A. Turkish Cypriot Press
Β. Turkish Press
According to illegal Bayrak television (29.06.18, http://www.brtk.net/rum-tarafi-kktc-ekonomisine-zarar-vermek-icin-bahanelerin-arkasina-saklaniyor/), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign affair minister, claimed that “the Greek Cypriot side is trying to damage the economy of north Cyprus by hiding behind various pretexts”.
Referring to the recent measures taken by the “Greek Cypriot authorities” to prevent Greek Cypriots from buying fuel when crossing over to the occupied area of Cyprus, Ozersay argued that such moves opposed efforts aimed at building trust and confidence between the two sides on the island. He said that such moves pushed the Turkish Cypriot side to take measures on the issue as well as other matters.
In his social media account, Ozersay posted: “The latest fashion on the Greek Cypriot side is to act in a way that damages the Turkish Cypriot economy or obstructs any benefit to our economy. It resorted to the excuse that goods or services sold in the TRNC did not meet required standards. Hiding behind these excuses!” Ozersay further claimed: “They have now launched a crackdown on those buying fuel in the North with the claim that the fuel sold here is below their standards. Is the standard of the fuel upgraded when Turkish Cypriots fill up their cars in the North and crossover to the South? Does the standard of the fuel sold here fail to meet the South’s standards when its price is cheaper?”
Ozersay wondered “whether the Greek Cypriot administration’s actions aimed at protecting its own economic interests or at hurting the Turkish Cypriot economy, damaged relations between the two sides”, “BRT” (http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-reacts-to-gcas-actions) broadcast.
Ozersay also claimed that a similar excuse had been put forward when tiles purchased from the “North” (occupied area of Cyprus) were used in a school building in “South Cyprus” (government controlled area of Cyprus), only to be pulled out on grounds that they failed to meet the necessary ‘standards’. He also gave the examples of how the “Greek Cypriot administration” created excuses not to allow tourists to be transferred to “South Cyprus” using Turkish Cypriot buses or to deny visitors from third countries at Larnaka airport.
He argued that the intention to hurt the Turkish Cypriot economy or to prevent the Turkish Cypriots from benefitting economically were behind these excuses.
Illegal Bayrak television (29.06.18 http://www.brtk.net/burcu-akaryakita-polisiye-tedbirler-kabul-edilemez/ ) broadcast that Baris Burcu, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci issued a written statement regarding the circular letter issued by the Republic of Cyprus’ Customs Department which foresees intensifying controls in the crossing points on the vehicles belonging to the Greek Cypriots who buy fuels from the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
Burcu stated that improving the relations between the two communities in Cyprus safeguarding an environment of trust is a responsibility of both communities. He went on and said that as Turkish Cypriot side they act this way with consciousness but unfortunately they do not see the same positive response from the other side. According to Burcu it is the Greek Cypriot side that put obstacles to the application of many decisions regarding confidence building measures and he claimed that introducing of an island wide mobile phone interoperability and linking the electricity grids of the two sides had failed to be implemented “because of the Greek Cypriot side’s negative stance”.
He went on adding that the attacks against Turkish Cypriots who cross to the “south” is an unfortunate fact and added that the Turkish Cypriot side has repeatedly stressed the importance and need to prevent such unfortunate and unacceptable incidents and for the responsible to be caught and brought to justice. “However, the Greek Cypriot side had unfortunately remained insensitive towards efforts aimed at increasing cooperation and establishing an environment of trust”.
“As if this was not enough, the Greek Cypriot Administration has now introduced a number of measures aimed at preventing or punishing Greek Cypriots purchasing fuel from the north”, he said.
Burcu added that the new checks introduced which he stated came up with hundreds of excuses to prevent the Green Line Regulation from being effectively implemented, was a direct warning to Greek Cypriots who shop in the “north”.
Pointing out that the value of the Turkish Lira against other foreign currencies constantly changed, Burcu said that due to this reason fuel prices in the “north” were sometimes cheaper or more expensive than prices in the “south”.
