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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-12-05

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/>



No. 235/17 05.12.17


  • [01] Five parties overcome the "election threshold", according to a new public opinion poll, which caused reactions
  • [02] Economy is Turkish Cypriots' biggest problem, according to Kibris
  • [03] Turkish CHP Deputies paid a visit to the Revival Party
  • [04] Caglar and Ozcenk will participate at PACE's meeting in Budapest on 5-6 Dec
  • [05] A workshop on "Export Strategies in OIC member countries" is being held in occupied Keryneia
  • [06] Increase in the "cost of living" in the occupied area of Cyprus for November
  • [07] The branches of the HSBC Bank in the breakaway regimes were transferred to the Albank
  • [08] TCG Barbaros frigate's stay in the occupied area of Cyprus extended for ten days
  • [09] CHP submits documents on offshore allegations
  • [10] Erdogan clarifies remarks criticizing businessmen for 'moving assets abroad'
  • [11] Turkey warns that possible US move to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital will be a 'disaster'
  • [12] "Erdogan is poised to survive the Zarrab affair"


    [01] Five parties overcome the "election threshold", according to a new public opinion poll, which caused reactions

    Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (05.12.17) reports that according to a new public opinion poll held by Turkish Gezici company in November (on 18, 19 and 20 November) with the method of face to face interview with 4,267 persons in the entire occupied area of Cyprus in view of the "early elections" on 7 January, 2018, five political parties would receive a percentage higher than the "election threshold" of 5% to enter into the "assembly", if "elections" were held today. These five parties are the following: National Unity Party (UBP) 34,2%, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) 22,1%, People's Party (HP) 18,2%, Social Democracy Party (TDP) 13,7% and Revival Party (YDP) 5,1%. The Democratic Party (DP) under Serdar Denktas would remain to 4,2%, the Communal Liberation Party New Forces (TKP-YG) to 1,8% and the other parties to 0,7%.

    According to the results, the Cyprus problem (32,20%), expensiveness (27,14%), the [limited] possibilities in the health sector (23,02%), traffic (21,92%), unemployment (19,94%) education (18,74) and corruption (17,17%) are considered to be the biggest problems of the "country" [Translator's note: The participants in the survey expressed more than one preferences].

    Asked how they would describe themselves, the participants in the survey replied [giving more than one answers] the following: Nationalist 32,20%, Neither leftist nor rightist 23,07%, Leftist 11,27%, Social Democrat 29,19%, Democrat 8,61%, Conservative 7,36% Socialist 6,94%, Rightist 4,38% and Other 1,83%.

    Asked what they had voted in the "parliamentary elections" in 2013, the participants in the survey replied: UBP 28,3%, CTP 37,8%, DP 22,5%, TDP 6,9%, BKP 2,8% and Other 1,7%.

    The relation between the party which the participants in the survey had voted in 2013 and the party which they intend to vote if "elections" were held today is exhibited in the following table:

    Distribution of votes for the participants' party preference today

    How the participants in the survey voted in the "parliamentary elections" of 2013 (%) UBP CTP DP TDP TKP-YG YDP Other Mix Undecided Total

    UBP 51 1,3 16,3 1,8 0,7 5,5 0,2 6,3 13,0 100

    CTP 2,9 40,0 5,8 16,7 6,9 1,0 0,4 6,8 18,4 100

    DP 43,0 2,4 15,4 0,6 0,3 8,6 0,3 8,0 12,7 100

    TDP 1,9 2,9 2,9 75,3 8,1 0,0 0,0 1,8 7,1 100

    BKP 0,0 0,0 4,2 16,7 16,7 0,0 8,3 0,0 54,1 100

    Mix 6,8 2,1 8,0 0,3 0,3 3,1 1,0 35,7 29,9 100

    Other 4,0 8,0 12,0 4,0 4,0 4,0 0,0 12,0 56,0 100

    Murat Gezici, director of the company, presented the results during a press conference yesterday. He alleged that persons, who do not actively participate in the political life but they seem able to exert influence in the "politics" because "people" trust them are, inter alia, Resat Akar (Diyalog's general director), Asil Nadir (businessman), Bulent Dizdarli (chief physician at the Burhan Nalbantoglu hospital in occupied Nicosia), Serhat Incirli (columnist in Kibris Postasi newspaper) and Sefa Karahasan (former representative of Turkish Milliyet newspaper in the occupied area of Cyprus). According to Gezici these persons could give power to the political parties they will join. Another person whom the "people" seem to trust, according to Gezici's most recent surveys, is businessman Bulut Akacan, "candidate" with the UBP in occupied Keryneia in the forthcoming "elections", argued Gezici adding that former Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu is one of the most trusted persons in the community and this is why the candidature of his daughter Resmiye Canaltay (with the UBP) "has influenced" the community.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (05.12.17) reports that angry voices started to be raised within the Turkish Cypriot community against Gezici. The paper argues that Gezici could not persuade as regards the way by which his company could carry out a survey with the method of face to face interview with 4,267 persons within three days and caused the impression that this survey is "also an operation to create perceptions". According to Gezici, UBP is gaining its strength again. He argued that the efforts of former Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu and Ersin Tatar, "deputy" in occupied Nicosia, as well as the fact that 7,000 persons voted for the determining the party's "candidates" in these "elections" have played significant role in this.

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (05.12.17), Gezici company has carried out three surveys with different results in the past six months. These surveys and their results are the following:

    May 2017: HP 30,8%, UBP 23,4%, CTP 18,1%, TDP 10,2%, DP 7,8%, YDP 4,8%.

    October 2017: UBP 31,1%, CTP 22,3%, HP 21,2%, TDP 11,2%, YDP 6,3%, DP 4,8%.

    November 2017: UBP 34,2%, CTP 22,1%, HP 18,2%, TDP 13,7%, YDP 5,1%, DP 4,2%.

    Finally, commenting on the results of Gezici's latest survey, Huseyin Ekmekci writes in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (05.12.17) that he does not want to enter into the content of the survey, but when whom Gezici presented as influential persons is taken into consideration, the "picture is getting clear" and it seems that "Gezici mocks the people of this country". "He treats them as a mentally retarded community", notes Ekmekci adding that when you read between the lines and see what he wants to say you understand that he insults the community.


    [02] Economy is Turkish Cypriots' biggest problem, according to Kibris

    Under the title "Every day a new hoop in the price increases", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.12.17) reports that the Cyprus problem may be described as "the mother of all problems" in the "country", but if the "people" were asked about the problems which "hurt them" today, the Cyprus problem would not cross their mind. "At this moment, the Cyprus problem is neither on the agenda of the Turkish Cypriots, nor [on the agenda of] those who govern the country or [on the agenda of those] living in the country", claims the paper adding that no one believes anymore that the problems will be solved by waiting for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, which no one knows or can predict when will end.

    "The Turkish Cypriots' biggest problem is the increase in the foreign currency and they are expecting a solution to this issue", notes the paper adding that the quality of life in the occupied area of the island decreased because of the inadequate salaries and the inability of the "people" to pay their debts before the economic problems and expensiveness. Noting that it does not even take into consideration the problems in the health, education and other sectors, the paper points out that price increases in many products started coming on the way towards the "elections". First the price of some fuels, the bread and the tobacco increased, reports the paper, adding that the increases continued yesterday with the price of gas. Finally, it recalls of a statement made by "deputy prime minister", Serdar Denktas, who had said that if they held "elections" before the "2018 budget" passed from the "assembly", price increases would come the one after the other. "What Denktas said started happening", notes the paper.


    [03] Turkish CHP Deputies paid a visit to the Revival Party

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (05.12.17) reports that Oguz Kaan Salici and Bulent Oz Deputies with the Turkish Republican People's Party (CHP) visited illegally the headquarters of the Revival Party (YDP) (Tr. Note: The settlers party) in the breakaway regime.

    According to Salici their visit in the breakaway regime is taking place because of the forthcoming "parliament elections" to be held on January 7 and aims to the exchange of views with all the Turkish Cypriot parties on various issues, including the Cyprus problem.

    On his part, Arikli stated that he is pleased from the meeting's outcome. Referring to the Cyprus problem he alleged that in case YDP comes into power, it will open, during its first three months of being a "government", the fenced off Varosha city for its legitimate owners under Turkish Cypriot "administration". As he said, they are determined on the issue and they will inform all the Turkish parties about their determination.


    [04] Caglar and Ozcenk will participate at PACE's meeting in Budapest on 5-6 Dec

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (05.12.17), Mehmet Caglar, self- styled deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), and Erdal Ozcenk, self-styled deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP), will participate at the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which will be held today and tomorrow in Budapest.

    According to a press release by the "assembly", Caglar and Ozcenk, who represent the "assembly" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, will attend the meeting of Education, Science, Culture and Media of PACE.


    [05] A workshop on "Export Strategies in OIC member countries" is being held in occupied Keryneia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (05.12.17) reports that the regional training workshop on "Export Strategies in OIC member countries", which is held in joint cooperation of the "foreign ministry" and the Islamic Trade Development Centre (ICDT), has launched today in occupied Keryneia.

    The workshop will continue until December 7, 2017, and experts from OIC country members will attend it.

    Sunat Atun, self-styled minister of economy and energy,and Mamoudou Sall, head of the Training and Education Department of the Islamic Trade Development Centre will give the opening speeches in the workshop.


    [06] Increase in the "cost of living" in the occupied area of Cyprus for November

    According to illegal Bayrak television (05.12.17 http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=cost-of-living-goes-up-7) the "cost of living" for the month of November in the occupied area of Cyprus has been increased by 1.31%.

    According to the latest figures, the cost of living went up by 12.78% since November last year.

    The price of 357 goods included in the price index went up compared to the previous month while the price of 78 products or goods went down.

    A rise was recorded in 11 of the 12 main groups in the Consumer Price Index.

    The highest price rise was recorded in education while the price of foods and non-alcohol beverages went down by 0.78%.

    [07] The branches of the HSBC Bank in the breakaway regimes were transferred to the Albank

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.12.17) reports that the branches of the HSBC Bank A.S. in the breakaway regimes were transferred to the Albank Ltd.

    All "assets and liabilities of branches" of HSBC Bank were transferred to Albank Ltd and also HSBC Bank's "banking license" was cancelled and transferred to Albank Ltd.


    [08] TCG Barbaros frigate's stay in the occupied area of Cyprus extended for ten days

    According to illegal Bayrak television (05.12.17-http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=barbaros-visit-extended) the "Cyprus Turkish security forces" has announced that "public visits to the Turkish Naval Frigate, the TCG Barbaros (F-244) docked off the coast of occupied Famagusta has been extended to Sunday- the 10th of December".

    The statement from the "Cyprus Turkish security forces" said that the "visits" to the navy warship had been extended due to high public interest.

    The ship is open to public visits between 10am and 4pm.

    [09] CHP submits documents on offshore allegations

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (04.12.17-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-submits-documents-on-offshore-allegations-123523) reported that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has submitted bank documents detailing multi-million dollar transactions between the offshore company Bellway Ltd. and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's close circle.

    The documents submitted on December 4 to the Ankara Prosecutor's Office by CHP Deputy Chair and Spokesperson Bulent Tezcan included a bank receipt, SWIFT messages and founding certificates for Bellway Ltd.

    The submission came amid a bitter spat between the CHP and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu's accusations last week that Erdogan's circles, including his family members, have conducted lucrative money transactions in the tax haven Isle of Man.

