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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-07-07

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. 129/17 07.07.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Cavusoglu's statements after the failure of the Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana
  • [02] The Cyprus talks collapsed; How the press sees the developments
  • [03] Columnists: President Anastasiades proposals are courageous and pave the way of the process; The Turkish Cypriots left the talks to Turkey's initiative
  • [04] CHP deputy chairman: "If needed we will march for Cyprus as well"
  • [05] Ozgurgun's reply to Anastasiades' proposal: "TRNC soil is not for bargaining"
  • [06] European Parliament voted to accept proposal to suspend Turkey's EU accession talks; Strong criticism by Ankara which described the report 'null and void'
  • [07] Erdogan slams the European Parliament's report calling it not binding for Turkey
  • [08] "Turkey: Taking the European path?"
  • [09] Erdogan due to Germany for the G-20 summit
  • [10] Istanbul to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress next week

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Cavusoglu's statements after the failure of the Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (07.07.17), under the title "The Cyprus Conference was unsuccessful", reports that Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu alleged that Turkey and the "TRNC team" did their best in order for the process not to fail, adding: "The UN Secretary General also confirmed the failure (to reach a settlement" within the framework of the parameters of the UN's Good Offices Mission".

    Speaking in a press conference at Crans Ambassador hotel following the failure of the Cyprus Conference in Crans-Montana, Cavusoglu said that the second session of the Cyprus Conference, which started on June 28, unfortunately remained inconclusive (failed) and added that the negotiations for the Cyprus problem within the framework of the parameters of the UN's Good Offices Mission were ended.

    Claiming that the approach of the full withdrawal of Turkish troops and the completely abolishment of Turkey's guarantees cannot be accepted either by the Turkish Cypriot side nor Turkey, Cavusoglu alleged that the same stance was continued from the first until the last day.

    Cavusoglu further said: "We will evaluate both within ourselves and with the TRNC and then we will decide together which steps we will take". Cavusoglu also claimed that they, as Turkey, have made all kinds of contribution for the latest 15 years with the aim a just, comprehensive and sustainable solution to be found for the Cyprus problem either to previous conferences, or in the works that have participated in Geneva on January or in the technical meetings.

    Alleging that they have made all kinds of contribution after they came into power and after the rejection of the Annan plan by the Greek Cypriot side so as a just and permanent solution to the Cyprus problem could be found, Cavusoglu added that the Turkish Cypriot side has also provided a constructive role in this process. He also noted: "The Turkish Cypriot side has always done also its share of work at the negotiating table for a permanent and just solution. Both esteemed Akinci and his negotiating team and the friends, who carried out their duties in the previous negotiation processes, maintained the same stance. Unfortunately, despite all the efforts, it did not come to conclusion".

    Cavusoglu further claimed that "this outcome shows the impossibility of reaching a settlement within the parameters of the Good Offices Mission". Noting that the UN Secretary General also announced it shortly before, Cavusoglu alleged that "there is no meaning anymore to insist on these parameters". He added that he will inform in detail the government, the Prime Minister and the President and then will make the evaluations.

    Replying to a question regarding the impact of the Greek Cypriot side to the failure, Cavusoglu said that he did not want to accuse the other side after such a result, however, he added that he saw many negative steps, like the they were not honest, played to domestic politics and the document's leak. Cavusoglu further claimed: "We have not betrayed no one's trust. We showed in a clear way our red lines. In the same way, we showed warmheartedly the areas that we can obtain flexibility".

    Asked to comment on the stance of the Greek Cypriot side and Greece, especially on the issue of the Turkish troops and Turkey's guarantees and their stance on "zero army, zero guarantees", Cavusoglu claimed that they have not seen altogether any change on this issue. He reiterated that the approach of the full withdrawal of the Turkish troops and the complete abolishment of Turkey's guarantees cannot be accepted either by the Turkish Cypriot side nor Turkey.

    Asked whether this conference was the last one, Cavusoglu said: "As we had said earlier by me and by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the last Conference was in Geneva, but we wanted to give one more chance. However, we did not see any light of rapprochement and the Conference was terminated".

    (DPs)

    [02] The Cyprus talks collapsed; How the press sees the developments

    Under the banner front-page title "Disappointment again", Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (07.07.17) reports that the negotiations, which started on the 9th day of the Conference on Cyprus at Crans Montana, were extended to the early morning hours of the 10th day and concluded with failure within a tensed climate. After the collapse, UNSG Antonio Guterres stated that in spite of all efforts, reaching an agreement was not possible. On his part, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that no result was reached and the process totally collapsed. He further announced that the solution to the Cyprus problem will not be searched within the framework of the UN parameters. He also noted that after his return to Turkey he will meet with President Erdogan, Prime Minister Yildirim and "TRNC officials" in order to decide what they will do.

    According to the paper, it is announced that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will hold a press conference today at noon.

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (07.07.17, online http://www.milliyet.com.tr/isvicre-deki-kibris-gorusmelerinde-dunya-2480512/) refers to Cavusoglu's statement that the result of the conference at Crans Montana showed that it is impossible to find a solution within the UN parameters and that it is meaningless to insist on these. The paper wonders whether this statement means that Turkey and the "TRNC" will "pass to Plan B" for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Under the front-page banner title "Security, guarantees, presidency until the morning" and the subtitle "And the summit resulted in failure", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (07.07.17) cites diplomatic sources and reports that the biggest deadlock in the chapter of Security and Guarantees was experienced on the issue of the withdrawal of troops from the island and the permanent presence of a certain number of soldiers. The Greek Cypriot side and Greece demanded the full withdrawal of the troops according to an agreed timetable (sunset clause), while the Turkish Cypriot side asked for the permanent presence of a certain number of troops on the island in accordance with the Treaty of Alliance (650 Turkish soldiers and 950 Greek soldiers), writes the paper adding that except for the security and guarantees the sides were not able to agree and reach convergences on issues such as the rotating presidency, the effective participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the decision making mechanisms, the property, the position of occupied Morfou in the territorial adjustment and the equal treatment of Turkish and Greek citizens.

    According to the paper, after the failure of the process, the Turkish Foreign Minister alleged: "Unfortunately, the process failed in spite of our constructive approaches. The UN's insistence on these parameters is meaningless. We will discuss which road will be followed from now on".

    Under the title "Unsuccessful conference", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (07.07.17) reports that the negotiating process between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci collapsed after a period of more than two years and that in spite of the fact that the leaders could transfer the process to Geneva, reaching an agreement was not possible. According to the paper, President Anastasiades insisted on the "zero troops zero guarantees" position securing Greece's support. "In the proposal for the guarantees, a timetable was asked so that no troops would remain on the island within a period of 18 months", notes Havadis adding that Akinci said that Turkey's guarantees were important for the Turkish Cypriots and that an agreement which did not include guarantees would not pass from the Turkish Cypriot referendum.

    Other front page titles are the following:

    Halkin Sesi: "Collapse".

    Star Kibris: "Hopes fell into the water"

    Diyalog: "The process was interrupted"

    The rest Turkish Cypriot newspapers were printed before the result of the conference was known.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Columnists: President Anastasiades proposals are courageous and pave the way of the process; The Turkish Cypriots left the talks to Turkey's initiative

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (07.07.17), columnist Ali Kismir refers to the proposals submitted by President Anastasiades during the Conference on Cyprus at Crans Montana and reports that these "have the quality of an earthquake for the Greek Cypriots when the past Greek Cypriot positions are taken into consideration. Noting that President Anastasiades said that he was ready to accept the rotating presidency, limitations to the Greek Cypriots' property rights in the north part of the island, the participation of Turkish police officers in the federal police force, the right of the user in the property issue etc, Kismir recalls that earlier President Anastasiades had accepted that all Turkish settlers would become citizens of the federal state.

