According to illegal Bayrak television (29.03.19-http://www.brtk.net/brt-world/), Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay alleged that Turkey will not turn a blind eye to “the Greek Cypriot side’s actions aimed at ignoring the Turkish Cypriot people”.
He claimed that they will continue to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot people in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking at a ceremony where service medals were awarded to veterans who served in the “1974 peace operation in Cyprus”, Oktay praised the “sacrifices of the veterans who fought for the freedom and safety of the Turkish Cypriot people”.
He alleged further that their goal is “to guarantee the political equality of Turkish Cypriots and to guarantee their legitimate rights, their security and their welfare”. “All our efforts to this day have been unsuccessful due to the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigent stance. The fact that Turkish Cypriots are subjected to embargoes and restrictions in many areas forces the boundaries of logic and conscience. The time has come to put aside approaches which are open-ended and which ignore the realities on the island,” Oktay said, supporting that efforts to prevent the development of the Turkish Cypriot people and maintain the status quo were not sustainable.
In regards to hydrocarbons discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean, Oktay said that the discovery of new reserves had made Cyprus a center of attention in the international arena.
Stating that the energy resources in the region should be used as an opportunity to raise the welfare of the region, Oktay allged that the international community had a responsibility to allow the Turkish Cypriot people to integrate with the rest of the world and to lift the “embargoes” imposed on them.
According to illegal Bayrak television (29.03.19-www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akar-turkey-to-safeguard-peace-and-security-in-cyprus), Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said Turkey will continue to safeguard peace and security in Cyprus on the basis of the Treaties of Guarantees and Alliance.
“Turkey will continue to protect its rights and interests,” said Akar in his address during a medal ceremony for war veterans who took part in the “1974 Turkish peace operation”, as the Turkish invasion in Cyprus is referred to.
Praising the sacrifices of the veterans, Akar alleged that peace and freedom on the island prevail as a result of the “Turkish peace operation”.
“Our noble nation which has supported the Turkish Cypriot peoples’ struggle for freedom and existence for half a century is in solidarity with the TRNC”, Akar alleged.
Akar expressed the hope that a better future awaits the Turkish Cypriot people. “Turkey will continue to safeguard peace and security in Cyprus in line with the Treaties of Guarantees and Alliance and will continue to protect its legitimate rights and interests”, Akar further claimed.
Alleging that Turkey supported all efforts to find solutions to all the problems in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean through peaceful methods, good neighborly relations onthe basis of international law”, Akar added: “We shall however not stand idle against any attempts to carry out a fait accompli. Everyone must know that. There is no chance for any decision that excludes Turkey or which does not have its approval to be implemented,” Akar concluded.
According to illegal Bayrak television (29.03.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=erhurman-visited-ankara) so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman held a series of “contacts” yesterday in Ankara.
Erhurman first visited the “TRNC embassy in Ankara”. As part of his contacts, Erhurman met with the Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay and his delegation. The economic and financial cooperation protocol was taken up during the meeting.
Erhurman also met with the President of the Higher Education Council (YÖK) Prof. Dr Yekta Saraç. “The higher education in the TRNC” was discussed at the meeting which was held at the “TRNC embassy”.
Within the framework of his other contacts in Ankara, Erhurman further attended a ceremony where service medals were awarded to veterans who took part in the “1974 peace operation in Cyprus” (Translator’s note: as the Turkish invasion in Cyprus is referred to).
Expressing gratitude to the veterans, Erhurman alleged: “The Turkish Cypriot people continues to exist as an honorable people and is struggling to become part of the international community.”
Erhurman also claimed that “the Turkish Cypriot people will never give up political equality and that the TRNC will continue its economic and social development with the assistance of the Republic of Turkey, giving the struggle waged by the war veterans and martyrs as an example”, Erhurman alleged that the best example is the struggle that was put forward by them. “You paid the heaviest price during those bitter times”, Erhurman added.
He also alleged that the Turkish Cypriot “people” like other peoples in the world “are demanding equal representation within the international community”.
Supporting the view that they will enable “the social and economic development of the TRNC by working all together”, Erhurman stressed that the Turkish Cypriot people will continue to exist.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (29.03.19) reports that Odul Muhtaroglu, “undersecretary of the state planning organization” (“DPO”), announced that the number of the population, as it was announced by the “minister of domestic affairs” Aygul Baybars, is close to the data that they also have.
