1. Albayrak made a call to all international sides to use the opportunities in the Eastern Mediterranean and not to increase the tension more
2. The Greek Cypriots are disappointed because of the developments in Cyprus’ EEZ, argues the Turkish Cypriot press
3. Yildirim: “The continuation of hydrocarbon research activities before a Cyprus settlement will have negative outcomes”
4. BKP: “The necessity for a solution in Cyprus was revealed once again”
5. Turkish MP slams Derya because of alleged statements against the Turkish army; She denies making such statements
6. “The coalition government won a vote of confidence”
7. Denktas argued that “there is not any problem with his government partners regarding the protocol signed with Turkey”
8. The “mayor” of the occupied Gialousa “municipality” resigned due to the economic problems experienced in the “municipality”
9. The “Cittaslow network in norther Cyprus” to attend the 2018 Cittaslow general assembly in France
10. Tillerson says US ‘wants more cooperation with Turkey on Syria’
11. Turkey pledges $5 billion as nations commit funds for Iraq reconstruction
According to illegal Bayrak television (15.02.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=albayrak-on-hydrocarbon-issue), Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak has said that Turkey was determined to use all its rights stemming from the international law in the Eastern Mediterranean until the end and within Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction would show a more efficient seismic and drilling activities in the coming period.
Stressing that Turkey will continue to support and defend the rights of the “TRNC” and the Turkish Cypriot “people”, Turkish Minister Albayrak claimed that the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral parcelling activities which are against the international law were unacceptable.
Speaking during a meeting in Baku, Minister Albayrak also touched upon the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. He argued: “Turkey has been pursuing a cautious, constructive and reasonable policy for a just solution in Cyprus. Especially, within the framework of the Annan Plan, Turkey had taken important steps in the UN platform for a just and effective solution. Turkey’s approach which gave priority for a peaceful life should not be seen as passiveness. Despite our efforts for peace and prosperity of the two sides in Cyprus what we see today is an effort for a fait accompli.”
“If the Turkish Cypriot’s rights on the natural resources in Cyprus are ignored then Turkey will be disapproving this forever” he stressed.
Moreover, “BRT” (http://www.brtk.net/albayrak-baris-ve-huzur-yaklasimimiz-pasiflik-olarak-gorulmemeli/) broadcast that Albayrak reiterated that Turkey is the most reasonable and rational alternative to transfer the natural resources of the eastern Mediterranean to Europe and the world markets. He added: “I make a call to all the international sides. Let’s use these opportunities well. Let us apply win-win methods instead of tensions that will increase further the uncertainties and the disputes in the region”.
Under the title “Disappointment in the south”, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (15.02.18) reports that the UN and the EU have not reacted to the extent the Greek Cypriots wanted regarding the developments in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). According to the paper, the Italian government did not confirm the information that a frigate of the Italian armed forces has been sent to the area, while ENI Company’s CEO said that “we will not wait there forever” and that the dispute concerns Turkey, Cyprus and the EU and not his company.
The paper alleges that the Greek Cypriots are in shock because their drilling activities in Parcel 3 of occupied Famagusta’s open sea were interrupted “due to Turkey’s decisive stance” and notes that the cost of ENI will big high because of the fact that its platform “is waiting nailed in the sea for five days”.
The paper also claims that the complaint submitted to the UN by the Greek Cypriots, as it describes the Republic of Cyprus, did not receive the reply they were looking for. It also notes that the UNSG has expressed sorrow because of the escalating tension in the area and made a call saying that both communities should benefit from the Cyprus’ natural resources.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (15.02.18) refers to the same statement under the title “Warning by the UN to the Greek Cypriot sector for the natural gas”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.02.18) covers the issue under the title “Warning by the UN ‘decrease the tension” and notes that the EU has strongly condemned Turkey’s stance.
Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (15.02.18) reports that the tension in the area escalated and argues that the Greek Cypriot side was disappointed because it was not able to create the necessary pressure on Turkey.
According to illegal Bayrak television (14.02.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=turkey-greece-relations), Ankara has explicitly told Greece that refraining from tensions would be better for bilateral ties, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said.
Talking to the press at Ankara Esenboğa Airport before departing for Belarus, Yıldırım said: “We explicitly expressed to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras that staying away from tensions will be better, with regards to relations between the two countries.”
His remarks came a day after he and Tsipras spoke over the phone and discussed recent developments in the Aegean Sea. He said the Aegean Sea should be a “friendship” sea between Turkey and Greece.
Yıldırım said the Aegean Sea should be used “efficiently” for the welfare of both, Turkey and Greece.
“Tension or risk of clash cannot be one-sided. If there is a violation, there is a violation made by the other party as well. Therefore, it is not only Turkey that should be careful in avoiding such violations; at the same time, actors in the field from Greece should be more careful and act in accordance with the law and stay away from disputed areas,” the Turkish Premier told reporters.
