Turkish Cypriot Halkın Sesi newspaper (01.11.18) reports that Ömer Çelik, spokesman of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey has warned Greece with a “harsh language” regarding the explorations for natural gas in Eastern Mediterranean, claiming that these activities will not be allowed. In statements after a meeting of AKP’s central committee, Çelik alleged the following:
“Greece’s activities in Eastern Mediterranean will not be allowed. The toughest response will be given by Turkey to Greece’s slightest effort for gradual expansion of its territorial waters. The territory which they call parcel 7 is in our continental shelf. The necessary answer will be given by our Armed Forces. Our Faith vessel is strongly protected. We recommend to the Greek and Greek Cypriot side not to undertake any initiative. The Greek side should not forget Grand Assembly’s warning of 1995. Turkey will not hesitate to do whatever is necessary”.
The paper recalls that the decision taken by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 8 June 1995 was to describe as “casus belli” a possible expansion of Greece’s territorial waters to 12 miles in the Aegean.
Turkish Cypriot Havadis newspaper (01.11.18) reports that Baris Burcu, spokesman of Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, has reiterated that the Turkish side will not participate in an open-ended process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. In a written statement issued yesterday, Burcu said that Akinci had a 2,5-hour “useful meeting” with UNSG’s temporary Special Adviser on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute.
According to Burcu, Akinci told Lute that there could be no open-ended processes anymore, just like the UNSG said in his report, and “conveyed to her the procedure which should be followed for an effective process”.
“Moreover, our president once more expressed to Mrs Lute the importance of political equality and effective participation in the decisions in a possible solution”, he concluded.
Turkish Cypriot Kıbrısnewspaper (01.11.18) reports that in an analysis on the Cyprus problem, Anatolia news agency, Turkey’s official agency, alleged that the recommencement of the negotiations for finding a “just and lasting’ solution to the Cyprus problem is possible with an approach which will be “focused on the result” and “put new ideas on the table”. Anatolia reiterates the known Turkish views that all proposals submitted for the past 55 years have been rejected by the Greek Cypriots and that the Turkish Cypriots had been forced to abandon the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot Volkannewspaper (01.11.18) refers on its front page to the “analysis” noting that Anatolia is Turkey’s official news agency and that the “analysis” includes “important messages” on the Cyprus problem. The paper reports that in the “analysis”, which reflects Turkey’s official view on the Cyprus problem, it is alleged that federation is no longer a solution which could be realized in Cyprus.
Volkan emphasizes on the following positions included in the report:
“For more than half a century the sides held hundreds of meetings for a just and lasting solution in Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot side, however, disappointed at the moments during which the solution under UN’s mediation came closer. […]
Turkey and the TRNC share the view that new ideas are needed. The Turkish side’s views are included in UNSG Antonio Guterres’ report for Cyprus. […]
The target of the Greek Cypriots, who having the EU’s support distanced themselves from the quests for a solution, is to make use of the natural gas resources by themselves.
The possibility of the Greek Cypriot side coming close to a lasting solution under the current circumstances could become possible by realizing that it will not be able to use the natural gas resources by itself in spite of Turkey’s will. […]”
According to illegal Bayrak television (01.11.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ubp-leader-issues-statement-on-cyprus-problem), the newly elected leader of the main opposition National Unity Party Ersin Tatar has said that his party is determined to pursue an active policy on the Cyprus issue so as to prevent the Turkish Cypriot “people” from being subjected to any more injustices.
In a written statement, the UBP leader pointed out that the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute had embarked on a fact-finding mission to continue discussions with the two sides to explore their willingness to start a new process.
“The Greek Cypriot side aims to remove Turkey’s active and effective guarantees, does not see Turkish Cypriots as its political equal and is opposed to the idea of our effective participation in the decision making process in the new partnership state. Moreover it is very clear that the Greek Cypriot side wants more territorial concessions, attempts to settle the property issue entirely according to its own interests and is drawing up plans to destroy us completely, socially and economically”, he claimed.
Tatar argued that new ideas and alternative models outside the classical settlement framework needed to be discussed. “Should a new process based on new ideas begin, it should be short, result oriented and subject to a timetable” he added.
The UBP leader also said that his party did not support any move that would prolong the negotiations process and cause the Turkish Cypriots to lose any more time. “The process will either start in a short period of time, will not be an open-ended process and will be result oriented leading to a settlement through a marathon of negotiations. Or if not, the UN, following the correct assessments, must end injustices committed against the Turkish Cypriots. We as the National Unity Party are very sensitive on this issue and we are determined to pursue an active policy so as to prevent the Turkish Cypriot people from being subjected to any more injustices”, Tatar concluded.
