Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak(30.01.19, http://www.brtk.net/sondaj-yapilacak-noktayi-belirliyoruz/) reports on its website that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that Turkish vessel Barbaros of the Turkish Petroleum company (TPAO) had started seismic explorations in the south of Cyprus in the areas for which it is “licensed” by the “TRNC”, as he called the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the island. He argued the following:
“Whatever we have said earlier, we are doing now. We have come to the point of conducting a drilling now. Therefore, we will determine the point where the drilling will be conducted. For this reason, the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa vessel was transferred to the licensed areas F and G declared by the TRNC to carry out seismic explorations. The drilling will be conducted at the place which will be determined after this work. With the last exploration, which will be carried out, we will determine the exact place of the drilling to be conducted by TPAO. Because the drilling which will be conducted on behalf of the TRNC, will not be conducted just for the sake of being conducted. It will be conducted at a point where the possibility of finding natural gas is high”.
Noting that the occupation regime had declared some fields both in the northern and in the southern area of Cyprus, just like the Republic of Cyprus had done, Ozersay recalled that they “licensed” TPAO to carry out drillings just like the Republic of Cyprus had licensed ENI and Exxon Mobil.
Ozersay reiterated the allegation that his so-called proposal for cooperation between the two sides on the natural gas before a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem is found was still valid and alleged that they did not want the natural gas issue to become an element of conflict. “And we know that if we sit and talk and start cooperating before the solution, the area of the Eastern Mediterranean will become a more stable area”, he argued.
“Because the development of trade and cooperation among all actors in this area will create interdependence, no one will risk the possibility of a conflict from that point on. We think that cooperation and interdependence are a must for peace in the area […]”, he concluded.
According to illegal Bayrak television (30.01.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=presidency-donates-e75000-euros-to-cmp), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s office has donated €75,000 (euros) to the Committee for Missing Persons in Cyprus.
Akinci met today with the Turkish Cypriot member of the committee Gülden Plümer Küçük and the third member Paul-Henri Arni. Speaking after the meeting, Akinci urged individuals with any information on missing persons to come forward and share the information with the committee.
“Our history is full of painful experiences and traumas. It would not be wrong to say that both peoples have experienced their share of pain. There are around 2000 missing persons. Numerically speaking, the larger figure belongs to Greek Cypriots but when looking at it according to the population ratio the number is more or less even. As time passes it is becoming harder and harder to find and locate the remains of the missing. The fact that witnesses are passing away and the remaining are reluctant to speak is making these efforts harder. I would like to call on both communities. Those with information should come forward and provide information to the CMP”, said Akıncı.
Akinci also expressed the hope that the €75,000 donation made by his office will contribute to the efforts.
The third member of the committee from the United Nations Paul-Henri Arni, for his part, said that efforts over the past year to locate identify and return the remains of the missing had been successful. He said that they had achieved good results.
Pointing out that they did their best to locate the missing persons, Arni expressed thanks to Akinci’s office for its contributions, stating the belief that the contributions will aide their efforts.
The Turkish Cypriot member of the CMP Gülden Plümer Küçük, for her part, thanked Akinci for his office’s contributions and said she completely agreed with Akinci’s call.
So far, 923 missing persons from both communities have been identified and returned to their families for dignified burials.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs (30.01.19) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci issued a written statement saying that the UN are seeking a common base for the re-launching of the Cyprus negotiations adding that it is not clear yet how this effort will be concluded.
Akinci was replying to a call of the opposition parties who ask him to brief the “assembly” as regards the developments on the Cyprus problem.
The Turkish Cypriot leader said that he will inform the “parliament” on the developments, adding that he had placed particular importance to informing all segments of the society and to evaluating developments together during the course of the negotiations process”.
He also said that it was out of the question for him to exclude or sideline the “parliament” on the Cyprus problem. He also stated that he will ask for a meeting with both the parties that are “represented in the assembly” and the parties that are not.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (30.01.19) reports that the “finance minister” Serdar Denktas said that an impression was created that there are differences between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots on the Cyprus problem. “This impression is not right”, he claimed.