Participating yesterday in a televised programme at “BRT”, Muhtaroglu said: “In the light of all administrative registrations for 2018, we have determined that the population is 372 thousand 486 persons. We have considered these 372,486 persons as de-jure population, as the population residing in a country more than a year. Because the population according to the UN parameter, is the people who reside in a country for a year and more. Students and those who have working permits are also included. Those who are not included are the tourists and the army corps. (…) The figure that was announced by the minister of interior is very close to our figure. We have determined the figure of 372 thousand 486 in 2018. (…)”
Mutharoglu also said that “state budget revenue from the higher education sector was 4.3 billion TL”, adding: “the annual state budget is 7.7 billion TL and the 4.3 billion TL budget revenue is coming from the higher education sector. (…) We can cover the foreign trade deficit of 1.6 billion dollar form both higher education and tourism. The contribution of university to the employment is very high. Approximately to 14,500 persons are working in the field of higher education. This figure is not just academicians”.
Speaking at the same programme, Ziya Ozturkler, “director of the department of higher education and foreign affairs”, said that the number of active students in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus is around 85 thousand. He added: “There are 102 thousand registered university students in the country. (…) but the number of students studying in our country is around 85 thousands, including TRNC citizens. (…)”. He further noted that the student permits contribute to the “state budget” yearly 40 million TL.
Writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (29.03.19), columnist Unal Findik reports that the day before yesterday Aysegul Baybars, self-styled interior minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus referred to the number of population living in the occupied area of the island, but Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci did not find this number to be convincing. Under the title “Population is not confidential”, Findik notes that Baybars alleged that the population of a country is confidential and points out the following:
“[…] Confidential things are shameful things. That is, as the esteemed minister said, there are shameful things in the nonexistent population policy of this country. […] The population of this country should be known with all its details, discussed and taken as basis in the future planning. […] In my view, the most important thing, however, is the nonexistent population policy of the country or the population policy imposed on us from the outside, [the population policy] which we do not accept.
There is a population policy implemented in this country for many years. And this is the transfer of population from Turkey to these lands. The population brought after 1974 under the name of agricultural labor force reached now the third generation here.
The transfer of population to work in any kind of jobs continued especially after the middle of the 1980’s. Afterwards, the campaign of ‘those who live here for 10, 15 20 years should become citizens’ started. In a period when elections were approaching citizenship was massively distributed for the sake of votes. This reached a critical stage during UBP’s period. Before the 1993 elections and especially before the 2003 elections thousands of persons were granted citizenship regardless of their legal situation.
[…] When the UBP came to power on its own after the 2009 elections, the distribution of citizenship rose from the grave again. […] Therefore, before the 2004 referendum, the number of the persons to whom citizenship was granted from 1974 until 2004 in the list given to the UN was less than 45,000. If you add to this the approximately 120,000 persons who became citizens by birth, the total number of citizens becomes 165,000.
During the 15 years from 2004 until March of 2019, the total number of TRNC citizens was announced to be 252,000. That is, in 15 years we increased by 90,000 persons. And this means an increase of 54,5% in 15 years. This increase has no relation with the natural increase of population. Because, even in the countries where the increase of population is the highest, the annual increase of population does not exceed 3-5%. This means, that the increase of population in this country is not normal. Therefore, we should leave confidentiality aside and discuss everything openly. […]”
Meanwhile, writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (29.03.19), columnist Serhat Incirli reports that the reason for which they do not know the number of their population is a “simple mistake committed in the past”. He notes: “It is the effort to relieve Turkey of the accusations that ‘it transfers population’, ‘it assimilates’. The current Turkey should not be in a situation to fear of this. Will President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who shouts that Israel has no right on the Golan Heights, fear of the population transferred to the TRNC? He does not fear at all, I am sure! […]”
Writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (29.03.19), columnist Serhat Incirli comments on the statement made yesterday by Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, calling on the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus to hand over to the breakaway regime a Pakistani citizen, who is a suspect in a murder investigation held in the occupied area of the island.
