A. Turkish Cypriot Press
Illegal Bayrak (05.02. 19 5 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=burcu-issues-written-statement-6 ) broadcast that spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Barış Burcu said that “political equality was indispensable for Turkish Cypriots”.
He said that Mustafa Akinci will be meeting with the “government” and briefing “parliament” as well in the coming days.
In a written statement issued yesterday, he evaluated Akinci’s meeting with the UN Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute.
He said that Akinci discussed with Lute whether there was a common basis for the resumption of talks in a results oriented manner between the two sides.
Reminding that Akıncı had met twice with the UN envoy this week, Burcu said that “Akinci emphasized acceptance of our political equality as a must-have in the possibility of the solution and highlighted its importance with various examples”. He also said that Akinci also underlined the fact that “taking backward steps in already established convergences especially on political equality will not help the resumption of the process”.
Stating that Akıncı maintained a sincere and a constructive dialogue with the UN envoy by maintaining consistency in his position while remaining loyal to past convergences and by continuing the constructive approach of the Turkish Cypriot side.
“It is obvious that as and when a federal solution is reached there will not be any majority- minority relationship. Turkish Cypriots’ political equality and their participation in decision making processes are core matters. In this respect loyalty to these principles and to past convergences are vital for successful completion of the Terms of Reference” he said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (05.019) reports that Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay accompanied by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputies Tugrul Turkes and Fatih Sahin, attended yesterday the funeral of Aydin Denktas, wife of the late former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas.
Aydin Denktas was laid to rest at the occupied Lefkosia cemetery, next to the grave of her son, Raif Denktas
According to the paper, Oktay who is illegally visiting the occupation regime held also a series of “contacts”.
According to the paper, Oktay and Tugrul Turkes visited yesterday the house of Arpaslan Turkes, founder of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and farher of Tugrul Turkes. The late was born and raised in the occupied part of Lefkosia. Oktay and Turkes inspected the restoration works which are taking place there by the “Turkish cooperation and coordination agency” (TIKA) in order to turn into a museum.
In statements to DHA (Demiroren Media group) after inspecting the works in the house of Arpaslan Turkes, Turkes said that the restoration works in the house of his father were launched after Erdogan’s instructions. He said that the house will be restored and become a typical Cypriot house of the period of 1920 and added that it will also become a museum where Turkes’ sculpture will be built. Turkes added further that Turkey’s President Erdogan will probably attend the opening ceremony which will take place in March. [Arpaslan Turkes was born in Lefkosia in 1917 and later on he moved with his family to Ankara in 1933].
Meanwhile, within the framework of his “contacts” in the occupied area of Cyprus, Oktay held yesterday a close-to the press meeting with so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency, the meeting took place at the so-called “Turkish embassy” in the “TRNC”. Speaking after the meeting, Erhurman described the meeting as “sincere and fruitful”. Meanwhile, Oktay visited yesterday the “within the walls area” in the occupied part of Lefkosia, where he had the opportunity to speak with shopkeepers.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (05.02.19) reports that Yavuz Ekmekci, member of the central committee of the Revival Party (YDP), criticized harshly those who criticize YDP for condemning Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
In a post in his social media account, he also claimed: “If Ataturk was here, he would hang all the Greek Cypriot lovers at the Keryneia Gate”. He even described all those who desire a united Cyprus as a “half-breed of Greek Cypriots”, “traitors” and “lovers of the Greek Cypriots”. He continued his threats by saying that they will send to the “south” of Cyprus all those who do not like being in the “north” of Cyprus and do not consider themselves as “Turk”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (05.02.19) reports that the “state department organization” (DPO) in a written statement, announced that the “inflation rate” in the occupied area of Cyprus for January 2019 was 0.53% higher comparing to the previous month.
According to the same data, the inflation rate increased by 30.94% comparing to the same month of the previous year.
The “DPO” announced further that an increase was observed in the average price of 311 products included in the index and that a decrease took place in the price of 157 products.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.02.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/assad-regime-illegitimate-far-from-promising-future/1383468) reports that Ibrahim Kalin ,Turkish presidential spokesman made statements following a Cabinet meeting in the presidential complex in Ankara and stated that during the Cabinet meeting Foreign Minister Cavusoglu and National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar underlined some important issues about the situation in the Mediterranean.
"Turkey will continue its decisive stance to defend fundamental rights arising from its sovereign rights in the Aegean and Mediterranean and Black Sea," Kalin said.
"Turkey will not tolerate any fait accompli in the eastern Mediterranean, no matter from whom."
He also stated that the Assad regime in neighboring Syria is illegitimate and far from promising any future for the country. "Turkish intelligence departments may sometimes have contacts with various regime elements in al-Hasakah and Qamishli, including Damascus [government], in the framework of Turkey's security and the overall safety of Turkish operations in Syria."
But, he added: "This does not mean that Turkey recognizes the legitimacy of the [Syrian] regime."
Kalin said Turkey would not allow any terror threats from east of the Euphrates River in Syria and also stressed the importance of the roadmap for stability in Manbij, northern Syria.
"Immediate implementation of the Manbij roadmap without any delay is significant for U.S.-Turkey ties, regional safety, and the process in Syria," Kalin said, adding that Turkey and Russia also agreed on the roadmap as agreed with the U.S.
Mentioning the Astana and Geneva process peace talks on Syria, Kalin vowed to continue efforts to provide safety and stability in Syria with respect for the country's territorial integrity.
Kalin stressed that Turkey's main goal is to ensure steps to provide for Turkey's safety, and continued:
"Control [of the safety zone] should be maintained by Turkey, not another force.
"All the relevant departments of the Turkish Republic, the military and intelligence units, have proved to date that they have the capability to provide security for everyone in Afrin and Idlib [Syria]."
Kalin said Turkey should have control of the area east of the Euphrates River -- where a Turkish counter-terror operation is planned -- to be able to implement a similar model.
"No matter what name they have, SDF or PYD/YPG, Turkey will never allow [a model] to be a shield or camouflage for the terror groups," Kalin said.
Turkey and Russia, together with Iran, are the guarantor countries which brokered a cease-fire in Syria in December 2016, leading to the Astana talks, which are running parallel to the Geneva talks.
Kalin also denied reports that Turkey and the U.S. have agreed on a "safe zone" in Syria, saying that talks are still ongoing.
He also expressed concerns about the U.S. and Russian withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear (INF) treaty.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.02.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/greece-urges-eu-to-do-all-for-refugees-in-turkey/1382983) reports that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called on the EU to "do all it can to support" Turkey which is currently hosting 4 million refugees.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Tsipras answered questions on Turkey-Greece relations, the refugee crisis and the long-standing Cyprus issue.
"I believe that Turkey has taken over the great burden of hosting 4 million refugees. That should always be recognized by the international community and the EU should do all it can to support our neighbor," said the Greek premier who will pay a two-day visit to Ankara and Istanbul this week.
A Turkey-EU refugee deal reached in March 2016 aims to discourage irregular migration to Europe through the Aegean Sea.
"As a result [of the deal], illegal flows and especially deaths in the Aegean, drastically decreased," Tsipras said.
The deal included a €6-billion ($6.8-billion) aid package to help Turkey care for millions of refugees in the country. However, Turkey has so far received only a part of the committed amount. The agreement also allowed for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area.
Tsipras also said Turkey and Greece should "intensify" their cooperation regarding the refugee flow since "the Greek islands have been overburdened in the last few years".
The prime minister also claimed his country has one of the fastest asylum procedures and they are "working hard" to make it more effective. Some European leaders, such as Angela Merkel, blamed the Greek side for the deal not "working properly".
"The EU, for its part, has to find a way to strengthen the support it shows to countries that are the most affected from the flow and to reject agendas that are not compatible with European law or humanitarian principles," Tsipras said.
Asked whether there is a possibility of new talks on the Cyprus problem, Tsipras said that the sides should keep working for "a fair and viable solution based on UN Security Council decisions" despite the elections scheduled for this year.
"The reunification of the island on this basis, is the only possible solution," he said, calling for "effective preparatory meetings" on the security issue with the Turkish side.
Regarding bilateral relations of the two neighboring countries, he said: "The conditions must be created in Greek-Turkish relations for historic steps to take place."
On his personal relationship with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Greek leader said it is based on "respect, honesty and directness" although it was "challenged in very difficult moments".
"But it allowed us to consolidate channels of communication on many levels, to overcome obstacles and to be able, today, to speak of a positive agenda," he said.
"During my visit I believe we will have the chance to continue the difficult, but frank dialogue we started in December 2017 and to pick up our positive agenda from where we left it," he added, recalling the Turkish president's visit to Athens, which was the first at the presidential level after 65 years.
The Greek prime minister is scheduled to meet the leader of Istanbul's Fener Greek Orthodox Church Patriarch Bartholomew after his visit to Ankara.
Tsipras also talked on the developments regarding the Muslim Turkish minority's religious freedom in Greece, an issue which was raised by Erdogan in his 2017 Athens visit.
"The Treaty of Lausanne is the applicable international convention regarding minorities, so we inform each other on relevant developments on this basis," Tsipras said, branding the issue as an internal one rather than bilateral.
"We have made important steps until now on the implementation of Sharia law, the structure and function of the Mufti offices and educational issues. We will continue in this direction," the Greek leader said.
Turkish CNN Turk (05.02.19 https://www.cnnturk.com/turkiye/son-dakika-firar-eden-fetocu-74-asker-daha-terorden-arananlar-listesine-eklendi) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Ministry included on its “red terrorist list” the eight Turkish military officers who escaped to Greece after the failed coup in Turkey.
There is a bounty of 600,000 TL on the suspected officers.
Turkish daily Sabah (05.02.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/02/05/turkey-us-joint-working-group-to-meet-in-washington ) reports that Turkey-U.S. joint working group meetings are scheduled to be held in Washington on Tuesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Monday.
In a written statement, the ministry said Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal and U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale will co-chair the meetings.
The ministry has not provided further detail on the meetings, but topics such as the agreement on Syria's Manbij, the PKK, Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and Patriot missile system are expected to be discussed.
In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.02.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/assad-regime-illegitimate-far-from-promising-future/1383468) reports that Ibrahim Kalin ,Turkish presidential spokesman made statements following a Cabinet meeting in the presidential complex in Ankara and said that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu would also pay a visit to the U.S. on Tuesday to attend a Turkey-Syria coordination meeting, adding that the safe zone issue would be brought up during the talks.
Turkish Daily Sabah (05.02.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/02/04/fm-cavusoglu-discusses-alliance-of-civilizations-with-spanish-diplomat) reports that Turkey's foreign minister on Monday received a senior Spanish diplomat in the capital Ankara to discuss the Alliance of Civilizations, an initiative co-sponsored by Ankara and Madrid to build mutual respect among people of different cultural and religious identities.
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke with Miguel Moratinos, former foreign minister and High Representative of the U.N.'s Alliance of Civilizations, in a closed-door meeting at the Foreign Ministry, said a ministry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Moratinos will visit Turkey on Feb. 4-5 at the invitation of Çavuşoğlu, and the two are expected to speak about activities of the Alliance of Civilizations in the months and years to come.
The Alliance of Civilizations is a political initiative founded in 2005 by then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain.
Moratinos assumed the position of the initiative's high representative in January 2018.
Last November, Çavuşoğlu touted new life for the alliance initiative.
"We'll revive it to hold back extremist currents and boost intercultural and inter-civilizations dialogue through religion," he said.
"If we don't take these steps, reverse these trends, I'm afraid the world especially Europe will go back to the pre-World War II days, making them the victims of extremist and racist currents."
Turkish news site Turkish Minute (05.02.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/02/05/turkish-court-rules-to-keep-journalist-baransu-in-prison-2/) broadcast that a Turkish court on Monday ruled for a continuation of the imprisonment of journalist Mehmet Baransu, a former correspondent for the now-defunct Taraf newspaper, adjourning the trial until March 22-25, Turkish media reports said.
Baransu, who was arrested in March 2015 for allegedly obtaining and publishing secret state documents in connection with the disclosure of a war plan called the Egemen (Sovereign) Operation Plan, was unable to attend the hearing at the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court citing health problems.
He was expected to complete his defense during Monday’s hearing.
Baransu is charged with “possession of documents classified as state secrets,” “exposing classified information crucial to state security and interests” and allegedly “damaging, procuring or stealing documents concerning the security of the state or using said documents outside their intended purpose” in the indictment.
Former Taraf Editor-in-Chief Ahmet Altan, former executive editor of the same newspaper Yasemin Çongar and managing editor Yıldıray Oğur are also defendants in the case, facing up to 52 years, six months in prison for “destroying, using outside the intended purpose of, and illegally acquiring documents related to the security of the state.” Another defendant, Tuncay Opçin, remains at large.
Ahmet Altan, who was jailed in September 2016, along with his brother Mehmet Altan, were accused of sending “subliminal” messages regarding the failed coup on a TV show a day before the failed putsch on July 15, 2016.
Along with four other journalists, the Altan brothers were given aggravated life sentences in February 2018 on charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order.
Baransu is also jailed pending trial in a separate case that concerns his reporting in 2013 on an alleged customs fraud involving genetically modified rice. The indictment accuses Baransu of “attempting to overthrow the government” and “membership in a terrorist organization.”
Baransu is still being held at Silivri Prison in İstanbul, facing nearly a thousand years in jail as part of scores of different cases.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION