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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-07-20

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.138/17 20.07.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Yildirim: It is evident that the continuation of the negotiations from the point they remained is meaningless and that no result could be taken
  • [02] Akinci: It is evident that the continuation of the negotiations from the point they remained is meaningless and that no result could be taken
  • [03] Cavusoglu: "We will take a step in consultation with the TRNC"
  • [04] Messages for the anniversary of July 20 Turkish invasion to Cyprus
  • [05] The "coalition government" parties suggested the adoption of negotiation based in two "states" during the dinner with Cavusoglu
  • [06] Commentary: "What next in Cyprus?"
  • [07] Admiral Veysel Kosele "represented" the Turkish Armed Forces in the "celebrations" for the Turkish invasion to Cyprus
  • [08] Eide said that the UN is ready to aid the sides, if the leaders jointly decide to continue the negotiation process
  • [09] Akinci's message for the anniversary of the Turkish invasion full of accusatory language according to Detay newspaper
  • [10] Common statement for the re-launching of negotiation by ten Turkish Cypriot trade unions
  • [11] Turkey's Assembly Speaker's message on the "celebrations" of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus
  • [12] Kosovo deputy delegation illegally visiting the breakaway regime for the "celebration" of the July 20 Turkish invasion
  • [13] Commentary: "The cabinet reshuffle is more cosmetic than important"
  • [14] Turkish Foreign Ministry says Germany's comments on rights activists' arrests unacceptable

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Yildirim: It is evident that the continuation of the negotiations from the point they remained is meaningless and that no result could be taken

    Illegal Turkish Cypriot Bayrak television (20.07.17) broadcast that Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim has alleged that Turkey considers the energy resources in Eastern Mediterranean as opportunity for cooperation but "the unilateral steps of the Greek Cypriot side are untimely, dangerous and foster the non-solution". Addressing a ceremony prior to the military parade in the occupied part of Nicosia within the framework of the celebrations for the 43rd anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus, Yildirim claimed also the following:

    "[] I once more state that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot people will continue protecting their rights and interests in Eastern Mediterranean deriving from the international law and suggest to all sides to behave more responsibly on this point. [] The latest developments once more showed that the Turks of Cyprus are able to defend their fate. They are able to decide about their future. In this way we must stick heart and soul to our own future, the successes of the future with a new spirit and effort and overcome our deficiencies. In this way, Turkey's full support will exist in the same manner like in the past []".

    Describing the Turkish invasion as a turning point in Cyprus' history, Yildirim alleged that Turkey as guarantor power showed to the world that the unification of the island with Greece [enosis] would not be allowed and that the Turkish Cypriots were not alone. He also reiterated the Turkish allegation that the "peace operation", as he described the Turkish invasion and occupation of the island, had been materialized within the framework of the rights and responsibilities given to Turkey by the international agreements.

    Referring to the efforts for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem, Yildirim alleged that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side have from the very beginning supported the solution and the negotiating process and undertook initiatives for a just, lasting and comprehensive agreement. He claimed:

    "The process which remained behind the past few days in Switzerland showed once more that the framework established by the UN gave no result. As it is remembered, the Turkish side concretely exhibited its will for a solution during the Annan Plan referendum in 2004. [] As it is known, the Greek Cypriot side showed that it was not ready for living together, for sharing the state and voted no. Unfortunately, the same stance continues today. []"

    Alleging that in the process which started in 2008 until the recent conference in Switzerland the Turkish side continued submitting "constructive proposals", Yildirim claimed: "The Greek Cypriot side, like before, continued its delaying stance pretending that it was negotiating [] In the end, this process has also ended because of the stance which aimed at sabotaging the issue and overturning the [negotiating] table. []"

    Arguing that there was no respond to the efforts exerted by the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey in the direction of reaching a just, lasting and comprehensive solution, Yildirim alleged: "At the point we came as a result of long lasting efforts, it has clearly been understood that no result could be taken by the conferences which convened twice and within the framework of the good offices mission of the UN and that the Greek Cypriots have no such intention. Moreover, it is evident that the continuation of the negotiations from the point they remained is meaningless and that no result could be taken from there. []"

    Yildirim referred also to the so-called embargoes allegedly implemented on the Turkish Cypriots and claimed that it is not fair for the Turkish Cypriots to pay the price of what he called as the intransigent stance of the Greek Cypriots in the negotiations and argued that steps for ending these "embargoes" should be taken without delay. He, however, added that with or without these steps, Turkey possesses the power and the will to contribute in the economic development of the occupied area of Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Akinci: It is evident that the continuation of the negotiations from the point they remained is meaningless and that no result could be taken

    Illegal Turkish Cypriot Bayrak television (20.07.17) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci has alleged that if Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots remained inactive after the Greek Junta's coup against President Archbishop Makarios in 1974, the whole world would adjust itself to the new situation and the result of the coup would be accepted by being described as "an internal matter", like it happened in 1963. Addressing a ceremony prior to the military parade in the occupied part of Nicosia within the framework of the 'celebrations' for the 43rd anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus, Akinci claimed Turkey's "determination", which "had been obliged to interfere on 20 July 1974 by using its right" deriving from the 1960 agreements, stopped this "negative course".

    According to Akinci, "together with 20 July 1974 the basis of a new bi-zonal, bi-communal structure in Cyprus had been created". He added: "It is for this reason that in 1977 and 1979 Denktas-Makarios and Denktas-Kyprianou high level agreements had drawn the outline of a possible solution. Unfortunately, all efforts exerted from then until today for a bi-zonal bi-communal federal structure based on the political equality in Cyprus gave no result. []"

    Referring to the negotiating process between himself and President Anastasiades, Akinci said that for the first time in the history of the negotiations they achieved the submission of maps by the two sides and the convention of a five-party conference. He alleged: "The Greek Cypriot side and Greece are trying these days to present the discussion of these issues as a great success of themselves. This has absolutely nothing to do with a success of the Greek Cypriot side. The Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey are the side which mainly created this situation, as the side which wants a solution in Cyprus. []"

    Noting that the issue of security and guarantees was one of the six chapters of the Cyprus problem included in the joint declaration of 11 February 2014, Akinci claimed that "the Turkish side showed its determination" to lead to a settlement this issue which had not been sufficiently discussed and exhibited the "necessary flexibility" during these discussions by saying "we are ready to adjust it [the treaty of guarantee] to the current conditions". He claimed that they waited for the Greek Cypriot side to abandon the "zero guarantees zero army" position and "come to a reasonable line".

    Akinci claimed that during all meetings in Switzerland all sides established the "constructive stance" exhibited by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots and alleged that "we have no responsibility if we were not able to reach the result we have very much desired".

    Akinci reiterated that when they were referring to the qualities they wanted for a solution, they were saying that these were the security, equality and freedom for both communities and not only for the Turkish Cypriots, and claimed that they could not, of course, accept the "zero army zero guarantees" position.

    "We exhibited an understanding which decreased the dimension of the army as long as the provisions of the agreement were implemented and the cooperation and trust increased", he added and alleged: "While the experience of 1963 was there, we could not accept that the only security we have would be taken away from us from the very first day without living and seeing what would happen. [] It has once more been understood that the most important indigestion of the Greek Cypriot side was within the framework of the political equality. The most evident indication of this was the shuffling shown on the issues of the rotating presidency and the effective participation in the decision making []".

    Akinci argued that important progress had been achieved during the last two years of negotiations and alleged that "if we had an interlocutor who could act within realistic and reasonable measures on the remaining 8-10 points of disagreement, it would have been possible to reach a strategic agreement" and "afterwards the least problematic issues would have been decided".

    Akinci further said that the proprietorship regime in the territory which would remain in the Turkish Cypriot federal state was one of the issues on which they did not see understanding as the Greek Cypriot side submitted proposals which included "uncertainties" that would allegedly disturb the Turkish Cypriot "people" and shake their economy.

    "At the stage we have come, it has been understood that the Greek Cypriot side has serious problems on the basis of the political equality", he alleged and added: "It is not fair for the Turkish Cypriot people to live under embargoes because of the unwillingness of the Greek Cypriot side. If the Greek Cypriot side does not want, we, of course, are not in a condition to wait for their will to be willing. As I have always been stressing, we will continue the effort of arranging the internal affairs of our home without abandoning the responsibility of building a future in peace on this island. []"

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Cavusoglu: "We will take a step in consultation with the TRNC"

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (20.07.17), Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "Next, we will take a step accordingly in consultation with the TRNC in the process".

