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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-02-15
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 30/16 13-15.02.2016
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Akinci says there is no deadlock in the negotiations; He is against granting the regime's "citizenship" to thousands of personsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.02.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci has said that there is no deadlock in the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, but difficult issues are being discussed and they will exert efforts for intensifying the process.
In statements on Saturday after his three-hour meeting with President Anastasiades, Akinci noted: "If within a couple of months we achieve a good consensus ground on the points on which agreement does not exist in the four chapters on which progress has been reached, I hope that 2016 will be really a year in which we take a step for lasting peace in Cyprus with the conclusion afterwards of the issues of the territory and security and guarantees. We can achieve an agreement which the people in both sides will approve and may carry Cyprus' future in a much better point than it is today".
Replying to a question on the issue of the rotating presidency, Akinci argued: "Our understanding is there. They have problems on this issue. This is what they say. Therefore, there is no agreement yet on this issue. However, I think that reaching a consensus is inevitable, because our stance on this issue is very clear and evident".
Referring to the issue of the "citizenships" which the Turkish President had recently raised during a meeting with a Turkish Cypriot delegation in Ankara, Akinci claimed: "My views on this issue are not a secret. I am negotiating at the table according to the TRNC's official data. I cannot turn these data into a scratch pad every now and then. Therefore, the seriousness at the negotiating table must continue". He recalled that he has repeatedly expressed the view that all the "citizens" of the breakaway regime should become citizens of the United Cyprus and the EU and that during the "election" campaign had stated that the Turkish settlers came to Cyprus 40 years ago, got married, had children and established businesses and "therefore they will have a place in the county's future". He added, though, that this is based on some "official data" and that except for these data there are also "laws" made by the "government". He noted that he is not positive to massively granting the "citizenship" and has absolutely no problem to openly say this. Recalling that in 2003 and 2004 the "citizenship" had been granted to many persons but the "court" annulled them, Akinci added: "Granting the citizenship to thousands of people is one thing and the citizenships naturally developed is another. I must be careful at the negotiating table, because we have carried out the negotiations until today with the data we have. The data I have are the official data of the country. They are numbers given by the ministry of interior".
Akinci said that in the beginning of Saturday's meeting they discussed the statements made recently by both leaders to the press. He argued that there is nothing more natural than the leaders' expressing their positions to their communities from time to time, but the points of "common understanding" should be announced together by the sides. "I think that this is how we will continue", he noted.
 Bozkir stressed the need for the solution of the Cyprus problem to include Turkey's guaranteesTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (15.02.16) reports that Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkir, has stated that Turkey has always opposed to the endorsement of the elements which are necessary for the solution of the Cyprus problem in Turkey's EU negotiation process. "And this because if we connect all this issues together, then the problem will remain unresolved forever", Bozkir said.
Speaking during the meeting of the Planning and Budget Committee at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), Bozkir referred, inter alia, to Turkey's EU bid and stated that if the Cyprus problem is solved, a lot of chapters will be able to open.
Referring to the Cyprus negotiation talks, Bozkir expressed hopes that the Cyprus problem will be solved the soonest possible. "The solution of the 50 years prolonged problem will constitute an example for other problems as well", Bozkir argued and added that their conditions for the solution of the Cyprus problem are the bi-zonality, a federation based on the political equality and the continuation of Turkey's active and effective guarantees. "Together with these conditions and in case the Cyprus problem is solved, important chapters will be possible to open. Otherwise, if the Cyprus problem is not solved, then it is the EU's commitment to open the 5 chapters which are blocked by the Greek Cypriot administration", added Bozkir.
 Denktas: The Turkish guarantees must continue until Turkey enter EUTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.02.16) reports that Serdar Denktas, the chairman of Democratic Party (DP) argued that the Turkish guarantees must continue in Cyprus until Turkey becomes full member of the European Union.
Denktas who was speaking on a television program stated that the same applies to the withdrawals of the Turkish occupation army from the island.
He went on and stated that the coalition "government" between the Republican Turkish Party and the National Unity Party will not survive for long, accusing it for not preparing any new "laws" and for not signing the economic protocol with Turkey.
