explained to Erdogan that he was elected by a democratic election and that everyone needs to respect the community's will.

    Akinci also said that Erdogan had asked him if he will follow the tradition and visit Turkey and Akinci responded that as soon as he has his mandate, he will visit.

    On the same issue, under the title "Erdogan lambasts newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci for remarks over relationship with Turkey", Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 27.04.15) reports that Erdogan, speaking to reporters before his departure for Kuwait at the Ankara airport, slammed Ak1nc1, telling him to watch what he says and never forget that Ankara pays the state budget of "Turkish Cyprus".

    Referring to the Turkish invasion in Cyprus in 1974, Erdogan said: "After all those sacrifices, we consider Turkish Cyprus  yavru vatan' [an offspring nation]. How can he have stopped considering Turkey as the motherland?"

    Answering a question from Today's Zaman, a spokesperson for the European Commission said that the Commission has welcomed the outcome and hopes for a speedy resumption of talks between the two communities on the island. It has released a statement that reads: "The Commission welcomes the election results. Hopefully, [Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades] and the new leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mustafa Akinci, will resume talks very soon with a view to achieving a fair and viable comprehensive settlement of the long-standing Cyprus problem as quickly as possible".

    Mehmet Hasguler, a Turkish Cypriot academic and author spoke to Today's Zaman and explained the ramifications of Akinci's accession to the Turkish Cypriot "presidency", reiterating that "Akinci is now the head of the Turkish Cypriot congregation, and he will now take on the role of chief negotiator for the TRNC."

    Referring to the proposal of opening of the fenced off town of Varosha, Hasguler said that he does not expect the town to be at the centre of the deal, and, while the "TRNC administration cannot offer a return of Varosha up front, it may be offered later on as an additional benefit", claiming that "If [the negotiations] are centred on Varosha they will be stuck in purgatory."

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 28.04.15) reports that Akinci, speaking to Haberturk (online newspaper) responded to Erdogan's words that Turkey sends 1 billion dollars to "north Cyprus" by saying that yes, Turkey sends this amount of money.

    Speaking on a live TV programme yesterday, Akinci said that "Turkey is the only country the Turkish Cypriots import from and this is a serious contribution to Turkey as well". He went on to say that geopolitically the "TRNC" is important to Turkey and referring to the police and fire brigade, said that these are bound to the Security Forces of Ankara.

    Reminded of Erdogan's words, Akinci said that "he always said in the past that there should be a mother-child love between the two countries; however there is a presence known as the TRNC and Turkey has recognised this presence. This presence has a government, an electoral council and justice. This presence has a president which the public has elected".

    He pointed to the example of Luxembourg and said that this country is the smallest in Europe but yet it is equal amongst the EU. "We want relations like brothers" said Akinci. It is time for the Turkish Cypriots to be free of this 'child' country mentality ? the child needs to get over the crawling stage and walks on its own, he added. He went on to say that a "Turkish Cypriot state, which is able to administer itself will be in Turkey's interest and will not bother Turkey". I believe a 'sibling' relationship is better, he noted.

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.15), the newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is expected to make his first official visit to Turkey.

    In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Akinci said: "The oath-taking ceremony is on Thursday. In the upcoming period which is most suitable for him [Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan], I will be pleased to make this visit."

    However, relations between the two "nations" got off to a rocky start when Erdogan earlier criticized Akinci's remarks about their relationship.

    Akinci, who won the second-round ballot against incumbent Dervis Eroglu on Sunday with more than 60% of the vote, said that rather than viewing Turkey as the "motherland", his "country" wanted "brotherly" ties with Ankara, drawing a rebuke from Erdogan.

    Speaking to AA, Akinci, a moderate left-winger, appeared to attempt to repair any damage. "The love of motherland is in our hearts," he said. "It has an emotive meaning". He added: "These relations are needed? because the presence of the Turkish Cypriot community, who stand on their own feet and who want to have brotherly relations with Turkey, are not against Turkey."

    In the past, voting in the "TRNC" (editor's note: the occupied area in the Republic of Cyprus) was clouded by claims that Ankara interferes in elections. The first Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, once said: "No-one can be elected as president of the TRNC that Turkey doesn't want". Akinci said that although that had been the case in the past, "this time, the Turkish government said that they would not intervene".

    The former mayor of Cyprus' divided capital Lefkosia said that he would aim to be an impartial president above party politics. "I will take care of the public, not the parties," he said.

    He also revealed that the UN Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide would visit the island on May 4 to resume reunification talks that collapsed in October last year after a clash over Cyprus's potential offshore gas riches.

    "Several tensions arose due to the gas issue," Akinci told AA. "These will only take us to further tensions. We want stability."