Denktas made these statements speaking to a television program of Ada Tv where he evaluated the latest developments of the Cyprus problem: “We have been discussing federation for half a century”, he said, adding that each side has a different understating of what federation means. “If you continually say that you want a solution you are weakening the hands of the negotiator. The other side says (about us): If they want it so badly, why give them what they want? […] An impression was created that there are differences between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots on the Cyprus problem. This impression is not right. We are carrying on with a joint negotiation procedure which is still going on”, Denktas argued.
He went on adding that the “government” has still a lot of things to do, adding that it has left the difficult times behind.
Asked about the 2020 “presidential elections”, Denktas said that while there are so many things to be discussed, it is not right to start this conversation.
Chief-in-editor of Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika Sener Levent, in his column today (30.01.19), explains the reasons of his independent candidacy for the European Parliament elections.
Levent, in a televised program at the Greek Cypriot private channel Alpha TV, said that one of the reasons that he runs for the European Parliament elections is for the voice of the Turkish Cypriot opposition to be heard. He added that the administration in the occupied area of Cyprus rejected these elections with the allegation that the two of the six seats at the European Parliament belonged to the Turkish Cypriots and for this reason these two seats should be filled by doing separate elections in their community.
Levent further explained that their “deputies” from different political parties did not say the necessary realities during contacts in Brussels and Strasbourg. He even wondered in what common language the “deputies” of UBP (National Unity Party) and of CTP (Republican Turkish Party) explain their positions since their views on the Cyprus issue are not common. He further noted: “UBP renounced the federation position by keeping pace with Mevlut Cavusoglu. But it did not stay only to the renouncement but it started accusing those who want federation of near treachery. Even one of them wrote that the federal solution in Cyprus is a FETO (Gulenist organization) project. It means that everyone now who wants a federation is a FETO follower (Gulenist).”
Noting that now they don’t support anything else than a two-state solution, Levent said that Turkey does not even want this. He added that Turkey does not want a solution, because solution means the withdrawal of the Turkish army from the island; whatever the solution would be, either a federation, a confederation or a two state solution, it means that Turkey’s existence in the island is over.
Levent argued that even if Anastasiades would have proposed a two-state solution, he would put immediately at the negotiating table the issues of the withdrawal of the Turkish army and the abolishment of Turkey’s guarantees. He also argued that the current status quo is the most suitable situation for Turkey, adding that as a matter of fact Turkey considers that Cyprus belongs to it. “It designs the north of Cyprus as it wishes… Even how much we shout, yell, it does not care… it does as it knows… It sees that there is no serious threat against it here…”, Sener wrote.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (30.01.19) reports that the Turkish Cypriot journalist’s union (KTGB), in a written statement, described as worrying for the press freedom and the democratic standards point of view, the developments occurred in the “TRNC” during the organization of the press conference of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu by the “Turkish embassy in the TRNC”, within the framework of his recent illegal visit to the island.
In the written statement, the journalist’s union described further as “unacceptable” the stance shown by the illegal Bayrak television (BRT), pointing out that the naïve stance by illegal BRT to broadcast a televised program and an interview by Cavusoglu which was organized by the “Turkish embassy in the TRNC” is worrisome from the point of view of the freedom of the press and the democratic way of life. “We are not orderly, we are journalists”, said the statement, adding that the above shown stance by illegal BRT indicates that they want the “monopoly of the publishing system” which exists in Turkey to be transferred in the “TRNC” as well.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (30.01.19) reports that the chairman of the Press Workers Trade Union (BASIN-SEN) Ali Kismir, in a written statement, announced that BASIN-SEN will take legal action against Erkan Egmez, columnist to Star newspaper, who has claimed in an article he wrote in the past that “The federal solution in Cyprus is a project of the FETO organization”.
The written statement described it as unacceptable that such persons are workers in the press, supporting that such kind of persons embarrass the profession of the journalist. “A person such as Erkan Egmez, who is involved in numerous illegal actions and smuggling, constitutes a clear example of persons who blacken our job”, the statement adds.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (30.01.19) reports that a delegation of the so-called ministry of tourism and environment, headed by the so-called minister of tourism Fikri Ataoglu will represent the occupation regime in the East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition 2019 (EMITT) fair, which is to take place in Istanbul from January 31 to February 3.
According to the paper, the occupation regime will attend the fair with its own stand where it is expected to present a “miniature showing the occupied port of Keryneia and the sunken ship which belongs to the Phoenician period and it is under protection in the Keryneia castle”.
In statements to the paper, so-called minister Ataoglu said that their aim is to promote new tourism products especially in Turkey and the world. “Our target is to establish new links aimed at increasing the tourism incomes in 2019”, Ataoglu alleged, adding that the EMITT tourism fairs has a significant role for the promotion of the “TRNC”.
According to Turkish daily Sabah (30.01.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/elections/2019/01/29/yildirim-to-resign-as-parliament-speaker-after-officially-filing-candidacy-for-istanbul-mayor), Binali Yıldırım, Turkish Parliament Speaker and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party)'s candidate for Istanbul Mayor in the upcoming local elections, said on Tuesday that he will submit his resignation as soon as the official filing of his candidacy is completed.
In an interview with CNN Türk news channel, Yıldırım said he will resign from his post as Parliamentary Speaker on Feb. 18 after the formal application for his mayoral bid is completed.
The Turkish opposition has been criticizing Yıldırım's candidacy as being against the law, arguing the Turkish Constitution bans Parliamentary Speakers and Deputy Speakers from participating in the political activities of their parties within or outside Parliament, apart from situations that are required by their duties.
However, Yıldırım says his bid for mayorship was unprecedented and the law was not clear. "This is a first in legislation. The laws are not clear on the issue… Legislators are discussing (this) among themselves. Some say there aren't any laws against it, and some say I should resign."
Yıldırım said he was "fed up" with all the discussions about his resignation and said they should be discussing Istanbul instead.
Yıldırım's candidacy for Istanbul Mayor was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Dec. 29 after months of speculation. (…)
According to Turkish news portal (29.01.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/01/29/two-turkish-opposition-deputies-resign-over-alliance-issues/), Deputies Cezmi Polat and Tamer Akkal have resigned from the İYİ (Good) Party, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Tuesday.
In statements announcing their resignations, the Deputies expressed their disappointment with the policies pursued by the party, which was established in late 2017 with an aim to bringing new impetus to Turkish politics.
Both Deputies had left the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) to join the İYİ Party.
The resignations came after the Kurdish-issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) announced that it would not nominate any candidates for Mayor in İstanbul, İzmir and Ankara, some of Turkey’s biggest metropolitan cities – a move that was interpreted as implicit support for the candidates of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), with which the İYİ Party has formed an alliance for the local elections of March 2019.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (30.01.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkeys-presidential-aide-uss-bolton-discuss-syria-3473226), Turkey's presidential aide Ibrahim Kalin and U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday discussed the latest developments in Syria over the phone.
Kalin and Bolton reviewed the subjects that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump agreed during their last week’s phone conversation.
Last week, Erdogan said Turkey was ready to take over the security in Syria's Manbij without delay during a phone conversation with Trump. A statement from the Turkish presidency said Erdogan and Trump agreed to take joint measures to clear Daesh's remnants in Syria and prevent the group's resurgence.
During the phone call, Kalin and Bolton agreed on continued coordination in process of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria and cooperation for establishing a safe zone, and realizing Manbij roadmap. They also stressed the importance of effective cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism.
They also discussed Trump’s expected state visit to Turkey.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.01.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-croatian-ministers-discuss-security-migration/1378475), the Turkish and Croatian Interior Ministers on Tuesday in Ankara discussed cooperation on security issues, fight against terror, irregular migration, anti-narcotics efforts and bilateral relations said Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in a joint press conference with his Croatian counterpart Davor Bozinovic.
"In today’s meeting, we had the chance to review our bilateral relations with Croatia in a comprehensive way," Soylu said. He expressed hope that Croatia will consider carefully the "very important" issues for Turkey mentioned at the meeting, referring to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). (…)
Bozinovic, for his part, said there are around 4 million Syrians living in Turkey and he thanked and praised Turkey for hosting them. He said that migration will continue to be one of the most important problems that should be addressed in the following period.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION