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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-12-31

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. 249/15 31.12.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Turkey sent money on the very last minute to the breakaway regime for the 13rd salary
  • [02] Tourism campaign of the breakaway regime was launched in the UK
  • [03] Police capture two ISIL bombers in Turkish capital ahead of New Year's Eve
  • [04] HDP co-chair faces probe for defending 'autonomy'
  • [05] Iraq threatens Turkey with military action until all troops are withdrawn
  • [06] Turkey changes Syria visa policy to curb illegal entries
  • [07] Davutoglu launched a new round of talks over the preparation of a new Constitution; He met with Kilicdaroglu
  • [08] "2015: a political assessment"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Turkey sent money on the very last minute to the breakaway regime for the 13rd salary

    Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (31.12.15) reports that Turkey has sent to the breakaway regime 62.5 Million Turkish Lira on the very last minute, making it possible for the 13rd salary to be paid to civil service employees.

    According to the paper, the money was sent to the breakaway regime on orders by the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Turgul Turkes. The transfer's delay was due to the crisis which occurred between the breakaway regime and Turkey which led to the non-signing of the economic protocol between the two parts.

    (CS)

    [02] Tourism campaign of the breakaway regime was launched in the UK

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (31.12.15) reports that the tourism campaign of the breakaway regime was launched on December 28 in the UK where large advertisements were placed in train stations, buses and taxis. This development follows the decision of the "ministry of tourism" to make the "north Cyprus" brand better known as a tourist destination in 2016 in the UK, Germany and Turkey.

    The paper writes that the campaign was launched firstly in the UK where 250,000sterling was spent on advertising. Logos and photos of the advertisements were placed in the airports of Stansted, Manchester and Luton. Moreover, posters were placed in 130 London black taxis and in 200 double-decker buses. Speaking to Kibris, the so-called minister of tourism Faiz Sucuoglu stated that the tourism campaign in the UK will be completed in February.

    The paper also writes that 150,000 Euro will be spent for the campaign in Germany while 835,000 Turkish Lira will be spent for the tourism campaign in Turkey. The breakaway regime will also participate in a big tourism fair to be held in Istanbul on January 5.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (31.12.15) reports that Sucuoglu stated that he will head a delegation visiting Ankara in January where he will meet with officials of the Turkish Ministry of Tourism and with Turkish tourism operators.

    (CS)

    [03] Police capture two ISIL bombers in Turkish capital ahead of New Year's Eve

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.12.15) reported that the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has stated that in an operation conducted in Mamak district on December 30, counter-terrorism police units captured two Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) suicide bombers preparing for a New Year's Eve attack in Ankara.

    The two ISIL suicide bombers, identified as M.C. and A.Y., entered Turkey from Syria and were scouting the capital's central K?z?lay square and nearby bars, the location of many New Year's Eve celebrations, for two separate attacks.

    Police also seized suicide vests and explosives reinforced with steel balls and sticks during the raid.

    The suicide bombers had reportedly prepared more effective bomb set-ups than those used in the October 10 Ankara bombings and aimed to injure more people.

    [04] HDP co-chair faces probe for defending 'autonomy'

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.12.15) reported that the Diyarbak?r Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation against Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Figen Yuksekdag over her remarks defending autonomy, a day after the party's other co-chair, Selahattin Demirtas, was notified of a probe against him over crimes against the constitutional order.

    Yuksekdag attended a meeting of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) held in southeastern Diyarbak?r province between December 26 and 27, where the establishment of "democratic autonomous regions" was presented as a solution to the Kurdish problem.

    The attendees also asked for "self-governance" and embraced the "legitimate insurgency" in a number of southeastern districts, while also urging the people of Turkey to support their cause.

    According to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, the prosecutor's office examined videos of the convention and initiated an investigation against Yuksekdag and Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) head Sultan Ulusoy over their remarks on "self-governance, autonomy, trenches and barricades."

    The grounds for the investigations were laid out as "making terrorism propaganda," "inciting a crime" and "encouraging sedition," in addition to violating Article 302 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) by "disrupting the unity and territorial integrity of the state."

    Since Yuksekdag is currently an MP, a summary of the proceedings needs to be prepared to lift the HDP co-chair's immunity.

