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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-12-07

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

CONTENTS

No. 237/17 07.12.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Erdogan: "Trump disregarded UN decisions with Jerusalem move"
  • [02] Erdogan invites OIC countries to convene over Jerusalem issue
  • [03] Yildirim: "US Jerusalem decision is null and void"; MFA condemned the US' decision
  • [04] All four parties in Turkish Parliament signed a joint statement against US' decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital
  • [05] Erdogan's visit to boost Turkey's economic relations with Greece
  • [06] New investigation opened into CHP leader K?l?cdaroglu over 'insulting Erdogan"
  • [07] Saner stated that 45,000 taxpayers in the breakaway regime are from Turkey or third countries
  • [08] Derya and Altiok were informed by Elcil regarding the granting of Cyprus identity cards to children of mixed marriages
  • [09] East-Med gas to Europe viable only via Turkey: Expert

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Erdogan: "Trump disregarded UN decisions with Jerusalem move"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.12.17-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/trump-disregarded-un-decisions-with-jerusalem-move-erdogan-123715) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on December 7 said that U.S. President Donald Trump disregarded U.N. decisions with his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Erdogan said that the move amounted to "throwing the region into a circle of fire."

    "Hey Trump, what are you trying to do?" he added, suggesting that political leaders should strive for "reconciliation rather than destabilization."

    "If Trump is saying I am powerful and right, he is wrong," he added.

    Also, Turkish daily Sabah (06.12.17-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2017/12/06/recognizing-jerusalem-as-israels-capital-would-only-benefit-terrorists-erdogan-says) reported that Erdogan stated on Wednesday that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital would only benefit terrorist organizations.

    Erdogan reportedly called Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital late Wednesday, according to the presidency.

    The sources said the leaders emphasized that the decision would negatively affect peace and stability in the Middle East.

    Erdogan pointed out that there would be no lasting peace in the Middle East unless an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital within the borders of 1967, is formed.

    Speaking in a joint news conference with Jordanian King Abdullah earlier on Wednesday, Erdogan further said that Turkey and Jordan shared the same views regarding the status of Jerusalem. "The wrong step [expected] be taken regarding Jerusalem's status will be the cause of indignation in the Islamic world. It will [undermine] the foundation for peace and will light the wick of new works," Erdogan said, adding that peace and security in the Middle East cannot be sacrificed for the sake of domestic politics.

    Erdogan also said no one had the right to play with the destiny of billions of people for personal ambitions. "I want to make the following call to the whole world from here: any steps to change Jerusalem's legal status should be avoided. Such a step would only play into the hands of terrorist organizations," he said.

    (…)

    [02] Erdogan invites OIC countries to convene over Jerusalem issue

    Turkish daily Sabah (06.12.17-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2017/12/06/erdogan-invites-oic-countries-to-convene-over-jerusalem-issue) reported that Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kal?n announced on Wednesday that President Erdogan has invited the leaders of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Member states to convene for an extraordinary leaders' summit in Istanbul on Wednesday, December 13 over the issue of Jerusalem.

    Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, Kal?n stated that Erdogan has called on OIC Member States to come together to display joint action and coordination among Muslim countries. "Jerusalem is our honor, our common cause, and as Mr. President said yesterday, it is our red line," Kal?n told reporters, noting that Erdogan has discussed the matter with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and leaders of other Muslim countries, including Malaysia, Tunisia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia.

    U.S. President Donald Trump's Jerusalem decision has received united criticism from the Turkish government and politicians.

    Kal?n stressed that it would be a terrible mistake to change the status quo in Jerusalem, adding "It would be a grave mistake for Jerusalem to be declared as the capital of Israel in terms of its historical, religious and legal status."

    "Apart from the historical, religious and legal considerations it is true that there are steps to be taken in regard to the preservation of Jerusalem's current status quo and in order to prevent the mistake of perceiving it as Israel's property," Kal?n said, adding that the Turkish government calls on the Trump administration to immediately correct from this mistake in such an already fragile region.

    Erdogan has held numerous phone calls ahead of the announcement of the decision, discussing the matter with world leaders, including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the heads of the governments of Malaysia, Tunisia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia since Wednesday.

    (…)

    [03] Yildirim: "US Jerusalem decision is null and void"; MFA condemned the US' decision

    Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.12.17-http://aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/us-jerusalem-decision-null-and-voidsays-turkish-pm/994127) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called in a written statement on Thursday the U.S. declaration on Jerusalem as 'null and void' for Turkey.

    "The U.S. President's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the steps related to it are null and void for Turkey," Yildirim said, adding that the decision is a heavy blow to Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts and the Middle East peace process. "Pandora's box has been opened in the region with is decision", Yildirim said.

    He also added that the decision, which will uproot peace in Palestine and the Middle East and is an example of total irresponsibility, was taken with political considerations in mind.

    "I strongly condemn those who took this decision. As always, the status of all the holy places of Jerusalem, especially the Masjid al-Aqsa, is respected and it is of vital importance not to present a fait accompli."

    Yildirim also stated that the necessary counter steps will be decided along with the leaders of the Islamic world after discussing the issue in all its dimensions, during a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

    Turkey will host an extraordinary meeting of the OIC on December 13 to discuss the U.S.'s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Also, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.12.17- http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/trump-recognizes-jerusalem-as-israels-capital-in-reversal-of-policy-123712) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a written statement said: "We condemn the irresponsible statement of the US Administration that we learnt with great concern, declaring that it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that it will be moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem."

    "This decision is against international law and relevant UN Resolutions, as the annexation of Jerusalem by Israel has been rejected by the international community and the UN," it said.

    "The said decision, that will have negative effects on peace and stability in the region, also runs the risk of completely destroying the ground for peace. We call upon the US Administration to reconsider this erroneous decision which may result in highly negative outcomes and to avoid steps that will harm the multicultural identity and historical status of Jerusalem," the ministry added.

    Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kal?n also said the decision was "null and void" for Turkey.

    "We condemn the irresponsible statement of the US Administration declaring that it recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that it will be moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu wrote on his Twitter account.

    "This decision is against international law and relevant UN Resolutions," he said.

    Across Turkey, thousands took to the streets to protest the decision. Many NGOs led by the Anatolian Youth Association (AGD) Istanbul branch staged a demonstration at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, chanting slogans against Trump and the U.S. and carrying posters and banners supporting the Palestinians.

    The Turkish Youth Foundation (TUGVA) also organized a protest at Fatih Mosque in Istanbul as they called on Muslims to unite against the decision.

    Another protest was held in Ankara in front of the U.S. Embassy building, where a statement was read stating the Palestinian crisis was an all important issue for all Muslims.

    Similar protests were also held in almost every Turkish province, including Konya, Bursa, Antalya, Mugla, Manisa, Adana, Bartin, Karabuk, Samsun, Yozgat, Malatya, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Sanl?urfa, S?rnak and Diyarbak?r.

    [04] All four parties in Turkish Parliament signed a joint statement against US' decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital

    Turkish daily Sabah (07.12.17- https://www.dailysabah.com/legislation/2017/12/06/all-parties-in-turkish-parliament-sign-joint-statement) reports that all four parties in the Turkish Parliament signed a joint statement late on Wednesday, declaring Turkey's resolve to reject the United States' decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) signed the statement, which said: "The absolute and unquestionable resolve of Turkish Parliament to reject this dangerous attempt [the US' decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital] is hereby declared."

    Also, commenting on this development, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said late on Wednesday that Trump has put a bomb in the middle of Jerusalem and he is doomed to be isolated.

    Slamming U.S. President Donald Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the American Embassy from Tel Aviv, Kilicdaroglu stated that the party will stand alongside their Palestinian brothers. "We will support our Palestinian brothers in their just cause. Trump hurt everyone who stands for peace," he said.

    "He is doomed to be isolated in the whole world. If he is trying to cover up the problems at home with this decision, he will be mistaken," K?l?cdaroglu concluded.

    (…)

    [05] Erdogan's visit to boost Turkey's economic relations with Greece

    Turkish daily Sabah (06.12.17-https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2017/12/07/erdogans-visit-to-boost-turkeys-economic-relations-with-greece) reported that President Erdogan's visit to Greece is expected to stimulate bilateral economic and political relations between the two countries.

    Erdogan's visit to Turkey's western neighbor Greece, which is the first high level diplomatic visit after 65 years, is set to boost bilateral commercial and economic relations while improving political dialogue

    Commercial relations and investments between Turkey and Greece are expected to gain momentum with Erdogan's visit to the country on December 7-8.

    The visit, which is taking place upon the invitation of Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, is planned to address bilateral relations and regional issues.

    Erdogan's visit is of vital importance for the relations between the two countries. Erdogan's visit is expected to boost political and economic relations between the two countries. The establishment of the High-Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) mechanism in 2010 in particular has paved the way for a substantial increase in commercial relations between the two countries.

    The HLCC addresses various issues of Turkish-Greek relations at a high level, thus contributing to progress in existing and prospective areas of cooperation, and rendering an "institutional" ground for bilateral ties. Four HLCC meetings have so far been held and a number of agreements and protocols have been signed during those meetings.

    As a result of these efforts, commercial relations have gained significant momentum and the bilateral trade volume doubled between 2010 and 2014, reaching $5.6 billion by the end of 2014. However, according to Turkish data, the bilateral trade volume in 2016 totaled $2.6 billion. In 2012, during the second HLCC meeting, $10 billion in trade volume was declared a common goal and both sides are committed to exploring ways and means to achieve this target.

    The stock of direct investments from Greece reached $6.1 billion by the end of 2016, according to information obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Greek investors, apart from the financial sector, operate in information technology (IT), agricultural applications, packaging, plastics, pharmacy, cosmetics, fisheries, tourism, and construction sectors in Turkey.

    Direct Turkish investments in Greece, including the investments via other European countries, amount to approximately $500 million. Turkish investors mostly focus on investing in marinas, ports and the overall tourism sector in Greece. Furthermore, Ziraat Bank has branches in Athens, Xanthi, Komotini and Rhodes.

    Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Turkey-Greece Business Council Chairman Tevfik Bilgen said that although the situation in commercial relations between the two countries seems to be minimal, it is at a fairly good level compared to the beginning.

    Pointing to a study conducted by the Greek government in 2015, Bilgen recalled that one-third of the 16,700 exporting companies started exporting for the first time in 2015, adding that it is possible to mention this statistical information for Turkey, albeit at a slightly different level. "There are still companies that have yet to put their products on the export markets in both countries," he added.

    Highlighting the need to bring more business people from both countries together to develop economic relations and to find opportunities for collaborations, Bilgen added that Greece's greatest need is to increase industrial production.

    Bilgen said the primary benefit of production will be to increase employment for both the Turkish investors and the Greek side. "Greece is still the country with the highest unemployment rate in Europe. The bureaucratic problems experienced by Turkish companies in Greece are expressed in every environment, and these obstacles are gradually eliminated over time," Bilgen continued. "Of course, these problems affect not only Turkish investors but also European investors. Turkish investments will increase as the obstacles are reduced and eliminated."

    He pointed out that unlike the previous periods there are no political tensions between the two countries. "For the last 17 years, politicians have a fundamental appeal to the business world. 'You improve your business to such an extent that we, politicians, as a result, have difficulty in making decisions,'" Bilgen said, underlining that there are many examples of the fact that relations between the countries, where mutual economic interests have developed, have even lifted political tensions over time.

    Bilgen noted that today there is no political tension between the two countries, but the past still affects some circles. "They may be bureaucracies or members of the business world, but we can be sure that everything will normalize even further over time. The business world is constantly contributing to this issue through business forums, meetings and mutual visits," he concluded.

    (…)

    Also, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT), the foreign trade volume between Turkey and Greece decreased by 47% from $4.9 billion to $2.6 billion in the five years covering the period of 2012-2016.

