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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-05-12

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. 87/16 12.05.2016

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Denktas alleges that Turkey has the power to erase the Turkish Cypriots' debt in case of a solution based on political equality
  • [02] Columnist explains why Turkey worries about the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Polish teachers are illegally visiting the occupation regime
  • [04] Illegal GAU "university" signed an academic cooperation "agreement" with TSMU
  • [05] More about the involvement of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot companies in the list of Panama Papers
  • [06] Bozkir: "Impossible for Turkey to make changes to anti-terror law"
  • [07] Kilicdaroglu: "Turkey can't shift to presidency without spilling blood"
  • [08] "Foreign policy under Erdogan: What will change?"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Denktas alleges that Turkey has the power to erase the Turkish Cypriots' debt in case of a solution based on political equality

    Under the title "Denktas erased the debt (!)", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (12.05.16) reports that Serdar Denktas, self-styled deputy prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, met yesterday in Ankara with the Turkish deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs, Turgul Turkes.

    In his statements, Denktas alleged that Greek Cypriot recent statements "will blow the negotiating table up and they are doing this by accusing us". Denktas claimed:

    "They have an approach demanding that we freeze our life. They say 'if investments are made in Morfou area, we will destroy the negotiating table, [and] if you grant citizenships, the negotiating table will be blown up'. The last bomb thrown by the Greek Cypriot negotiators was that 'the Turkish Cypriots owe Turkey 17 billion euros and if Turkey does not erase this debt, there will be no solution".

    Noting that their "government" has given the "necessary reply" to the above statements, Denktas alleged that the Turkish Cypriots knocked on Turkey's door because Turkey is their only "air-tube" since 1963 due to what he described as the "isolation implemented by the Greek Cypriots". He added:

    "[?] Since they refer to 17 billion euros, let them add the interest to this. They will be forced to pay the equivalent for the suffering they had caused us. If there is a solution really based on the political equality, even if we have such a debt, Turkey is a powerful country that could erase this [debt] for that really viable solution. Such statements shake our people's trust and make the Greek Cypriots' unwillingness more evident".

    Finally, Denktas argued that the good intention and the sincere will of Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and his negotiating team are there.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Columnist explains why Turkey worries about the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.05.16), columnist Basaran Duzgun comments on the situation in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and explains why Turkey is worried about a possible solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Under the title "Let everyone understand that this is the situation", Duzgun writes, inter alia, the following:

    "TRNC's debt for 2015 is said to be 16 billion [Turkish] liras. TRNC's budget for 2016 is four billion 550 million liras. That is, it has a debt approximately four times its annual budget. [?]

    Do you know what the bitter aspect of this issue is? The TRNC's budget cannot even pay the installments of this debt. Moreover, every year it borrows even more. A state which has a debt four times bigger than its budget is a bankrupt state. [?]

    It is always asked how comes the TRNC, in spite of the fact that it is bankrupt, continues living as if nothing happens. The answer is simple. Turkey pays. Turkey fully pays the deficit which came up and caused bankruptcy and keeps the TRNC living. That is, it does not avoid making any expenditure in order for the status quo, which it has established in the northern part of Cyprus since 1974, to continue economically. And it is not only economically, it is also administratively and politically. It permits the Turkish Cypriots to act as a government in an area which it allows them, but before international law it acts based on the reality that they are its subordinate administration. This means, as you understand that both economic and political sovereignty in the northern part of Cyprus belongs to Turkey. In this sense, it does not see positively those who demand more sovereignty and 'the right of self-administration'. It worries that the Cyprus problem may be solved and Turkish Cypriots may acquire equal sovereignty in the new state to be established. Because it fears that the Turkish Cypriots with whom it has the relationship described above may agree with the Greek Cypriots and abandon it. Let everyone understand that this is the situation".

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Polish teachers are illegally visiting the occupation regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (12.05.16) reports that a group of Poland teachers are illegally visiting the occupation regime upon an invitation by the "Turkish Cypriot Teacher's Trade Union" ("KTOS").

    According to information acquired by "KTOS", the Polish teachers arrived in the "TRNC" and visited several "schools" and "universities" where they inspected the "TRNC's educational system".

    The visit takes place in the framework of an "agreement" signed between "KTOS" and "Poland's Solidarity Trade Union" (Solidarnosc) in 2008, which includes among others an "exchange of teachers program".

    According to the paper, a group of five teachers from "KTOS" will be visiting Poland in June.

    (AK)

    [04] Illegal GAU "university" signed an academic cooperation "agreement" with TSMU

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.05.16) reports that the vice-rector of the Tbilisi State Medical University of Georgia (TSMU) Dr. Giorgi Abesadze, who is illegally visiting the occupation regime, visited the illegal "American University of Keryneia" ("GAU).

    According to the paper, Abesadze signed an academic cooperation "agreement" with the "rector" of the illegal "GAU" Dr. Kutsal Ozturk.

    The "agreement" envisages academic cooperation between the two "universities" and for students who study at the "universities" to obtain a double diploma from both.

    (AK)

    [05] More about the involvement of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot companies in the list of Panama Papers

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris Postasi newspaper (12.05.16) reports that the other partners of the company called "Buisly Overseas Corp", in which Altinbas holding is also a partner and which is included in the stood Panama Papers, were sentenced in Izmir for "establishing a crime organization" and for "taking part in a crime organizations".

    The Altinbas family from the town of Gaziantep in Turkey is the owner of several fuel stations in occupied Cyprus. The Altinbas family has started to make investments in occupied Cyprus since 1975, after the 1974 Turkish invasion to Cyprus and became "one of the biggest groups of capital".

    As the paper writes, the other partners of Buisly Overseas Corp, Fuat Yalvac and Nihat Yalvac, were tried in 2013 and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for fuel smuggling.

    (AK)

    [06] Bozkir: "Impossible for Turkey to make changes to anti-terror law"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (11.05.16) reported that Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozk?r, in statements during a televised interview with Turkish private broadcaster NTV on Wednesday in Strasbourg, said, inter alia, that Turkey will not make any amendments to its law on combatting terror, amid a disagreement between Ankara and the bloc, which had demanded changes to the law as a precondition for granting visa-free travel to Turkish citizens.

    (?) "In an environment where we have more than 450 martyred [security officials], where very serious terror operations are conducted, it is impossible to politically discuss the anti-terror law in Turkey," Bozk?r said, adding that "Turkey's anti-terror law is actually at the level of European standards".

    "If there is no progress on the visa liberalization process, then the elements of the Turkey-EU deal would be reconsidered", Bozkir added.

    [07] Kilicdaroglu: "Turkey can't shift to presidency without spilling blood"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (11.05.16) reported that the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu has criticized the presidential system that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) wishes to impose, saying that such a system cannot be implemented without violence. "You can't bring in such a presidential system without spilling blood," K?l?cdaroglu said in a speech to the general assembly of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in Ankara on May 11, while discussing efforts to form a new Constitution.

    "The current Constitution states that the judiciary is independent and impartial. It says that no post or authority can give orders or instructions to the judiciary. If we are to write a new Constitution, we will write the same things," Kilicdaroglu said.

    (?)

    Stating that he had revealed the orders of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag to judicial authorities on numerous occasions, K?l?cdaroglu said that he asked outgoing Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu about the aforementioned orders.

    "How can these orders be given? They are saying the coup laws should stay but we should change the Constitution. Why? They are saying they will bring the presidential system. One person will speak and Turkey will be silent. One person will speak and judges will rule accordingly. One person will speak and lawmaker lists will be prepared accordingly. You can't impose such a presidential system," said K?l?cdaroglu, referring to the current Constitution, which was shaped after the September 12, 1980 military coup but has undergone a number of amendments since.

    K?l?cdaroglu's remarks caused a backlash by the ruling AKP, with the party's Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Bulent Turan accusing the CHP leader of calling for a "civil war" and the Economy Minister Mustafa Elitas claiming that he was plotting a "military coup."

    "We are curious to see what K?l?cdaroglu will do. Will he execute Deputies who support the presidential system? Will he round them up in gas chambers like the Nazis?" Elitas asked, saying that "only the nation" could decide on any political system change.

    (?)

    [08] "Foreign policy under Erdogan: What will change?"

    In a commentary under the above title, columnist Semih Idiz writes in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.05.16) the following: "The question many people are asking now that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has effectively been ousted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is what the new direction in Turkey's foreign policy will be, if indeed there is a new direction.

    Hurriyet Daily News Editor-in-Chief Murat Yetkin's assessment on this issue seems to be correct. It was not Davutoglu's foreign policy but Erdogan's to start with, so one can assume there will be no radical change in this respect.

    One could argue in retrospect that it was Davutoglu's attempts to put his own mark on foreign policy that brought on his undoing in the final analysis. This was too much for Erdogan, who clearly has his own idea about what Turkey's relations with other countries or international organizations should be.

    Erdogan's salvo at the EU immediately after it became clear that Davutoglu would be removing himself from the political scene gave an early indication of what the tone in Ankara's ties with Europe will be.

    Erdogan's language in this respect is the language of brinkmanship and given his populism one can assume that this tone will not change for the sake of diplomatic niceties.

    The reaction from Europe to Erdogan's defiance shows that these ties will not be any more comfortable than they were under Davutoglu and have a good chance of becoming even worse.

    When it comes to Turkey's ties with the U.S., it is no secret that Erdogan is not one of Washington's favorite leaders. Washington continues to openly express its concern over the deteriorating state of democracy in Turkey, much to Erdogan's annoyance.

    There are also serious differences over Syria, especially with regard to the group both countries support in northern Syria, and there is no indication that these differences will be overcome soon. One can therefore assume that ties with the U.S. will also remain strained once Erdogan takes full hold of the reins of power in Turkey.

    Despite this less than ideal situation in Ankara's ties with the West, Erdogan will still not be much perturbed because Europe and the U.S. need Turkey's support on a host of issues.

    This will enable him to keep mounting his hobby horse and blasting at the West, knowing that this goes down well among his grassroots supporters.

    Erdogan also knows that the West, much to the annoyance of liberal quarters in Europe and America, will not risk ties with Turkey simply because of Erdogan. There is too much for them to lose.

    So the angry tone in Erdogan's approach to the West will most likely continue and result in more tensions but will not lead to any major severance due to the situation prevailing in the Middle East and the refugee crisis, both of which require cooperation with Ankara.

    Erdogan will use this situation to his advantage and keep forcing the limits.

    Turkey's estrangement with various other countries, starting with Russia and Egypt, is also unlikely to change in the near future. These are pet topics of Erdogan's, especially in his addresses to his Islamist supporters, and he is not expected to adopt a more pragmatic and diplomatic stance to improve ties with these countries.

    Many wonder about ties with Israel of course and even Erdogan has said the reality of the region requires that these ties are improved. Despite his remark the talks which are said to be ongoing to secure rapprochement between Turkey and Israel have still not produced results, and it is not clear when they will.

    It will take one hostile remark from Erdogan about Israel to put paid to these efforts.

    Erdogan has made it clear in his various addresses in recent weeks that what lies in his heart of hearts is to somehow raise Turkey to the level of leadership in the Islamic world. He continues to believe that Turkey is the only country that is qualified to do this at the moment.

    There is no indication however that the Islamic world is prepared to accept Turkey as a primus inter pares (first among equals) country and so while Erdogan will undoubtedly continue to pay much lip service to the idea that Islamic countries should overcome their differences and stand united against a calculated and self-interest West, the chances of this happening do not look very great.

    All in all one can say that it will be much the same in terms of Turkey's relations with the outside world once Erdogan takes full hold of the reins, except with one proviso. These relations could get worse while they remain on the same trajectory because of Erdogan's unpredictability and ability to undermine diplomatic efforts with bellicose remarks.

    But Erdogan will still be able to maintain his position because he knows that even if he is not the West's favorite leader, Europe and the U.S. will continue to need Turkey's support on a number of issues for the foreseeable future". TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (AK/ AA)


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