    When asked to comment on the probe, Yuksekdag told reporters that such investigations against HDP Deputies and co-chairs were quite common. "We never enjoyed immunity. We continue to exercise politics despite attacks and pressures," Yuksekdag was quoted as saying by Cihan News Agency.

    (?)

    [05] Iraq threatens Turkey with military action until all troops are withdrawn

    Turkish daily Sabah (30.12.15-online in English) reported that while Iraq threatens Turkey with use of force over troops deployed in the country to support local units in fight against Daesh, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called Iraqi PM Al-Abadi and told him that the threats of Daesh and PKK in the region need to be taken into consideration while assessing the situation.

    Iraq on Wednesday told Turkey to withdraw its troops at a northern camp where they are training anti-Daesh fighters, warning that it will consider military action if the soldiers remain.

    Prime Minister Davutoglu called Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Abadi on the phone late Wednesday and told his counterpart that although Turkey understands Iraq's sensitivity over sovereignty, the troop deployment issue needs to be evaluated taking into consideration threats of Daesh and PKK in the region. Davutoglu also condemned the recent attack on Al-Abadi's convoy in Ramadi.

    The troop deployment dispute between the two countries flared up in early December after Turkey deployed reinforcements to a camp in northern Iraq's Bashiqa region where Ankara is helping to train Sunni and Peshmerga to battle Daesh.

    The deployment riled Baghdad, which has demanded their immediate and complete withdrawal. Turkey has begun withdrawing troops, but some remain.

    (?)Ankara withdrew some troops to another base in Northern Iraq last week and said it would continue to pull out of Nineveh province where the camp is located. It did not say how many troops would be moved or where to.

    Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told a press conference on Wednesday that Baghdad will continue to pursue a peaceful resolution, but warned that if "fighting is imposed on us, we will consider it to protect our sovereignty, people and resources."

    [06] Turkey changes Syria visa policy to curb illegal entries

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.12.15) reported that Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic said on December 30 in a press conference, that Syrians arriving in Turkey by air and sea from third countries will need visas as of January 8, 2016, reversing a six-year agreement with Ankara which allowed visa-free entry to citizens of both countries.

    "The arrangement was required due to entrances from third countries to Turkey by air and sea" Bilgic said, adding that the regulation aimed to tackle illegal migration.

    "Turkey would however continue its "open door policy" as a humanitarian consideration for Syrians entering Turkey's land borders and would not ask Syrians arriving this way to hold visas", added Bilgic.

    (?)

    [07] Davutoglu launched a new round of talks over the preparation of a new Constitution; He met with Kilicdaroglu

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.12.15) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has stressed that Turkey's new Constitution should be long-lasting, free of personal imprints and human-based. "Let's draft such a Constitution that will not be bound by the current conjuncture," said Davutoglu in a live interview broadcast on private channel NTV on Wednesday.

    His remarks came after a meeting with main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu earlier in the day, in which they agreed to work together to change the country's current Constitution.

    The current Constitution was drafted in 1982 following a military takeover and has undergone several amendments since.

    "I sincerely told him [Kilicdaroglu]: Let's not personalize it, so that it will not be based on single people like Mr. President, you, me or others. Because we will most probably not be alive 30 or 40 years from now," he said.

    "It must be a Constitution that can also [be relevant] at that time," Davutoglu added.

    The Premier also said that they shared with CHP leader a common ground not to revise the Constitution written after September 12, 1980 coup d'etat, but to completely abolish it and replace it with a civilian one that is cleared of the impacts of the coup.

    "We want a new Constitution, an actual constitutional reform. That's what we agreed: Sept. 12 Constitution will be abolished," he said.

    "We hope we will make a Constitution that removes the traces of coup. Can there be a greater honor than that for a statesman? Can we leave a bigger heritage than that? Let's create an environment to make this heritage collectively," said Davutoglu, indicating opposition parties should be included in the process.

    "It will be an explicit, concise yet complete Constitution that contains no restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms, without any monopolization of power," he said.

    Davutoglu remarked that the backbone of the Constitution was defined by the relations between institutions, and its spirit was characterized by how it regards the relation between the individual and the state.