 Tacoy: Anastasiades' statements are unacceptableTurkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis (15.02.16) reports that Hasan Tacoy, general secretary of the Democratic Party (DP) said that the views expressed by Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiades during his address at a special session of the House of Representatives are unacceptable for the Turkish Cypriots. He called on the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to make a statement on these as soon as possible.
In a written statement, Tacoy claimed that Anastasiades' statements are in contradiction to the 11 February 2014 Eroglu-Anastasiades joint declaration and existing UN parameters. He argued that Anastasiades is interpreting everything according to his own point of view, adding that the Greek Cypriot leader has revealed his dream of dragging the Turkish Cypriots back to pre-74 conditions in terms of property, territory and security.
Claiming that Anastasiades' statements on property involved dangers which will economically and socially ruin the Turkish Cypriots, he added that Anastasiades openly set forth the plan of forcing the Turkish Cypriots to suffer at the hands of the courts for many years.
Tacoy further said that it will be proper for Akinci just like Anastasiades to choose the "parliament" as a venue to issue his statements.
Stating that Akinci's silence over the issue meant that he approved Anastasiades' statements, Tacoy said they will not give approval to this.
 Izcan criticized Erdogan's statement on the issue of citizenships' grantingTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.02.16) reports that Izzet izcan, the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) stated that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan must learn to show respect to the existence and to the political will of the Turkish Cypriots.
Izcan was commenting on Erdogan statements regarding the "problem of
10,000 citizens of the Republic of Turkey who had acquired the right of becoming citizens of the TRNC but have not been granted the citizenship" yet and on the Turkish President's demand that "legal" preparation to be made for the "citizenships".
Izcan strongly criticized Erdogan for his statement and called on the "coalition government" of the Republican Turkish Party and the National Unity Party to protest against it. Arguing that there are "laws" that safeguard the granting of "citizenships", Izcan said that this kind of statements in such a critical time for the Cyprus negotiations does not help towards reaching a solution. He also said that these kind of statements also carry the meaning that some circles want to blow up and to torpedo the peace talks.
 The water issue "shakes" the regime's "government"; Talat: "If necessary, we will hold a referendum"; Ozgurgun: The "government" has already decidedTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.02.16) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has said that the "government" has taken no decision yet on the issue of the administration of the water from Turkey and that if necessary they might submit the issue to a referendum. In statements after an extraordinary meeting of the CTP's assembly on Saturday, Talat noted that this was an "assessment meeting", that the members of the "assembly expressed their view and that everyone listened, including the "members of the government".
Under the title "The government is shaking', Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (15.02.16) reports that the CTP's assembly could not decide on the issue of how the "municipalities" will be included in the system of administrating the water and submitted the suggestion that negotiations should be carried out again with Turkey. The "ministers", who are CTP members, said that such a possibility does not exist.
The self-styled prime minister Omer Kalyoncu said that the National Unity Party (UBP), their minor "coalition partner", will open for debate the issue of whether it should remain in the "government". Kalyoncu proposed that they should vote whether the CTP should stay in the "government" or submit its resignation because of the water issue, but no voting was held on the issue. However, the "ministers" of finance and agriculture, Birikim Ozgur and Erkut Sahali have given to Kalyoncu the sign that they will resign, because they think that the text agreed in Turkey includes their "sensitivities".
According to Havadis, UBP's chairman and general secretary, Huseyin Ozgurgun and Dursun Oguz evaluated the developments and decided that "if even a single comma is changed in the agreement" reached with Turkey on the water issue, the party will resign from the "government". Ozgurgun demanded that the agreed text should immediately be signed and criticized Talat, who said that "the government should decide". "The government has already decided. And the ministers have accepted this", he recalled.
The UBP wants the water issue to be concluded the soonest and the "government" to start materializing its program. In case the water issue comes to deadlock, the UBP discussed the issue of forming a "temporary government" with the Democratic Party (DP) for one year and holding "early elections" in 2017. The UBP is expected to draw a "road map" today.
According to Kibris (14.02.16), DP's chairman, Serdar Denktas said that his party is satisfied with the point which the water issue has come, but criticized the stance of the "government". In a statement after a meeting with the "mayors" of his party, Denkas noted that the water project must be implemented the soonest and criticized the delaying tactics of the "government" which he said causes harm to the "people" and the economy.
