Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs(03.01.19)reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has alleged that his country was exerting efforts for a lasting solution in Cyprus and added: “We remind those who are dreaming, we are forced to remind them. Zero guarantees and zero troops cannot even be a dream. If you are dreaming of such a thing, wake up”.
Addressing a conference organized by the Gendarmerie and Coastguard Academy, Cavusoglu reiterated the view that it would be a waste of time to start negotiations in Cyprus without determining what and how will be negotiated.
The Turkish Minister said that his country would continue defending what he called its “rights” in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean and would not allow the creation of a fait accompli in the Aegean. Referring to Greece, he argued:
“On the one had we remind about the decision of our Assembly and on the other with our coastguard units, our naval Forces we are doing whatever is necessary when some negative steps are taken. And we are addressing a warning to Greece: You have a spoiled child. This is how they call their Defense Minister. […] Protect your spoiled child so that an accident will not happen by our security forces. […]
Therefore, we are doing whatever is necessary for the protection of our interests especially on the issue of exploiting the hydrocarbon resources in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. Now we are starting our drillings in the west of Cyprus, in the east of Cyprus, in places to which the TRNC has invited us from the north towards the south of Cyprus and in our exclusive economic zone. I am referring to the west of Cyprus. In the past we were going with our seismic exploration vessels, with the Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa, but now we have a platform as well. The first one came. It started in Alanya 1 area. The second one will also come in January. Instead of sending it to the Black Sea, we are sending it there. […] Let both our friends and enemies know that we will protect until the end Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriot people’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus. The problems in the Aegean are included in this.”
According to illegal Bayrak television (03.01.19- http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-receives-coalition-government-partners), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met today with the leaders of the four-party “coalition government” in the occupied area of Cyprus, the first routine monthly meeting of the year.
The meeting held at the so-called presidential palace and was attended by the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman, the leader of the Peoples’ Party (HP), so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay, the leader of the Democratic Party (DP), so-called finance minister Serdar Denktas and the leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), so-called national education minister Cemal Ozyigit.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting on behalf of the “coalition government”, Ozersay said that today’s meeting had focused on the future of the Cyprus problem.
Stating that Akinci had briefed them on his most recent contacts with the UN Secretary General’s Special Temporary Adviser Jane Holl Lute, Ozersay alleged the following: “The president briefed us and we had a productive exchange of views as to where, we as the Turkish Cypriot side stand, on the Cyprus problem, where the process is going, as well as the possibilities for the future”.
Describing the meeting as productive, Ozersay added that the position of the United Nations and the Greek Cypriot side’s “intransigence” were also discussed at the meeting. “We tried to determine our course of action regarding the Cyprus problem. We had the opportunity to express our views as the president did as well”, Ozersay further added.
Pointing out that the issue of hydrocarbons was also discussed at the meeting, Ozersay said that they had conveyed their own views regarding the issue. “In addition to the negotiations, we also had discussions on the work carried out by the bi-communal technical committees as well as any responsibilities the government is required to undertake regarding the work carried out by the committees” Ozersay said.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs(03.01.19)reports that Ersin Tatar, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) has described as unfortunate for the Turkish Cypriots the fact that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci ignored what he called the “Greek Cypriot intransigence” and criticized the opposition in the Turkish Cypriot community which said that new ideas should be put on the table. In a written statement, Tatar called on Akinci to clearly explain to the “people” his views on the continuation of Turkey’s active and effective guarantees, the political equality, the protection of the balance between Turkey and Greece on the island, turning the solution into EU’s primary law and the issues of territory and property. He also called on Akinci to explain how he would agree with the Greek Cypriot side on these issues.
Arguing that in his message for the New Year Akinci “used expressions” which “incriminate” the Turkish Cypriot opposition and Turkey, Tatar alleged that they wanted a “viable result” to be reached in the Cyprus negotiations based on the “realities” and this was why they argued that time had come to “expand the target” of the negotiations for a federal solution which gave no result since 1977 and discuss “other alternatives”. Noting that the federal solution is not a “God’s command”, Tatar wondered whether there was a point “in making one last attempt” for finding a federal solution, like Akinci wanted, since the Greek Cypriot side said that the abolition of guarantees was an indispensable condition. Talat wondered also: “[…] While there is no common vision, a common base with whom you will establish a federation Mr Akinci? Since the stance of the Greek Cypriots was clarified, why it is wrong for the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey to put forward the formulas of confederation and two separate states under the EU roof? […]”
Moreover, the paper reports that Erhan Arikli, chairman of the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP), has also criticized Akinci. In a written statement, Arikli claimed that with his message for the New Year Akinci had condemned the Turkish Cypriot community to desperation. Arikli alleged that Akinci showed his desperation by saying that “we cannot go outside the UN parameters”, while President Anastasiades referred to “loose federation”, Turkey talked about a two state solution or confederation and the UNSG asked “new things to be said”. “What development should happen for Akinci to understand that the negotiations on the basis of federation which have been held for half a century will lead us nowhere”, he wondered.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (03.01.19) reports that a delegation of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), headed by its general secretary, Salih Sonustun visited the Turkish Cypriot Secondary Education Teachers Union (KTOEOS).
In statements during the meeting, Sonustun underlined that the negative political developments in Cyprus, Ankara’s recent statements and President Nicos Anastasiades’ supports from his allies in the Middle East show that we are moving away from the United Federal Cyprus perspective. Sonustun called on all supporters of federal Cyprus to continue their struggle for this to happen. Recalling that the BKP has launched an initiative towards this direction, he added that together with the New Cyprus Party (YKP) will work and continue their efforts for the resumption of the talks the soonest possible from the point they were left.
Also speaking, the general secretary of KTOEOS, Selma Eylem assured that she will continue her struggle together with the trade union for a federal solution in Cyprus and assured that they are ready to contribute to the bi-communal struggle for a Federal United Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (03.01.19) reports that another organization of the ruling in Turkey Justice and Development Party (AKP) is established in the breakaway regime.
This is the “National Continuation Movement”, (MBH) which is the third organization related to AKP that was established in the occupied area of Cyprus, following the “AKP Cyprus Representative” and the “AKP Hearths”.
According to the paper, which reports on the issue under the title: “They started with threats”, the MBH’s deputy chairman Abdullah Yildiz, issued the following threat in a post he wrote to social media towards the chairman of the Famagusta branch of the Socialist Party Ece Balci: “Our President knows that you are a traitor, he will deal with you”.
Afrika further reports that Zorlu Tore, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP) and “deputy speaker of the assembly” is the honorable chairman of MBH while Ismael Yildiz is the organization’s chairman.
Under the title: “40 years of neglect”, Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (03.01.19) reports that after the occupied Lapithos and Dikomo that experienced many damages caused by heavy rains, the bad roads and the old buildings of occupied Karpasia are now surrendered to the storms.
According to the paper, the stream beds and the canals were flooded with water from the heavy rains, some roads and bridges collapsed and many buildings and yards faced severe damages from the water. The road linking occupıed Trikomo with Karpasia partially collapsed.
The paper blames the 40 years of neglect in the area for the damages caused in the region.
Under the title: “Bankrupt of the infrastructure”, Kıbrıs (03.01.19) reports on the same issue, noting that every week another region is victimized due to the neglected roads and buildings and publishes photos of the damages in Karpasia.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (03.01.19) reports that the “council of ministers” renewed the license of 25 casinos that operate in the breakaway regime.
The paper publishes a list of the 25 casinos, including the expired date of the license granted to them.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.01.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-13-parties-to-run-in-upcoming-local-polls/1354336) reported that a total of 13 political parties will compete in Turkey’s forthcoming local elections scheduled for March 31, the country’s election authority (YSP) announced on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Supreme Election Council said that 13 parties could meet the necessary criteria to run on the ballot.
Turkish local polls are held every five years to elect Mayors of 30 metropolitan municipalities and 51 provincial municipalities.
Ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are expected to support each other’s candidates in some districts and provinces, while the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Good (IYI) Party are expected to make same arrangement.
The AK Party has already announced its 74 candidates, while the CHP has announced 36 candidates, the MHP 34 candidates, and the IYI Party 15 candidates.
The AK Party has nominated Mehmet Ozhaseki, its Deputy Chairman and a former Environment and Urbanization Minister, for Mayor of capital Ankara in the upcoming election.
Former Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has been nominated by the AK Party for Mayor of Izmir, while Binali Yildirim, current Parliament Speaker and former Prime Minister, will run for Mayor of Istanbul.
The CHP, meanwhile, has nominated Ekrem Imamoglu for Mayor of Istanbul and Mansur Yavas for Ankara Mayor.
The official election process kicked off on Tuesday, with campaigning to begin on March 21.
Turkish local polls are held every five years along with metropolitan, provincial and district Mayors, voters will also elect municipal council members in cities and -- in rural areas -- muhtars and members of elder councils.
The last local elections were held in March 30, 2014, which saw the AK Party clinch more than 45.5% of the vote.
According to the Turkish portal Turkishminutes (02.01.19-www.turkishminute.com/2019/01/02/chp-to-apply-to-high-court-against-parliament-speakers-istanbul-mayoral-bid/) Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said on Wednesday that they would apply to the Constitutional Court against the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) nomination of Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım for Mayor of İstanbul in the upcoming local elections.
CHP Deputy and member of Parliament’s Constitution Committee Murat Emir told the T24 news website that Yıldırım’s mayoral bid without resigning from the Speaker’s office is a violation of the Turkish Constitution.
According to Article 94 of the Constitution, Parliament Speakers cannot participate in the activities of political parties in or outside of Parliament. They also cannot vote in parliamentary sessions.
However, on Dec. 25, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told journalists in Parliament that Yıldırım could be a nominee without resigning from his post.
“If a Deputy becomes a candidate for a mayoral position, their membership in Parliament can continue during the local elections. This is the case for the Parliament Speaker,” Erdogan said.
Four days later, the AKP announced Yıldırım as the candidate for İstanbul Mayor for the local elections scheduled in March. “The President is violating the Constitution,” Emir said.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.01.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-team-to-visit-ankara-for-feto-probe-140191) reported that a U.S. delegation will be visiting Ankara to hold talks with Turkish authorities on new evidence that they submitted to Washington about the FETÖ, the group that is widely believed to have orchestrated the failed coup attempt of 2016 in Turkey.
The talks scheduled for Jan. 3-4 are seen as important in terms of revealing the role of FETÖ’s U.S-based leader Fethullah Gülen and his inner circles.
Earlier, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul had said that Ankara was “hoping” for Gülen to be extradited to Turkey. “In Turkey, death penalty does not exist. We are saying [to U.S. officials] there is no obstacle for the extradition not to take place,” Gul had said on Dec. 30.
“Our demand [for Gülen’s extradition] is not officially rejected. As we find new evidence, we send it to America. Administrative and criminal investigations are ongoing,” Gül had also said.
Turkish authorities “proved” the role of FETÖ in the failed coup attempt by sharing digital data during a meeting with U.S. officials on July 13, 2018, state-run Anadolu Agency has said.
The U.S. also started to make its own assessment by receiving the data, the agency said.
The U.S.’s assessment on the new evidence will be learned during the talks to be attended by officials of Foreign, Interior and Justice Ministries in Ankara tomorrow and on Jan. 4, the agency added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.01.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/iraqs-new-president-to-pay-his-first-visit-to-turkey-140209) reported that the Iraqi President Barham Salih will pay his first official visit to Turkey on January 3, following his election early October.
He will meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discuss all aspects of bilateral relations, evaluate opportunities to develop cooperation in various fields and exchange views on regional and international matters, according to the Turkish Presidency.
Salih, a former Prime Minister of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from the ranks of the Kurdistan Patriotic Union (PUK), is a familiar figure in Ankara, and his election as Iraqi President was welcomed by the Turkish government.
(…)Erdogan and Salih will also exchange views on regional developments, particularly Syria, after the United States’ decision to withdraw troops from this country. A major concern is a potential re-grouping of ISIL, which still has support in some parts of Iraq and Syria. In a phone call with Erdogan, Trump asked Turkey to fully eliminate the residues of ISIL in Syria.
Among issues to be discussed between the two Presidents are ways to improve bilateral trade, cooperation in the field of energy and transportation, opening a second border gate and other issues to their mutual concern.
Iraq stands as one of Turkey’s top trade partners with around $9 billion trade volume in 2017.
Turkey claimed the biggest share for reconstruction of Iraq by pledging $5 billion in an international donor conference in Kuwait early 2018.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah (03.01.19-) reports thathttps://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/01/03/top-pakistani-iraqi-authorities-visit-turkey-to-discuss-bilateral-relations) Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is paying an official visit to Turkey today to enhance bilateral relations through high-level meetings.
Khan is visiting Ankara upon the invitation of President Erdogan.
Erdogan and Khan are expected to discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as exchange views on regional and international developments, said the Premier's spokesperson.
During his two-day visit, Khan will also address a business forum and hold several meetings with Turkish businessmen and potential investors in Ankara tomorrow. Khan and Erdogan are also expected to discuss the ongoing Afghan peace process. "This visit is a herald for change as both President Erdogan and Prime Minister Khan are recognized by winning the hearts of millions of voters," İbrahim Qazi, a political analyst, told Anadolu Agency (AA), adding that the visit will contribute to enhance bilateral relations between Ankara and Islamabad.
International relations analyst Ullah Han also told AA that the visit is an opportunity for Khan to strengthen his economic and defence ties with Ankara.
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