    In a statement during his visit to Azerbaijan, Cavusoglu, replying to questions regarding the Cyprus talks, alleged: "We, as Turkey, have supported in a powerful way the negotiation process. Conferences were held in January in Geneva and few weeks ago in Crans-Montana. Despite all our constructive efforts and the continuation for 11 days, the UN saw, we also saw that the Greek Cypriot side was not ready for a solution within these parameters, they did not approach such solution and they will not. After this, we will take a step accordingly in consultation with the TRNC for the negotiation process".

    (DPs)

    [04] Messages for the anniversary of July 20 Turkish invasion to Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (20.07.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot politicians issued messages regarding the anniversary of the July 20 invasion to Cyprus.

    The former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, claimed that if the invasion had not taken place, they would not have a "state" today and if Turkey hadnot supported the struggle of the Turkish Cypriots the island would have become Greek and the UN would have said anything about it. The aim of the Greek Cypriots, Eroglu claimed, has not changed and this is why the Greek Cypriots demand zero guarantees and troops and the demolition of the unilateral right of Turkey to intervene.

    The "speaker" of the "assembly" Sibel Siber alleged that with the "peaceful operation to Cyprus on July 20, the danger of the extinction of the Turkish Cypriots as a community was seized and the Turkish Cypriots were able to get their freedom".

    Self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, alleged that the Turkish Cypriots have a duty from now on to support and strengthen the "state" under any circumstances. He also alleged that despite the "embargoes and the isolation" they manage to make progress in many sectors with the support of "motherland Turkey" and that they will continue with determination the efforts for the development t of the "country", especially in economy.

    "Deputy prime minister" Serdar Denktas on his part alleged that as one of the two owners of the island, the Turkish Cypriots should not sit again at a negotiation table in which it will not be established in advanced the existence since July 20th of two equal political communities in the island.

    (CS)

    [05] The "coalition government" parties suggested the adoption of negotiation based in two "states" during the dinner with Cavusoglu

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newpspar (20.07.17) reports that during the dinner offered at the "presidential palace" for the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu two days ago, "prime minister" Huseyin Ozgurgun and "deputy prime minister" Serdar Denktas suggested the goal of a "federal Cyprus" to be abandoned and launching negotiations based in "two states".

    According to the paper, neither the opposition parties nor the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci or Cavusoglu supported the proposal. Cavusoglu did not take any stance on the issue, writes the paper and he stated that they will make the necessary evaluation and will listen to this proposal as well.

    Commenting on the same issue, Afrika (20.07.17) writes that Denktas submitted to Cavusoglu a proposal that suggests the opening of the fenced Famagusta city under Turkish administration and the return to the city of its Greek Cypriot owners. The paper notes that no statements made after the dinner and that the reaction of Turkey is expected with great interest for the proposal for the opening of the fenced city.

    The paper also writes that this proposal is also supported by the People's Party of Kudret Ozersay and by the Revival Party (the settlers' party).

    (CS)

    [06] Commentary: "What next in Cyprus?"

    Columnist Mustafa Aydin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 20.07.17), proposes that Turkey should change the equilibrium in Cyprus transforming TRNC's de-facto status into a de-jure position in the following commentary:

    "The latest attempt to reunite Cyprus failed intense negotiations in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, on July 7. The quintet talks under the auspices of U.N. Secretary-General was seen as the most promising occasion in years with two solution-minded leaders, Nicos Anastasiades of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and Mustafa Ak?nc? of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), in power on both sides of the divided island. Unfortunately, expectations were not enough to generate the long-desired solution.

    The parties are blaming each other for the failure, though it should have been naive; to paraphrase Einstein, to expect a different result by doing the same thing over and over again. Realpolitik tells us that the threat perceptions of Turkish and Greek Cypriots are diametrically contradicting each other and creating a highly problematic environment for a one-state solution.

    The existing power structure on the island, with the RoC as an internationally recognized EU member state in the south and the TRNC facing international isolation in the north, creates inequalities and less than conducive atmosphere for an equitable solution, as it removes an important enticement for the Greek Cypriots. While the U.N.-sponsored talks, focusing on a bi-zonal and bi-communal federative solution, has been aiming at changing existing power sharing structure, it has been proven difficult to convince the Greek Cypriots to give up their lofty status as the status quo clearly favours them.

    If the international community cannot change the material reality on the ground to bring about a negotiated solution, as is the case in Cyprus, then we could aim at changing political reality. For that, a seriously out of the box thinking is needed.

    The Turkish Cypriots have so far shown their willingness toward a bi-zonal and bi-communal federal solution in different occasions, though the Greek Cypriots have at least once rejected it in terms of the Annan Plan referendum in 2004. It might thus produce a better outcome if the interested parties focus their energies on creating more balanced political conditions on the island that would force both sides to a peaceful co-existence, rather than trying to persuade them to a less than an optimal solution that neither side is enthusiastic to have.

    As the Greek Cypriots seem to be more satisfied with the status quo, it is up to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to change the equilibrium on the island. The first step for such a change would be the transformation of TRNC's de-facto status into de-jure position with Turkey's support by seeking recognition from the international community. Even a few recognitions could create more level ground and prompt the Greek Cypriots toward a negotiated settlement.

    Another move could be the opening of Varosha/Maras (editor's note: fenced off town of Varosha) for civilian resettlement under the TRNC authority and invite former property owners, including the Greek Cypriots, to start moving back. Provisions should also be foreseen for those Greek Cypriots who do not wish to return but eager to hand over their properties with the right amount of compensation and to receive their rights in line with the regulations of the Immovable Property Commission.

    Also, both Turkey and the TRNC should officially proclaim their exclusive economic zones in the Eastern Mediterranean and start the exploration of natural resources within the zone, while not harassing Greek Cypriot exploration out of the declared zone. Similarly, the Turkish military presence on the island could be normalized through a military cooperation agreement between Turkey and the TRNC, which should be followed by measures to enhance economic integration and political cooperation between the two countries. Though all these require radical changes in thinking, they might be worth a try as everything else has failed so far."

    [07] Admiral Veysel Kosele "represented" the Turkish Armed Forces in the "celebrations" for the Turkish invasion to Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 19.07.17), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the self-styled speaker of the assembly Sibel Siber and self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun had separate meetings with Admiral Veysel Kosele from the Turkish Navy who is "representing" the Turkish Armed Forces during this year's "celebrations" to mark the 43rd anniversary of the "Turkish peace operation" (editor's note: the Turkish invasion to Cyprus in 1974).

    During the meeting with Admiral Kosele, Akinci said that those memories of what the Turkish Cypriots experienced 43 years ago on the 20th of July were still fresh and added: "We remember the heroic Turkish forces who sacrificed their lives so that we could live. We express our sincere gratitude".

    Admiral Kosele for his part presented Akinci with a letter from the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces General Hulusi Akar.

    Ozgurgun, in the meeting with Admiral Kosele, alleged that unprecedented atrocities would have taken place following the 15th of July 1974 Greek Coup were it not for the timely intervention of the Turkish Armed Forces on the 20th of July.

    He also claimed that the Turkish Armed Forces had brought peace to the island which has been continuing ever since and alleged: "The Turkish Cypriot people have come to where they are today with their economy, their development and their state. The 20th of July peace operation brought peace and prosperity not only to the Turkish Cypriots but the Greek Cypriots as well". Ozgurgun concluded his words by expressing his gratitude to Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces.

    For his part, Admiral Kosele said that the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces had wanted to attend this year's "celebrations" but was unable to do so due to his busy schedule. He said that the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkey will continue to be on the side of the Turkish Cypriot "people", supporting it at every step.

    [08] Eide said that the UN is ready to aid the sides, if the leaders jointly decide to continue the negotiation process.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.07.17) reports that Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, in an interview to the paper's reporter Osman Kalfaoglu after the failure of the Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana, said that the UN are ready to aid the sides, however, the decision belongs to the "top leaders", adding that the decision should be given by the leaders. He explained that at this moment there is not any negotiation process in the island, after this the leaders should decide.

    Eide stressed that "two persons are needed for tango and a process cannot be held only with the one side". He further noted that the leaders should direct themselves, adding: "As we have always said is that the Cyprus talks are leader-led and they can be nothing else."

    Asked to comment on what sort of results will be if one side ignore the current parameters without the approval of the other side, Eide said: "We, as UN, are binding to the UN parameters. The UN Security Council has also supported continuously for years now this issue. These are the parameters, which were decided in Cyprus and supported by the UN". He further noted that it is very difficult to think a situation where the one side believes in the UN parameters and the other does not, because then a platform cannot be exist. He added: "Either you will remain binding to the UN parameters or you should agree on something else. The Cypriots may be able to agree on something else".

    (DPs)

    [09] Akinci's message for the anniversary of the Turkish invasion full of accusatory language according to Detay newspaper

    Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (20.07.17) criticized the address of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to mark the launch of "celebrations" for the 43rd anniversary of the 20th of July Turkish invasion to Cyprus,

    The paper which describes Akinci speech as an "accusatory message", writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader broke his silence after the tensed Crans Montana summit and addressed the "people" using a different language than before.

    "Akinci grew d?stance from the construct?ve language that he used dur?ng the negotiation process. He stated that the Turkish Cypriot side has no responsibility for the failed negotiation process and used an accusatory language blaming totally the Greek Cypriot side for the non-progress for the important issues discussed at the negotiations", writes the paper, noting that this saddened the supporters of peace.

    Detay goes on noting that Akinci's used this "accusatory language" despite the fact that Eide, stated that both sides in Cyprus are responsible and that they should not start the "blame game".

    The paper also writes that Akinci speech was much different from the "language of peace and empathy" he used after he came in "power" and notes that this speech, in such an important date as is the July 20, can be interpreted as a return to the "official line".

    According to the paper, Akinci's speech contains phrases like "we will continue our road", or "we must look our own business" which come to light after every failed negotiation procedure. The paper also writes that Akinci's speech did not offer any proposal on how the aged problems faced by the Turkish Cypriots can be solved.

    (CS)

    [10] Common statement for the re-launching of negotiation by ten Turkish Cypriot trade unions

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (20.07.17) reports that ten Turkish Cypriot trade unions issued a common statement asking for the re-launching of the Cyprus negotiations.

    KTOA, KTOEOS, KTAMS, DEV-IS, KOOP-SEN, GUC-SEN, CAG-SEN, DAU-SEN, DAU-BIR-SEN and BASIn-SEN noted in the common statement that they are against the continuation of the status quo which promotes the separation and they want the negotiation to start again.

    (CS)

    [11] Turkey's Assembly Speaker's message on the "celebrations" of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.07.17) reports that Ismail Kahraman, Speaker of Turkey's Parliament, alleged that the demanding of the Greek Cypriot side for abolishment of Turkey's guarantees rights in the island, the withdrawal of the Turkish army, and also that the degradation of the Turkish Cypriots to a minority status, opened the road so that the Cyprus talks remained unsolved.

    In a message for the "celebrations" of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus, Kahraman argued that 43 years have passed since that day where the "genocide initiative" towards the Turkish Cypriots was prevented and "security" has been obtained in the island. He further claimed that Turkey has always supported a just and permanent solution in Cyprus and has put great efforts in order the peace to be permanent. Then Kahraman accused the Greek Cypriot side of the failure of the Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana due to its intransigent stance.

    (DPs)

    [12] Kosovo deputy delegation illegally visiting the breakaway regime for the "celebration" of the July 20 Turkish invasion

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.07.17) reports that the "speaker of the assembly" Sibel Siber met with a delegation of "Kosovo deputies" consisting of Miffera Sinik and Fikrim Damak that are illegally visiting the breakaway regime for the "celebration" of the July 20 Turkish invasion to Cyprus.

    Speaking during the meeting Sinik told Siber that in Kosovo they experienced a similar situation like the Turkish Cypriots but now it has celebrated its 9th year as a republic and is recognized by 109 countries. "May your turn come next", she alleged.

    The paper also reports that the Kosovo delegation also met with the self-styled foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu.

    (CS)

    [13] Commentary: "The cabinet reshuffle is more cosmetic than important"

    Under the above title, columnist Murat Yetkin, in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 20.07.17) evaluates the cabinet reshuffle in the following commentary:

    "A cabinet reshuffle has been discussed since before the April 16 constitutional referendum, which consolidated all executive powers in President Tayyip Erdogan's hands. Especially after being re-elected as the chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) on May 21, which was something enabled by the referendum as well, a cabinet reshuffle seemed so close and easy.

    In the political backstage at Ankara there were names suggested for the Foreign, Interior and Justice Ministries, and possible names could be taken from just outside the Parliament, which highlights the idea that in the presidential system, party, Parliament and the Cabinet affairs would be separated and only be linked by the President.

    The cabinet reshuffle was announced yesterday, on July 19, by Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m following a one-and-a-half hour meeting with Erdogan, which was actually a follow-up of a longer one a night before. As said in the Aesop's Fables, "the mountain gave birth to a mouse", calling the cabinet reshuffle radical or an important one regarding the decision-making mechanisms is not easy but it is rather a cosmetic one, as if it was done just for the sake of it.

    The Foreign, Interior, and Finance Ministers kept their posts; so did the Ministers in charge of European Union affairs and Energy as well as Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Economy, Mehmet Simsek, in a move aimed at not upsetting the markets. In a nutshell, there is no change in Turkey's economic, foreign and security policies.

    Bekir Bozdag was removed from his helm at the Justice Ministry. This could be considered important as it comes right after the 25-day-long "Justice March" led by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?cdaroglu. But Bozdag is not removed entirely from the cabinet; he is promoted to be one of the Deputy Prime Ministers. Abdulhamit Gul, who is made the new Justice Minister, is likely to follow the same line dictated by Erdogan, as he is one of the architects of the constitutional amendments and known to be the architect of the alliance between the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the April 16 referendum. Another hidden MHP effect on the reshuffle could be the removal of Tugrul Turkes from his position as Deputy Prime Minister to being removed from cabinet completely. He used to be the Deputy to the MHP leader, Devlet Bahceli, before joining the AK Parti in the 2015 elections, which enabled him to be appointed to the government post afterwards.

    Moving Numan Kurtulmus from his post as a Deputy Prime Minister to the Culture and Tourism Ministry is speculated to be a move to pave the way to put him in place of the current parliament speaker, as elections are to be renewed in October this year and Kurtulmus is among the candidates competing against the incumbent Ismail Kahraman, who from time to time puts the government in a difficult position with his remarks. Shifting Nurettin Canikli from his post as deputy prime minister to the Defence Ministry - and promoting the Defence Minister to the post of the deputy prime minister - could be related to the approaching Supreme Military Council (YAS) meetings where another cleansing in the army of Gulenist suspects is anticipated. Canikli has been a member of the government's commission to dismiss sympathizers or members of the illegal network of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-resident Islamist preacher who is accused of masterminding the July 15, 2016, coup attempt in Turkey.

    A good point in the cabinet reshuffle is that Turkey now has two women ministers. Julide Sar?eroglu, with a trade union background, is appointed as the new labor minister, while Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya has kept her post."

    [14] Turkish Foreign Ministry says Germany's comments on rights activists' arrests unacceptable

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 20.07.17), Turkish Foreign Ministry said on July 20 that comments by German officials regarding Turkey's arrest of six human rights activists, including a German citizen, were unacceptable and amounted to interference in the judiciary.

    Germany raised the possibility on July 19 of suspending European Union aid payments to Turkey after summoning Ankara's Ambassador to Berlin to protest over the arrest of the six, including Amnesty International's Turkey head Idil Eser.

    German citizen Peter Steudtner was also among those jailed pending trial on terrorism charges, which Berlin has labelled "absurd", in a move which further escalated tensions between the NATO allies.

    "There was direct interference in the Turkish judiciary and comments used which overstepped the mark," Turkey's Foreign Ministry said, referring to comments by the German government and Foreign Ministry spokesmen.

    "The comments again show the double standards in their approach to the law of those who prevent terrorists being brought to justice while embracing members of terrorist groups which target our country," the Turkish Ministry said.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (DPs / AM)

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