Moreover, according to daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.02.16), DP's general secretary, Hasan Tacoy said that if the "government' cannot decide, holding a referendum will be inevitable. He recalled that "protocols" had been signed with Turkey on this issue by the former "prime ministers", Irsen Kucuk (UBP) and Ozkan Yorgancioglu (CTP).
The paper notes also that the general secretary of the Social Democracy party (TDP), Asim Idris said that his party has not yet discussed the issue of holding a referendum on the issue of the administration of the water from Turkey, but they will discuss all issues, including the referendum during their meeting today. Idris expressed the view that the "people" are not sufficiently informed on this issue.
 Veysel Eroglu: "For a length of time we will manage the water"According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 13.02.16), Turkish Forestry and Water Works Minister Veysel Eroglu, responding to criticisms made against the water supply project at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, said: "We have reached a certain point on the water issue, for a period of time we will manage the water".
During discussions of the Planning and Budget Commission at the Turkish Grand National Assembly Minister Eroglu answered concerns and criticisms of other MP's regarding the water supply project to the "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus).
He said that they have transferred water to the Gecitkoy dam (editor's note: the dam in occupied Panagra) but due to the "TRNC water works department" not completing the purifications plant, water depots and distribution pipes there have been some problems. "The President requested that we complete these, so we then completed the purification plant and completed a majority of the 477 kilometre water distribution pipeline and depots", said Eroglu.
"We asked how Cyprus is going to manage the water and carried out meetings. As a result we have come to a certain point. For a length of time we will manage the water", said Eroglu.
 Akinci said that the "municipalities" should be a part of the water issueTurkish Cypriot daily Detay (14.02.16) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in statements on Saturday after his three-hour meeting with President Anastasiades, commenting on the water issue, said that the "municipal law" should be protected and definitely the "municipalities" should be involved somehow in this process, they cannot be left out.
Reminding that he used to be "mayor" of the occupied part of Lefkosia from 1976-1990, Akinci said that during that time the waterworks were not linked with the "municipalities", but since 1991, the water has been under the supervision of the "municipalities".
Akinci argued that a series of works is going on between Turkey's government and the "government" of the breakaway regime, however he does not know the latest situation on the issue.
Noting that in case of a Cyprus settlement, especially a federal solution, the Turkish Cypriot institutions should be able to protect their existence and be able to function into the future, Akinci said that the "municipalities" are very important among these institutions. He further said that in case there is a "public-private partnership "on the management of the water issue, then the "public part" should be the "municipalities".
 Erk: A party congress not a referendum is needed for the water issueTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.02.16) reported that Kutlay Erk, the former general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) criticized CTP on the way it handles the administration of the water from Turkey.
Commenting on the recent statements of CTP's leader Mehmet Ali Talat who stated that the "government" has taken no decision yet on the issue of the administration of the water from Turkey and that if necessary they might submit the issue to a referendum, Erk said that a party congress and not a referendum is needed for the issue to be solved.
He went on and stated that the way the party deals with the issue is very different than the party's program and stated that the solution for solving the problem exist in the program. "According to the program the water must be administrated by the public at all times. If they want to act in a different way than the one mentioned in this declaration, then they should call a general assembly of the party"", Erk stated and added: "Turkey does not want privatization; what Turkey wants is to Turkify the water. If CTP does not insist on its own program, then it is as if it accepts the Turkification of the water", he stated.
 Ozgur on his contacts in Turkey on the water management issueTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (15.02.16) reports that the so-called minister of finance of the breakaway regime, Birikim Ozgur in statements to Kanal T, evaluated their latest contacts in Turkey where they held talks with Turkish officials concerning the water management issue and described their contacts as very fruitful.
Stating that during their contacts in Ankara, the expectations and goals of the "TRNC" were met, Ozgur said: "The agreement is not a burden for the municipalities, it is an award". He also alleged that the new model to be implemented towards the administration of the water transferred from Turkey, will give a breath to the "municipalities" and called them not to show negative stance.
Supporting that they achieved to have a positive result during their discussions in Ankara on very sensitive issues for the "municipalities" and the CTP, Ozgur underlined that the "municipalities" will participate to the bidding process for the water management.
Ozgur further said that both the "ministry of finance" and the "central committee for tenders" are committed to ensure that the process will be transparent.
