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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-02-25
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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. 38/16 25.02.2016
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Akinci briefed the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot political parties on the latest stage of the Cyprus negotiation processTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (25.02.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci briefed yesterday the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot political parties represented at the so-called assembly, on the latest stage of the ongoing Cyprus negotiations aiming to reach to a solution on the Cyprus problem.
In statements after the briefing, Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) said that the meeting went well since they had the chance to evaluate the latest developments on the Cyprus negotiation process.
"The negotiation process progress well but there is a deceleration due to the elections in the south. I hope the process to be intensified", said Talat.
Speaking about progression in the process, Talat said that the important is for the same progress to be achieved also in fullest extent of the negotiations.
Talat stressed also that it is important to complete the discussion of all issues the soonest and added that the core ones that is the territory and security issues should be also concluded by May.
Also speaking, Huseyin Ozgurgun, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) described the briefing by Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci as very fruitful.
Pointing out that the negotiation process experiences some difficulties and a delay due to the forthcoming "parliamentary elections" which are to take place in the "south", as he described the Republic of Cyprus, Ozgurgun spoke about a "postponement" of the negotiations. He, however, said that this is not prodigious for them since they will have the chance to make an evaluation of the situation.
Stating that they consider that the process will speed up after the elections in the "south", Ozgurgun said that it is a preparation time for them.
Ozgurgun added that they cannot say if the Cyprus problem will be solved by the end of the year or the beginning of 2017, but added that it seems that the process will be prolonged.
Also speaking, Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG) described the briefing as fruitful and said that the result of the talks will be set in a referendum. He added that the real agreement on the Cyprus problem is not on the negotiating table but the importance of the agreement is on its implementation. "It is for this reason that we should be sensitive. The two peoples should respect and trust each other, otherwise, we will probably bog down again", Denktas said.
Supporting that it is easy to reach to an agreement but it is difficult to make the agreement viable. Denktas said that they had the opportunity to convey to Akinci their worries. He added that Akinci exerts efforts to protect the Turkish Cypriot's rights at the negotiating table with goodwill. He also argued that they cannot say that the Greek Cypriot side shows the same goodwill.
In his turn, Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) said that they are hopeful after the briefing about the process by Akinci and added that they still hope that a solution is possible to be reached within 2016.
Stressing the need to be more sensitive towards the issue of the Confidence Building Measures (CBM), Ozyigit said that TDP will speed up its work towards this direction.
 AKP approved the changes in the water agreement submitted by the CTP and the continuation of CTP-UBP "coalition"Under the title "AKP said the coalition to continue", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (25.02.16) reports that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government approved the demands submitted last night to Ankara by the self-styled prime minister Omer Kalyoncu on behalf of the regime's "government" for changes in the draft agreement regarding the administration of the water transferred from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus through undersea pipelines.
The paper writes that with Ankara's positive reply the collapse of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) ? National Unity Party (UBP) self-styled coalition government because of the water issue was avoided.
Recalling that the deadline given by the UBP to the CTP to solve what was described as "water crisis" ended yesterday, the paper notes that during the day Kalyoncu called Tugrul Turkes, Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs, and managed to take a positive reply from Ankara to his requests. Kalyoncu decided to call a meeting of the "cabinet" today for taking its approval on the new agreement text.
Under the title "The water and the government crisis was overcome", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (25.02.16), reports that Kalyoncu told the paper's reporter that their demands for change were mainly regarding the "municipalities", which do not want to enter into the system.
"With the change the municipalities will be given water from Turkey and a purchase guarantee will also granted", he said adding that with an amendment in article 6 of the agreement the water will first be given to the regime and afterwards a tender will be invited in the occupied area of Cyprus for determining the operator. Kalyoncu noted that the underground water will not be given to the private sector as their owner is the "state". According to the agreement, he added, the underground water resources should be taken under control and the aquifers should be strengthened.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.02.16) reports that the water crisis "was solved to a great extent", adding that the disagreement between the CTP and the UBP influenced the meeting of the "cabinet" yesterday that lasted for only half an hour.
In statements to Kibris, UBP's chairman Huseyin Ozgurgun said that they have given to the CTP additional time until Monday. Speaking after a meeting with the "ministers" of his party yesterday, Ozgurgun noted that the party committee gave him full authority to deal with the issue. He added that he would start his efforts since yesterday morning and on Monday he will call a meeting of the party committee on the water issue.