Incirli reports the following: “[…] if the fact that a murder suspect in the TRNC is held in the south and he is not handed over will be criticized, first criticism should be made regarding those whom we have not handed over! […] If my Teacher Kudret will make a one-sided statement, the name of this is propaganda, cheap heroism, and hostility to the solution! If my Teacher Kudret said ‘we did not hand over the suspects or the accused persons regarding the Guzelyurtlu murder and criticized the other side for the same reason, I would kiss his hand, even though he is younger then me! […]”
Commenting on the same issue in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (29.03.19), columnist Cenk Mutluyakali wonders why Ozersay’s call to the Republic of Cyprus was published in Turkish language and why it was addressed to the people living in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Mutluyakali wonders also how the people living in the occupied area of Cyprus would feel and what they would do when they hear Ozersay’s statement. He says the following:
“[…] Will they feel more ‘hostility’ and thus the foreign ministry’s actual duty be fulfilled? Will the ministry complete its duty of deteriorating the relations between the communities instead of opening this community to the world? However, do not forget! You are in a ‘globe made of glass’! GLASS…Therefore, do not throw stones to the people next to you! Those who did not hand over the murderers who killed a family, that beautiful child Eylul with a face like a diamond, were they not your authorities? Who forgets this shame? […] Is so much hatred worthy of a thousand ‘nationalist’ votes? […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs Postası (29.03.19) reports that high ranking official of UNFICYP in Cyprus Edmund Freely tried to carry out an inspection in the occupied area of Cyprus without getting the necessary permission by the “security forces” and this caused a big crisis between him and the occupation army.
According to the paper, freely faced the “police” and the “security forces” which did not allow him to enter the breakaway regime. Freely tried to go to the office of UNFICYP in Strovilia area. “The unexpected visit annoyed the security forces”, writes the paper which notes that tension occurred between the so-called police and freely.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (29.03.19) reports that the Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP) will participate in the elections for the European Parliament with two candidates.
According to a statement issued by the party, KSP wants to show that Cyprus is a whole. The party’s candidates are Mehmet Birinci and Kazim Halit.
According to illegal Bayrak television (29. 03. 2019-www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cittaslow-meeting-in-north-cyprus), the Cittaslow International Coordination committee meeting that is continuing in China has taken a decision to hold its Autumn meeting that will take place between the 8 and 10 of November in the “TRNC”.
The “mayor” of occupied Galateia village and Cittaslow network Coordinator Cemil Sarıçizmeli “represented the TRNC” at the Cittaslow International Coordination committee meetings that were held in two different cities in China.
In a statement he made to the illegal TAK news agency, Sarıçizmeli said that 40 delegates from 19 different countries will be taking part in the autumn international meeting. He added that he was very excited that this meeting was going to take place in the “TRNC”. He also said that he presented the occupied Akanthou “municipality’s letter of intent” to General Secretary Pier Giorgio Olivet conveying the village’s desire to become the 5th Cittaslow village in north Cyprus.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.03.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-wont-allow-fait-accompli-in-med-sea-minister-142248) reported that Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said that Turkey would not allow a fait accompli over the natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean, adding that the new search efforts would be a “game changer.”
“We would not let a fait accompli in the Mediterranean,” Donmez said at Petroleum Istanbul, an energy industry fair which opened on March 28.
“Turkey would defend the rights of the TRNC”, Donmez further said in response to “unilateral attempts and deals by the Greek Cypriots”.
“We consider oil and gas search as the biggest step to change the game,” he added
“Our goal is to make Turkey a country that produces oil and natural gas and exports them,” Donmez said, adding that Turkey wants to become independent in energy, highlighting the Turkish Stream project with Russia and Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), which carries Azerbaijani gas to Turkey, with the date to transfer the resource to Europe nearing.
“Turkey recently discovered gas resources in the northwestern province of Canakkale”, Donmez said. “This will help curb the current account deficit by $5 billion [annually]”, he added.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.03.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/erdogan-blames-west-us-for-currency-rate-fluctuations/1432609) reported that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday accused the West, particularly the U.S., of trying to make things difficult for Turkey before Sunday's local elections.
“Exchange rate fluctuations are an operation by the West, particularly the U.S., to put Turkey into a corner”, Erdogan said in a televised interview.
“Such attempts to manipulate exchange rates are a political imposition before the looming local polls”, he added.
The U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate stood below 5.60 as of 3 p.m. local time (1200GMT) Thursday, while the exchange rate saw 5.70 over the past few days.
The USD/TRY was around 5.40 by market close on Wednesday, as one dollar exchanged for 5.38 Turkish liras at the beginning of this year.
Also, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.03.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-reiterates-call-for-lower-interest-rates-142247) reported that Erdogan has reiterated his call for lowering interest rates amid an ongoing fluctuation in the Turkish Lira which he described as an attempt by the West, particularly the United States, to corner Turkey ahead of the municipal elections.
“Let me explain a difficulty we have. This is about inflation. A slight decline in inflation has begun but the main problem is the [level of] interest rates. Inflation will further decrease with the lowering of interest rates,” Erdogan said at a meeting with youngsters as part of an election campaign on March 28.
Erdogan was responding to a question on the recent fluctuation of the lira which has caused around five percent value loss in less than a day. The Central Bank’s measures avoided a major plunge in the Turkish lira but resulted with around 8% fall at the stock exchange.
“All these are attempts by the West, particularly America, to corner Turkey,” Erdogan said, stressing that pressure imposed on Turkey through currency fluctuations yielded no result. “Now, they can’t find the lira. They are in difficulty in the remitting,” he stated, adding this led to decline in the value of the U.S. dollar while the lira has bounced back.
Erdogan expressed confidence in the Turkish economy and challenged international bankers who he accused of plotting against Turkey.
Turkey launched a probe against JP Morgan and some banks for manipulative acts following a sharp plunge of the lira on March 22.
“We should discipline all the market speculators,” Erdogan said, referring to wholesalers and brokers who he accused of marketing all the products, particularly agricultural ones, to unreasonable prices in supermarkets.
“We will take action if this issue will not be solved until the March 31 elections. We have already said that we will [expand] the point of sales by our municipalities. We will also talk to the associations of craftsmen,” Erdogan said. “Chain markets should be helping us. This state, this people belong to us. Let’s not exploit them through high prices.”
“Turkey has become a country that has influence on regional and global issues and that’s why this bothers foreign powers”, Erdogan stressed, linking latest economic turbulence with the efforts of these powers.
“They cannot achieve their objective,” Erdogan said, explaining his government’s post-election preoccupation.
“There will be around four-and-half years until the next elections. So after Monday we will be starting to get down to business. All that we have to do, our road map and timeline are ready. We will start to implement in a smooth way. Now the investors are waiting to hear from us. They will come when we invite them,” Erdogan said.
In a rally in Haymana district of Ankara, Erdogan announced that the government will take steps for the economy immediately after the elections and will start to implement them in the next two months. “We will undertake structural reforms after the elections in order to strengthen our economy against such recent attacks against us,” Erdogan further said.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.03.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-leader-says-akp-behind-all-ills-of-economy-rising-unemployment-142235) reported that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has said that staggering unemployment, high costs of living, a weakening Turkish Lira in the global economy and economic mismanagement are all the doing of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The government is trying to garner votes by creating concerns and fears in the minds of people because they have not much to sell. Can they say: ‘We have solved the unemployment problem’? No, because they could not in 17 years. On the contrary, the number of unemployed people has increased,” Kılıcdaroglu said on a program aired by more than 40 radio stations on March 28.
“The economy is not performing well, the people are suffering from high costs of living and the Turkish Lira has become the most depreciated currency in the world”, Kılıcdaroglu said, adding that more than one million people were left jobless in the past year.
“There are serious problems. But they fail to explain how they will address these problems,” the CHP leader said. “Instead they have introduced a ‘national survival’ rhetoric.”
“Why would Turkey be destroyed? Turkey is one of the strongest countries in its region. What do the local elections have to do with the country’s survival?” Kılıcdaroglu said, referring to rhetoric Erdogan voices often at election rallies that Turkey’s survival is at stake.
(…) “Turkey has two windows: On one of them is the high society of the [presidential] palace. Everything is perfect for them. They have no problems like unemployment or poverty. From the other window, you see the people. And unemployment is there. Hundreds of thousands of kids are going to bed hungry,” Kılıcdaroglu said.
“When one looks at Turkey from the window of the palace, they do not see the suffering of the people, he stressed, recalling that citizens are queuing in front of municipality-run stalls to buy cheap onions and other vegetables”.
“Now the citizens are asking: I’ve voted for you for 17 years. I paid my taxes. But you increased the national debt from $70 billion to $500 billion in the 17 years and made people wait in lines to buy cheap basic food items due to price increases,” he said.
Turkish daily Sabah (28.3.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/business/2019/03/28/china-aims-to-double-investments-in-turkey-to-6-billion-by-2021) reported that China is planning to double investments in Turkey to a level of $6 billion, the Chinese Ambassador Deng Li said on Thursday.
The Ambassador met with the head of Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK)'s Turkey-China Business Council Murat Kolbaşı, President of the Council for Promotion of South-South Cooperation Lyu Xinhua and China's Istanbul Consul-General Cui Wei for an event in Istanbul.
During the Turkey-China Trade and Investment Seminar, Ambassador Li said that his country's Belt and Road Project contributes to cooperation between the two countries in many fields.
The Council's President Kolbaşı, touching upon China's targets regarding its relationship with Turkey, said that the country also aims to double tourism volume.
"The Ambassador expects the number of tourists to double to 800,000 next year. I say, let's make this 1,200,000," Kolbaşı added.
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