 KTOS describes as their "red line" the "state" having the ownership of the water resources that must be distributed by the "local authorities"Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (15.02.16) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), has described as their "red line" the water resources' ownership belonging to the "state" and their distribution to the "local authorities".
In a written statement, Elcil noted that they will not accept any practice in which the water will be in the possession of private companies. He said that they will exhibit every kind of resistance and called on everybody to defend their "communal dignity".
Furthermore, Elcil expressed his concern by seeing that efforts are exerted by "the AKP, the private sector and its local collaborators" to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots as regards the water. "The Republic of Turkey blackmails the people living in the TRNC over the water rights", he argued.
 CHP Deputy to file a lawsuit against Aybak for his wastewater' allegationsTurkish daily Milliyet newspaper (15.02.16) reports that the Republican People's Party Deputy in Mersin Fikri Saglar, in statements during a visit he paid in Anamour district in Turkey, referred to the allegations expressed by the chairman of the Mersin Waterworks Authority (MESKI) Turgut Aybak, who has stated that due to an infrastructural problem, wastewater from three neighborhoods in Mersin's Anamur district were directed into the Alakopru [occupied Panagra Dam].
Saglar strongly condemned Aybak for his allegations and stated that they will transfer the issue to the judiciary. "MESKI chairman has committed a mistake. This is an illegal action and a crime. As CHP we will transfer the issue to the judiciary", Saglar said.
 Turkey not considering sending troops into Syria: Defence MinisterTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.02.16) reports that Turkish Defence Minister Ismet Y?lmaz denied a report that some Turkish soldiers had entered Syria during the weekend and said Ankara is not considering sending troops into the neighbouring country, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 15.
Asked about the claim in a Syrian Foreign Ministry letter to the U.N. Security Council, Yilmaz told a Turkish parliamentary commission "It is not true". "There is no thought of Turkish soldiers entering Syria".
 Turkey strikes PYD, mulls ground offensive, alarming US-RussiaAccording to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 14.02.16), the Turkish military shelled Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces at the Menagh air base near Azez in northern Syria as well as Syrian regime forces on Saturday, continuing to hit PYD targets on Sunday while demanding that the PYD withdraw from positions near the border even though the PYD warned on Sunday that they would resist any Turkish intervention.
Ankara is also mulling a ground offensive in Syria along with Saudi Arabian troops, after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced over the weekend Saudi Arabia is deploying fighter jets to Turkey's Incirlik Air Base in Adana province. "If there is a strategy [against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)], then Turkey and Saudi Arabia could enter into a ground operation", Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the pro-government Yeni Safak and Haberturk dailies on Sunday.
Ankara hitting PYD targets and talking about the possibility of a ground offensive into Syria is further complicating the efforts of world powers to end the hostilities in Syria within a week and alarmed Washington and Moscow.
US Department of State Spokesman John Kirby urged Turkey on Saturday to halt military strikes on Kurdish and Syrian regime targets in the northern province of Aleppo. "We are concerned about the situation north of Aleppo and are working to de-escalate tensions on all sides," Kirby said in a statement. "W?e have urged Syrian Kurdish and other forces affiliated with the [People's Protection Units] YPG not to take advantage of a confused situation by seizing new territory," Kirby said.
Russia gave a positive assessment of a Syrian cease-fire deal struck by major powers last week in Munich, but there is no let-up in fighting as Turkey shelled Kurdish rebel positions in Syria for a second day running.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned on Sunday that any ground offensive against Syria could turn into a long-term war. Speaking to Euronews, Medvedev said Russia will never approve of a ground offensive backed by international forces.
Speaking on a TV program, Davutoglu said late Saturday that the shelling had taken place under "the rules of engagement against forces that represented a threat in Azaz and the surrounding area" in response to a provocation along the border. He accused the YPG of carrying out "harassing actions" along the border.
 Davutoglu tells Merkel: Turkey will continue to respond to YPG attacks in SyriaAccording to Turkish daily Sabah (online, 14.02.16), Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that Turkey will not let the YPG continue its aggressive activities in northern Syria.
During a phone conversation on Sunday, the Turkish Premier told Merkel that the Turkish security forces will continue to give necessary response to the PYD or the YPG attacks in Syria.