    In the same period, Turkey's exports to Greece increased by 1.8% to $1.4 billion, while imports from this country dropped by 66.5 percent from $3.5 billion to $1.2 billion.

    Regarding the items subject to foreign trade between the two countries last year, mineral fuels and oils led the way in Turkey's exports to Greece with $251 million, followed by plastic items with $101.8 million and motor vehicles, tractors, bicycles, motorcycles, other land vehicles and accessories with $95.1 million.

    In terms of imports, on the other hand, mineral fuels and oils topped Turkey's imports from Greece with $502.7 million, followed by plastic items with $140.7 million and cotton and cotton yarn with $115.4 million.

    While Turkey ranks fourth among the major countries for exports from Greece, it ranks 12th with respect to the country's imports.

    Transport is another field where both sides are willing to intensify their cooperation. Currently, Turkish airline operators are conducting 49 flights a week between Turkey and Greece. The implementation of projects regarding the Izmir-Thessaloniki Ro-Pax ferry line and the high-speed train link between Istanbul and Thessaloniki will pave the way for an intensified cooperation in maritime and railroad transport between Turkey and Greece.

    [06] New investigation opened into CHP leader K?l?cdaroglu over 'insulting Erdogan"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.12.17-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/new-investigation-opened-into-chp-head-kilicdaroglu-over-insulting-president-123648) reported that the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on December 6 launched a criminal investigation into the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu over allegedly "insulting the President."

    The Prosecutor's investigation comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan filed a criminal complaint against the CHP leader for his remarks.

    Erdogan's lawyer, Huseyin Ayd?n, posted the letter of complaint on his official Twitter account on December 6, quoting a speech Kilicdaroglu delivered on December 5.

    The letter accuses Kilicdaroglu of voicing statements "that are part of an operation that the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization [FETO] has long been carrying out against the President."

    "The statements of the accused and those of the political party he leads regarding our President overlap with the discourse of FETO," the letter said.

    In his Dec. 5 speech, Kilicdaroglu accused Erdogan of "covering up" the initial investigation into Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab's relations with former Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ministers and politicians.

    "Who provided such sensitive information to Zarrab? All of it was provided by your Ministers and by your government. Your government has betrayed the Republic of Turkey. It has given all state secrets to Zarrab in exchange for money," he said.

    Kilicdaroglu also noted that in April 2013 the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) provided then-Prime Minister Erdogan with a note detailing the criminal activities of Zarrab and his alleged relations with AKP officials.

    [07] Saner stated that 45,000 taxpayers in the breakaway regime are from Turkey or third countries

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.12.17) reports that the self-styled minister of labor and social security Ersan Saner, stated that the number of taxpayers at the "social security office" is 101,000. He also said that 45,000 out of them are foreigners, that is they are from Turkey or third countries.

    Saner, who gave an interview to the paper, about his "ministry's achievements", added that the 10,000 out of the 45,000 are employers, 15,000 are employees of the "state" or of the "municipalities" and 25,000 are labor force. He also stated that they tried to increase the number of the registered taxpayers and to limit the number of the illegal workers.

    In addition, columnist Mehmet Moreket writes in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (07.12.17) that according to data of the "department of labor" which wás published last week, Turkish Cypriots consist only 25% of the workers in the breakaway regime. Moreket wrote that this is "scary" because as he writes "this shows that the country has passed into the hands of foreigners".

    (CS)

    [08] Derya and Altiok were informed by Elcil regarding the granting of Cyprus identity cards to children of mixed marriages

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (07.12.17) reports that Dogus Derya, self-styled deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and academician Hasan Ulas Altiok visited yesterday the Turkish Cypriot Teachers' trade union (KTOS) general secretary Sener Elcil to be informed about the meeting that Elcil had last week with Maria Stylianou-Lottides, Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Cyprus regarding the refusal by the Cyprus Republic to grant Cyprus identity cards to children of mixed marriages living in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Elcil said that this problem which directly affects approximately to 30,000 persons is a social phenomenon. He added: "It seems that the children of mixed marriages are the victims of the existence of the Cyprus problem. This is not only a KTOS problem. The political parties in this country should also do something about this problem and protect these people who suffer. Unfortunately, they do not show the necessary interest on this issue".

    After thanking Derya and Altiok for their interest on this issue, Elcil noted that after his visit to the Cyprus Obdusman more than 200 persons phoned to KTOS and several of these calls were personally for him.

    (DPs)

    [09] East-Med gas to Europe viable only via Turkey: Expert

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.12.17, http://aa.com.tr/en/energyterminal/energy-diplomacy/east-med-gas-to-europe-viable-only-via-turkey-expert/14858), the transfer of East Mediterranean natural gas to Europe can be achieved through Greece and Italy, but for the project's viability, its course needs to cross through Turkey, the Chairman of Damnus Energy & Investment, Inc. said.

    East Mediterranean gas has become a controversial issue with an alliance of Greece, Israel, Italy and the "Greek Cypriot administration" (Cyprus government) anxious to seal a deal without the participation of Turkey.

    A memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by these countries on Tuesday to transfer natural gas from Israel to Italy via a sub-sea gas pipeline has raised questions as to the feasibility of the project, Damnus chairman Nusret Comert argued in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.

    Comert claimed that such a consensus is politically motivated and the project is not based on financial reality. "I would recommend to our Greek, Italian and other European friends not to worry about natural gas resources in the East Mediterranean. These resources can flow to Europe through Greece and Italy, but only after it comes through Turkey."

    He also exposed the difficulties with the project's range and depth. He said that laying the pipeline over the lengthy 2,200-kilometer route which can only be laid at a maximum depth of 3.3 kilometres would be problematic.

    Financially, the project is also on shaky ground based on current oil market prices. "The project aims to carry 12-16 billion cubic meters with the project costing close to €6 billion. If we convert this to thousand cubic meters, we face very high numbers," he said, adding that the project can only bear the cost if oil is priced all time high levels. However, he said that based on the current pricing, the realization of such a pipeline project is unfeasible.

    The question of sufficient gas supplies also comes up for scrutiny. According to Comert, Greek Cypriots know that they do not have enough gas to produce or export, but Israel has.

    Nonetheless, the best route for all gas resources in the region is still through Turkey, he affirmed.

    Comert said that so far, no major energy companies like Noble or Delek have become involved in the project. "The only thing we saw was the signatures of politicians", he said.

    "We cannot deny the importance of political support but major energy projects require the support of private companies and finance," he noted, adding that one of Turkey's major projects to carry Azeri and Turkmen gas to Europe via Turkey, the Nabucco gas pipeline project failed to get off the ground.

    The Nabucco pipeline failed to be realized due to instability in the region and its high cost, despite the political support from the EU, the U.S., Turkey and Azerbaijan. The pipeline planned to carry Azeri and Turkmen gas to Europe via Turkey and the project also considered carrying Iranian and Iraqi gas.

    The source of some of the East Mediterranean gas, the Aphrodite gas field offshore south Cyprus, with a capacity of 110 million cubic meters, is at a depth that will make it impossible to reach, according to Prof. Dr Ata Atun from the "Near East University" (YDU) in the "TRNC". It will need over a decade for new drilling technologies to be developed to reach the deep resources in this field, he argued.

    "The depth of Aphrodite gas field is close to 3,200 meters. Today's technology will allow drilling and production of natural gas up to 1,800 meters deep," he explained.

    According to Atun, the "Greek Cypriot administration" (Cyprus government) became anxious after Turkey and the "TRNC" (the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus) signed a recent hydrocarbon exploration contract around Cyprus.

    He alleged that the quadrilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) amounts to "a theatrical play" in which the Greek Cypriots are trying to find international support for their unilateral attempts to gain benefits from Cyprus's natural resources.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    https://www.pio.gov.cy/moi/pio/pio2013.nsf/All/EDB254ABD6F3EAE1C225816F00425E83?OpenDocument

    (AK / AM)

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