    In the beginning of his commentary, Kismir says "first of all the proposals submitted by Anastasiades are steps which could definitely be described as paving the way of the process and courageous". He points out:

    "[…] Some persons were criticizing Anastasiades saying that 'he is thinking of the elections and therefore he is not taking steps'. However, Anastasiades submitted this list of proposals to the UN, which a politician for the elections of whose remained less than a year, has not the courage of even think about. I think that the persons who listen to the wishes of the Greek Cypriots even a little and analyzed their positions until today understand what I am trying to say. The only aspect of the issue which causes sorrow and is thought provoking is the fact that those who describe as 'tremendous' the proposal regarding the continuation of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee unchanged and the reduction of the current 40,000 troops to 8,000, are competing with each other to bury this proposal. […]"

    Meanwhile, writing in his own column in Afrika (07.07.17), Mehmet Levent reports that the negotiations at Mont Pelerin, Geneva and Crans Montana have very clearly and evidently shown that the possibility of reaching a "Cypriot solution" had been lost long ago, because "the Cypriots are unfortunately not competent for solving with their own hands this Gordian knot". He notes:

    "[…] Now no one can allege that the Crans Montana [negotiations] are held between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots. The Crans Montana is being held between the Greek Cypriots and Turkey! Just like Mont Palerin and Geneva! Just like the Turkish Cypriots were not able to show their existence at Mont Pelerin and Geneva and totally left the initiative to Turkey. Now they are absent at Crans Montana also. And they are only the oarsmen of the ship the course of which was drawn by Turkey! It is very difficult, but even if this ship will finally reach a port, the name of this port will not be 'Cypriot'! It has been a sweet dream. It ended. […]"

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] CHP deputy chairman: "If needed we will march for Cyprus as well"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.07.17) reports that the deputy chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) in Turkey, Ozturk Yilmaz, evaluated the Crans Montana summit and stated that if needed the party will march for Cyprus.

    Yilmaz, who was speaking to Yenicag newspaper in Turkey, added the following: "Nobody should think that because we are conducting the justice marches we do not follow the Cyprus negotiations. If needed we will march for Cyprus as well".

    He went on and claimed that nobody should ignore the rights of the Turkish Cypriots at the negotiation table and alleged that Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey. He also said that nobody should seek a solution making compromises and looking to be granted the Nobel Prize for peace.

    "They should stand upright so that they would be written in Turkish history", he said. Yilmaz also claimed that the negotiation in the issues of security and of guarantees is one of the biggest compromises made to the Greek Cypriots.

    "Turkey has red lines in Cyprus and these red lines should not be negotiated ever. Negotiating means compromise", he said.

    (CS)

    [05] Ozgurgun's reply to Anastasiades' proposal: "TRNC soil is not for bargaining"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (07.07.17) reports that the self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun replied to President Nicos Anastasiades' proposal at the Crans Montana meeting which included the areas of Morfou and Mesaoria and claimed that the Turkish side "does not open the soil of TRNC for bargaining".

    "We are not giving them to anyone", he stated.

    He went on and alleged that the negotiations are continuing for half a century, that the struggles will go on and the twin power of Greece and the Greek Cypriots is fighting for "enosis", while the Turkish Cypriot "people" is fighting in order to continue its existence.

    Reporting on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (07.07.17) writes that Ozgurgun made these statements in a ceremony where he "distributed" 33 building plots to 12 young persons: 12 in occupied Angastina, 18 in occupied Mousoulita and 5 in occupied Genagra.

    (CS)

    [06] European Parliament voted to accept proposal to suspend Turkey's EU accession talks; Strong criticism by Ankara which described the report 'null and void'

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (06.07.17) reported that the European Parliament voted on July 6 to accept a proposal to suspend accession talks with Turkey if it goes ahead with the constitutional changes endorsed in the April 16 referendum.

    The Parliament voted in favor of the 2016 Commission Report on Turkey recommending the suspension of accession talks, with 477 voting in favor and 64 voting against. Almost 100 lawmakers abstained in the vote, which is non-binding.

    Among other things, the report calls on member states to "formally suspend accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented without changes." This is a reference to the collection of wide-ranging constitutional proposals approved by the Turkish electorate in April.