Yıldırım and Tsipras also discussed the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We told Tsipras that it is not right to attempt hydrocarbon research activities around Cyprus and warned him that continuing such initiatives before reaching a solution in Cyprus will have negative outcomes” Yıldırım stressed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.02.18) reports that the United Cyprus Party (BKP), in a written statement, expressed worries over the developments taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean and the escalation of the tension around the island, pointing out that recent developments revealed once the urgency of reaching to a solution of the Cyprus problem.
The BKP said in the statement that it does not agree with the recent statements made by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, adding that such statements do not contribute at all to the solution of any problem or the solution of international problems.
The statement added further that the place which someone could apply in case of such dispute is the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea and called all sides to remain calm.
Expressing worries over the recent developments around the island, the BKP stated that the necessity for the urgent solution of the Cyprus problem is obvious. The BKP added that the only way out is to proceed to negotiations for a solution in the framework of the document submitted by the UN Secretary-General.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (15.02.18) reports that Omer Faruk Oz, chairman of the “inter-parliamentary friendship group” between Turkey and the “TRNC” [Translator’s note: The breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus], has alleged that speaking at the “assembly”, Dogus Derya, self-styled deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), accused the Turkish army of being rapist. Oz said that unless Derya apologizes, he will press charges against her. He further alleged the Turkish occupation army stopped the oppression, the killings and the rapes in Cyprus and that Derya is a “deputy” now because of the Turkish army and Turkey. Noting that Derya had studied in Turkey, Oz thanked all “deputies” who reacted against Derya’s statements.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (15.02.18) reports that in statements during a television program, Derya described as “wrong” the fact that she quarreled with Zorlu Tore, ‘deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), and noted that she regrets of what she said while she was angry. “What I said to Zorlu Τore was wrong. Mr Zorlu is not my enemy. I should not have said this with anger”, she reportedly said.
Noting that she is still targeted today by some circles because Tore had stated in the past that “Derya called rapist the Turkish army”, the CTP “deputy” added: “I have never made such statement until today. For the past five years, an assassination of character has been conducted over my name. I am presented as saying things I have not said. They can present absolutely no statement I have made calling the Turkish army or Turkey as rapist or occupier. I receive many threats orally and in writing. They swear at me on the social media, I am lynched. Aiming only at provoking, they hit below the belt, but this puts my life, my safety in danger. If tomorrow a naïve young man is influenced from these words and comes from Istanbul intending to murder me, what will happen then? […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (15.02.18) notes that even CTP’s chairman and self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman and her party have left Derya alone against these attacks. “Dogus was obliged to make a statement alone against these attacks”, writes the paper in its “Letter from Afrika” column adding that everybody in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus “adjusts himself according to the government in Turkey” and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “They carefully avoid to say a word, to take an action which will anger Erdogan”, notes Afrika arguing that “the community seems to have accepted this death”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (15.02.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=government-receives-a-vote-of-confidence), “the four party coalition government consisting of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Peoples Party (HP), the Social Democratic Party (TDP) and the Democratic Party (DP) won a vote of confidence at the parliament today.
While 27 deputies voted in favour of the new government 22 deputies voted against the motion. 1 deputy did not attend the session. The CTP’s 12 MPs, the HP’s 9 MPs, TDP’s 3 MP’s and the DP’s 3 MPs all voted in favour of the government reaching a majority yes vote which was all that was required for the vote of confidence to pass.
According to the constitution, no party or group of deputies can file a motion of no confidence for the first three months after a vote of confidence is secured.
Addressing the assembly after the voting was completed the CTP leader prime minister Tufan Erhurman thanked everybody for their votes and said that as the government they will work to serve the people in the best possible manner.
Pointing to the importance of passing the state budget as soon as possible, Erhurman said ‘while we will be working as the government to fulfil our duties I’m sure that everyone will be working towards protecting the prestige of the parliament’.”
Under the title “I rejected the presidential nomination”, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (15.02.18) published an interview with the leader of the Democratic Party (DP) and self-styled minister of finance.
Noting that ten days after the “election’s results” Ozgurgun had not made any attempt for the “UBP-DP-YDP coalition”, Serdar stressed that as they were reaching for an agreement for the “four-party coalition”, UBP ruled out a red carpet for him, but he made a choice for the community and not for his personal interests. Denktas claimed that “at the last minute, UBP even made a proposal to nominate him as presidential candidate for the future elections”.
Underlining that the reforms that will transform the community will start shortly, Denktas said that there is not any problem between the “government partners” and the protocol which was signed with Turkey. He reminded that the negotiations between the parties continued for many vital issues that were not included in the “government program”. He added: “We will provide this transformation with compromise”. He further argued that “he believes that progress will be obtained with harmony in many fields as water, energy, municipal reform and traffic”.
Denktas noted that “with the completion of the works on confidence vote and the budget, a large number of laws, which need reform, will come into the agenda at the parliament”.
Stressing that at the end of the day their relations with Turkey are important regardless how someone refers to Turkey as “motherland” of “fatherland”, Denktas said: “Turkey is just 40 miles away from us and is a strong ally for us. Turkey is going through a difficult period at this moment. I would like to give clearly the following message. We should not be at a point that will cause trouble to Turkey. At this difficult period, we need to improve more the ways of solidarity”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.02.18) reports that the “mayor” of the “municipality” of occupied Gialousa Memhet Kadi and ten other “members of the municipal legislative body” submitted yesterday their “resignation” to the “ministry of interior”.
According to the paper, the “mayor” of occupied Gialousa and the other “municipal members” resigned due to the prolonged financial crisis experienced in the “municipalities”, their inability to bring solutions to the problems and due to the fact that the “workers at the municipalities” did not received the salaries for a lot of months.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.02.18) reports that the “mayors” of the three Turkish Cypriot “municipalities” who have “officially become national members of the Cittaslow network with its three slow cities”, occupied Agios Sergios, Galateia and occupied Lefka, will gather at a meeting today in order to determine their goals for the “2018 Cittaslow general assembly” which is scheduled to take place in France in June.
The technical coordinator of the “Cittaslow network” in the occupied area of Cyprus Hasan Karlitas explained that today’s meeting aims to determine their common strategy taking in mind the forthcoming meeting of Cittaslow International in France, while at the same time the “membership of new cities” will be discussed.
(Translator’s note: Cittaslow is a worldwide network of more than 100 towns and cities that have adopted the same set of goals and principles to enhance their quality of life).
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (14.02.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/tillerson-says-us-wants-more-cooperation-with-turkey-on-syria-127350), with the above title, reported that Washington hopes to cooperate with Ankara to minimize threats against Turkey and continue the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Feb. 14.
“We hope to have talks about how we can work cooperatively to lessen those threats to Turkey but ultimately achieve the objective in Syria,” Tillerson said at a joint press conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Amman, Jordan.
Ankara is “an important NATO ally and partner in the region,” added Tillerson, who acknowledged that Turkey faces threats from within its border as well as from areas in Iraq and Syria. He also noted Washington and Ankara are committed to the “same outcomes” in Syria, including the defeat of ISIL, the de-escalation of violence there, and moving the Geneva peace talks forward.
Just a day earlier in Kuwait, Tillerson struck a different tone when he said Turkey’s military operation to remove terror groups in Afrin is hampering the U.S.-led coalition’s efforts to maintain the focus on the fight against ISIL in Syria.
Tillerson starts his two-day visit to Ankara on Feb. 15, as the two NATO allies seek ways to ease disagreements, particularly over Syria policies.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu on Feb. 14 said the U.S. should first stress the territorial integrity of Syria. “Those who want to cooperate with us should be sensitive about a political solution and what is more important, they should stop supporting terrorist organizations that aim to divide Syria,” Çavuşoğlu said in Kuwait City at a donor’s conference for the reconstruction of Syria, apparently referring to the U.S.
Tillerson, for his side, said in Amman on Feb. 14 that “with respect to my meetings in Ankara, Turkey is still an important NATO ally of the United States ... We need to find a way to continue to work in the same direction. We are committed to the same outcomes in Syria.”
Tillerson’s visit comes after a Feb. 11 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security advisor H.R. McMaster and Turkey’s Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın as part of efforts to mend fences between Ankara and Washington.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (14.02.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/business/2018/02/14/turkey-pledges-5-billion-as-nations-commit-funds-for-iraq-reconstruction), governments from around the world on Wednesday pledged billions of dollars in loans and investment for the reconstruction of Iraq, a nation reeling from a three-year war against Daesh terrorist group.
Iraq secured nearly $25 billion in the first few hours of the final day of an international donors' conference in Kuwait City, which was still ongoing.
Baghdad says it needs nearly $90 billion to rebuild after a grisly war with Daesh terrorists which devastated homes, schools, hospitals and economic infrastructure, displacing millions of people.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey pledged $5 billion in loans and investment, making the country one of the top contributors.
Turkey will help redevelop the cities of Kirkuk, Mosul, Tal Afar, Baghdad, Irbil and Sulaymaniyah through the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) to help Iraqis return to their homes.
As a result of the implementation of projects Turkey will propose, many Iraqis will have jobs and be able to return home. According to the report, "Iraq: Reconstruction and Investment," released by Kuwait's Chamber of Commerce and Industry in January, more than 200 projects in 10 sectors, including education, health, transportation and agriculture, are ready to receive financing.
Meanwhile, rebuilding Iraq after three years of war with Daesh is estimated to cost $88.2 billion, with housing a particularly urgent priority, Iraqi officials say. Kuwait, which is hosting an international donors' conference to raise funds for Iraq, pledged $1 billion in loans and $1 billion in direct investments. Saudi Arabia said it would allocate $1 billion for investment projects in Iraq and $500 million to support Iraqi exports. Qatar said it would allocate $1 billion in loans and investments, while the United Arab Emirates pledged $500 million in investment.
Those sums — together with $495 million from the European Union and $100 million from Australia — bring the total pledged so far to over $10 billion on the third and final day of the donors' conference, still in progress.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(DPs / AM)