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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-05-16

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. 92/17 16.05.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Three scenarios for the Cyprus negotiations; How Turkish Cypriot columnists assess the process
  • [02] "Agreement" with Turkey in the field of securing labour force is seen as "a kind of integration"
  • [03] Columnists criticize the "agreement" with Turkey in the field of securing labour force
  • [04] KTOS sent a letter to European Parliament accusing Turkey for oppressing the Turkish Cypriots
  • [05] The remains of another three missing persons were unearthed in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [06] Erdogan in Washington to meet Trump
  • [07] Germany sees Jordan as alternative to Turkey's Incirlik base
  • [08] Turkish daily Cumhuriyet's web editor was arrested on 'terror propaganda'
  • [09] Turkey's unemployment rate rises to 12.6%, youth unemployment to 23.3% in February

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Three scenarios for the Cyprus negotiations; How Turkish Cypriot columnists assess the process

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (16.05.17), columnist Ulas Baris refers to three scenarios for the result of the meeting to be held tomorrow between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci within the framework of the Cyprus negotiations.

    Citing diplomatic sources, Baris reports that the "optimist scenario" is a decision as regards the continuation in the end of June 2017 of the International Conference for Cyprus, which started in Geneva last January. The Turkish Cypriot side is allegedly concerned of very negative consequences for the future of the negotiations from a new summit, which is likely to end without any result. Recalling a statement made last week by President Anastasiades, the paper underlines the importance of a very well prepared "new summit" which should be "focused on the result".

    The second scenario is putting the process in the "fridge", but not in the "deep-freezer". After tomorrow's meeting, the leaders will possibly state that they have exerted efforts for achieving convergences, as agreed in Geneva last January but no sufficient progress for a new international conference was achieved. In this case, they will express their commitment to the solution and to returning to Geneva but no concrete timetable will be announced. It is believed that in this scenario the sides will gain time and wait in view of the drillings for natural gas, which are expected to begin in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in July.

    The "worst scenario", which the above-mentioned diplomatic sources described as the "Titanic", is the sides leaving the meeting tomorrow without having any result. The sources argued that this would mean failure of the process which started two years ago between the two leaders and such a development could cause tension in July.

    Meanwhile, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.05.17), columnist Huseyin Ekmekci argues that no one should underestimate the natural gas drillings in Cyprus' EEZ which will start in July. He expressed the view that when the drillings begin, Akinci will not be at the negotiating table "as if nothing is happening". "This is why Akinci wishes a date of a possible summit and its conclusion before July 2017", notes the columnist.

    Furthermore, in Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper's (16.05.17), main editorial columnist Cuneyt Oruc refers to statements made by AKEL's General Secretary Andros Kyprianou, who has reportedly said that if there is no progress tomorrow or if there is an interruption or an ending of the negotiations, all issues will remain after the presidential elections of February 2018 in the Republic of Cyprus. Under the title "See you after three years", Oruc recalls the presidential elections to be held in Turkey in 2019 and the "presidential elections" planned for 2020 in the occupied area of Cyprus, and argues that if we take into consideration all these, the date of the "revival" of the Cyprus negotiations after a possible interruption tomorrow, is 2020.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] "Agreement" with Turkey in the field of securing labour force is seen as "a kind of integration"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.05.17) reports that the "assembly" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus approved with majority the "labour force agreement" signed on 23 February 2017 between Turkey and the regime. According to the paper, "article 4" of the "agreement", which consists of 13 "articles", says that the employers could directly apply to the Labour Office of another country or to private offices for securing labour force.

    Addressing the "assembly", Tufan Erhurman, leader of the "main opposition" Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that with the "agreement" the employers could directly apply to Turkey's Labour Office or to private offices in Turkey to secure workers without applying to the "TRNC's" "labour office" and without taking into consideration whether there are unemployed persons in the occupied area who could do the job.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (16.05.17) reports that Zeki Celer, "deputy" with the Social Democracy Party (TDP) described the "draft-law" as "a kind of integration" to Turkey and asked for its withdrawal for fixing the problems included in it. He said that they are obliged to give priority to their own people, who will be ignored, if the "agreement" enters into effect. The "agreement" was approved with 26 positive votes and 9 negative ones.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (16.05.17) reports that Hamza Ersan Saner, self-styled minister of labour and social insurance, said that the "agreement" was a result of long lasting work between the two "countries" and that the conditions for bringing workers from abroad are very clear. Noting that the "agreement" does not lift the "preliminary permit" preconditions, Saner argued that with the "agreement" they paved the way for the people living in the occupied area of Cyprus undergoing medical treatment in Turkey. He said that most foreign workers in the occupied area of Cyprus are engaged in the fields of agriculture, tourism and constructions.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Columnists criticize the "agreement" with Turkey in the field of securing labour force

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.05.17) columnist Cenk Mutluyakali comments on the "labour force agreement" between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus as approved yesterday by the regime's "assembly". He reports, inter alia, the following:

    "Another step has been taken. Another race towards the process of 'becoming a province'. A new 'TRNC-Turkey agreement'. [?] It is called 'labour force agreement'. The essence of the issue is 'cheap labour force and exploitation of labour'. [?] This is the 'agreement of let more workers come'! Very well, what should the young people here do? They should study in the university, study further and sit with the diploma in hand! Or they should migrate!

    Cooperation with Turkey should of course be held. However, [this should be done] after good evaluation, by taking lessons from the past. We have all together seen what happened in the citizenship policy. The 'freedom of entering with identity card' had hastily passed from the assembly. What happened next? While a law in the direction of the registration of the illegal labour force was being prepared, the next step was not taken into consideration. Tens of thousands of people came, brought their families, and then the 'work process' was turned into a 'citizenship right'. The education and health infrastructure collapsed. [?]

    [?] Our young people are unemployed in spite of the fact that they have many diplomas! The children of those who have immigrated to the country 30 years ago are also unemployed. The labour force market has changed now. [?] And the workers are brought now under the disguise of 'university students' [?]"

    Moreover, referring to the issue, columnist Levent Ozadam in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (16.05.17) expresses the view that the above-mentioned decision is wrong "if the TRNC is a state". He reports that Turkey asks for some "laws" to pass, it even tightens the regime's belt for a while if they do not pass and does not send money and that Turkey is the one which always prepares the "laws" which the regime should have prepared. He says that a long debate was held yesterday at the "assembly" and argues, inter alia, the following:

    "[?] The labour force in the TRNC will be secured from Turkey from now on! And our officials will be sidelined. That is, [?] those who want to work here will be registered at the labour offices in Turkey and then will come here and start working. I do not know how minister Saner is content about this! However, people who think like me are not content. If the TRNC is a state, and we accept it as such, I will be justified in looking for a hidden catch if the institutions of my state are side-lined on any issue, whatever this issue is!

    Of course, there is also the following reality: Especially the investors coming from abroad cannot find a satisfactory number of employees here! Or the money asked by the employees here is too much. And this means that the workers brought here from Turkey will be taking a salary below the minimum wage which exists here! And because our officials will be sidelined, they will not be able to interfere. That is, this is a decision taken in favor of the bosses! [?]"

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] KTOS sent a letter to European Parliament accusing Turkey for oppressing the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (16.05.17) reports that Senerl Elcil, the general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Union (KTOS) sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani noting that "the fascist oppression faced in Turkey is now directed towards EU citizens who live in the northern part of Cyprus".

    Elcil referred in his letter to the investigation launched upon a request of Ankara's Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor, by the police of the breakaway regime for an article that journalist Kubilay Ozkirac wrote in Afrika paper and for the interrogation a few months ago by the "police" of Afrika's journalist Sener Levent for his article "The Kurds and us".

    (CS)

    [05] The remains of another three missing persons were unearthed in the occupied area of Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 16.05.17), the Missing Persons Committee in Cyprus (CMP) has unearthed the remains of another 3 missing persons in Cyprus.

    The remains of one person were located during excavation works in occupied Famagusta and the remains of two people were located in the occupied St Hillarion region.

    The total number of remains found in the St Hillarion region has risen to 6.

    The Missing Persons Committee issued a written statement regarding the latest discoveries.

    [06] Erdogan in Washington to meet Trump

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (online, 16.05.17) reports that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish delegation accompanying him arrived in Washington, D.C. on Monday where the Turkish President will meet his American counterpart Donald Trump.

    Erdogan is expected to meet Trump at 12:30 p.m. at the White House, according to a Turkish draft schedule for the visit.

    Erdogan and Trump will discuss the issues surrounding Syria, especially the U.S.' decision to directly arm terror organization PKK's Syrian affiliate the People's Protection Units (YPG), and the extradition dossier of Pennsylvania-based radical cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused of masterminding the failed coup in Turkey with his network of followers.

    Erdogan will also meet a group of think-tankers and regional experts. He will also come together with CEO's of leading American companies, and the head of investment funds to discuss investment opportunities in Turkey.

    Meanwhile, columnist Barcin Yinanc, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 16.05.17), under the title "Erdogan-Trump agenda limited just to three issues", argues that the Turkish agenda would focus on a micro agenda seeking to talk about its specific concerns. She added that the composition of the delegation that went before Erdogan to prepare the talks was revealing regarding the agenda: Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, General Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, National Intelligence Agency (MIT) head Hakan Fidan, presidential advisor Ibrahim Kal?n, and a senior Foreign Ministry official.

    Turkey's agenda for the talks also shows how the country's foreign policy has downgraded itself to micro issues: Raqqa, the Fethullah Terror Organization (FETO), and Reza Zarrab.

    On the same issue, Semih Idiz, writing in HDN (online, 16.05.17), under the title "Little progress expected from Erdogan-Trump talks", argues that all signs are that this meeting will not be an easy conversation. Ankara has set the stakes so high with regard to its demands that it has left itself very little room for diplomatic manoeuvring.

    Washington, on the other hand, has made it amply clear that Turkey's demands are unlikely to be met because the U.S. has firm positions, or obstacles it can't overcome, that make it very hard to please Ankara.

    According to Idiz, "Erdogan is going to return empty-handed from Washington.

    What is he going to do then in order to show Ankara's anger? Is he going to ban the U.S. from using the Incirlik Air Base in Adana? Our editor-in-chief, Murat Yetkin, has already pointed out that it is very unlikely that Washington has not prepared itself for this contingency and made alternative plans, just in case it does happen.

    Is it going to recall its Ambassador in Washington indefinitely? That appears highly unlikely also. Is it going to impose sanctions on the U.S.? That would be comical.

    Could Ankara carry out its threat to continue striking Kurdish groups in Syria that the U.S. is working with? It could but clearly at a cost. That move could force the U.S. to take further action against Turkey, in addition to the steps it took on the ground after Turkey's last deadly strike against the People's Protection Units (YPG), the group that is allied to the U.S. that Turkey says is a terrorist organization. (?)

    Regardless of what the pro-government press is saying, therefore, Erdogan's talks with Trump are unlikely to produce the 'turning point', they are arguing it will, either in a positive or negative sense. It seems the situation as it is today will continue much the same, with Turkey appearing the weaker side with few options up its sleeve."

    On the other side, Fikret Bila, editor-in-chief of Hurriyet, under the title "Erdogan-Trump summit to be the breaking point", writes, inter alia, the following:

    "(?) As a matter of fact, most of the questions we asked President Erdogan the other day were about this meeting. His answers to our questions also showed that this summit could determine the future of Turkish-U.S. relations.

    (?) If Erdogan is able to persuade Trump to give up on his decision to arm the People's Protection Units (YPG), then it will be a breaking point in terms of strengthening Turkish-U.S. relations.

    On the contrary, if Trump does not back down from his decision, this time it will cause the relations, which are already strained between the two countries, to break at an even worse point.

    (?) Erdogan will explain to Trump that the Raqqa operation and the fight against ISIL would be conducted much more easily with the participation of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the coalition. He will highlight that it is destructive for such a strong coalition to look like it is in the position of needing the YPG.

    If Trump, despite all this, does not change his decision to arm the YPG and conduct a joint operation on Raqqa, then this will be regarded by Turkey as a situation that needs to be questioned.

    (..)

    If the U.S. decision is not a tactical one but a strategic one toward the making of new small states in the Middle East, then Turkey will make its own decisions for its own perpetuity and will take care of its own self.

    This will be the basic question Erdogan will seek from Trump at the White House. If Trump's answer is 'not satisfactory', then this will bear significant consequences in terms of Turkish-U.S. relations and the NATO alliance.

    Ankara's expectation is for the White House to correctly read the possible negative consequences and act according to the obligations of an ally.

    If Turkey is not able to see this responsibility, then Ankara will opt for new measures to protect national unity and territorial integrity. Erdogan will go to the White House knowing that it will be difficult to change Washington's decision on the YPG while thinking that it is 'not impossible'."

    [07] Germany sees Jordan as alternative to Turkey's Incirlik base

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.05.17) reported that Berlin could move its soldiers from Turkey to another country such as Jordan if Ankara does not grant permission to members of the German parliament's defence committee to visit staff currently serving at a NATO mission Incirlik Air Base, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.

    Merkel said on May 15 that it was essential for lawmakers to be able to visit the more than 250 soldiers serving at Incirlik, where they are involved in a NATO mission targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

    "We will continue to talk with Turkey, but in parallel we will have to explore other ways of fulfilling our mandate. That means looking at alternatives to Incirlik, and one alternative among others is Jordan," she said.

    Members of the German Parliament's Defence Committee have been blocked from visiting troops stationed at the base, officials said May 15.

    The lawmakers were denied a visit to the base as it was not deemed appropriate at this time, sources in Turkey's Foreign Ministry told Reuters, without elaborating.

    A spokesman for the German Foreign Minister said it was "completely unacceptable" for Turkey to keep German lawmakers from visiting their own soldiers.

    "A visit by lawmakers must be made possible," Martin Schaefer said, adding that Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel would raise the issue with colleagues from other NATO governments in Washington on May 16.

    German government spokesman Stefan Seibert said Berlin would consider alternative places to station the soldiers.

    [08] Turkish daily Cumhuriyet's web editor was arrested on 'terror propaganda'

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.05.17), an Istanbul court on May 15 ordered the arrest of Oguz Guven, the chief online editor of daily Cumhuriyet, on terror charges three days after he was detained over a tweet shared on the daily's Twitter account regarding the death of a Chief Public Prosecutor.

    Police detained Guven in the early hours of the morning of May 12, citing a controversially worded tweet reporting the death of Denizli Chief Public Prosecutor Mustafa Alper after he was killed in a car accident in the Merkezefendi district of the southwestern province of Denizli.

    In his testimony, Guven reportedly said he did not tweet the report himself, adding that it was "shared completely by mistake" in a bid to break the news urgently.

    He also noted that the related tweet was deleted 55 seconds after it was shared on Cumhuriyet's official Twitter account. "That is an indication of the fact that the tweet was posted by mistake," Guven reportedly testified, denying any "bad intent" behind the post.

    However, the court ordered the arrest of Guven on charges of "engaging in terror organization propaganda".

    Alper, 48, and his driver, Muzaffer Aksehirli, were killed on May 10 when a truck laden with debris crashed into their car on a highway. He was the first chief public prosecutor to launch an investigation into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO) after the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by followers of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

    A total of 12 Cumhuriyet columnists and executives are currently in prison on alleged terror charges.

    [09] Turkey's unemployment rate rises to 12.6%, youth unemployment to 23.3% in February

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.05.17), Turkey's unemployment rate was 12.6% in the February period, with a 1.7 percent year-on-year increase, official data showed on May 15.

    This rate showed a slight decrease from a seven-year high at 13% in the previous month, data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) showed.

    The number of unemployed people over 15 years old increased by 676,000 to 3.9 million people in the period of February 2017 in Turkey compared with the same period of the previous year.

    In the same period, the non-agricultural unemployment rate was 14.8 percent with a 2.1 percentage point increase.

    Youth employment hit 23.3% in the February period, which covered data from January, February and March, with a 4.7% of increase compared to the same period of 2016.

    The number of employed people rose by 500,000 to around 27 million in the period of February 2017 compared with the same period of the previous year.

    The employment rate was unchanged at 45.3%, according to TUIK data.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (DPs / AM)

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