On Saturday, Turkish military shelled YPG targets near the town of Azaz in northern Syria under the rules of engagement, in response to two separate attacks carried out by YPG and Assad forces on a Turkish military base and a police station.
Davutoglu argued on Saturday that YPG is engaged in an ethnic cleansing against Arabs and Turkmens in the region in cooperation with the Assad regime and added that the group must immediately leave Azaz and its surroundings. Davutoglu reiterated that Turkey will respond to any development that threatens the country's national security and will not allow any powers to the harass Turkish borders.
Meanwhile, the Syrian regime has condemned Turkey's shelling of PYD held areas inside Syrian territory, describing it as an attempt to raise the morale of 'terrorist' groups.
 CHP 'against all decisions to plunge Turkey into war'According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.02.16), the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) "is against all decisions to plunge Turkey into war," its leader has said.
"[Prime Minister] Ahmet Davutoglu said that 'the CHP should choose its side'. As was the case in the March 1, 2003 motion, the CHP is against all decisions to plunge Turkey into war", Kemal Kilicdaroglu wrote on Feb. 14 on his Twitter account.
 Commentary: "A dangerous escalation on the Turkey-Syria border"Columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.02.16), evaluates the latest situation in the Syrian border with Turkey in the following commentary:
"As Turkish artillery started pounding Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) military positions in Syria on Feb. 13, it became clear what Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meant last week when he said: 'Just wait, you'll see'.
Davutoglu had been asked about the tension between Ankara and Washington over the PYD, which is regarded as a functional ground force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by the U.S. administration but as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government, which sees it as the Syria branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Ankara was very upset after Brett McGurk, the anti-ISIL envoy of U.S. President Barack Obama, went to the PYD-held Syrian town of Kobane (bordering Turkey) and received a plaque from the hands of a 'PYD commander', who is a known PKK militant with an arrest warrant in Turkey. McGurk's visit also came just after a visit to Turkey by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Following the controversial photo, President Tayyip Erdogan asked Obama to decide who his partner was: His NATO ally Turkey or the 'PYD terrorists'.
The answer came from a U.S. State Department spokesman: 'Turkey is an ally but the U.S. does not consider the PYD to be a terrorist organization like the PKK'. Obama, who wants to keep the boots of U.S. soldiers away from foreign soil, needs foot soldiers on the ground to fight against ISIL and die if necessary.
When Davutoglu told reporters to 'wait and see', he also said Turkey was determined to hit every terrorist target that it considered as a threat. The fire by 155 mm Turkish 'F?rt?na-Strom' howitzers with a 45-km range on the weekend of Feb. 13-14 showed that he was not bluffing.
By then, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had already announced it might be possible for Turkey to enter a ground war in Syria with Saudi Arabia. Cavusoglu also said Saudi planes might be deployed to Turkey's Incirlik air base, which is currently used by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL with the contribution of American and German war planes. But in the later hours of Feb. 13, the Foreign Minister made another statement saying there had been no such concrete plan to get involved in a ground operation in Syria. Then the attacks on PYD positions came.
The Turkish military said the shelling of Syrian army and PYD positions was 'reciprocal', as in previous cases, and thus nothing new. Davutoglu and Biden had a telephone call, during which the Turkish Prime Minister asked the U.S. to move the PYD away from the border, otherwise the Turkish military's operations would continue. The answer came from D.C. again: A U.S. spokesman asked the PYD not to take the current opportunity to capture more land and also asked Turkey to stop firing. Only hours later, however, Turkish artillery fired fresh "reciprocal" rounds on PYD positions.
Meanwhile, a telephone conversation was held between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin about forming a "united front against terrorism" in Syria. If that front were to consider the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime a partner, as Russia wants, it would not only be a failure of Obama's policies in Syria but it would likely make Turkey more nervous, as Ankara continues to insist that al-Assad must go - at least after a transition period.
Perhaps that anxiety is forcing the Turkish government to try to show that any Syria 'solution' that side-lines Ankara would eventually fail. One of the key points here is the lack of information for Turkish public opinion other than the (sometimes contradictory) official statements and leaked propaganda material - both regarding tension at the border and the deal with Saudi Arabia." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION