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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 18-02-13
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW
CONTENTSNo. 31/18 13.02.18
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Erdogan threatens Cyprus and GreeceUnder the title "Very hard warning by Erdogan to Greece and the US", Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (13.02.18, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/erdogandan-yunanistana-cok-sert-uyari-haddini-asanlari-ikaz-ediyorum-40740320) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has argued that no one should think that the "opportunistic initiatives" regarding the natural gas researches in Cyprus' open sea and the rocks in the Aegean escaped Turkey's attention. Addressing Justice and Development Party's (AKP) parliamentary group today at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Erdogan alleged:
"Let no one think that the opportunistic initiatives regarding the natural gas researches in Cyprus' open sea and the rocks in the Aegean escape our attention. From here we warn those who go beyond their limits in Cyprus and the Aegean that they should not make wrong calculations. We cannot leave by side this state understanding we have and say help yourselves. […] We are currently watching the developments in the area with the authority of security units for any kind of interference when this is necessary. We advise the companies, which are active in the open sea of Cyprus, not to go beyond their limits by trusting the Greek Cypriot side. Their swaggering is until they see our army, our ships, our airplanes. Whatever is Afrin for us, the same thing is our rights in the Aegean, in Cyprus. In every step we take in the area it is seen how important and correct the Olive Branch operation is. Our warships, our air forces are closely watching for making any kind of interference when it is necessary […]"
Referring to the US, he alleged: "As if it is not enough that our strategic partner, our ally provides financial aid, weapons to the PYD, it will influence the decision we have taken and what we have decided to do. The following should be known. Turkey is not a nomadic state. We have a state understanding of centuries. We do whatever is necessary. […] NATO is not tantamount to the United States of America. All countries of NATO are equal with the USA. If you come and say to us that the YPG is not a terrorist organization, take it to the one side. If this terrorist organization attacks a country which is your ally, as NATO member you should stand against this. […]"
 More about the tension in the MediterraneanUnder the front-page title: "War of nerves in the Mediterranean", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (13.02.18) reports on the escalation of tension in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus, claiming that "the Greek Cypriots who consider as EEZ the area around the whole of the island, cannot endure the fact that they were stopped by Turkish warship offshore Famagusta".
The paper writes further that while we have reached the fourth day of the tension in the Mediterranean, the Greek Cypriots have called for an extraordinary meeting of their National Council and are preparing to make a fuss in the international arena.
In statements to ADA TV, Dr. Huseyin Isiksal, «expert on international relations", also claimed that the tension is inevitable since the Greek Cypriots consider that Turkey's EEZ is 41 thousand meters square but in fact is 145 thousand meter square.
 Self-styled government's program was discussed at the "assembly" – "Vote of confidence" is expected on ThursdayTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (13.02.18) reports that the "program" of the self-styled four-party "coalition government" between the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), People's Party (HP), Democratic Party (DP) and Social Democracy Party (TDP) was discussed yesterday at the "assembly" until late at night.
Under the title "The Cyprus problem is absent from the program", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (13.02.18) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), criticized the "government" because no reference was made to the Cyprus problem in the program. Ozgurgun said that this is the first time that the Cyprus problem is not included in a "government program".
The chairman of the settlers' Revival Party (YDP), Erhan Arikli also criticized the "government" on this issue and wondered why the "coalition partners" did not include in their "program" things which they have been promising to do for years.
Replying to the criticism, Asim Akansoy, "deputy" with the CTP, argued that they started from the "realities" in their "program" and gave no promise that they could not keep.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (13.02.18) refers on its front page to Ozgurgun's statements, who alleged that the "government" does not reflect the "people's" will and that it is actually a five-party and not a four-party "coalition", since Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci is also included in it. Ozgurgun criticized both the absence of the Cyprus problem in the "government's program" and the fact that no statement was made by the "government" after a "series of events" which took place after the presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.02.18) reports that replying to the criticism, "prime minister" Tufan Erhurman argued that the four parties have agreed on the basic principles and admitted that they have not included the Cyprus problem in their program, but when they have to make a joint statement on this issue they will try to do it and when they cannot reach an agreement on making a joint statement, the four parties will share with the "people" their different views.
The paper refers also to Arikli's statements who alleged that the "oath" taken by CTP's "deputy" Dogus Derya when assuming her "duties" was not valid. Arikli claimed that Derya should repeat her "oath", because otherwise this would constitute a "bad precedent".
According to Yeni Duzen, the new "government" is expected to receive a "vote of confidence" on Thursday. The four parties have 27 "seats" in the "assembly".
 Commentary: "IPC could be a game changer in the Cyprus solution"Columnist Barcin Yinanc, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.02.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/barcin-yinanc/the-era-of-young-politicians-in-turkish-cyprus-127216), under the title "The era of young politicians in Turkish Cyprus", argues that reviewing the activities of the 'Immovable Property Commission' may be a "game changer" in Cyprus in the following commentary:
"One of the core difficulties to the solution of the Cyrus problem is power-sharing. Turkish Cypriot politicians have been pushing their Greek interlocutors for better power-sharing formulas once the island is finally united. Ironically, they have now placed themselves in a domestic experience of power-sharing.
The right-wing National Unity Party (UBP) won the parliamentary elections but failed to secure a majority to form a government, prompting four of the other five parties that entered parliament to set up a coalition. The common denominator of this coalition seems to be their opposition to what they claim to be bad governance and corruption of the UBP. As a result, good governance, clean politics and ending clientelism stand out as the main priority in their government's program, which is scheduled to be voted in parliament on Feb. 14.
So Valentine's Day will be the start of a crowded marriage but will also mark the start of a new era in Turkish Cyprus with young figures like Tufan Erhurman, Kudret Ozersay and Nami Ozdil taking the helm to govern the country [the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus].
While the four parties are not on the same page on the tenets of the solution to the Cyprus problem, interestingly they seem to have reached an understanding on how to move ahead on the property issue, which is at the heart of the decades-long division of the island.
According to the government program, the coalition will revive the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) whose workings were stalled in the course of the past four to five years. Established in the mid 2000's to evaluate Greek Cypriots' claims and accepted by the European Court of Human Rights as an effective remedy, the IPC is basically a nightmare for Greek Cyprus. If all Greek Cypriots with property left in Morphou applied to the IPC and were compensated one way or another (but mostly in cash rather than the return of the properties) what incentive would be left for the Greek Cypriot administration [Cyprus government] to push for the return of Morphou to the South? Apply this to all the Greek Cypriot properties left in the North.
That's why the Greek Cypriot administration has been tremendously anxious about the workings of the IPC, threatening potential applicants with sanctions in its initial years.
As threats proved fruitless, it seems they are about to introduce some incentives to prevent potential applicants by compensating the loss of the use of properties.
If your opponent is alarmed by a specific measure and introduces moves to counter it that proves your measure does the job in putting pressure on your opponent. In that case what do you do? Do you work for the full exercise of that measure, or do you just neglect it to the point of rendering it obsolete?
What happened in the Turkish Cypriot case was the latter. Some 6,000 applications are waiting to be resolved by the IPC. Obviously the prospect of peace during the talks between leaders Mustafa Akinci and Nikos Anastasiades has slowed down the workings of the commission, but the domestic resistance of current property owners, slow bureaucracy and the financial aspect of the issue stalling the commission have also contributed.
The government program pledges to do all the domestic arrangements necessary to revive the IPC and says measures will be taken for a new financial model to support it.
On the latter point, the Turkish government does not want to be the full sponsor and wants Turkish Cypriots' contribution too. What happens is that once the original Greek Cypriot owner of a property is compensated (with a sum that is way below its current value) that property's value triples or quadruples in a day as it no longer becomes a contested property, elevating the current owner to the category of a "wealthy person". Ankara's proposals to impose taxes in such cases have been turned down so far as imposing taxes is never popular among voters.
'Deputy prime minister and foreign minister' Kudret Ozersay hinted in his first interview that such measures could be taken. If the workings of the IPC will gain steam, it could be a game changer in the Cyprus solution and that will be the success of the new generation of politicians in the North.
Love inspires optimism, as the new government is set to start working officially on Valentine's Day. This might be a good sign to be hopeful."
 Turkey's ties with US reaching a point of no return, says Foreign MinisterTurkish daily Sabah newspaper (12.02.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/erdogan-us-financial-support-for-ypg-terrorists-will-affect-turkeys-decisions-3104593) with the above title reported that Ankara has said the U.S. needs to take concrete steps for a solution to salvage ties ahead of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's visit to Turkey on Thursday. The news comes as bilateral ties are at stake because of Washington's support for PKK-affiliated groups in northern Syria. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said yesterday that relations with the U.S. are close to a full collapse and Ankara expects tangible moves from the U.S. regarding its partnership with the People's Protection Units (YPG).
Commenting on the current strained ties, Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m said yesterday that the U.S. needs to think about its stance in relation to its support to the YPG.
Referring to Turkey's ongoing operation in Afrin against the YPG, during a press conference with FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, Y?ld?r?m said: "Terrorism is the greatest threat for us. The U.S. needs to make reasonable decisions as Turkey's NATO ally and strategic partner."
Cavusoglu said that the U.S.'s unfulfilled promises concerning Manbij and various issues including the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO) have caused a loss of trust and added: "The missing trust needs to be restored. The reason for that missing trust is the U.S."
Amid the increased tension between the two countries, U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson will pay a visit to Turkey. Cavusoglu said that it will be a significant meeting in which they will discuss the Afrin operation and the current situation in Syria.
 Yildirim to meet with Merkel during visit to GermanyAccording to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (12.02.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/02/12/pm-yildirim-to-meet-with-chancellor-merkel-during-visit-to-germany), Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday at the Chancellery in Berlin as part of his visit to Germany to attend a security conference in Munich.
Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday that the two leaders will be discussing bilateral relations as well as recent international and regional developments.
Relations between the two countries have been strained since the defeated coup in Turkey last year, as Turkish politicians criticized their German counterparts for failing to show strong solidarity with Ankara against the attempted military takeover and the decision in Germany to ban rallies by Turkish Ministers and the President last year.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said last week that the Turkish government is hoping for the "opening of a new page in Turkish-German relations," noting diplomatic efforts and the forming of a new coalition in Berlin.
Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.02.18) reported that Yildirim is scheduled to pay a 2-day official visit to Belarus on Wednesday, the Prime Ministry's Press Office said on Monday.
Yildirim will have a one-to-one meeting with his Belarussian counterpart Andrei Kobyakov; delegations from both sides were also expected to meet, the office said in a statement. The premier is also expected to meet Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko during his visit.
The meetings will discuss bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues.
Yildirim is also expected to attend the closing session of the Turkey-Belarus Business Forum, alongside Kobyakov.
 HDP lawmakers under investigation over Afrin operation commentsAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.02.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hdp-lawmakers-under-investigation-over-afrin-operation-comments-127188), the Ankara Prosecutor's Office has launched criminal investigations into the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan and HDP Deputy Sirri Sureyya Oncer over their criticism of Turkey's ongoing military operation in Syria's Afrin during the party's annual convention on Feb. 11.
The investigation came a day after the HDP convened its third regular congress in Ankara, at which Buldan was elected as the new co-leader. In speeches at the congress, Buldan and Onder had criticized Turkey's ongoing "Operation Olive Branch" into the northern Syrian district of Afrin.
The prosecutor stated that the investigation was initiated "because of statements that amount to praising the leader of a terror organization and promote [the PKK], working to depict Operation Olive Branch, which has been carried out legitimately within the boundaries of international law, as an operation carried out against the Kurdish population."
Speaking to reporters on Feb. 12, Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m said the prosecutor's office has "done what was necessary". "Before anything else, a political party active in Turkey should announce publicly that it has cut its ties with terror organizations. That is what we expect", Y?ld?r?m said, accusing the HDP of "losing its legitimacy".
"No one has the luxury of committing a crime. If there is a crime, justice will be applied," he added.
The investigations come after Ferhat Encu on Feb. 7 became the latest HDP deputy to be formally stripped of his MP status, after he was convicted of terror charges. Seven HDPs' Deputies have been stripped of their parliamentary status since a legal change removing parliamentary immunity was passed in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Ankara Prosecutor's Office has also prepared separate indictment for Buldan on accusations of being a "member of an armed terror organization" over a number of speeches she delivered between 2008 and 2015.
 474 detained last week in Turkey for 'promoting PYD/PKK on social media'According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.02.18), a total of 474 suspects were detained across Turkey last week for "promoting" the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) on social media, the Interior Ministry stated on Feb. 12.
In a written statement, the Ministry said Turkish security forces arrested the suspects during nationwide raids, amid the military's ongoing "Operation Olive Branch" in the northeastern Syrian district of Afrin. Some 192 suspects were also detained over involvement in protests against the Afrin operation.
The statement added security forces carried out 1,053 counter-terror operations between Feb. 5 and Feb. 12. Some 25 militants were "neutralized" in these operations, 353 were captured on charges of aiding and abetting the PKK, and 66 others were taken into custody for alleged links to ISIL, the Ministry added.
 Turkey to rename US Embassy's street in Ankara as 'Olive Branch'According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (12.02.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-to-rename-us-embassys-street-in-ankara-as-olive-branch-3104540), the name of the street where the American Embassy is located in Ankara will be changed, the capital's municipality announced Monday.
The street is set to be renamed as "Olive Branch," in honour of the martyrs that fell during the ongoing Operation Olive Branch, which was launched by Turkey on Jan. 20 in Syria's northwestern Afrin region.
Ankara Mayor Mustafa Tuna announced that the municipality signed an offer for the name change, noting that a draft will be presented at the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality council on Monday evening, to change the name of the street from "Nevzat Tandogan" to "Olive Branch."
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