    (DPs)

    [02] Arinc says that they should respect Akinci's statements; He will illegally visit the occupied area of Cyprus on 30 April

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.04.15) reports that Bulent Arinc, Turkish Government Spokesman, has evaluated the statements made yesterday by Turkish President, Recep tayyip Erdogan about the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and said that "we should respect Mr Akinci's statements too". Speaking after a meeting of the Council of Ministers, Arinc announced that he will visit the occupied area of Cyprus on Thursday 30 April in order to attend Akinci's oath taking ceremony at the "assembly".

    Asked to comment on Erdogan's statement that Akinci should listen to what he says, Arinc claimed that they are satisfied about the "elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus and they do not interfere in the breakaway regime's internal affairs, alleging that "we have never made any suggestion to the TRNC".

    Referring to the dispute between Erdogan and Akinci on the "motherland ? daughter land" expressions, Arinc argued: "The relation between the TRNC and Turkey is not a matter of motherland ? daughter land. This is a description because we have these sincere relations. We should respect Mr Akinci's statements also. Of course we must seek for better cooperation possibilities. [?]"

    According to Arinc, the feeling of trust given by Akinci is "extremely beautiful". He argued: "Our relation with the TRNC does not resemble to our relation with other countries. We are offering much more help to northern Cyprus. The TRNC exists for years. I know both the period before these elections and their result. This is a democratic maturity. We do not interfere in Cyprus' internal affairs. We do not interfere in the elections, directly or indirectly. [?] The relations have been evaluated with the simile of motherland ? daughter land. No one should be offended by this. However, we are not about to interfere in Mr Akinci's statements. Akinci is a person with influence in Cyprus politics. Mr Akinci made a positive statement. This issue has been closed. [?]"

    Referring to Arinc's statement, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (28.04.15) reports that Arinc spoke differently than Erdogan and expressed support to Akinci.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry on Akinci's election

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 28.04.15), the Turkish Foreign Ministry has praised the "presidential elections" held in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus on Sunday, welcoming the outcome which it described as democratically mature.

    A statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry also congratulated Ak1nc1 on his victory and wished him success in his new post.

    The Ministry also congratulated the outgoing leader Dervis Eroglu for the leadership as well as the determined and constructive stance he displayed in the negotiations during his term in office.

    "It is our desire and hope that the Greek Cypriot side will respond with the same sincerity and good will displayed and demonstrated by the Turkish Cypriot side towards a solution so that a just, comprehensive and lasting solution can be found to the Cyprus Problem", the statement read.

    The statement also stressed that Turkey is determined continue to fulfil its duties and responsibilities as a guarantor state in Cyprus.

    It also stated that Turkey will continue to support the "TRNC" and its "President".

    [04] How the Turkish Cypriot press assesses the first dispute between Erdogan and Akinci

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (28.04.15) reports that the worlds said by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci could not be digested and accepted. "As soon as Akinci gave the necessary reply, everybody relaxed", the paper notes and adds:

    "However, the Erdogan-Akinci conflict has soon been turned into Arinc-Erdogan row in Turkey with Arinc's interference. Arinc openly stated that Akinci was right and took place by his side. As you see, even though Akinci said that 'with the telephone conversation we settled the matter amicably', the swords have been drawn from the very first day".

    Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (28.04.15) refers to Erdogan's congratulations message to Akinci and wonders whether this was congratulating or threatening. The paper reports that "the threatening congratulations message of the Turkish Republic's President has stigmatized the country on the first day of the election of Mustafa Akinci as the TRNC's 4th president" and "became the main issue on the agenda in the media of Turkey all day long".

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (28.04.15) refers to the conflict under the banner front ? page title "Motherland's President Erdogan replied to Akinci who opposed to the 'Motherland-daughter land' expressions: 'He must listen what comes out of his mouth'".

    Under the title "Erdogan must allocate time for understanding", columnist Huseyin Ekmekci writes in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (28.04.15) that Erdogan has declared Akinci to be "submissive" even before the latter undertakes his duties. "He made his stance clear by saying 'we do not support a peace regardless of how [this is]'", notes Ekmekci adding:

    "Has he congratulated or threatened [him]? We could not understand this. Erdogan, who in the internal war experienced in Turkey says that 'we will overcome all obstacles in the way to peace', passes to the same front as the nationalists when Cyprus is the issue. It is as if he was not the one who 12 years ago had said that 'let us solve the problem through the Belgian model'. It is as if he was not the one who had asked a 'yes' in the Annan Plan. It is obvious that there is an 'axis shift' in Turkey's Cyprus policy.

    It is obvious that they misinform Erdogan on the issue of Mr Akinci and Cyprus. [?]

    Erdogan also thinks that Akinci is 'supporter of the parallel [state]'. However, he should seek an answer to the question of 'why Akinci won?' Has Erdogan not realized how much these people have been offended when he only asked [Translator's note: the former self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk] 'how much your salary is'? What kind of a relation is wanted? Erdogan will reprehend, Erdogan will insult and those who do politics on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots will keep quiet for the sake of the one billion dollars which he annually gives? [?]

    In the end a crisis came yup yesterday. Even though it is said that it lasted for a short time, a very heavy word like a lead came out of Erdgan's mouth. [?]"

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Turkish columnists wonder what Akinci's victory means

    Columnist Yavuz Baydar, writing in Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 27.04.15) argues that Mustafa Akinci's victory is a powerful change that creates -- or rather revives -- the dynamics over the stalled talks for reunification of the island. "Not only the Turk Cypriots but also the Greek Cypriots now see a brand new page opening before them," wrote Hasan Kahvecioglu, a veteran columnist with Gazete 360.

    Baydar writes: "It was obvious that the northern side of the island has been left to its political instability. The reasons were multi-fold, but the main issue is as follows: The policies of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey had social and economic spill-overs as the island as a whole attracted more attention due to economic and strategic concerns. Even the growing unrest in the Middle East and the Pakistanisation at the Syrian-Turkish border, due to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), lurks deep in the background.

    But the main element that defined the election outcome is, of course, the apparent feeling of Turk-Cypriots that the reunification is an unaccomplished task, long overdue.

    'The elections were conducted in the spirit of a referendum', said Professor Ahmet Sozen from Eastern Mediterranean University. See it as a referendum between those who have been content with the status-quo and those who defend change, clean politics and good governance in the north as well as a solution based on a federation of two states and communities'.

    The initial expectation is to restart the talks that were disrupted last autumn. Kahvecioglu raised hopes that beginning in early May a new round of talks may this time address the issues of reopening the ghost town of Varosha as well as negotiating the reopening of Famagusta seaport and Tymbou airport.

    (?)

    'Akinci's win promises a new era for change. This is a new wind that may turn into a storm. It may cause a domino effect for a 'restructuring' but not with destruction around us,' Kahvecioglu added.

    (?)

    Another key point is whether the relations between Akinci and Ankara will help the 'new era'. Although it is well-known that the AKP chose not to engage in the latest election campaign, the powerful shift of the Turk Cypriot vote could be read as a sign of the rejection of AKP policies, which have strong tones of Islamisation and 'Kulturkampf'. The vote should come as a relief to Western powers as the Turk Cypriots stick to the values of secularism. This should be noted clearly as a strategic element that should serve the interests of the island as well the Greek Cypriots.

    (?)

    Yet, caution is required. Erdogan's recent overtures with the top brass in Ankara may have encouraged the hawks to regain some control and if so, it would be hard to imagine that Cyprus will remain unaffected."

    On the same issue, Sami Kohen, under the title "A new hope for Cyprus", writing in Turkish daily Milliyet (28.04.15), wonders if Akinci's victory triggers a new era for the future of the island.

    Kohen writes: "This outcome shows that a large proportion of the people feel the need for a new vision and a new direction different from the old. (?)

    Akinci taking the 'president's' seat comes at a time when signs of movement in the Cyprus problem are being seen. The negotiations process, which has been halted for a long time, is going to recommence in May with UN initiatives.

    (?)

    So, what could be so different this time around? The main factor giving optimism here is the fact that Akinci is not only the new 'president' he is also the new chief negotiator. When Akinci sits down to talks with his counterpart Anastasiades he is expected to place new proposals and adopt a different approach.

    The impression I got when I spoke with him on the phone was that while he sees the solution to the problem as lying in a federal system based on political equality he also believes it is necessary to be flexible and accommodating. To this end he is all in favour of several confidence building steps being taken. For example, together with Varosha, which has been closed for years, the opening up of Famagusta Port and Ercan [occupied Tymbou] Airport will pave the way to a settlement.

    In short, Akinci's election has created serious expectations among the Greek Cypriot and UN circles just as it has within the Turkish Cypriot community. Expectations that make a person say, 'This time could be different; 2015 might be the year of the settlement'.

    Some of Akinci's views with respect to a settlement may not dovetail fully with the policy pursued to date by the Turkish Cypriot side (and Ankara). But if a settlement really is wanted some of the old positions have to be changed.

    To what degree are the ideas and proposals that Akinci has in mind going to be given Ankara's support and approval? Akinci talks about 'accord not conflict' with Ankara. He wants the Turkish Cypriot community to be able to stand on its feet and govern itself, and he wants relations with Ankara to develop on the basis of "mutual respect."

    As Akinci's ideas on 'change' have gained the support and the trust of the Turkish Cypriot people it would be best for Ankara to adopt an understanding approach. It is a pity that this topic led to a verbal duel between Akinci and President Erdogan last night. We hope that this argument will not last long and that hopes will not be smothered."

    (DPs)

    [06] CTP's extraordinary congress will be held on June 14

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (28.04.15) reports that the extraordinary congress of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) will be held on June 14.

    The decision was taken during a meeting of the party's organs which came together to evaluate the "elections'" results and to determine the extraordinary congress' date. According to information obtained by the paper, a quarrel occurred during the meeting regarding if an extraordinary or an ordinary congress should be called and it was decided that it will be an extraordinary meeting that will lead only to the election of the new leader of the party. Siding information the paper also writes that following the declaration by the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat that he will be a candidate for CTP's leadership, there is information that the current leader Ozkan Yorgancioglu who stated that he will not run for post, will indicate for a person inside the party to also be a candidate against Talat. Yorgancioglu left the meeting withour replying to any of the journalists' questions, Havadis notes.

    The paper also notes that CTP's "presidential candidate" Sibel Siber did not participated in yesterday's meeting.

    (CS)

    [07] Tatar stated that the speculations for Ozgurgun' resignation should be evaluated

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (28.04.15) reports that Ersin Tatar, "deputy" with the National Unity Party in the occupied part of Lefkosia, in statements to a televised program in Dialog TV, evaluated the "election process" in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    In his statements, Tatar congratulated the newly elected "president" Mustafa Akinci for his victory and said that as the main opposition party, they will make their own evaluation of the "election results". Tatar added, however, that they will continue to be the main opposition party.

    Commenting on the speculations that the chairman of UBP Huseyin Ozgurgun has the intention to resign, Tatar said that he shares this view. "Ozgurgun's intended resignation should be evaluated. There is in fact a lack of trust. This should be cross-examined. (?)", added Tatar.

    (AK)

    [08] HDP issued a congratulatory message to Akinci

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 27.04.15), HDP (People's Democratic Party) Co-Chairmen Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas issued a congratulating message to the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

    The message reads: "We would like you to know that we are very pleased with your election success and that we will offer a strong support making sure that your peace and freedom messages will find the right response from Turkey. We salute you and the people of Cyprus with the hope for momentum in the solution process which started after the Annan plan and with the hope for abolishment of the artificial borders".

    [09] Ozgurgun calls on for early "elections"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (28.04.15) reports that the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Huseyin Ozgurgun stated that the party will evaluate the "presidential elections'" result at the party's competent bodies and added that UBP is open for any decision, even to ask for early "general elections".

    Ozgurgun who congratulated Mustafa Akinci for his election as the new Turkish Cypriot leader, stated that he did not expect the elections' results and added that they have been calling for early general "elections" to be held since the "local elections" that took place a year ago.

    (CS)

    [10] ECO workshop in occupied Keryneia

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 28.04.15), the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) is holding a tourism workshop in occupied Keryneia.

    Officials from the ECO Secretariat and member countries are attending the workshop which aims to look into prospects of cooperation between member countries for cooperation in the field of tourism. The 7 panel workshop is expected to continue until Thursday, the 30th of April.

    Attending the opening ceremony of the workshop was self-styled deputy prime minister Serdar Denktas, self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami, Turkish so-called ambassador to the occupied part of Nicosia, Halil Ibrahim Akca and the Deputy President of the Economic Cooperation Organisation Hayri Maraslioglu.

    Delivering the opening speech, Nami expressed contentment over organizing such an important event in the "TRNC" and reminded that the "TRNC", which has developed relations with ECO since 1992, has been an observer since 2012. Providing information about the "TRNC's tourism capacity", Nami said that "North Cyprus is an ideal holiday destination for citizens of ECO member countries".

    Claiming that the Turkish Cypriots continued to be subjected to reportedly embargoes; Nami said that they are expecting the ECO member countries to take steps towards ending the isolation of the "TRNC".

    Also touching upon the negotiations process, Nami reiterated the Turkish Cypriot side's commitment towards a comprehensive settlement on the island.

    Also addressing the opening session, Denktas said that important changes and developments are taking place in the tourism sector.

    Pointing out that they aim to further develop the "TRNC's tourism sector", Denktas said that the issue will be taken up during the workshop. Denktas also said that "universities in the TRNC could contribute to ECO".

    The Deputy Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organisation Hayri Maraslioglu, for his part, said that "the TRNC is hosting an important meeting and expressed the hope that relations between ECO member countries and the TRNC will be further developed".

    (DPs) TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs/ AM)


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