    Kilicdaroglu initially brandished the documents during the CHP's parliamentary group meeting on Nov. 28, accusing five people - including Erdogan's son Burak Erdogan, his brother Mustafa Erdogan and three others - of engaging in money trafficking estimated at around $15 million through the company.

    AKP officials reacted angrily to the accusations and denied them, urging CHP officials to either publicize the documents or hand them to the prosecutors.

    Erdogan accused K?l?cdaroglu of "lying," saying "there was no money sent abroad On the contrary, the money was sent within [Turkey]."

    "They had sold their existing companies," he said, adding that his lawyers had filed a legal complaint against Kilicdaroglu demanding non-pecuniary damages worth 1.5 million Turkish Liras.

    CHP Spokesperson Tezcan showed the original documents in a press conference on Dec. 2, saying that if the money was sent to Erdogan's close circle rather than the company "it would mean either money laundering or tax evasion."

    The Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office also launched an investigation following the spat, requesting the original documents from the main opposition party for further investigation.

    Meanwhile, the AKP Spokesman Bekir Bozdag called on Kilicdaroglu to resign on Dec. 4, saying the documents that Tezcan showed "proves that the CHP's initial argument is false."

    "These documents prove that neither our President nor anybody from his family sent a dime to any company in the Isle of Man," Bozdag said after the cabinet meeting.

    Kilicdaroglu initially argued that Erdogan's close circle "sent money to an off-shore company" but these receipts "show that there was no money sent," he added.

    "These documents are evidence showing that Kilicdaroglu is a slanderer," he said, demanding the CHP leader's resignation.

    "Mr. Kilicdaroglu, who is dishonorable now? Who is the slanderer? Who is the liar?" he added.

    However, CHP Deputy Group Chair Ozgur Ozel said that Kilicdaroglu would make a new statement on Dec. 5 concerning the Iranian-Turkish trader Reza Zarrab who is currently a key witness in a New York trial of a former Turkish state bank official.

    [10] Erdogan clarifies remarks criticizing businessmen for 'moving assets abroad'

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.12.17-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-clarifies-remarks-criticizing-businessmen-moving-assets-abroad-123522) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has assured that Turkey will continue to abide by free market economy rules and there will be no restrictions on the flow of capital outside the country, clarifying his earlier criticisms of "some business people in Turkey" for "moving their assets abroad."

    "I do not have any instructions for the restriction on capital flows," Erdogan said at a meeting in Ankara on December 4.

    "Turkey is bound to a free market economy. Everyone in Turkey has the right to transfer money abroad since 1989 and this right is in place today," he said.

    At a rally in the southeastern Anatolian town of Mus, Erdogan had said that he had information that some business people had made an effort to move their assets abroad and asked Cabinet members to deal with this issue.

    Erdogan subsequently said his words had been "misinterpreted," underlining that he had referred to a small group of businessmen who intended to move their assets because they do not trust the state of the Turkish economy.

    "We are proud of the investments made by our business people when we see them in the countries we visit. All companies - local and foreign - continue their operations in integrity with the global financial system," Erdogan stressed.

    "We cannot say a word against those who move sources abroad for investment, seeking exports or trade," he added.

    Erdogan repeated his calls to Turkish business people to adopt a "national stance" at a time when Turkey is going through "difficult days and economic pressure."

    "When will our business people defend their country, if not today? No offense, but a business person who does not defend his or her country today is not a national one," he said.

    Erdogan also stated that people linked to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO) of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen who have moved their resources from Turkey abroad "are already traitors."

    [11] Turkey warns that possible US move to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital will be a 'disaster'

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.12.17-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-warns-possible-us-move-to-recognize-jerusalem-as-israeli-capital-will-be-a-disaster-123538) reports that Turkey's government Spokesman Bekir Bozdag said on December 4 that an expected move this week by United States President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital would be a "disaster" for the region.

    "If other steps are taken for Jerusalem, whose status is under protection by international agreements, the outcome will be disastrous," Bozdag said, speaking after a Cabinet meeting.

    "Such a move would entirely abolish the peace process and pave the way for new uneasiness," he said, adding that unforeseen and open ended incidents could come up.

    "Neither Israelis nor Palestinians nor others would benefit from such a move", Bozdag said, adding also the following: "International agreements and United Nations Resolutions require the protection of Jerusalem's status, and the U.N. has a separate commitment to maintain this status. Turkey reminds everyone once again of their responsibilities and commitments at this point," he said.

    [12] "Erdogan is poised to survive the Zarrab affair"

    In a commentary in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.12.17- http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/semih-idiz/erdogan-is-poised-to-survive-the-zarrab-affair-123543) under the above title, columnist Semiz Idiz writes the following:

    "Many people in Turkey are wondering whether confessions by Reza Zarrab, revealing how he bribed government and state officials to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran, will harm President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Erdogan's name was mentioned in the court in New York, but only in passing and on the basis of a second hand account. Zarrab said that the former Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, who Zarrab alleges he showered with bribes, told him that Erdogan instructed two state banks to cooperate with him

    Experienced U.S. court reporters found it curious that the judge made no issue of this claim and let the proceedings simply move on. Whether this is normal or not, it strengthened the hand of those claiming that this is a politically motivated case. The judge could have reminded the jury that what Zarrab said about Erdogan was second hand information, but he didn't.

    Regardless of how this case proceeds, Erdogan has a good chance of being able to turn it to his advantage, having seen what Zarrab's best shot against him is. If Zarrab had a better shot he would clearly not have held back.

    Erdogan is right when he says that U.S. sanctions are not binding on Turkey because they are not sanctions agreed on by the U.N. That is what he is basing his argument in this case on. His weakness, however, is that people are not really concerned with this issue.

    What they really want to know is whether Zarrab's allegations that Erdogan's former Ministers, starting with Caglayan, as well as the head of a state bank, received tens of millions of dollars in bribes.

    The people accused by Zarrab were indicted and some including Zarrab himself were arrested on similar charges in Turkey in December 2013. These cases were promptly dropped after the government intervened, claiming that they had been initiated by supporters in the judiciary of Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher accused of masterminding the July 2016 military coup attempt.

    This turns out to be the trap that Erdogan and his government have fallen into. Almost everyone today agrees that if Zarrab and the others accused in 2013, had been tried in Turkey, matters would not have come to a head in the U.S. as they have done today.

    However, if those accused by Zarrab in New York face new indictments in Turkey, Erdogan could save the day for himself. But there is an obvious question that comes to mind at this point: What if those indicted in Turkey implicate Erdogan or members of his family?

    The judiciary in Turkey today is under executive control. The ruling party has an active and effective propaganda apparatus in place. Erdogan has a dedicated following that believes he has achieved an Islamic revolution of sorts in Turkey, which could be rolled back if he leaves the scene.

    With all of this working for him, Erdogan will easily be able to survive this affair at home. Ironically Zarrab, who is now also the subject of indictments in Turkey, is also set to survive it.

    There are reports in the U.S. media that he is likely to have been promised residency in U.S., after he serves any sentence. He may not even receive any sentence, but if he does it is likely to be minimal given his cooperation with the prosecution.

    So the only fall guy will be Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the former deputy head of state lender Halkbank. Atilla is now the only one being tried in New York and - by Zarrab's own admission - he did not even receive any bribes, but rather was forced to follow orders from above.

    Unless, that is, Erdogan issues an order for those accused of taking bribes in Turkey to also be pursued, even if they were let off in 2013. Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is the only member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who has come out to say this should happen.

    Zarrab has now spilled all the beans that the Turks are interested in. All eyes in the country will now be turned to what happens to those accused by him in Turkey.

    How Erdogan manages this process will be politically critical".



    (AK / AM)

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