    The report also calls on EU institutions to suspend pre-accession funds if the negotiations are suspended.

    It is a non-binding vote in terms of EU decision making.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Huseyin Mutfuoglu, commenting on the report, claimed that the decision was based on "false claims and allegations" and undermined the European Parliament's reputation.

    Also, commenting on the report, Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m has stated that the European Parliament's vote to accept a recommendation to suspend Turkey's EU accession talks is "null and void" for Ankara.

    "It is not a very important decision from our perspective. It is also not something that was unknown. Similar decisions were made in previous months. This decision is invalid, null and void for us," Y?ld?r?m told reporters on July 6.

    He also claimed that Turkey's determination to join the EU remains unwavering, even though Brussels is "going through confusion."

    "Everyone should know that Turkey always has options and has other paths to take ... It should not be forgotten that the EU's security begins from Turkey," Yildirim further said.

    Moreover, Turkey's EU Minister Omer Celik also dismissed the vote of the Parliament in Strasbourg, saying it was not even worthy of assessment.

    "We are declaring this report null and void as we have done for the last two years. When the report is conveyed to us for our consideration, we will send it back without any assessment," Celik said at a press conference on July 6.

    (…)

    The vote came as EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn was visiting Ankara for talks with Celik and other Turkish Ministers. Speaking before the result, Hahn said that the Parliament "reflected the mood in Europe."

    "I don't know what will be decided, but I have to stress that the European Parliament is one of the institutions elected by the European citizens. Members of the European Parliament represent the view of their voters," he told reporters.

    However, Hahn said he hoped that contact between the two sides would lead to a higher level of political dialogue.

    Celik slammed the resolution, saying it included only "biased information" from European delegations.

    "We do not acknowledge this report that includes political allegations, ignoring Turkey's accomplishments. It is based on a one-sided historical narrative and one-sided political approaches with political polemics, which is not balanced and not objective," he said.

    He said that after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's meetings on May 25, Turkey–EU relations have entered in a "new and positive atmosphere" and described the European Parliament's report as "acting against that atmosphere."

    "The report is a sabotage text … including the one-sided political approaches of some countries. The facts are disrupted and expressed with prejudices," Celik claimed.

    Noting that the constitutional amendment was approved in April with an 86% turnout, Celik criticized the European Parliament's advice conditioning Turkey's accession to the "annulment of the constitutional amendment."

    "What is being demanded is for Turkey to ignore the people's will. Of course, that kind of thing will not be possible," he added.

    Celik underlined that Turkey will continue its bilateral relations with Brussels in the accession process, saying "there will be more high-level dialogues taking place than last year." "We will continue to work closely with EU institutions, which strengthens our dialogue and cooperation in other areas," he said.

    [07] Erdogan slams the European Parliament's report calling it not binding for Turkey

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (07.07.17) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on July 6 that the European Parliament's vote to accept a report to suspend the country's EU accession talks is not binding for Turkey.

    "The [decision] has no value. This decision does not bind us," Erdogan told reporters on his way to Hamburg where he is currently attending the G-20 talks.

    (…)

    [08] "Turkey: Taking the European path?"

    In a commentary in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.07.17) columnist Murat Yetkin writes the following: "The Turkish government has strongly denounced the July 6 vote at the European Parliament asking the European Commission to halt EU membership negotiations with Ankara.

    The vote was already rather ironic, as the negotiations are really only continuing on paper anyway. It is also true that the European Parliament's rulings are not binding for either the European Council or the European Commission. But it is nevertheless important because it reflects the mood in the Strasbourg Parliament regarding Turkey. What's more, it was the same Parliament that welcomed the start of negotiations with Turkey in 2004 back when hopes were still high.

    Perhaps in order to show that the Parliament's decision would not affect their work, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn was in Turkey on the same day. Speaking to reporters, Turkey's EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik made it clear that stopping the political process with Ankara but continuing cooperation in other areas like migration control or commerce was not going to happen, as it all come in a package.

    The justification for the European Parliament's vote was the deterioration in the quality of democracy and democratic institutions in Turkey. Indeed, rights and freedoms have been restricted due to the state of emergency declared by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) right after the military coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

    The EU has long criticized President Tayyip Erdogan and the AK Party government for jailing politicians, journalists, writers, and sacking tens and thousands of public workers through manipulated court rulings. On the very day of the European Parliament's vote, 12 human rights defenders who were reportedly attending a seminar on "defending human rights in difficult times" were detained by Turkish police.

    Meanwhile, the social democratic main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?cdaroglu is persisting with his 450-km "justice march" from Ankara to Istanbul, accompanied by a growing crowd of supporters numbering in the tens and thousands. President Erdogan said on July 5, the 22nd day of the march that if it ends 'peacefully' there would be no problem. This is a shift from his earlier rhetoric denouncing the march as effectively the same as the coup attempt.

    Erdogan and the AK Party, on the other hand, are accusing the EU of sheltering the followers of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Islamist preacher who is believed to have been behind the coup attempt. They similarly criticize EU members of tolerating the illegal activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), while also blasting the EU for "failing to deliver its promises" to Turkey.

    Erdogan's relations with the EU have suffered from four major blows from the European side over the years, which have helped bring relations to their current state.

    1) In 2004, when the EU promised that the Turkish Cypriots would not suffer if they approved a U.N. reunification plan. The Turkish Cypriots duly approved the plan but the Greek Cypriots were subsequently accepted into the EU, effectively representing the Turks, despite the latters' objections.

    2) In 2005, when the EU shifted to a system of opening negotiation chapters with Turkey one by one. This was a shift from the practice until then for other candidates, with whom Brussels negotiated the chapters as a whole. The Greek Cypriots then immediately put blocks on certain chapters, including on the judiciary and freedoms, which nowadays the Turkish people need most.

    3) In 2007, when French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they could not foresee Turkey becoming a full member.

    4) In 2017, when the EU failed to stand by the Turkish government promptly enough against the military coup attempt.

    In a sense, there is a vicious circle at work. As Turkey is pushed away by EU politicians, who despise Erdogan's policies, Erdogan only becomes more distanced from the EU; when the quality of democracy in Turkey decreases further, the EU as a consequence pushes Turkey further away.

    It is not meaningful at this stage to repeat the cliche that "Turkey and the EU need each other." Of course they do. The bigger picture tells us something more relevant: Turkey and Europe simply cannot dispense with each other.

    Turkey must carry on the European path and European politicians should make it easier to do so. This is in their interests too".

    [09] Erdogan due to Germany for the G-20 summit

    Under the title: "Three crucial issues in the agenda of the G-20 summit", Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (07.07.17) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is currently in Hamburg, Germany for the G-20 summit which starts today, will hold a series of face to face contacts with G-20 leaders to discuss the world's economy issues, Syria, the Qatar crisis and the fight against terrorism.

    According to the paper, Erdogan will hold face to face contacts with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, the French President Emmanuel Macron, UK's Prime Minister Teresa May, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU state and government officials. It is also said that a meeting between Erdogan and the US President Donald Trump may also take place.

    The paper adds that during his meeting with EU officials, Erdogan is expected to discuss the refugee issue, the visa-free travel and the fight against FETO.

    During his meeting with Putin, Erdogan will discuss with him the latest developments in Syria, the Turkish Stream Project and the Akkuyu Nuclear project, writes the paper.

    (AK)

    [10] Istanbul to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress next week

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (07.07.17) reports in its economic pages that Istanbul is preparing to host the 22nd World Petroleum Congress next week, between July 9-13.

    According to the paper, more than 50 Energy Ministers from 100 different countries will be attending the event. Among the attendants will also be Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and several state Ministers, such as Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Oil Minister of Bahrain, Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, the Indian Minister of Oil and Natural Resources Dharmendra Pradhan and others.

    In a short statement via his twitter account, Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak said: "Energy's future will be determined once again in Istanbul. Turkey with the security and stability that provides in the field of energy, will continue having a key role".

    (AK)

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (AK / AM)

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