“We have never introduced such measures when prices in the South were cheaper. The Greek Cypriot side’s unacceptable and despotic stance in response to this temporary situation does not serve to develop the much needed good relations and trust between the two communities” he added.
The majority of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers (29.06.18) report on their front-page titles on the circular letter issued by the Republic of Cyprus’ Customs Department which foresees intensifying controls in the crossing points on the vehicles belonging to the Greek Cypriots who buy fuel from the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (29.06.18) reports on the issue under the front-page title: “Nikos, don’t play with fuel”. The paper points out that due to the big price difference on fuel between the “south” and the “north”, the “Greek Cypriot administration” decided to take strict measures against the Greek Cypriots who buy fuel from the “north”. Describing this decision as socking, the paper reports on the heavy fine to be imposed if Greek Cypriots continue buying fuel from the “TRNC”.
Yeni Duzen newspaper covers the issue under the title: “Barricades to fuels”. The paper writes that after the announcement of the circular, they paid a visit to Custom Department officials in the free area of the Republic of Cyprus, who have stated, inter alia, that they will launch controls and take samples from the fuel of the Greek Cypriot vehicles crossing from and to the occupied area of Cyprus. They added then that they are waiting for further instructions from the responsible Ministry for their next steps.
Vatan reports also on the issue under the title: “Penalty to those who buy fuel from the TRNC”. The paper writes that due to the increase observed recentrly on the transferring of fuel from the occupied area of Cyprus to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus because of the high difference of price, the Customs Department decided to increase the control on vehicles at the crossing points and implement penalties even to seize the cars of the Greek Cypriots.
Following are the titles of other newspapers on the issue:
-Gunes: “Greek Cypriot fascism”
-Volkan: “Such hostility and such racism is unprecedented. Heavy penalty to those who buy fuel from the TRNC”. The paper writes that the “Greek Cypriot administration”, which on the one hand states that its supports the relaunching of the Cyprus negotiation process, the solution and the United Cyprus, has revealed once again with the jesture, its real face. The paper underlines that this shocking decision remained unanswered by all Turkish Cypriot officials, not only the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci but also the “government” and the “foreign ministry”.
-Diyalog: “Pressure and threats”. The vehicles of the Greek Cypriots who buy fuel from the “TRNC” will be seized and they will be forced to pay 4 euro/per litre penalty.
-Kibris Postasi: “Unreasonable measures at the crossing points for the cheap fuels from the TRNC”. The paper writes that the cheap prices on fuels in the “TRNC” and the price difference on fuel in the “north” and the “south” has caused discomfort in the government in the “south”, which decided to implement unreasonable measures.
-Demokrat Bakis: “One more embargo”. The paper writes that the circular issued by the “Greek Cypriot administrations’ Customs Department”, to increase fuel checks at the crossing points to the vehicles crossing to and from the “TRNC” has been set into force as of yesterday. The paper writes that even though reactions were expressed in the “TRNC” against this new implementation, the issue became a subject of criticism in the south as well since it is considered as another embargo.
-Haberal Kibrisli: “Embargo on fuel from the south to the north”. The paper reports that the “chairman” of the “petrol station union” Levent Caglar, in exclusive statements to the paper commented on the Republic of Cyprus’ decision to prohibit the fuel buy from the “north”, arguing that there is no problem with the quality of the fuel they used in the “TRNC”. He further alleged that the fuel in the occupied area of Cyprus comply with the EU standards.
-Halkin Sesi: “No tolerance even for the fuel from the TRNC”.
Moreover, columnist Resat Akar, in his column in Turkish daily Diyalog (29.06.18) reports on the same issue, describing the “Greek Cypriot administration’s decision” as ‘shameful’ from the point of view that it makes threats with penalties and imprisonment those who buy fuel from the “TRNC”. “Spreading the fear among the people, especially in a period where efforts are exerted to reach a solution on the Cyprus problem and bringing laws with threats and blackmails is unacceptable”, supports the columnist. Akar described also the excuse provided by the Greek Cypriot side that the fuel used in the occupied area of Cyprus do not comply with the EU standards as ridiculous. He then calls the “TRNC officials” to make statements on the issue.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (29.06.18) reports that delegations of the so-called assembly held “high level meetings” in Europe.
A delegation consists of the “deputies” of the Republican People’s Party (CTP) Fikri Toros, the People’s Party (HP) Erek Cagatay and the National Unity Party (UBP) Oguzhan Hasipoglu held contacts in Brussels and also met with members of the Belgian Senate.
In addition, CTP “deputy” Armagan Candar and UBP “deputy” Ersan Saner participated in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) which took place between 25-29 of June.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (29.06.18) reports that Zehra Bay will be the new deputy chairwoman of the Revival Party (Tr.Note: The settlers party) after the resignation of Mehmet Unal Bay. She will be responsible for research developments regarding the party.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/no-return-from-procurement-of-russian-missiles-turkish-presidential-spokesperson-133935), Turkey will not retreat from procuring the Russian S-400 anti-missile defence systems despite U.S. warnings for sanctions, Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalin said on June 28.
“Turkey will not step back from its decision even if they [U.S.] will apply sanctions,” Kalın told Bloomberg. The Turkish government will decide for itself which defence system and technology it will purchase, he added.
The spokesman stated that Ankara would always prefer to keep good relations with its ally the U.S., but it “will not allow limitations on its sovereignty”. “Let’s see what they will put forward as sanctions. We will take steps accordingly. Turkey’s determination will not step back on its determination,” Kalın said.
“There is no question of returning from here. Agreements were made, signatures were rolled out, [the systems] will be delivered next year,” he said.
Elaborating on the U.S. call for halting oil imports from Iran, Kalın said Turkey will act in line with its economic interests. “Iran is our neighbour, an important economic partner. We will not get into any engagement that would risk all these,” he said.
On April 3, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Ankara that they had agreed to shorten the duration of the systems’ delivery. The delivery is expected to start in either late 2019 or early 2020.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (29.06.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/russia-iran-us-have-responsibility-in-ceasefire-violations-in-syrias-deraa-fm-3415094), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Russia, Iran and the United States have a responsibility in the violations of the ceasefire in Syria's Deraa. "Syria regime guarantor countries are Iran and Russia, opposition's guarantor country is Turkey. Then the U.S. and Russia made the de-conflict zone deal," the Foreign Minister said on Friday.
"The Assad regime attacked those areas, who did the agreements? U.S. and Russia. If those deals are broken, then Geneva, Astana, Sochi meetings will be irrelevant," he added.
The number of people who fled the Syrian regime attacks in Daraa to border areas of Jordan and Israel rose to 150,000 on Friday, according to the White Helmets civil defence agency in Syria. (…)
Turkey on Friday condemned the Bashar al-Assad-led regime attacks carried out against civilians in the southwestern Syrian provinces of Daraa and Quneitra. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy in a statement said: "In Syria's southwestern provinces of Daraa and Quneitra that were declared as de-escalation zones by a memorandum signed in Astana, hundreds of innocent people have been assassinated in the Syrian regime's attacks targeting civilians." (…)
Turkey does not believe positive steps will be taken with the European Union while Austria holds the presidency of the bloc this year, Cavusoglu said, reflecting the tensions between Ankara and Vienna. Cavusoglu also said he does not expect positive steps on opening new chapters for Turkey's EU accession bid, but will discuss visa liberalisation with EU officials. (…)
The European Union leaders on Friday agreed to release the second €3 billion ($3.72 billion) tranche in assistance for Syrian refugees in Turkey. (…)
U.S. President Donald Trump promised that the necessary steps for the sales of the F-35 fighter jets to Turkey would be taken, Cavusoglu said. (…)
Turkey will not cut off trade ties with Iran at the behest of other countries, Cavusoglu said, after the United States this week told countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil from November. Turkey is dependent on imports for almost all of its energy needs. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year said Turkey was looking to raise the volume of its annual trade with Iran to $30 billion, from $10 billion.
Columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (29.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/murat-yetkin/turkey-prepares-for-more-roles-in-nato-133931), argues that amid claims that it no longer has a place in the Western defence alliance, Turkey is preparing for a greater role in the new NATO strategy expected to be approved in the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11-12.
Yetkin writes: “It is not in vain that United States President Donald Trump told Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan he was looking forward to meeting him during the NATO Summit, which will be Erdogan’s first international conference after being re-elected on June 24, in a phone call with the Turkish President on June 26 to congratulate him on winning the June 24 elections. Among the decisions expected to be taken at the summit, there are strategic topics involving Turkey.
One of them is for Turkey to assume the command of NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) in 2021. (…) According to NATO documents, the idea was to “better respond to the changing security environment to the east and south of the Alliance’s borders.” Turkey, the most southeastern member of the alliance, neighbour both Russia and Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Iraq, and Syria.(…)
Now, NATO is expected to approve a new strategy with more emphasis on collective defence, combat readiness, mobility, and cyber warfare. It is called the NATO Readiness Initiative (NRI). (…) Member countries are expected to allocate the military units to be attached to this initiative by 2020. Turkey is among the few countries expected to assign additional military headquarters, which would be in direct contact with the new command to be formed (together with Spain and Poland).
Ankara is planning to suggest the 3rd Army Corps Headquarters in Istanbul as the contact headquarters for the NRI, which had also previously been designated for the NATO Response Force (NRF) since 2002. (…)
Another issue expected to be on the NATO agenda during the summit is to increase the NATO presence in the Black Sea considering the increased presence of Russia, especially after the annexation of Crimea. Turkey is the NATO member with the longest shore to the Black Sea and naval bases. (…)
“Turkey abides by all NATO decisions taken,” one official source has told Hürriyet Daily News. “But we have two reservations, such as the binding clauses of the Montreux agreement and to not attempt any action to agitate Russia, which we have not seen any violation of so far from our allies.” (…)
The new roles Turkey is expected to assume in addition to the current ones in the Western Alliance was discussed between the Turkish leadership and Stoltenberg during the latter’s meetings in Ankara on April 16-17 this year.
On the other hand, the U.S. and NATO object to the Turkish government’s purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missiles to be integrated to Turkey’s NATO interoperable air defence. Another rift is about the continued arrest of the American pastor Andrew Brunson. Those issues might come up in Erdogan’s contacts in Brussels. Turkey has demands from NATO as well. For some time, Turkey has been asking NATO and its biggest ally the U.S. for more cooperation and understanding in the fight against terror. (…)”
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/five-more-people-arrested-for-swearing-at-erdogan-in-turkeys-izmir-133913), a court in the western İzmir province on June 27 ordered the arrest of five people who allegedly swore at President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ahead of a rally of Muharrem İnce, the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate. The suspects were charged with insulting a state leader.
Prosecutors launched an investigation after video footages allegedly showing people shouting expletives against Erdogan at a restaurant were shared on social media.
Seven people had already been arrested on the same charges in İzmir, making the number of people remanded in the same case increase to 12. Prosecutors had issued detention warrants for a total of 15 people in connection with the case.
Meanwhile, Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (28.06.18, https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/06/28/17-more-teachers-sought-by-prosecutor-over-gulen-links/) reported that detention warrants were issued on Thursday for 17 teachers as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
According to the report, as part of an Ankara probe police conducted operations in seven provinces and detained five of 17 teachers who were former staff members of schools closed down by a state of emergency decree following a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
Some of the teachers were accused of using a smart phone application known as ByLock and having account in Bank Asya, which was seized in 2015 and closed down by the Turkish government following the coup attempt. (…)
Furthermore, Turkish Minute (28.06.18, https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/06/28/detention-warrants-issued-for-57-military-personnel-over-alleged-gulen-links/) also reports that the Batman Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday issued detention warrants for 57 active duty military personnel as part of an investigation into the faith-based Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Turkish authorities on Wednesday had ordered the detention of 192 military personnel in operations targeting suspected supporters of the Gülen movement. (…)
The ruling AKP government dismissed 24,977 military members including 150 generals, 4,630 officers, 2,167 noncommissioned officers, 1,210 specialized sergeants, 411 civil servants and workers, and 16,409 cadets following the failed coup over alleged links to the Gülen movement. (…)
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