According to illegal Bayrak television (09.02.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=exploration-in-the-mediterranean), Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez has said that Turkish Petroleum will continue seismic exploration in “licensed zones” in the Mediterranean.
“Turkey’s second drillship will be in the country’s territorial waters in the Mediterranean around February 20th in anticipation of the go-ahead to begin exploration”, Dönmez said.
Dönmez confirmed during an interview on TRT Haber television channel that Turkish Petroleum would continue seismic exploration in its “licensed zones” in the Mediterranean. “Turkey will continue exploration by making four drillings per year, two of which will be made by the existing Fatih drillship and two with the new vessel that will arrive in the Mediterranean around the 20th of February”.
He confirmed that Turkish Petroleum has already drilled 70 wells last year while the private sector drilled around 40 wells, adding that this would increase in 2019 to 130 and 50, respectively. “As you know we started our deep drilling in October 2018. I think we will get the first result at the beginning of next month or at the end of this month. Of course it’s too early to say anything,” Donmez explained.
However, he shared that following seismic surveys conducted by the two seismic vessels in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, Turkey made a small gas discovery in the Thrace region, which he said he would detail further on Monday, 11th of February.
Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa, Turkey’s first seismic vessel, was bought from Norway in 2013, and has been conducting surveys in the Mediterranean since April 2017.
The MTA Oruç Reis vessel, which was built by Turkish engineers in a local shipyard in Istanbul, has been in operation since late June 2017.
Turkey started its first deep-sea drilling offshore Antalya on the Mediterranean coast on October the 30th.
Drilling operations that started on November the 26th in the shallow waters off Mersin in southern Turkey are also ongoing.
Donmez asserted that Turkey would not give consent to the fait accompli in the area in which the “Greek Cypriot administration” has undertaken unilateral exploration around the island.
“We say that it is unlawful for the Greek Cypriot side to tender oil or natural gas exploration in the areas that it claims to be its own,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (11.02.19) reports that Turkey’s second drillship DeepSea Metri 1 (FATIH-2) has already crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and has already entered the Eastern Mediterranean.
According to the paper, the drillship will stay for three days in Spain’s Algeciras port for maintenance and food supply and later on will depart for the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (11.02.19) reports that Turkey’s Interior Minister, Suleyman Soylu, has stated that they will hunt down PKK in Cyprus.
Speaking during a gathering in Ankara, referring to his recent visit in the occupied area of Cyprus, Soylu said: “We went for a short period of time in Cyprus and we returned back. We are searching for PKK there. There are for example pint size structures in the universities. Not only in Cyprus but wherever they are, we will throw them away, if our nation call us to account for this. There is no place that FETO has links. There are also there, in Cyprus. We will soon solve this issue, including there. […]”.
Under the above title, Cenk Mutluyakali, the Editor in Chief of Yeni Duzen (10.02.19) writes in his daily article that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu replied to a question addressed to him in the Turkish Assembly by the Turkish opposition, as regards the number of the Turkish citizens who live abroad.
Mutluyakali writes that the issue of the number of the Turkish citizens who live in Cyprus was neither discussed and nor attention was paid to the issue.
“Cavusoglu replied to the question (about the Turkish citizens living abroad). He shared numbers from 153 countries. But Cyprus was not among them. Neither the north, nor the south. Neither the Republic of Cyprus, nor the TRNC! For example in Germany, there are 2 million Turkish citizens, in France there are 700,000. Even in Equador there are 100, he said. In Ethiopia there are 2,000. In the USA there are 300,000. Well, what about Cyprus? There are not! This is because the number is not known or because Cyprus is not considered to be (a country) abroad? I am just curious. Or this is because they hesitated since they (the Turkish citizens) are more than the local population?”, Mutluyakali wrote.
Commenting on Mutluyakali’s article, Sener Levent the editor-in-chief of Afrika writes in the paper (11.02.19) the following: “What kind of strange questions are you asking… What kind of strange… While the number of Turkish citizens living in Cyprus was not announced when the number of Turkish citizens living abroad was announced… Is this a question? Cyprus is abroad for Turkey? It seems that you have not really understood. .. They say to you Turkey Republic of Northern Cyprus… Still, you do not get it…”, he writes.
According to illegal Bayrak television (09.02.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ataoglu-speaks-to-brt), so-called minister of tourism and environment Fikri Atatoglu, in statements to illegal Bayrak television, regarding the “Greek Cypriot administration who has been trying to prevent tourism advertisements of north Cyprus appearing on buses, trains and billboards in the UK”, said that in the past they had come face to face with the Greek Cypriot sides efforts aimed at preventing the “TRNC” from being advertised abroad but claimed that they have now overcome these obstacles.
“This year in January the Greek Cypriot side became extremely uncomfortable with the advertisements that were placed on buses and train stations throughout the UK as they had received much interest. According to information we received just recently the Greek Cypriot side has actually begun a signature campaign to prevent advertisements in the future. They should really not bother because we will and have overcome all obstacles”, Ataoglu alleged.
Explaining that as instructed by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, efforts are being realized so that a plane belonging to Anadolu Jet will be deployed in the “TRNC” in the near future, Ataoglu alleged that this will be realized in the “TRNC” as of April, leading to a 300 to 400 TL price drop in ticket prices.
“Anadolu Jet will start flights from the TRNC to Adana, Antalya, Izmir and Gaziantep as of April. We are looking into another different destination that can be added like Hatay or Trabzon. As soon as Anadolu Jet starts flying from the TRNC, we are expecting ticket prices to drop”, Ataoglu argued, claiming further that efforts are being made to overcome the problems being experienced by those coming to the “TRNC” from England.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Detay (11.02.19) reports that a “draft-program” for supporting local work force in the name of securing the future of around 4,000 employees, who are “TRNC citizens”, has been prepared by the self-styled ministry of labor and social insurance, within the framework of supporting the local work force.
The target of the program is to support the sectors having mass manpower and increase the local work force. According to the paper, the aim is for 2,000-4,000 “TRNC citizens” to benefit from this program, which provides for the “state” paying the social insurance and providence fund premiums of the businesses, which sign a “collective labor agreement”, for a period of 24 months. This number averagely corresponds to 1,100 Turkish liras per employee.
The employers will benefit from this “draft-regulation” on the condition that they deposit the salaries of their employees in a bank and pay a salary at least by 15% higher than the net minimum wage. With the incentive, the total salary will increase to at least 3,900 TL. The “state” will deposit 750 TL every month for each employee working in every business.
According to the paper, the chambers of commerce and industry oppose especially the part of the “draft-regulation” providing for belonging to a labor union. The two out of the four “coalition government partners”, that is, the People’s Party (HP) and the Democratic Party (DP) are not positive to this “regulation”. The opposition National Unity Party (UBP) opposed the “draft-regulation”. The process is reportedly supported by the other two “coalition partners”, that is, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP), and many trade unions such as Turk-Sen.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkın Sesi (11.02.19) reports that disagreements exist within the “government” on this issue. According to the paper, the TDP is positive for the “regulation”, while the DP and HP are not positive. “Prime minister” Erhurman, chairman of the CTP, seems to oppose the regulation, since during a meeting with the employers, he has reportedly stated that he did not think that it could be implemented under the current circumstances and economic situation and that the fact that the “regulation” had been submitted to the “council of ministers” did not mean that it would be approved.
Finally, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (11.02.19) reports that Zeki Celer, self-styled minister of labor and social insurance of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, stated that the “collective labor agreement” and the trade unionism would prevent unfair competition and contribute to the fight against labor exploitation. He noted that the exploiters of labor oppose the additional incentive to the salaries and argued that the “regulation” would support businesses.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (11.02.19) reports that the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar stated that the party is in search for its own candidate for the “presidential elections”.
Tatar, who made these statements in an interview he gave to Havadis, denied allegations that UBP is trying to grab “deputies” from “government parties”. “We do not do this kind of show. […] Let this government go as far as possible. I do not have the anxiet to say, "let me set up a government tomorrow morning", he stated.
He went on and added that the allegations that UBP will bring the leader of the People’s Party Kudret Ozersay as the candidacy of the right, on the condition that the party comes to power, are groundless. “For us, conditional government cannot be established. UBP is in search of its own candidate”, he said and added: “My wish is of course to be the head of the government. But I do not want to talk about whether I am going to run for president or not. I do not know what is going to happen in politics”.
Tatar further stated that it will not be right to say that UBP will not establish a coalition government with this or the other party, since some judgments may change over time. “We need to determine this according to the conditions of the day”, he said.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (11.02.19) reports that, according to data published by the so-called trade department of the breakaway regime for the period January-November 2018, the exports of the breakaway regime to Turkey decreased by 2% in 2018 comparing to 2017, while the imports from Turkey increased by 6%.
The total exports to Turkey were 93 million dollars in 2017 and fell to 91 million dollars in 2018, while the imports from Turkey rose to 1 billion 570 million dollars from 1 billion 479 billion dollars.
On the other hand, the exports to third countries increased to 40 million dollars in 2018 comparing to 33 million dollars in 2017.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (10.02.19) reports that one-by-one the historical buildings in the occupied part of Lefkosia are collapsing and writes that Saint Jacob Church, dated from 15th century, which is located in the Arabahmet area, has also collapsed recently.
The paper, who publishes various photos of the collapsed building, writes that this is the result of neglect.
However, reporting on the issue, Afrika (10.02.19) writes that the church is located within the green line, in an area which is under the control of the Turkish army. Afrika further reports that despite the call for restoration the church was abandoned and as a result it has collapsed.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (09.02.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/all-terrorists-who-kill-muslims-have-western-weapons-turkish-president-erdogan-141117) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Turkey's western allies of arming terrorists and killers who target Muslims around the world.
ErdoGan attended the ceremony in Istanbul on Feb. 9 to launch the Ufuk (A-591) test and training ship. The Ufuk is the fifth ship in MİLGEM -- Turkey's first indigenous warship program -- and it spans 99.5 meters (326 feet) in length and 14.4 meters (42 feet) in width.
"Those who give weapons to terrorists with blood-soaked hands create unimagined obstacles when Turkey seeks to buy the same weapons. From Daesh and PKK to Al Qaida and Al Shabaab, all terror organizations that shed the blood of Muslims have Western weapons in their hands," Erdogan said in Istanbul on Feb. 9 at the launch ceremony of a new test and training ship.
"The murderers of PYD/YPG, who conduct an ethnic cleansing in northern Syria, have the rockets, bombs and ammunition of our allies. Facing such a picture, Turkey cannot wait with tied-up hands or delegate its national security to other countries," he added.
Erdogan had signaled earlier this month that a cross-border operation against the YPG will happen soon. Since 2016, Ankara has carried out two similar military operations in northern Syria with the help of the Free Syrian Army members.
On Feb. 9, Erdogan also said that Turkey's military capabilities will "help its presence on the table" in its moves to end the war in Syria, as well as in its anti-terror fight. "Over the last three years, we have scored many large successes against terror groups, especially Daesh and the PKK, who target our citizens’ lives and try to divide our country," he added.
Turkish daily Sabah (11.02.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/02/11/russias-defense-minister-shoigu-to-visit-turkey-for-syria-talks) reports that Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu will make an unexpected visit to Ankara on Monday upon the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.
The Ministers are expected to hold talks focused on the latest development in Syria, particularly in northwestern Idlib province.
The talks will take place ahead of the trilateral leader's summit between Turkey, Russia and Iran that will be held in the Russian resort city of Sochi on Feb. 14.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.02.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/very-few-women-nominated-as-mayoral-candidates-in-turkeys-local-polls-141099) reported that KA.DER, a women’s rights organization which advocates equal representation of women and men in all fields of life, has criticized Turkish political parties for nominating very few women to run as Mayors in the upcoming March 31 local elections.
“The number of female candidates nominated by parties for the March 31 elections has created a total disappointment. Very few women have been nominated as mayoral candidates by the People’s Alliance and Nation Alliance,” KA.DER said in a press release issued on Feb. 6, referring to the electoral alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the one between the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party, respectively.
Of the 1,297 mayoral candidates that the AKP has announced for across Turkey, only 24 are women, corresponding to a staggeringly low 1.25%, according to information the association has gathered from party headquarters and media.
The main opposition CHP, on the other hand, has so far released the names of 842 mayor candidates, only 44 of them are women, corresponding to a mere 5.23%.
Of the 750 candidates announced by the MHP, 14 are women, whereas İYİ Party, which is the only political party to have a female leader, has named only five women as mayoral candidates, out of a total 122 names (corresponding to 3.85%). The Saadet (Felicity) Party has named only two female candidates for the upcoming elections, making up 0.77% of the total 261 names.
In this election, the party to have nominated the most female candidates is again the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), putting forward 145 women, out of 290 in total, as mayoral candidates. This makes it 50% female representation in the local elections.
“The interest of women in political party membership and politics is increasing day by day, but their visibility in the parties’ decision-making structures and mechanisms is very low. The political figures that overlook women have lost their plausibility and sincerity regarding women issues,” said KA.DER President Nuray Karaoglu in the press release.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION