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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-12-28

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. 246/15 24-28.12.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Hurriyet: "This spring, spring may come to Cyprus"
  • [02] Akinci said that progress was made on the crossing points and on the electricity grid but not on the mobile phone issue
  • [03] Akinci was invited to Luxembourg; he will be at Davos between 20-23 of January
  • [04] Akinci briefed politicians and political party representatives on the Cyprus talks
  • [05] Akinci: "2016 is ideal for a settlement"
  • [06] Davutoglu said that the water supply project has more a historical and symbolic value than the amount of money spent on the project
  • [07] Ozgurgun: The large majority of the Turkish Cypriots want the continuation of Turkey's guarantees and their "state"
  • [08] CHP leader said that he had sent Deputies to the occupied area of Cyprus to look into the recent Cyprus talks
  • [09] Akansoy: "Around 200 persons per month are granted the TRNC citizenship"
  • [10] The crisis in the administration of the water from Turkey gets bigger; CTP reportedly rejects AKP's demands; Turkey stops giving resources
  • [11] "Santa Claus peace village" to be constructed in the breakaway regime
  • [12] One of the founders of TMT organization passed away
  • [13] Information about the imports and exports of the breakaway regime during the first 10 months of 2015
  • [14] HDP asks for autonomy, as PM cancels meeting on constitution dialogue

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Hurriyet: "This spring, spring may come to Cyprus"

    Writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (27.12.15, online), Cuneyt Ozdemir reports that he has been in Cyprus and interviewed President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci on behalf of CNN-Turk television. Under the title "This spring, spring may come to Cyprus", the journalist notes that Cyprus is not only a political issue for him, but it has a family aspect as well, because his father had participated in the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and his sister has been married and lives on the island for 27 years.

    "I saw that they have many times beaten their brains especially on the property issue, but the solution is not far away", writes Ozdemir regarding his impressions from his meetings with the two leaders adding: "They say that from time to time tough debates are also taking place, but generally they discuss the topics one by one and look for a solution".

    The journalist goes on with conveying his impressions: "Akinci thinks that the natural gas found in south Cyprus and the water brought from Turkey to northern Cyprus will unite the fate of the sides. He sees the future with hope. In the presidential palace of the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades I was welcomed by a huge statue of Makarios. The interesting thing is that the signs in south Cyprus are written in Greek, English and Turkish. South Cyprus accepts the Turks as its citizens because it still sees itself as the owner of the island. And they are not considered to be wrong, if you think that all Turks of northern Cyprus possess a Greek Cypriot passport?"

    Asked whether the number one worry of the Greek Cypriots is the existence of the Turkish occupation army, Akinci replied that it is the guarantees and the wish to return to their homes. "For example, if you ask a Turkish Cypriot, you will not come across with the demand that 'we should return and live among the Greek Cypriots'", he argued and responding to other questions added: "Even if the demand for returning back comes forward, surveys show that this issue can to a great extent be solved with compensations. This is good, because after so many years, new lives have been built both in the north and in the south. Therefore, the displacements should be limited [?] The Greek Cypriots left properties of one and a half million donums in the north [Translator's note; A land measure of around 1000 square meters]. The land we left in the south is around 450-500 thousand donums. Therefore, even if we exchanged all of it, around one million donums remain. [?] Of course a part of this will be settled within the framework of the territorial adjustment. A big part of the rest could be solved with compensations. [?] This solution is not prepared to remain only on paper. International effort is needed for the implementation. Look, the number which the experts give as regards the compensations is around 25-30 billion dollars. If new settlements will be built, the need will increase. It is talked about an extra cost. [?]"

    Asked whether the issue of the occupied fenced off city of Varosha is a taboo, Akinci replied negatively. He added: "Even if the negotiations remain unsolved, this is an issue that I will discuss in the long term. I talked about it a lot during the elections period, but when we met, I saw that the Greek Cypriot side is not very positive about Tymbou airport".

    Referring to his relations with Turkey, Akinci said that they have established a close dialogue with the competent authorities, which, allegedly, offer their support to the solution process, something which he saw during his recent meeting with President Erdogan. "I believe that the Cyprus issue stopped being a matter of exploitation in the internal politics in the new period for the Turkish government", he argued.

    Replying to questions on the administration of the water from Turkey, Akinci said that the valves were not turned off, but there is an uncertainty on the issue.

    Asked whether a solution to the Cyprus problem may come by spring 2016, he replied that he exerts efforts in this direction, but the "others" must also exert efforts.

    Meanwhile, asked about the "climate" in the negotiations and whether a solution will come out, President Anastasiades said that progress has been achieved on many issues, but there are also difficulties, which the leaders are working insistently to overcome.

    Responding to a question regarding the role of the "motherlands" and whether the "shadow" of Turkey and Greece exists on the negotiating table, President Anastasiades recalled that after the reestablishment of democracy in Greece in 1974, Greece in no way interferes in Cyprus' internal affairs and pointed out that we must understand that we should establish an independent state, full member of the EU having its own identity.

    Asked about the occupied fenced off city of Varosha, the President underlined that no community can attempt to establish an order of things based on injustice by rejecting the other communities' rights. He added: "We will leave no one without a home. We will not permit anyone to suffer without providing a place to live and the necessary conditions".

    Replying to another question President Anastasiades said that finding a solution to the Cyprus problem by spring is not impossible, if there is the necessary will and mutual understanding to overcome the difficulties at the negotiating table. "Turkey's active support is needed in the exerted efforts", he noted stressing that "the main chapters of the solution depend on decisions which will be taken by Turkey".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Akinci said that progress was made on the crossing points and on the electricity grid but not on the mobile phone issue

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.12.15),Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci during a visit referred to the confidence building measures (CBMs) and noted that progress has been made on the crossing-points and the joining of the electricity grid however the only subject to be at a deadlock is the mobile phone issue.

    Drawing attention to the steps taken on the CBMs between the two sides of the island, Akinci touched upon the joining of the electricity grid and said that it was their main aim to permanently join the two systems however this had not been realised yet.

    "Tests have been carried out at two areas in the villages of Mia Milia and Morphou but a third test is needed. It is our aim to make this permanent as it will benefit the peoples on the island if the electricity systems are interconnected", Akinci said, adding that economically speaking the prices of electricity should go down once the system is up and running.

    "The only deadlock is the mobile phone issue but this problem is not due to the Turkish Cypriot side", Akinci argued and claimed that unfortunately they are not at the point they had desired to be on this issue due to the Greek Cypriot side not taking reciprocal steps on the issue.

    [03] Akinci was invited to Luxembourg; he will be at Davos between 20-23 of January

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 24.12.15), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met with EU Term President ? Luxemburg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn on Wednesday.

    Turkish Cypriot Negotiator Ozdil Nami, Akinci's spokesman Baris Burcu, self-styled foreign ministry undersecretary and a member of the negotiating team Erhan Ercin participated in the meeting.

    Akinci, in a statement to the press after the meeting, said that the meeting with Luxemburg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn had a special meaning and added that the course of the Cyprus negotiations process was discussed during the meeting.

    "The Foreign Minister of Luxemburg who holds the EU term presidency visited Cyprus within the framework of its duty which will be concluded at the end of December. He also invited us to Luxemburg. Many Foreign Ministers had visited the island in the recent period and some of them also visited us. Of course, due to the EU term presidency this visit was more meaningful", Akinci said.

    "We took up the latest stage reached at the negotiations and exchanged views on the issue. We discussed in detail the EU, our relations with the EU, the course of the negotiations process and also we expressed our expectations from the EU", he added.

    Akinci also said that his meeting with Asselborn had been very fruitful.

    Reminding that besides the Luxembourgian Foreign Minister, the German and British Foreign Ministers had invited him to their countries as well, he said that he will try to realize these visits in an appropriate framework.

    In response to a question, Akinci also announced that he will be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos between the 20th and 23rd of January 2016.

    "I received an invitation to the Forum in September. I also replied in the affirmative in September. This invitation involves the dates between the 20th and 23rd of January. I was planning to announce this when the date approached however there is nothing to hide on this issue which was leaked to the press. This is a normal invitation", Akinci said.