Illegal Bayrak (01.11.18) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the “prime minister” Tufan Erhurman held their weekly meeting.
Erhurman stated that they had discussed the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s latest report to the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute’s meeting with Akıncı yesterday and the latest developments regarding the economic difficulties being experienced in the “country”.
Stating that the framework of a settlement was clear, Erhurman said that the UN is expecting the two sides to be creative within this framework and not to delay any new process which might start.
He said that the latest meetings were in harmony with the Turkish Cypriot side’s demands regarding the method of any new process.
“Its too early to say anything at the moment. We shall wait for Lute’s next visit” he said.
Erhurman added that the Deryneia and Apliki crossing points had also been taken up during the meeting.
Pointing out that the “government’s efforts to overcome the economic difficulties being experienced in the country are continuing”, Erhurman said that they are still waiting for funding from Turkey within the framework of various protocols which were delayed due to the change in the system in the Turkish Republic.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (01.11.18) reports that Melih Han Bilgin, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) acting CEO, President and Director informed a “parliamentary committee” of the breakaway regime and replied to questions about the drilling activities of Fatih drilling ship in Eastern Mediterranean and about the company’s finances. Fatih started its drilling activities yesterday.
Bilgin stated in the briefing that Fatih, is a 229-meter long drilling ship whose tower rises to 103m ; therefore is one of the most technologically advanced ships of its kind. He also stated that during the last 10 years 90% of oil explorations are taking place in the sea. He said that in order to be able to develop the national potentials in the sea, they are acting with the directions of the Ministry of Energy.
He went on adding that the Eastern Mediterranean is an important energy basin and added that only with a national ship and using our own abilities we would be able to establish a presence in eastern Mediterranean. “Our drillings are a game-changer for Turkey," he argued.
He went on and added that TPAO is making plans for the future regarding its step-to-step activities in Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. “In the framework of the all-national strategy to develop domestic industry, we are planning for these drilling ships and the support ships to be built in Turkey”, he said and added that soon the company will be able to reveal its plans to the “parliamentary committee”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.11.18) reports about the assassination of another woman in the occupied area of Cyprus noting that the number of women who are murdered in the breakaway regime is increasing year by year.
According to Kibris, 58 assassinations took place during the last 11 years and 36 of the victims were men, 19 women and 3 children. The paper notes that for the last 11 years, at least 1 woman is murdered every year in the breakaway regime adding that 2007 held the worse record with the assassination of 5 women.
Turkish private channel NTV (01.11.18, https://www.ntv.com.tr/turkiye/milli-savunma-bakani-akardan-bedelli-askerlik-aciklamasi,oPAkiOOMbUiV5pQ52Zdxfw) broadcast that Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, speaking to lawmakers in the planning and budget commission today, said: “Turkey still faces terror threats as Iraqi and Kurdish regional governments have not taken effective steps against PKK. In this regard, our operations will continue until the terror threat from Iraqi territories is defeated. Our interlocutors should know that a project in the Aegean and in the Mediterranean cannot be successful if Turkey and the TRNC do not take part”.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (31.10.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2018/10/31/turkish-troops-hit-ypg-terrorists-east-of-euphrates-in-syria-killing-at-least-14-terrorists), Turkish troops stationed at the Syrian border hit People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists Wednesday in the Ayn al-Arab area east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, killing at least 14 terrorists. (…)
Later in the day, the Ministry of National Defence claimed that Turkish troops responded to harassment fire targeting a border outpost in the Suruç district of southeastern Şanlıurfa province, bordering northern Syria's Ayn al-Arab, killing at least 10 terrorists.
Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.11.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/pkk-ypg-will-be-buried-in-its-own-trenches-in-manbij/1299850) reports that Turkey's National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar argued on Thursday that the PKK/PYD/YPG terror group should know that they would be buried in their own trenches in Syria's Manbij region. "The terror group is digging ditches in Manbij as they have done in Afrin, despite promises made for PKK/PYD/YPG's withdrawal from Manbij. The terror group [YPG/PKK] should know that it will be buried in the trenches it has dug", Hulusi Akar told lawmakers in the planning and budget commission.
Akar added that Turkey still faces terror threats as Iraqi and Kurdish regional governments have not taken effective steps against PKK. "In this regard, our operations will continue until the terror threat from Iraqi territories is defeated," said Akar.
The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the city to stabilize the region in the northeast of Aleppo province in northern Syria.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.11.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/-turkey-comes-as-savior-of-europe-on-refugee-issue-/1298869), Pakistan’s newly elected President Arif Alvi, in an exclusive interview to Anadolu Agency in Istanbul where he attended the opening ceremony of Istanbul Airport, said Turkey has been holding a sizeable population of refugees, describing the country as "a saviour" of Europe and other countries. (…)
Asked to comment on how the bilateral relations between Turkey and Pakistan will progress in the coming period, particularly in the new term, the Pakistani President argued that both Turkey and Pakistan pursue an independent foreign policy, have no dependency on any other countries and follow their own national interests in the region.
Referring to the Cyprus issue, President Alvi said: “Similarly, Pakistan-Turkey have excellent relations and Pakistan has always stood by Turkey’s position on Cyprus, historically. What is Turkey’s position on Cyprus is Pakistan’s position.”
He further said that “Turkey has stood by us on the Kashmir issue. Both countries support [each other] on all international forums. Turkey has extended us support on Nuclear Suppliers Group”. (…)
In another question regarding unsettled problems of the Islamic World, despite UN Security Council's involvement, President Alvi, inter alia, said: “I believe that the Palestinian issue should be resolved on the basis of pre-1967 borders, and the Jammu and Kashmir issue on the basis of UN Resolutions. I appreciate Turkish support that always raised voice for the oppressed people of Indian occupied Kashmir.
Turkey has played good role as far as Palestine is concerned. Similarly, Pakistan has played its due role as far as the Cyprus issue is concerned.”
Under the title “Reshaping politics in Turkish Cyprus (breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus)”, columnist Yusuf Kanli, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (01.11.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/yusuf-kanli/reshaping-politics-in-turkish-cyprus-138454), comments on the withdrawal of Huseyin Ozgurgun from the race of the UBP leadership (National Unity Party) leaving Ersin Tatar as the sole eligible candidate, as follows:
“(…)One main impediment of the over 70% nationalist-conservative seats in parliament coming together in a two- or three-way coalition government with a clear parliamentary majority was the rampant allegations of wrongdoing, corruption, favouritism and nepotism – charges that are not alien to anyone following politics in this part of the world. The second largest party of the nationalist flank, the People’s Party (HP) of the former chief negotiator and current Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay, as well as the Democrat Party (DP) of Serdar Denktaş, was staunchly against a coalition with UBP as far as Ozgurgun remained leader. The New Birth Party (YDP), which is mainly supported by people with mainland Turkish background, has been against entering any coalition, demanding early elections right away.
With Tatar as the leader of the strongest conservative party, which has 21 seats in parliament – just five short of a clear majority – a coalition with the HP, which has nine seats, might unleash winds of political change in Turkish Cyprus (breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus). The current leftist president Mustafa Akıncı, coming from the three-seat Communal Democracy Party (TDP), and Prime Minister Tufan Erhurman, the leader of the socialist Republican Turkish Party (CTP) that has 12 seats, might find themselves side-lined by a conservative and nationalist majority.
The Greek Cypriot side has been in efforts to provide legitimacy to their unilateral hydrocarbon activity in the Eastern Mediterranean by somehow reviving the Cyprus talks with a ‘loose federation’ suggestion. The U.N. secretary-general’s temporary Cyprus advisor, Jane Holl Lute, who arrived on the island yesterday, will re-test whether talks could kick off again. Yet, it is clear that neither Anastasiades has a sincere intention to share power or indeed anything with the Turkish Cypriots nor Akıncı – rendered a lame duck among Northern Cyprus’ political spectrum – any longer has capability of delivering any sort of a federal deal considered dead and buried by the majority of Turkish Cypriots and scorned by Ankara.
Tatar most likely would not want to go to an early election as more than one government alternative that can rule comfortably might be produced with the distribution of seats in the current parliament. However, the rise of prospect of a nationalist-conservative front government supported by Ankara might make life difficult for Akıncı. On the other hand, if at the end of a new round of exploratory talks Lute comes up with a suggestion that she still could not see the required political will for a compromise solution and thus a base for the resumption of talks with prospect of success in a foreseeable timeframe, Akıncı may call it quits and drive the ‘TRNC’ into an early election atmosphere. In such a case, most probably, not only a presidential early election but an early parliamentary election will be in the cards.
There are already strong efforts by the kingmakers of conservative Turkish Cypriot politics for a total overhaul that might produce Ozersay as the joint candidate of at least the UBP and HP for the presidency, while the two parties might announce a pre-election alliance and commitment to form the post-election government.”
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (31.10.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-launches-project-for-its-first-long-range-air-defense-system-siper-138460) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Oct. 31 announced that Turkey has kicked off work for its first long range air defence system naming it “Siper”.
“I wish luck to our long range regional air missile defence system, which we have named ‘Siper’,” said Erdoğan speaking at the inauguration for “National Technology Development Infrastructures” at TÜBİTAK SAGE, where some new local defence systems of the country were demonstrated.
“The first delivery is expected for the end of 2021,” he said about the joint project by TÜBİTAK SAGE, ASELSAN and ROKETSAN.
This system is crucial for Turkey’s defence and they are taking a new step with this project that will upgrade Turkey in the league of defence systems, Erdogan said.
Turkey also purchased S-400 surface-to-air missiles from Russia. The installation of the S-400 missile system would begin in October 2019, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said last week.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (01.11.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/11/01/turkey-qatar-agree-to-strengthen-security-cooperation), Turkey and Qatar agreed to strengthen their security cooperation on Tuesday in a meeting held by the two countries' national security heads in Doha. Turkish National Police Chief Celal Uzunkaya and his Qatari counterpart Saad Bin Jassim Al Khulaifi discussed the enhancement of security cooperation between the two countries. (…)
"Turkish security members have been continuing to provide training for their Qatari counterparts in different fields. 512 Qatari policemen have completed their education so far," said Uzunkaya. He also stated the importance of the memorandum of understanding and protocols that were signed with Doha.
Turkey’s Deputy Minister of National Defense Muhsin Dere was also in the Qatari capital for the MILIPOL exhibition. Dere visited the Turkish Military base in Qatar where he underlined the importance of the relationship between Qatar and Turkey. (…)
Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.11.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkish-fm-to-visit-qatar/1299519) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will pay an official visit to Qatar on Thursday.
During the two-day visit, Cavusoglu will meet with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “During the meetings, bilateral relations with Qatar as well as the latest regional developments will be discussed and preparations for the fourth meeting of the Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee will be reviewed,” the statement added.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.11.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-arrests-59-ex-police-officers-in-feto-probe/1299585), at least 59 former police officers have been arrested across Turkey as part of a probe into Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt, security sources said Thursday.
The arrests came after Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued arrest warrants for 88 former police officers in 12 provinces including Ankara, according to sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. The suspects are accused of being part of FETO’s police structure.
Another 21 suspects, who were allegedly using the terror group’s encrypted messaging application ByLock, are also sought by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, another source said.
According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (01.11.18, https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/10/31/pro-govt-vatan-daily-halts-print-edition-becomes-supplement-of-milliyet/), Turkey’s pro-government Demirören Media Group on Wednesday announced that the Vatan daily would shut down operations and become a weekly supplement of another of the group’s newspapers, Milliyet, as of Nov. 1.
A relatively young publication established in 2002 under the Doğan Media Group, Vatan along with Milliyet was sold to the Demirören Group in 2011 for $26 million, according to the Habertürk news website.
In March 2018 the Demirören family, owner of the media group and a close friend of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, bought the entire Doğan Media Group for around $1 billion.
The group will keep GazeteVatan.com, the web edition of the newspaper, which has a daily circulation of around 100,000, running.
Veteran mainstream journalists such as Hasan Cemal and Can Dündar lost their jobs after the Demirören family’s purchase of Vatan and Milliyet in 2011. Hürriyet’s acquisition led to similar consequences as the editor-in-chief and several columnists left the media group.
The increasing cost of publishing has forced several other media groups to halt or downsize their print editions.
In July Habertürk, one of Turkey’s highest circulating newspapers, decided to terminate its print edition and continue with only its news website.
The country’s oldest economy newspaper, Dünya, also fired 40 of its staff and reduced its number of pages from 24 to 12.
Local newspapers have taken the greatest hit as their circulation is insufficient to cover expenses. Many of them have recently announced that they would do away with their weekend editions.
The biggest opposition newspaper, Sözcü, decided to stop running some of its weekend supplements due to the currency crisis that has led to an exorbitant hike in the price of imported newsprint.
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