No. 157/18 15-16.08.18
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (16.08.18 http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n260365-akinci-eylul-ayinda-new-yorkda-kibris-sorununun-cozumune-yon ) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci made a statement regarding the Cyprus negotiation to the press, following a meeting he held with “officials” of the “government”.
Akinci stated that the efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will continue and the first meetings will be held in New York in September.
Akinci’s statement is as follows:
"Next month will be the month that all the relevant actors will meet in New York, possibly in the last days of September, with the UN Secretary General Guterres.
Meanwhile, the UN envoy Jane Holl Lute met both with us, with the leader of south Cyprus and with the Foreign Minister of Turkey.
She will held meetings in the first half of September in Athens, London and Brussels. Therefore, she will present her report to the Secretary General in the middle of September. We will evaluate the steps to be taken in the light of that report together with the Secretary General.
Our wish is that the situation that will emerge is the basis for a good development in Cyprus.
In this sense, we said what we had to say for so long. I do not want to repeat them. I wish that the road of logic and wisdom will be found.
Finding the common sense is not only necessary and useful for the economy but also for the solution of the Cyprus problem”, he stated.
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.08.18) reports that Binali Yildirim, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), has alleged that Turkey had always been by the side of the Turkish Cypriot “people” in their “just cause” and that it will continue to do so. In statements during a meeting with Teberruken Ulucay, “speaker” of the self-styled assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Yildirim argued that they have the power to overcome every difficulty by showing solidarity, unity and brotherhood both in the good and in the bad days.
Yildirim said also that, during his term of duty, he will exert every effort to “increase the recognition of the TRNC in the world” and added that Ulucay will participate in the Meeting of Eurasian Speakers of Parliament, which will be held in Turkey between 8 and 11 October this year. He said that until now, the Speakers of Parliament of 30 countries have stated that they will participate in the meeting and added that the participation will increase.
In his statements, Ulucay said that they attach importance to their international relations, that they are represented by two “deputies” in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and that three “deputies” visit the European Parliament (EP) once a month for consultations. He noted that their target is for the international relations of the “assembly” to become more effective and added that they want to benefit from TGNA’s experience in this field. Referring to the economic problems in the occupied area and the recent extraordinary meeting of the “assembly”, Ulucay argued that they will act together with Turkey and overcome these problems.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.08.18) reports that Binali Yildirim, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), has alleged that there is always an opportunity for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, but first “south Cyprus”, as he described the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus, should be mentally ready for the solution. In statements yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus during a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Yildirim claimed the following on the Cyprus problem: “A solution that ignores the political equality of the TRNC is unthinkable. Therefore, the unilateral seizure of the common interests in the sea and ashore of the island without producing this solution will be a source of disagreement and unrest. As the government and the Parliament of Turkey, we will always be in solidarity with the TRNC, just like we have been in the past. The prosperity and happiness of the Turkish Cypriot people is equivalent to the happiness of the Turkish nation”.
Referring to the economic crisis and the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, Yildirim reiterated that whatever exists in Turkey it will also exist in the occupied area of Cyprus and added that the occupied area is also influenced by the “international attacks” against Turkey. He noted that they will continue taking measures against this “asymmetric attack” and expressed the view that it would be a mistake to evaluate this only as an attack against Turkey, because all the economies of the world, from Japan to Spain, are influenced to a certain degree.
In his statement, Akinci argued that “common sense” is needed in Turkey and the occupied area of Cyprus to overcome the economic crisis and added that today he would discuss with the political parties participating in the “coalition government” the package of proposals, submitted by the “government” to the “assembly” for dealing with the crisis. “Some forces which are thousands of kilometers away are creating confusion and are trying to protect their own interests”, he argued expressing the view that the states and the societies of the region should establish a common platform of solidarity.
Referring to the issue of the island’s natural resources, Akinci claimed that if reason is used both the communities of the island and other states of the area, Turkey, Greece and the EU will be able to benefit from these resources. He also alleged the following: “An opportunity derives from every crisis. Europe was the one that stood closer to Turkey during this crisis. If Europe abandons the policies of excluding Turkey, I consider this as an opportunity deriving from the crisis”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.08.18) reports that Binali Yildirim, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), has alleged that conditions, in which both sides will agree on the issue of the use of the island’s underground and above the ground natural resources, should be created and claimed that no unilateral initiative which ignores “TRNC’s sovereign rights” will be tolerated and accepted. In statements yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus during a meeting with self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman, Yildirim argued that Turkey will not hesitate to take steps on this issue as guarantor power. He also alleged that the Greek Cypriot side has lost the opportunities given to it for a solution and argued that they do not wish this to happen again.
Claiming that the security and the future of the Turkish Cypriots are under Turkey’s responsibility, Yildirim argued the following referring to the Greek Cypriots: “If the solution exists in the minds and their hearts, they must show this will. They must abandon the method of using time in their favor. The Turks of Cyprus will not wait for them forever”.
In his statements, Erhurman alleged that the efforts on behalf of the international community and the Turkish Cypriots should continue for the Greek Cypriots to stop considering that time works in their favor. He claimed that the international community should create an environment in which the Greek Cypriots will see that the non-solution works against them as well. Erhurman also alleged that the “people of the TRNC” want a solution, but they expect a solution process focused on the result. He also argued that negotiations for the sake of negotiations should not be held.
Illegal Bayrak (15.08.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=yildirim-in-the-trnc) broadcast that the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Binali Yıldırım speaking at Esenboğa Airport before his departure from Turkey to the breakaway regime , said that “Turkey’s support and efforts to increase the TRNC’s presence on the international platform will continue”.
He also said that the “Turkish Cypriot people and motherland Turkey had entered a sensitive period in light of the recent developments as well as the deadlock on the Cyprus problem”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (16.08.18) reports that the general secretary of the Revival Party (YDP) Turan Buyukyilmaz condemned the so-called government for the package of economic measures announced concerning the crisis experienced with the remarkable loss of the TL against foreign currencies and in order to deal with the consequences deriving from the devaluation of the Turkish lira (TL).
Referring especially to the “measure” announced by the so-called government to receive 5% allowance on the minimum wage for the children of the “workers who are working in the TRNC with working and residence permit”, Buyukyilmaz described this measure as unethical and inhuman and called on the so-called government to remove it immediately. “We call on the government to remove the article 23 from the economic package since it is meaningless, inhuman and unethical. Taking into consideration that the 80% of the workers with working permit in the country are citizens of the Turkish Republic, we realize in fact against whom is this measure was taken for”, Buyukyilmaz argued.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (15.08.18) reported that the chairman of the opposition National Unity Party (UBP) in the occupied area of Cyprus, Huseyin Ozgurgun, condemned the so-called government for the package of economic measures announced, saying that this is insufficient. Ozgurgun said that they have experienced several crises in the past, including several crises in the Cyprus problem and argued that it is not the “assembly” that should handle this crisis but the “government”.
Speaking yesterday during the “extraordinary meeting” of the so-called assembly, Ozgurgun said that they experience an emergency period and called on the so-called government to implement even “bitter recipe” measures in order to overpass the economic crisis.
According to illegal Bayrak television (http://www.brtk.net/ktoeosdan-kibrisli-ogrenciler-icin-avrupa-komisyonu-ve-avrupa-parlamentosuna-cagri/-16.08.18) the chairwoman of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS) Selma Eylem, issuing a written statement, has called on the European Commission and the European Parliament to provide the necessary conveniences to the Turkish Cypriots who study in several EU countries.
Pointing out to the economic destruction experienced in the “TRNC” due to the remarkable decrease of the value of the TL against foreign currencies which derives from the social and political policies followed by the AKP power in Turkey, Eylem underlined the problems with currency experienced not only by the students who study in the “TRNC” but also with the students who study abroad.
Eylem announced also that he had sent a letter to the Representative of the European Commission in Cyprus Ierotheos Papadopoulos and the Head of the European Parliament in Cyprus Andreas Kettis, asking for an appointments in order to discuss possible proposals and measures that could be taken in order to provide solution to the problems experienced by Turkish Cypriot students who study abroad related with the foreign currency crisis.
Eylem announced also that among the proposals they have for the Turkish Cypriot students who study in EU countries is to “provide scholarships with private statues to the Turkish Cypriot students who study in EU countries and to provide them the opportunity to be granted with loans and credits in order to be able to cover their house rent and personal expenses”.
Eylem has called on the European Commission and the European Parliament to support and back the Turkish Cypriots, claiming that they are for long-years victims of the non-solution in Cyprus, were divested from the rights deriving from the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus and the EU, were not being able to be completely benefited as EU citizens and were abandoned to their fate with the “unilateral” accession of Cyprus to the EU.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.08.18) reports that Ersin Tatar, so-called deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP) in the occupied part of Lefkosia, announced that he will be “candidate” for the chairmanship of the party.
Stressing the need for the party’s general congress date to be determined the soonest possible; Tatar said that “the party needs a better leadership”.
Meanwhile, according to the paper, the party’s central committee is expected to convene today in order to determine the date of the party’s next general congress.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.08.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkish-court-rejects-us-pastor-s-appeal-to-end-arrest/1231813) reports that a criminal high court in the Aegean province of Izmir on Wednesday rejected American pastor Andrew Craig Brunson's appeal to end his house arrest and lift a travel ban on him.
Recently, the court had allowed Brunson to be moved from jail and placed him under house arrest in view of his "health problems".
Brunson is charged with spying for the PKK -- a designated terrorist group in the U.S. and Turkey -- and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey which martyred 251 people and injured thousands.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.08.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-agrees-with-russia-over-partial-lifting-of-visas/1232633) reports that Ankara agrees with Russia in principle on its lifting of visas for businessmen, truck drivers and service passport holders, Turkey’s Foreign Minister said.
Speaking at a dinner on the sidelines of the 10th Ambassadors' Conference in the Turkish capital, Mevlut Cavusoglu said he had discussions Tuesday with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on the lifting of visas for Turkish citizens and also exchanged views on Syria and Idlib.
"Of course our desire is the total lifting of visas," Cavusoglu said.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday in a statement that Moscow is "willing" to lift the visa regime in some categories for Turkish citizens.
Following Turkey’s shooting down of an intruding Russian military jet over the Turkey-Syria border in November 2015, Russia imposed a range of unilateral sanctions on Turkey, including a ban on food imports and an end to visa-free travel.
On visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in EU countries, Cavusoglu said ongoing efforts would be intensified on the matter.
“We will meet with our teams, including [Turkey’s] new Deputy Foreign Ministers and the First Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, in the coming days,” he added.
Turning to relations with the U.S., Cavusoglu said that despite differences between the two sides, Turkey is open to resolving matters in a diplomatic way.
“Despite everything, we are open to discussing everything as an equal partner in order to resolve all existing problems, but on one condition: There will be no threatening language.”
Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations following Washington’s imposition of sanctions on two government Ministers for not releasing American pastor Andrew Brunson, who faces terrorism-related charges in Turkey.
Cavusoglu also said that Turkey and the U.S. can solve everything by coming together and talking.“We are all for it,” he added.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.08.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/qatar-to-make-direct-investment-of-15b-in-turkey/1232425) reports that Qatar will make $15 billion of direct investment in Turkey, Qatar’s leader said on a visit to Ankara on Wednesday, said Turkey’s presidential spokesman.
"Qatar has pledged $15 billion of direct investments in Turkey," tweeted Ibrahim Kalin after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar's Emir, in the capital Ankara.
“Turkish-Qatari relations are based on solid foundations of true friendship and solidarity,” Kalin added.
According to the Turkish presidential press office, Erdogan and al-Thani also exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional developments during their three-hour meeting.
In an interview Wednesday with Anadolu Agency, Qatar’s Ambassador to Turkey Salem bin Mubarak Al-Shafi said: “The state of Qatar is always proactive in supporting its Turkish brothers.”
Al-Thani’s visit, the diplomat said, “will serve to confirm the close links between the Qatari and Turkish people and their common positions vis-à-vis the many challenges they face.”
He added: “Our strong relations with the Republic of Turkey enjoy a special status among our people.”
Tweeting later on Wednesday, al-Thani said: "We are together with Turkey and our brothers there, who stand by Qatar and problems of the Ummah."
Al-Thani said they have announced an investment project package worth $15 billion in Turkey which has a "productive, strong and solid economy".
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his meeting with al-Thani was "very productive and positive".
Erdogan thanked the Emir and the Qatari people for standing with Turkey.
"Our relations with friendly and brotherly country Qatar will continue to strengthen in many areas," the president wrote on his Twitter account.
In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.08.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-lira-rebounds-after-qatar-pledges-15-billion-135851) reports that the Turkish lira is rebounding after Qatar pledged US$15 billion in investments to help Turkey’s economy.
The currency strengthened some 3 % against the dollar on Aug. 16, trading at around 5.75 per dollar, hours before Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister is scheduled to reassure international investors about the economy.
The lira had nosedived in recent weeks, hitting 7.24 last week, amid a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States.
The currency recovered after authorities took steps to help bank liquidity and limit swap transactions.
Moreover, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (15,08.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/talks-with-us-to-continue-if-it-shows-constructive-stance-turkey-135823) also reported that Turkey's presidential spokesman said that he expected problems with the United States, which battered lira, to be resolved but Washington must stop trying to influence Turkey's judiciary.
İbrahim Kalın told a news conference that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will speak to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Aug. 15 and with French President Emmanuel Macron on Aug. 16 about Turkey's ongoing row with the U.S.
The request for talks with Erdoğan came from German and French leaders, Kalın stated.
Kalın said that Turkey would exercise its rights if the U.S. does not deliver F-35 jets to Ankara.
The lira, which gained some strength against the dollar on Aug. 15, would continue to recover, he added. "We see that an improvement [in Turkish Lira's value] has begun thanks to the measures our state has adopted. We do not support a trade war."
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.08.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkeys-erdogan-merkel-discuss-developments-on-phone/1232264) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke over the phone on Wednesday about recent developments, according to presidential sources.
The two leaders confirmed their commitment to strengthening cooperation through mutual high-level visits and contacts, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Erdogan and Merkel agreed that Turkey's Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and Germany's Economy Minister Peter Altmaier will meet in the coming days.
They also discussed recent developments, as well as Erdogan’s upcoming official visit to Germany set for Sept. 28-29. Erdogan last paid Berlin an official visit in 2014.
Merkel also stressed that the strength of the Turkish economy is important for Germany.
She told a news conference on Monday that an "economically prosperous Turkey" serves Germany's interests.
Turkish Hurryet Daily News (16.08.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-increases-tariffs-on-u-s-origin-products-135805) reports that in a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette on Aug. 15, Ankara said it was imposing extra tariffs on imports of products, including rice, tobacco products, vehicles, alcohol, coal and cosmetics.
The decree, signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, doubled Turkish tariffs on passenger cars to 120 %, on alcoholic drinks to 140 % and on leaf tobacco to 60 %.
Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter that the tariffs on certain products were increased "within the framework of the principle of reciprocity in retaliation for the conscious economic attacks by the United States."
Turkey has accused the U.S. of waging an "economic war" as part of a plot to harm the country.
Washington has imposed financial sanctions on two Turkish Ministers and doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, as U.S. President Donald Trump tries to secure the release Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being tried in Turkey on espionage and terrorism-related charges.
The decision to impose new tariffs came a day after President Erdoğan said Turkey would boycott U.S. electronic goods, singling out iPhones. He suggested Turks would buy local or Korean phones instead, although it was unclear how he intended to enforce the boycott.
According to IMF statistics, the U.S. was the fourth largest source of imports to Turkey in 2017 with $12 billion of imports. Turkey's exports to the U.S. in 2017 amounted to $8.7 billion, making it Turkey's fifth-largest export market.
6. Turkish court releases two Greek soldiers
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (15.08.18) reported that a Turkish court has released two Greek soldiers who were arrested in Turkey, pending trial.
Lieutenant Aggelos Mitretodis and non-commissioned officer Dimitros Kouklatzis were detained on March 2 at a military zone in the western Turkish province of Edirne's Pazarkule district, which hosts a border gate with Greece.
A local court in Edirne ruled for their arrest and refused the two soldiers' subsequent pleas for release, citing suspicions of illegal entry and attempted military espionage.
The soldiers told the prosecutors shortly after their arrest that they mistakenly crossed the border after getting lost in the fog.
The Turkish court held its monthly hearing Aug. 14 on whether to release the soldiers from custody.
According to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, the judge ruled for the two soldiers' release, pending trial. They have not yet been indicted.
The arrest of the soldiers had strained bilateral ties between Ankara and Athens, who are already at loggerheads over the exploration of gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.
The court decision comes weeks after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan met in Brussels on the sidelines of a NATO summit and agreed to focus on efforts to reduce tensions in the Aegean.
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