Ozgurgun said that he does not want to enter into the details as to which articles of the agreement will change and that his concern is the end of the crisis, which should be solved by the "two governments".
Furthermore, Kibris writes that a problem was created in the regime's "ministry of finance" as Turkey gave no money in January and February 2016 due to the water crisis. The general secretary of the UBP, Dursun Oguz said that the "government" cannot pay the salaries and the pensions.
The "ministry of finance" issued a statement confirming Oguz. The "ministry" said that the pensions will be paid today and that it is continuing its intensive efforts for paying the full salaries of the "civil servants" on Monday. The statement noted also that no money was transferred from Turkey in January and February 2016.
 The "water platform" protested against the privatization of the water transferred from TurkeyUnder the title: "We will not hand over the Turkish Cypriot's right to live and produce", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (25.02.16) reports that the members of the "water platform" which was established recently in the occupied area of Cyprus by several trade unions, NGO's and political parties, organized yesterday a protest in front of the "prime ministry" to express its reaction against the "draft agreement on the water" signed between Turkey and the "TRNC".
According to the paper, the protesters condemned the "text of the agreement" and described the water transferred from Turkey as the "water of death" instead of the "water of life", as it is described in the "TRNC".
Speaking on behalf of the platform, Irfan Celik, "chairman" of the "olive producers union", explained that the "platform" is against the "draft agreement" prepared by Turkey and the "TRNC" concerning the water management and supply and described the articles 2 and 7 of the agreement as unacceptable.
Pointing out that by accepting the "agreement" it would mean the privatization of the water, Celik explained that a private company will have the right to manage and administrate all the economic activities of the Turkish Cypriots, including their right to live.
Celik underlined that the "platform" is determined to struggle and will not accept to hand over its right to live and produce.
The "water platform" is composed by Dev-Is, BES, KTAMS, EL-Sen, Turk-Sen, KTOEOS, KTOS, BASIN-SEN trade unions, the Turkish Cypriot political parties: New Cyprus Party (YKP), United Cyprus Party (BKP), Social Democracy Party (TDP), Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP), the Famagusta Initiative, the Feminist Association, the "municipalities" of the occupied part of Lefkosia, Lefka, and Gialousa, the Kibris Pir Sultan Abdal Cultural Association and other organizations.
 Siber said that they should strengthen their "institutions" prior the Cyprus settlement in order to be able to integrate with the worldTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (25.02.16) reports that the self-styled assembly speaker of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus Sibel Siber argued that the "Greek Cypriot administration" (translator's note: as she refers to the Cyprus government) should not prevent the "TRNC assembly" to have meetings with diplomats at the international level and to abandon the behaviour of ignoring the Turkish Cypriot "people" in every opportunity.
In an announcement to Radyo Guven, Siber claimed that the education system in the government controlled area of Cyprus stirs the feeling of enmity against the Turks. She added that in order to be able to have peace, then this hostility feeling should be extinguished among the young generations.
Siber noted that the Turkish Cypriots desire to be part of the world with their own identity, adding that they want to reach a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality as defined in the UN Resolutions. Siber argued that they want a settlement that will establish the happiness of the future generations and not to repeat the pains of the past.
Siber further said that during the Cyprus talks, they should strengthen their own domestic organization structures at every level of the "TRNC state" in order to be able to integrate with the world prior to the solution.
 Tunali: "Chaos is created so that a positive outcome at a referendum"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.02.16) reports that Tozun Tunali, the chairman of the Social Democrat Party (SDP) stated that efforts are exerted so that chaos to be created in the breakaway regime in order for a positive outcome at a referendum.
Tunali, who issued a written statement, said that the "environment of chaos" that is seen in many aspects at the "country" is related to the efforts for a solution of the Cyprus problem. "The main reason behind all these non-positives issues and problems we see in many sectors is to increase the 'yes' votes", he said adding that recently they have witnessed "impossible and very difficult conditions" in the breakaway regime for which the only explanation that could be given is this.
 The Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia visited "Keryneia university"Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis (25.02.16) reports that Ingrid D. Larson, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, visited yesterday the illegal Keryneia university ("GU"). She was briefed on academic life of the "university", the on-going projects and donated books to the library.
The U.S. officer met with the general secretary of "GU" Assist. Prof. Dr Hurmus Refiker and the "deputy founding rector" of "GU" Tumer Garip. Dr Refiker said that the visit of Mrs Larson honours them.
 An academic cooperation between "DAU" and ASUAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis (25.02.16), an academic cooperation between the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University ("DAU") and the Arizona State University (ASU) has started.
Prof. Dr Gary M. Grossman, Associate Director for Programs in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and Associate Professor in the Global Technology and Development (GTD) graduate program, with an accompanied team visited in the past few days "DAU" and met with the "rector" of the "university" Prof. Dr Necdet Osam. During the meeting, they exchanged information and discussed the cooperation among the two "universities".
The cooperation agreement was signed by Prof. Dr Ahmet Sozen on behalf of "DAU" and Prof. Grossman, on behalf of ASU.
 Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi to suspend its printed version as of February 29Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (25.02.16) reports that Rasit Resat, editor-in chief of the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper, one out of the sixteen Turkish Cypriot dailies published in the occupied area of Cyprus, announced yesterday in a written statement their decision to suspend the paper's printed version and added that the paper will continue functioning in digital form.
The paper will suspend its printing as of February 29.
 Erdogan urges Turkish Parliament to remove HDP Deputies' immunityAnkara Anatolia news agency (25.02.16) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Deputies to remove the parliamentary immunity of the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Deputies, who he said are "mouthpieces" for the separatist terrorist organization PKK.
Erdogan's remarks came Wednesday in the Turkish capital as he addressed a large group of mukhtars (local administrators) from 11 provinces.
The Turkish President slammed an HDP Deputy in particular who recently visited the family of a suicide bomber -- who killed 29 people in last week's terrorist attack in Ankara -- to offer their condolences.
"Nowhere in the world can you see a politician, a political party or a lawmaker backing suicide bombers targeting civilians," he said, and called on the Parliament to take the necessary action regarding the recently submitted motions to strip the HDP lawmakers of their immunity.
 Erdogan and the Turkish Foreign Ministry on US-Russia agreement on SyriaTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (25.02.16) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that Syria's Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People's Protection Units (YPG) should be excluded from a recently declared cessation of hostilities in Syria, just like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
"The PYD and the YPG need to be out of the scope of the cease-fire, just like Daesh is," Erdogan argued during a speech to village headmen in Ankara on Feb. 24. "Everybody should accept that the PYD and the YPG are offshoots of the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party]," he said.
A U.S.-Russia joint cease-fire deal announced on Feb. 22 is to take effect in Syria on Feb. 27, but the "cessation of hostilities" does not include ISIL and the al-Nusra Front, the main jihadist factions, causing Erdogan's reaction.
In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.02.16) reports that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu greeted the "cessation of hostilities" agreement that aims to end the five-year conflict.
"We welcome the steps taken to end the conflict in [Syria]. The U.S. and the Russian Federation have carried out works on this issue. The U.S. has informed us and has received our opinion", he stated and added: "Turkey has always supported ending the conflict in Syria. The cessation of the conflict depends entirely on compliance with the commitment given by Russia, the [Syrian] regime and all other allies on ending airstrikes and military operations."
 MHP Bahceli's aide resigns, calls for extraordinary conventionTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (25.02.16) reports that Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy leader Umit Ozdag has announced his resignation from his position, while also calling for the holding an extraordinary convention, in a move which would further fuel in-house tension between MHP chair Devlet Bahceli and his opponents.
Ozdag said he submitted his resignation from his position to the MHP headquarters on Feb. 24, adding he was not making a statement in support of any candidates willing to replace Bahceli.
Since the Nov. 1, 2015, election, in which the MHP only collected around 11% of the votes and 40 lawmakers in Parliament, party dissidents have called for the holding of an extraordinary convention to change the party's leadership. Former MHP lawmakers Meral Aksener, Sinan Ogan and Koray Ayd?n have already expressed their intention to run for the party leadership but their attempts to hold a convention were stopped by party headquarters. The call for an extraordinary convention was recently taken to court for a final decision.
Bahceli launched a counterattack on party dissidents, as he dismissed more than two dozen provincial MHP organizations which supported calls for an extraordinary convention. Ozdag, a professor of international relations, has become the highest level MHP official joining the in-house opposition.
 Rights and freedoms in Turkey regressed further in 2015, Amnesty saysTurkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (25.02.16) reports that Amnesty International Turkey Campaigns Advocacy Director Ruhat Sena Aksener stated that "It is unfortunate but it is impossible to say that 2015 has been a progressive year for Turkey". She made these statements during a press conference held in Istanbul on Wednesday morning.
An annual report was released by prominent rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) that showed there was a dramatic decline in human rights, particularly freedom of the press, in Turkey over the course of 2015.
Encroachments on press freedom were heavily stressed by the Amnesty representative, who said: "While all human rights hold importance, the violations against the press were unprecedented" adding: "Freedom of the press in 2015 in Turkey has fallen victim to pressures in a way that it has never before."
The report explained that one of the most targeted groups by the government was the Hizmet movement, affiliated with Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, in particular the movement's media organs.
Turkish and foreign journalists who were sent to prison or deported, such as Mehmet Baransu, Can Dundar, Erdem Gul, Canan Coskun, Frederike Geerdink and Mohammed Rasool for allegations of insulting a state official or for terrorism charges, were also mentioned in the report.
Hundreds of people including journalists, academics and even teenagers are facing charges of insulting the President in Turkey. People are even being prosecuted for critical messages they have posted on social media platforms.
Beyond the press, freedom of expression for all citizens came under fire over the course of 2015, according to the rights organization. Aksener stated that blows to the right to express oneself are in large part due to the ambiguous framework of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), particularly Articles 299 and 125, which deal with "insulting the president" and "terrorism," respectively.
 Columnist argues that Turkey?EU deal not just about SyriansTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (25.02.16) publishes the following article by Barcin Yinanc under the title "Turkey?EU deal not just about Syrians":
"Where do we stand on the Turkey?EU deal? Will it succeed or fail?
First of all, it is still work in progress. There is an understanding on the general framework and now both sides are working on the details to make it concrete.
Europe's most urgent priority is to see an immediate drop in the numbers. In particular, German Chancellor Angela Merkel needs to see concrete results in order to face down mounting criticism at home and also to convince other EU members on the merits of the deal, facilitating their contribution.
"The Turks, on the other hand, need to manage their disappointment about the fact that 3 billion euros cannot come as a check in one day," said the same diplomat.
European officials in the Turkish capital tell me that part of the money has already been unlocked and - despite initial resistance from Turkey ? Ankara has started to come forward with projects catering for the needs of Syrian refugees, such as health and education infrastructure.
Part of the money will also be dedicated to improving controls over the Aegean. [?] That is one of the reasons why Turkey has accepted NATO's presence in the Aegean to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions. [?]
Meanwhile, Turkey's European allies are pressuring Ankara to change its visa regime with certain countries. [?] Most are believed to be economic migrants rather than refugees. Although they come from many different countries, Moroccans seem to be high on the agenda and were even discussed during Merkel's last visit to Ankara.
Turkish officials tell me, however, that the number of Moroccans whose whereabouts are not known after they entered Turkey is negligible.
It seems that the fact that Moroccans were among the prime suspects over the New Year's Eve harassment attacks in Cologne pushed Merkel to bring this issue to Ankara's attention.
Benefitting from the visa-free visit of 80,000 Moroccans every year, Turkey will probably drag its feet. The number is tiny compared to the nearly 30 million overall tourist arrivals in Turkey, but in view of the sharp drop among European and Russian tourists, Ankara would not want to jeopardize the arrival of other tourists - however small the number.
Work is also underway on how the Turkish government and the EU will work together for the latter to take Syrian refugees from Turkey and settle them in different European countries. While the Turkish government insists that European countries' burden-sharing should not be limited to financial assistance, its reluctance contributes to the EU's proposal to establish hotspots in Turkey where officials from both sides decide on the "fate" of the refugees. No doubt, reaching an agreement on the specifics of the issue will prove challenging.
These are issues on the agenda in the short term. In the medium term, work will continue on the implementation of the readmission agreement and other criteria that Turkey will have to fulfill in order to secure visa-free travel to Europe for Turks." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION