|Saturday, 27 May 2017|
Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-04-20
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. 75/17 20.04.17
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Burcu alleges that the Greek Cypriots continue trying to isolate the Turkish CypriotsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (20.04.17) reports that Baris Burcu, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has alleged that there was no reasonable excuse and human explanation on the issue of preventing children from Serbia, who had come to Cyprus through Larnaka International Airport to participate in the celebrations of the 23rd of April in the occupied area of the island, from entering into the Republic of Cyprus.
In a written statement issued yesterday, Burcu described as "unacceptable" the behavior of the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he called the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, which he accused of continuing to exert efforts to isolate the Turkish Cypriots from the world by "hiding behind the costume of the fear" of the "TRNC's" recognition.
Burcu said that what he called as "International Children Festival" has been taking place in the occupied area of Cyprus for 19 years with "enthusiasm and without any problems", under the mentality that our humanitarian duty is to raise generations having the culture of peaceful coexistence and friendship and with the participation of children sharing their own culture and wearing traditional suits.
 Celebrations for Turkey's "National Sovereignty and Children Festival" started in the occupied area of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (20.04.17) reports that activities started yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus within the framework of the celebrations of the 23rd of April, which in Turkey is commemorated as "National Sovereignty and Children Day".
According to the paper, approximately 500 primary school students from six countries came together in the garden of the breakaway regime's "assembly". Children from Turkey, Russia, Tataristan, Kyrgyzstan and Lithuania represented their countries dressed in their traditional uniforms.
Addressing the event, Ozdemir Berova, self-styled minister education and culture of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, referred once more to the "inhuman obstacles" allegedly put by the Greek Cypriots to children from Serbia, who "had departed to join us and share with s this enthusiasm".
Afterwards, the children entered into the "assembly" and sat on the seats of the "deputies".
 Ertugruloglu held contacts in DohaTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (20.04.17) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus Tahsin Ertugruloglu visited yesterday Doha, the capital of Qatar within the framework of his visits at Gulf countries.
Ertugruloglu met yesterday with the Deputy Chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari. During the meeting with Kuwari and his delegation, Ertugruloglu briefed them regarding the economy, tourism, trade and the higher education in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Ertugruloglu also said that they may have reciprocal cooperation with the "TRNC businessmen" and they may also develop their trade relations. He explained that the trade relations between the two "countries" may be developed through the "representation office" of the breakaway regime in Doha.
Referring to the Cyprus talks, Ertugruloglu alleged that the aim of the Greek Cypriots is not to establish a joint partnership but to restrain the Turkish Cypriot "people" at the negotiating table and to oppress them under the "embargoes". He used as an example the incident with the Serbian children, who were not allowed to cross to the occupied area of Cyprus reportedly by the Republic of Cyprus in order to participate in the celebrations of the "19th International 23rd of April Children's Festival", by alleging that the problem in Cyprus is that the Greek Cypriots want to have the whole island and do not want to have an equal partnership with them. He also claimed that they cannot even do any activity including sports, culture, art for their children and youth and they prevent them under the "embargoes" with the open-ended negotiation process.
Ertugruloglu, who also participated in the opening of the "Expo Turkey by Qatar" fair as an honour guest, toured the kiosks in the exhibition with the Turkish Ambassador in Doha Fikret Ozer and Kuwari.
Later, Ertugruloglu, during the meeting with the Chairman of the Qatar Tourism Commission Hassan Al-Ibrahim, informed him regarding the tourism sector in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, the hotels and the aviation.
Commenting on the natural resources in Cyprus, Ertugruloglu said that the Turkish Cypriots have equal rights on them and alleged that Turkey will never give permission for unilateral steps to be taken on the natural gas issue in the island. Claiming that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready for the partnership that will be established based on equality, Ertugruloglu however stressed that the Turkish Cypriot "people" will not approve an agreement that will consider them as a minority. Finally, he invited Al Ibrahim to the occupied area of Cyprus.
 Mogherini invited Cavusoglu to the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs in MaltaTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (20.04.17) under the title: "Invitation to Cavusoglu by the EU", reports that the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission Federica Mogherini has sent an invitation to Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to attend the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs which is scheduled to take place in Malta on April 28.
According to the paper, a high-level EU diplomat has stated to the paper that Ankara has not yet responded to the invitation. Among the issues to be discussed at the meeting will be the future of Turkey's ties with the EU as well as the 16th of April referendum result. Thus, possible participation of Cavusoglu to the meeting will be an important development, writes the paper.
 The Turkish government snubs objections to referendum result; Opposition takes legal actionTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.04.17) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has snubbed opposition objections to the results of the April 16 constitutional referendum, as the "no" camp took legal action against the Supreme Election Board (YSK).
"A win is a win," Erdogan told CNN on April 18, commenting on the narrow win of the "yes" camp in the referendum on amendments that have introduced a shift to an executive presidential system.
"I come from a football background. It doesn't matter if you win 1-0 or 5-0. The ultimate goal is to win the game," he said.
Some 51.4% of the more than 58 million Turkish voters said "yes" to the charter amendment package.
Also, Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m also slammed main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?cdaroglu for his objection to the results and call for protests at the alleged fraud. "Objection is a way of law, an instrument to seek justice, just as the elections are the manifestation of democracy. But the ways of seeking justice should be limited to that. To exceed this boundary and call citizens out onto the streets is wrong. It is overstepping the line of legitimacy. We expect the main opposition party leader to act in a more responsible manner," Y?ld?r?m told reporters on April 19.
His comments came after K?l?cdaroglu said the CHP would not acknowledge the referendum result, while the party has officially appealed to the YSK for the annulment of the vote on April 17.
"We do not acknowledge this election which will go down in history as the 'unsealed election.' We will not recognize it. The national will should be respected and the referendum should be repeated," K?l?cdaroglu said on his official Twitter account on April 17.
"He made an unfortunate declaration stating that they will not acknowledge the results. It is unacceptable for the main opposition party not to acknowledge results which the public has already acknowledged," Y?ld?r?m said, adding that the YSK is the final authority to evaluate the objections.
"The reasons and the grounds for the objection are the jurisdiction of YSK. We don't have any authority to comment on the decisions of the YSK or to know the grounds of the objections. But it should be noted that representatives from all parties were present during the voting and while all kinds of decisions were made. There were representatives from all parties monitoring the ballot boxes, and the provincial election committees. It would be useful to take this fact into consideration," Y?ld?r?m said.
 Turkey's YSK rejected all referendum appealsTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.04.17) reported that Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK), the top office for the final decision on any poll disputes, rejected on April 19 all opposition objections to the results of the April 16 constitutional referendum.
Both the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest party in Parliament, had submitted legal objections to the board, mainly due to its decision to not deem ballot papers without official seals invalid.
The YSK stated on April 19 that it inspected appeals from the two parties in Parliament, as well as the Vatan Party, and rejected them all, with only one affirmative vote from its 11 members.
"There is a crisis of legitimacy of [the referendum]," said CHP Deputy Chair Bulent Tezcan after the decision in a televised interview.
The CHP will decide on its next steps against the decision, Tezcan said, adding that the issue "is a problem of the whole country."
 CHP to use all democratic means against referendum resultsTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.04.17) reported that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) spokesperson Selin Sayek Boke stated that they will use all democratic rights to ensure the referendum is rerun, has said, vowing that her party will "not recognize" the result of the April 16 referendum.
"This referendum should be repeated. We will not act as if there is a constitution that is not existent. We will not buckle under a fait accompli. There should be no doubt that we will use every democratic right that we have to ensure it," Boke said during a Central Executive Board meeting of her party on April 19.
"The result of the referendum was not 'yes' and this constitutional amendment was not approved," she added.
"The referendum that took place on April 16 is null and void. This is clearly an election [that used unsealed ballots]," Boke said, arguing that the referendum process was fraudulent and the results were manipulated.
Boke also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for likening the result to a football match. "We have been saying the issue is the issue of Turkey. But there is an understanding that considers it as a sports game. The words that the President uttered show that he regards this issue not as an issue of Turkey but as a political issue," Boke said.
Answering reporter's questions concerning the CHP's next step, her comments were interpreted as a sign that the party may boycott parliamentary work. "By [all democratic rights] I include the possibility of either seceding from parliament or continuing to work in parliament," she said.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Milliyet (20.04.14) reports that the party's chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu, commenting on the outcome of the referendum, stated, that his party will not recognize it and added that they are ready to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (EHCR).
 Reshuffle is expected within opposition MHPTurkish daily Sabah (19.04.17) reported that things are looking even more complicated for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Even though the MHP administration declared their support to the amendment package, preliminary results showed that a great majority of the MHP voters sided with the "no" campaign in the constitutional reform referendum.
Although the MHP votes and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) votes stood at 61.39% in the Nov. 1, 2015 referendum, "yes" votes barely exceeded 51.4% in the referendum. AK Party votes alone were 49.49% in the Nov. 1 elections. While in many provinces AK Party votes were almost identical with those of the November elections, in the same manner the MHP votes almost identically added to the "no" votes.
For instance in MHP chairman Devlet Bahceli's constituency, Osmaniye, the AK Party and MHP votes were above 81% in November, whereas in the referendum, "yes" votes made up only 58% of the total. Additionally, in central Anatolia, where the MHP has a traditionally strong voter base, the MHP camp only added to the AK Party "yes" votes by 2%t or 3%.
Dr. Tanju Tosun drew attention to the poor referendum results for the MHP. Tosun noted that, "When comparing the 'yes and no' votes in the scope of provinces to the November 1 elections results of the MHP, it is evident there is serious amount of MHP voters, particularly in Central Anatolia, the Mediterranean and Aegean, had leaned towards 'no'."
"This means that the MHP's executive administration was unable to convince its voters. If there is a case of inability to convince then we can say that there is a willingness to begin a new movement by the voters," Tosun said.
"I personally assess this new political establishment to be not like the MHP's projection but rather more close to a right-wing tone party when considering the naysayers from April 16," he added.
In addition, MHP dissident Meral Aksener has reportedly knuckled down to form a new party after she was expelled from the MHP in September 2016. According to claims in Turkish media outlets, Aksener is in efforts to gather her team around the Nationalist Turkey Party (MTP), as far as sources in lobbies are concerned. However, yesterday, Aksener rejected such claims on her Twitter account.
In line with this development, Dr. Tanju Tosun emphasized that the nationalist supporters may enter a quest regarding MHP's fate.
"In the upcoming period, the nationalist voters may enter a quest regarding what happens to their party in the future. This quest may either lead to seek for a new party administration or the nationalist voters may seek to establish a new nationalist party. They [MHP supporters] have displayed signs of this on April 16 because the MHP's contribution to 'yes' votes on April 16 was maximum 255. One can say this very bravely because most of the public surveys have found that 80% of nationalist voters were naysayers," Tosun said.
 The 1st survey after the April 16 referendum gives striking resultsIn a commentary in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.04.17) columnist Murat Yetkin writes the following:
"As Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) rejected the appeal of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to cancel the April 16 referendum because of fraud claims, the first public opinion poll following the referendum, which approved the replacement of the parliamentarian system with an executive presidential model, has provided interesting results regarding the profile of voters in Turkey.
The survey was carried out by IPSOS for CNN Turk on the day after the referendum, April 17, with 1,501 respondents in all 81 provinces in Turkey.
Despite ongoing controversy about the result ? 51.4% "yes" versus 48.6 percent "no" ? the survey shows that President Tayyip Erdogan was the most influential leader on the result for both the "yes" and "no" votes. The survey doesn't indicate exactly whether it would have been possible for Erdogan to win if he had not lent his personal weight, but it notes that Erdogan was the only leader to really influence the votes for 91 percent of "yes" voters and 78 percent of "no" voters.
One of the most striking results of the survey regards the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which backed the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Parti) constitutional amendment package. According to the survey, 73% of voters who said they voted for the MHP in the last general elections on Nov. 1, 2015 said "no" in the referendum, contradicting the call of their party leader, Devlet Bahceli. The rejection rate among the MHP grassroots in Turkey's five largest cities was as high as 80%. Bahceli's decision to back Erdogan's presidential modal caused a crack within the party, prompting Bahceli to expel influential party figures because they said they were going to say "no."
The survey also showed that 5% of social democratic Republican People's Party (CHP) voters and 9% of voters for the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which focuses on the Kurdish issue, said "yes" despite their parties' stance. On the other hand, 10% of AK Party voters opted for "no" despite the will of their founder, Erdogan. In the end, the drift from the "yes" side in the AK Party camp was as high as 13% in the five largest cities, Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana and Bursa.
According to the survey, 86% of the yea-sayers and 88$ of the naysayers had already made up their mind when the referendum was called, which shows that the referendum campaigns more or less affected only 12-14% of people who were initially undecided.
Despite Erdogan's emphasis on reducing the age to be elected to 18, 58% of voters who voted for the first time objected to the constitutional changes.
The survey showed that the approval rate for the executive presidency was 70% among primary school graduates or less. On the other hand, 61% of university said "no," meaning that the survey shows that as the education level of voters went up, so did the "no" votes.
According to the survey, 51% of voters living in urban areas said "no," whereas 62% of voters in rural areas said "yes."
The IPSOS/CNN Turk survey also showed that 65% housewives approved the constitutional changes, whereas 58% of women who said they were unemployed objected.
Another interesting outcome of the survey is that just 59% of the naysayers said they expected the situation in Turkey would worsen; naturally, 88% of yea-sayers said they thought everything would improve.
 "Turkey's President to endorse a double-track approach toward EU"Under the above title, columnist Barcin Yinanc in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.04.17) writes:
"From Beirut to Tripoli, in many areas in the Middle East, Arabs have been campaigning on social media for Recep Tayyip Erdogan," Janna Jabbour told France 24.
'Why? Because for many in the Middle East, Recep Tayyip Erdogan represents a hope to balance relations between the East and West. He is the leader to stand up to the West to say that the Middle East and Muslims are not subjugated by imperialist Westerners," she added.
The polling companies' research in the coming days will show us whether the conservative/nationalist/pious bloc in Turkey's rural areas have voted for Erdogan for the same reasons that Arabs have been campaigning for him. Whether they have voted for this or that reason, there is no question that Erdogan's Europe-bashing politics has appealed to that bloc's sentiments. After all, those regions do not suffer directly from deteriorating relations with Europe; neither when there is a drop in economic activity nor when there is a drop in the number of incoming tourists.
At any rate, it appears that Erdogan personally enjoys around 40% of his core support base. In the absence of any other charismatic leader to challenge him, this core is ready to support him in a blindfolded way, whether he adopts a pro- or anti-EU rhetoric.
Yet, by pushing for a change from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency, Erdogan might have complicated his political life. In the past, 30% of the votes were enough to land him as Prime Minister. In fact, it was with 25.9% of the votes that Erdogan became the mayor of Istanbul in 1994, which became a major turning point in his political career. Now, he needs 50% plus one vote to be elected in the next presidential elections, which are expected to take place in 2019.
The slight margin of "yes" votes must have shown Erdogan that while he can count on the votes of the conservative/nationalist/pious block in rural areas, the same does not apply for part of the same bloc residing in urban areas. It is clear that the defection is not limited to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). There is a significant defection from traditional AKP voters, otherwise how could the low "yes" votes in AKP strongholds like Istanbul's Eyup, Uskudar and Fatih neighborhoods be explained. Why have traditional AKP voters said no? Was it the rejection of the presidential system, or resentment toward the way Erdogan has been ruling the country; or both?
In order to keep the 40% support base intact, Erdogan might opt to keep his anti-West rhetoric. But how about the shaky floating 10 percent he needs to secure to get elected?
Can he say in confidence that "Those who were sceptic about the merits of the presidential system will come back and vote for me now that this debate is over?" He can't take the risk considering he needs 50% plus one vote.
According to Ibrahim Uslu, the head of ANAR polling company in close contact with AKP circles, the 60 to 40% conservative/secular ideological divide was not valid in this referendum. "A certain segment of the society did not vote in accordance with their ideology, but voted on evaluations based on the economic situation, integration to the world, lifestyles, the rule of law and freedoms. Those preparing for presidential elections need to read this reality carefully," he said yesterday on CNN Turk.
If there is an important segment of the urban conservatives shifting away from Erdogan, he needs to lure them, at least by keeping the economy stable and keeping Turkey integrated with the world. And the only way he can deliver that economy is by keeping Turkey's relations with Europe active.
Some 75% of foreign direct investment, more than two thirds of trade and more than two thirds of the financing of Turkish banks are from Europe, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said April 17. Although accession talks are on hold, even the frozen state of the membership process is still symbolically important in regards to investor confidence.
Erdogan would love the EU to take the decision to break up; then he can turn around and play the "Muslim victim" against the Christian club. Yet if Turkey were to reinstate the capital punishment, the EU would have a legitimate reason for a break up; Erdogan would be unable to play the blame game. He might talk about reinstating the capital punishment to lure rural votes but will fail to quell the slide in urban votes.
So just like Middle Eastern leaders, he will have a double-track policy; an anti-West rhetoric despite cooperation on the ground. The difference with Erdogan and the rest of the Arab leaders is that he enjoys popularity in the region simply because Turkey is in the same playing field with the EU. If it were to get out of the Western economic and political system, it would become any other Middle Eastern country. As the grand strategist that he is, it is impossible to think he is not aware of that".
 Kalin: "The Turkish state won Kurds' confidence"Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.04.17) reported that the Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin stated on Wednesday that the Turkish government received increased support from predominantly Kurdish parts of the country in Sunday's referendum.
Writing for Turkey's Daily Sabah newspaper Ibrahim Kalin said that 50.8% of voters supported constitutional reform in Mus -- an eastern province where the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party won only 24.8% in the 2015 general election.
"In Diyarbakir, Siirt, Van and Mardin, a similar change could be observed," Kalin wrote.
"The vast majority of the Kurds support democratic reforms, investment, public order and the fight against the PKK.
"By making a very clear distinction between the Kurds and the PKK, President Erdogan and the government have won the Kurdish confidence again," he added.
In his article, Kalin criticized the Western media and certain European governments over the referendum: "The international media's failure to report the facts provided a biased picture to international audiences.
"Let's hope they see for themselves the fact that this is political activism masquerading as journalism and a disservice to the profession," he wrote.
"What some European governments did during the referendum campaign caused anuproar in Turkey and raised questions about the future of our relations with Europe.
"To be clear, European leaders not only supported the No campaign to meddle in the referendum but also violated diplomatic conventions to prevent supporters of constitutional reform, including Turkish ministers, from informing millions of Turkish voters who live outside the country," Kalin said.
 "The department of agriculture" will spay insecticide due to a swarm of locustsAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.04.17), the so-called department of agriculture announced that there is vast of swarm of locusts (Moroccan locust) around the occupied airport of Tymbou and a chemical insecticide will be sprayed. The "department" warned the producers not to feed the animals with grass in the area.
 Steps taken for the first space observatory in the occupied area of CyprusAccording to illegal Bayrak television (20.04.17) a "protocol" was "signed" yesterday between the so-called ministry of tourism and environment and the "university of Keryneia" to set up observatory at the skirts of the Pentadaktylos.
The "protocol" was "signed" by the so-called minister Fikri Ataoglu and the "rector" of the "university" Prof. Dr. Ilkay Salihoglu.
Speaking during the ceremony, Salihoglu said that the project was aimed for the future of the "country".
Stating that the observatory will serve science, aiding in the education of students and the public, Salihoglu said that they were proud to take steps to set up an observatory to study and observe the stars.
Ataoglu for his part expressed his excitement over the project which he added was being launched following extensive work carried out together with the "department of forestry".
"The fact that Cyprus has a unique geographical location with earlier sun rises and sunsets compared to the US and other European countries, will allow our observations to be used as a reference by other centers working on astronomy", he argued.
Ataoglu also claimed that the observatory will help promote the "TRNC" and the "university of Kyrenia" internationally.
"It will pave the way for numerous joint projects with other international institutions, perhaps even bringing astronomers and students from all over the world to Cyprus", he argued.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
Copyright (C) 2017 Press and Information Office, All rights reserved.