    The Premier also argued that the drafting of a new Constitution must be followed by the "evolution of a parliamentary system into presidential system."

    "I extend our offer to Mr. Kilicdaroglu. The right thing to do is to shift the political system to presidency. When we define the presidential system in line with that spirit, it will never morph into a dictatorship or authoritarianism as claimed," he said.

    "We can evaluate this offer together. So if you have objections let's hear them. Let's talk about this offer. If you have a model let's talk about it too. But such things like 'presidential system leads to dictatorship, presidential system will divide country with a federal structure' are not true."

    Davutoglu also said rights of property, demonstration and freedom of the press will remain under a presidential system, similarly to the parliamentary system.

    Davutoglu also addressed anti-terror operations against PKK terrorists in the southeast. "Our priority now is to clear all the neighborhoods and streets of all our cities of the terrorist organization [PKK] and its terror activities. We do not believe that any talks will be beneficial without [achieving] this."

    Referring to the recent inquiry over 'autonomy' remarks by Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, Davutoglu said: "No group can have a right and priority to commit a crime and support terrorism explicitly. ? They [HDP officials] should keep their distance from terrorism immediately. HDP should decide if it is a political party or an extension of the terror organization?" added Davutoglu.

    (?)

    [08] "2015: a political assessment"

    In a commentary in Turkish daily Today's Zaman (31.12.15) under the above title, columnist Suat Kiniklioglu assesses the political developments in Turkey in 2015 and writes the following: "In many respects 2015 has been a tumultuous and equally distressing year for Turkey.

    Both on the domestic political front as well as in the foreign policy area, Turkey has experienced troubling developments. First and foremost, there is little argument over the fact that Turkey's security situation has significantly deteriorated. True, this is probably valid for many countries, but few have experienced horrendous terror attacks, such as the Ankara bombings in October or the Suruc bombing in June. As a result of the collapse of the Kurdish peace process, Turkey's Southeast has effectively become a war zone. Citizens are leaving these areas or are suffering heavily due to the indiscriminate fighting. Turkey's Kurdish citizens feel increasingly alienated. Many predict that the violence will spread to Turkey's western cities.

    On the foreign policy front, Turkey's objectives in Syria have been seriously hampered by the Russian military intervention in the country. Also, the downing of a Russian warplane in November has completely reversed Ankara's critical regional partnership with Russia. The incident was a major foreign policy and security blunder, demonstrating how the impulses of Turkey's leadership can ruin major partnerships. Turkey has been for some time a less predictable political actor, but this incident has set a dangerous precedent for such unpredictability.

    On the domestic front, Turkey has seen two dramatic elections. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered considerably in the June 7 election and, for the first time in its history, lost its majority in Parliament. That said, as a consequence of major blunders of the opposition as well as strategic yet pernicious political maneuvering by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the outcome was totally reversed by November 1. The whole affair once again confirmed the weakness of the Turkish opposition and the subsequent lack of an alternative to the AKP. The outcome of the Nov. 1 election once again showed that the Turkish electorate is not interested in handing over the government to cadres that it deems are not fit to run the country. The urge for stability and order, even at the expense of buying corruption and authoritarianism, trumped all other considerations.

    One of the most worrying consequences of Turkey's increasing authoritarianism has been the worsening skewing of Turkey's judiciary. It is difficult to speak of any rule of law or any sort of judicial reference anymore. The sense of arbitrary justice, the loss of normal lawful practices and the disrespect for common decency have been intensifying at an alarming pace. Most Turks have resigned themselves to this fact and wait helplessly for this state of affairs to come to an end.

    The abnormal situation in the Turkish media continues. Many opposition channels have been closed or confiscated. Many journalists, writers and analysts have been harassed, charged or put into prison. Freedom of expression no longer has any meaning in Turkey. It is nothing but terminology. That the European Union and the United States actually increase cooperation with Ankara at such a time is not only a great disappointment for Turkey's democrats, it also is a license for autocrats to continue with their suppression of fundamental values.

    All in all, there is little to look forward to in 2016. Given Turkey's external political environment, the growing frustration in society and the determination of the Presidency to dominate society, its troubles are very much likely to worsen". TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (AK / AM)


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