    "The Greek Cypriot leader received the same invitation. The Cyprus negotiations process or a quintet meeting will not be carried out in Davos. No such decisions have been taken however it is normal to hold meetings with officials whom will be under the same roof in Davos. If we want, we can meet with Anastasiades or Eide there", he added.

    Noting that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and most probably a high level official from Greece will also be in Davos, he said: "There is no scenario that we will be there as part of the forum and that we will deliver a conference. However, I think it is useful to hold contacts there".

    "If we want to solve the Cyprus problem we should not abstain from coming together and meeting with each other. For this reason, I will be visiting Davos with a clear mind. I welcome opportunities that arise that will help produce beneficial results for the future of Cyprus", Akinci concluded.

    [04] Akinci briefed politicians and political party representatives on the Cyprus talks

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.12.15), a Cyprus summit was held at Akinci's office on December 24.

    Turkish Cypriot Mustafa Akinci held the last meeting of the year with the leaders and representatives of political parties with seats in the "parliament".

    The meeting which was attended by the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Mehmet Ali Talat and CTP "deputy" Armagan Candan, the General Secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP) Dursun Oguz and UBP "deputy" Ersan Saner, the General Secretary of the Democrat Party National Forces (DPUG) Hasan Tacoy and DPUG "deputy" Ozdemir Berova and Social Democratic Party (TDP) leader Cemal Ozyigit and TDP "deputy" Huseyin Angolemli lasted about two and a half hours. Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami and Akinci's spokesman Baris Burcu accompanied Akinci during the meeting.

    Party leaders and representatives made statements to the press after the meeting.

    Talat said that they exchanged views on the negotiations process during the meeting and expressed their view that there had been good progress towards achieving a solution in the near future. Noting that both the two leaders and the negotiators have been working intensively, he expressed the hope that a solution will be found before the elections to be held in "South Cyprus" (editor's note: as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus). Stating that a peace plan could be concluded and brought to a referendum as soon as possible, Talat noted that the meeting had been very fruitful.

    Oguz, for his part, said that Akinci had briefed them and they had expressed their stance during the meeting. He also added that Akinci will brief the "parliament" in January. Noting that they had conveyed their sensitivity on some news covered in the media, he said that they will brief their party bodies on the course of the Cyprus problem.

    Tacoy stressed that after exchanging views on the latest stage reached at the negotiations they reiterated their view that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed upon". Noting that despite it not being finalized yet certain progress had been achieved on the property issue, he reminded that all developments will be discussed with the "deputies" in January. Pointing to the importance of more dialogue with politicians, he expressed the hope that the negotiations will be concluded in any way possible.

    Speaking last, Ozyigit said that they had learned the details of the negotiations through reading official reports. Noting that the representatives of political parties have been briefed regularly, he said: "We had a tangible and satisfying meeting".

    Noting that positive developments had occurred and were expected to continue after the New Year at the negotiations, he expressed the hope that a referendum will be held in spring. He also added that their support to the process towards achieving peace will continue.

    Meanwhile, Akinci evaluated the course of the negotiations process with the self-styled speaker of the assembly Sibel Siber, self-styled prime minister Omer Kalyoncu, self-styled foreign minister Emine Colak, Turkish Cypriot Negotiator Ozdil Nami and his spokesman Baris Burcu on December 24.

    They were briefed on the stage reached at the negotiations and the three expressed their views on the issue during the meeting which was held at Akinci's office.

    [05] Akinci: "2016 is ideal for a settlement"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 26.12.15), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that conjuncture for 2016 is ideal for a settlement.

    Speaking at a New Year's reception held in the occupied part of Lefkosia by the "Union of Chambers of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects", Akinci said that despite the significant progress achieved in the Cyprus talks there still remained areas of divergence and disagreement. He reminded that they are working towards reaching a settlement that will be mutually acceptable for both sides.

    Stating that it is their duty to make the Turkish Cypriot "people" a part of international law, Akinci said that important duties will fall upon both architects and engineers as and when a solution is reached. "While we the leaders are the political architects of a settlement, you architects and engineers will be the true physical architects of a settlement", Akinci added.

    [06] Davutoglu said that the water supply project has more a historical and symbolic value than the amount of money spent on the project

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 24.12.15), Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu touched upon the "TRNC water supply project" from Turkey during an inauguration ceremony he attended in Turkey. He said that Turkey is very proud of the project and noted that 1.6 billion Turkish Liras was spent in building the water purification plant and distribution lines for the project of the century.

    Davutoglu said that despite the large amount of money spent on the project the investment had more of a historical and symbolic value and added: "If Turkey is calling an area a foster land and if Turkey wants to reach its kin, its brothers it will surpass Anatolia and take water there. Sokullu Mehmet Pasa's powerful words are still effective today. If we want to, we will take the waters from the Toros Mountains surpass the sea and take it to Cyprus. This state is able to do this, everyone who serves this state and is in need of assistance will be held by this compassionate state". He noted that with this project not only drinking water but potable water will also be supplied to the "TRNC".

    The water requirements of the TRNC for the next 50 years will be met said the Turkish Premier and added that agricultural development will also thrive in the region due to the water supply project.

    [07] Ozgurgun: The large majority of the Turkish Cypriots want the continuation of Turkey's guarantees and their "state"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.12.15), the leader of the National Unity Party Huseyin Ozgurgun, in written statement, claimed that the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo's main aim is to remove the "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) which is the symbol of sovereignty and survival of the Turkish Cypriot "people" and spread Greek Cypriot domination to the "north of the island".

    "Under the name of a united Cyprus the Greek Cypriots want to make the Turkish Cypriots a minority on the island, end the guarantor rights of motherland Turkey and get rid of the Turkish military on the island", Ozgurgun claimed.

    "Even if the Greek Cypriot leader tries to play nice at the negotiation table and gives messages of peace he will never be able to get the approval of the real leader Archbishop Chrysostomos", Ozgurgun argued and added that the large majority of the Turkish Cypriots want the continuation of Turkey's guarantees and the "state". "We should not waste time with the nonsense stemmed by Chrysostomos but continue hand in hand with motherland Turkey", Ozgurgun concluded.

    [08] CHP leader said that he had sent Deputies to the occupied area of Cyprus to look into the recent Cyprus talks

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (24.12.15), under the title "Turkey's main opposition vows to endorse EU reforms bill in Parliament", reported that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has said that his party will support the reform bills that will be submitted to Parliament by the government as part of a renewed bid for the stalled EU accession talks.

    Speaking with reporters on Thursday, the CHP leader said that "If the government brings the bills forward within the framework of the EU talks, we'll support that." He was referring to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's recent remarks that his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government will submit a series of draft legislation to Parliament to accelerate Turkey's negotiation talks with the EU.

    The main opposition party leader highlighted foreign policy as another area where the government has failed terribly. "There is no country left that we can call a friend when you look at Turkey's ties with Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya and Russia," he remarked.

    He warned that foreign policy cannot be based on sectarian policies and a pursuit of a vendetta, referring to Ankara's troubled ties with Syrian and Iraqi central governments. "The foreign policy should be overhauled completely," he stated.

    On the Cyprus talks, the CHP leader noted that he had sent Deputies to the "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) to look into the recent negotiations. He also said that he looks forward to a meeting with Davutoglu next week, hoping that the Prime Minister will brief him on the substance of the talks. "We have some concerns," he said, without specifying what those concerns were.

    Regarding the normalization of ties with Israel, Kilicdaroglu underlined that Israel must fulfil all three conditions laid out by Turkey before full rapprochement can be achieved.

    [09] Akansoy: "Around 200 persons per month are granted the TRNC citizenship"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (28.12.15) reports that Asim Akansoy, self-styled interior minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, in exclusive statements to the paper, has stated that according to their predictions, around 10.000 people will apply for the granting of the permanent "residence permit document" called as "white card".

    Referring to the "citizenship issue", Akansoy said around 200 persons per month are granted the "TRNC citizenship" either because they got married or because they are owners of the "work permit" and have fulfilled 12 years of work in the "TRNC".

    (AK)

    [10] The crisis in the administration of the water from Turkey gets bigger; CTP reportedly rejects AKP's demands; Turkey stops giving resources

    Under the title "The crisis got bigger", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (28.12.15) reports that the party committee of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the major "coalition partner", has rejected an agreement reached between "officials" of the breakaway regime and Turkey's technical committee on the issue of the administration of the water transferred from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus with pipelines. The agreement is supported by the other "coalition partner", the National Unity Party (UBP). The reason for the rejection of the agreement by the CTP is said to be the fact that "it gives opportunity for privatization".

    The leader of the party, Mehmet Ali Talat stated that the issue could not be solved on technical basis and it must be discussed on a political basis. Therefore, he added, both the "government" and himself will undertake an initiative. Talat reiterated the demand of meeting with President Erdogan.

    Omer Kalyoncu, self-styled prime minister, told Havadis that the text of the agreement "does not belong to the 'government'". However, the self-styled ministers of finance and agriculture, Birikim Ozgur and Erkut Sahali respectively, both members of the CTP, as well as the party's general secretary Turfan Erhurman have reportedly contributed to the issue of the "legal implementation" of the agreement.

    According to Havadis' general director, Basaran Duzgun, the situation could be summarized as follows: "The AKP government is preparing to leave the civil servants without the thirteenth salary and the farmers without money as a New Year present to the Turkish Cypriots. Moreover, it does this with great determination. [This is] a determination, which includes blackmail and imposition. And [it is doing it?] on the cost of leveling with the ground a broad based government which is in favor of a reconciliation, in an environment in which a referendum is being prepared on the Cyprus problem which is heading towards an agreement [?]"

    Duzgun recalls that Ankara has been paying the thirteenth salary in the occupied area of Cyprus since this practice has started.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (27.12.15) reported that Talat argued that there is no crisis, but different opinions between the self-styled government and the AKP government in Turkey on the administration of the water. He argued that the administration of the water now belongs to the breakaway regime and added that in case of a solution to the Cyprus problem, this authority will be given to the federal government. "The water from Turkey will definitely be bought, but how its price will be determined is not known yet", he noted speaking to Cihan news agency.

    Talat argued that the agreement which the regime signed with Turkey will bind the federal state in case a solution is reached. He said that Turkey may use this infrastructure and directly sell water to third world countries.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] "Santa Claus peace village" to be constructed in the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (28.12.15) reports that the chairman of the "Father Christmas Peace Council", Muammer Karabulut stated that a "Father Christmas peace village" will be established in the breakaway regime in 2016.

    Karabulut stated that seven "countries" run as candidates for the establishment of the village but the Council decided on a meeting held on December 25 that the "peace village" will be built in the breakaway regime.

    The "Father Christmas Peace Council", was formed in 2010 in Myra, Antalia, were the remains of Saint Nikolaos were discovered but this is the first time that the "peace village" that will promote peace will be established, the paper writes.

    (CS)

    [12] One of the founders of TMT organization passed away

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (28.12.15) reports that Ismail Lutfi Tansu, "retired colonel" and one of the founders of the TMT organization, passed away yesterday morning at the age of 98 years old. According to the paper, Tansu's funeral took place yesterday in Ankara.

    (AK)

    [13] Information about the imports and exports of the breakaway regime during the first 10 months of 2015

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (25.12.15) reported about the information provided by the "Turkish Cypriot Commercial Office" on imports and exports of the breakaway regime for the first ten months of 2015.

    According to the information, during the first ten months of 2015 exports totaled 102.9 million Turkish Lira and imports 1.1 billion Turkish Lira. Of these, 62% of imports were from Turkey and 38% from other countries. As regards the exports 57.2% were to Turkey and 42.8% to other countries.

    The breakaway regime imported from Turkey mainly fuel, vehicles and ready-made clothing. It exported dairy products, citrus fruits and raki.

    (CS)

    [14] HDP asks for autonomy, as PM cancels meeting on constitution dialogue

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 27.12.15) reported that the People's Democratic Party (HDP) has insisted on self-rule in south-eastern Anatolia as Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu cancelled a meeting with the party over the Constitution, accusing the HDP of violence.

    A meeting of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) called for the establishment of "democratic autonomous regions" for the solution of the Kurdish problem. The DTK had convened to discuss operations in the south-eastern province of Diyarbak?r and asked for "self-governance" in a statement on Dec. 27.

    The group called for dialogue and negotiations and therefore sought the freedom of Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The DTK also embraced "legitimate insurgency" and called on the people of Turkey to give support to them.

    People's assemblies in the south-eastern towns of Silopi, Cizre and Nusaybin as well as in the province of Sirnak have declared "self-governance" following clashes between PKK and the security forces.

    Meanwhile, Davutoglu cancelled a planned meeting with the HDP, which is focused on the Kurdish issue and is a member of the DTK, suggesting its politics are rooted in violence, dashing faint hopes of greater parliamentary cooperation amid continued clashes in the southeast.

    A written statement released by the Prime Ministry on Dec. 26 noted that Davutoglu conveyed requests on Dec. 22 to hold separate meetings with the leaders of all opposition parties represented in parliament in line with the results of the Nov. 1 snap election.

    All parties responded affirmatively to Davutoglu's request and, according to an earlier statement released by the Prime Ministry, Davutoglu was set to meet main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu on Dec. 30 at 1 p.m. and with the co-chairs of the HDP at 4 p.m. on the same day. Davutoglu was also scheduled to meet Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli at 2 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2016.

    These requests were conveyed "without making discrimination" out of "respect for democracy culture" and "the importance attached to conciliation," although the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power as a single-party government with a sweeping victory in the Nov. 1 vote, the Prime Ministry said.

    "However, statements delivered by HDP executives in the last week are a reflection of a shallow political stance that is diametrically opposed to this understanding, is aimed at polarizing the country, is far from minimum political kindness, does not comply with our nation's ancient culture of living together and appeals to conflict and tension," said the Prime Ministry.

    "With this approach, HDP executives have once more displayed that they don't have the maturity to consider politics as a tool for solving problems. There is no sense anymore in meeting with this unstylish approach and sharing the same table," it said.

    In addition to the Constitution, the 2016 Central Governance Budget Bill, planned reforms and possible amendments to the internal regulations of parliament were expected to be on the agenda during the meetings.

    In remarks published on Dec. 26, a senior HDP Deputy said there would be little to talk about with Davutoglu as long as clashes and curfews continue in southeastern Turkey.

    In a move likely to further escalate tension with the government, HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas has broached the possibility of building an independent Kurdistan. "This resistance will end with victory, and everybody will respect the people's will. Kurds will from now on be the political will in their own region. During these days when a historical breaking point is emerging, our people will decide whether [to live in] dictatorship or freedom and whether to live under one man's tyranny or in autonomy," Demirtas said in a speech delivered at the opening of the DTK conference.

    "We have made the decision on that. Turkey's west should also join this decision that is made and lend support. There will be the reality of Kurdistan in the next century. Perhaps, the Kurds will have their own independent state, the federal state, and cantons and autonomous regions as well," he said.

    Meanwhile, columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in HDN (online, 28.12.15), under the title "A Kurdish state out of the anti-ISIL fight?" reports that "the PKK is seemingly calculating on carving out an independent Kurdish state, or at least an autonomy, out of the fight against ISIL, thinking that their contribution to the fight was indispensable. One of the questions that the PKK has to find an answer to is whether they are more indispensable than Turkey, and not only in the fight against ISIL but being Turkey in an area of political and economic influence from the Balkans to the Black Sea, from the Caucasus to the East Mediterranean.

    Considering that neither the U.S. nor the European Union are too keen on the quality of democracy in Turkey regarding rights and freedoms nowadays, calculating their strategic interests first, the calculation of the PKK might prove to be a risky one, without even mentioning the consequences of changing borders in this fragile part of the world." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs / AM)


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