Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (16.04.19, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n282500-disisleri-bakanligindan-abdnin-kararina-tepki-silah-ambargos) reports that the self-styled foreign ministry of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that the lifting of the arms embargo implemented by the United States of America on the Republic of Cyprus since 1987 would trigger the armament race in the Eastern Mediterranean and would be tantamount to adding fuel to the fire.
In a written statement issued today, the “ministry” said that during their diplomatic contacts in Cyprus and abroad with foreign state officials and representatives of international organizations, the “ministry officials” would continue explaining their sensitivity and the risks on this issue.
Noting that the draft has not been approved yet, the “ministry” alleged that the statements made by the US Senators who had prepared it and by the Greek Cypriot leadership included “aggression” and threatened peace and stability on the island.
“As we continuously stress, the climate of stability and peace in the area and in our island is very important for the Turkish Cypriot side and we are ready to promote any kind of steps for cooperation to be taken in this direction”, argues the statement expressing their “sensitivity” on the issue of taking steps which would allegedly “interrupt the existing peace, security and stability”.
Moreover, the statement expressed the hope that the draft would be rejected in the relevant congressional commission, like it happened with other similar drafts and that the US Congress would call on the sides concerned to take steps which would promote regional cooperation.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (15.04.19, http://www.yeniduzen.com/baybars-3-ayda-263-yabancidan-tasinmaz-basvurusu-114155h.htm) reports that Aysegul Baybars, self-styled interior minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has stated that 263 applications by foreigners, who wished to buy immovable property in the occupied area of the island, had been submitted within the first three months of 2019. Addressing yesterday the “assembly” during the discussion of a “draft-law” regarding the acquisition and the long-term leasing of property by foreigners, Baybars said that during 2018 they had received 2,091 applications by foreigners who wished to buy immovable property.
Reminding that because of the economic crisis and the problems of the constructions sector, the “government” was forced to issue a “decree”, Baybars noted that 25 foreigners applied for purchasing a second or a third house within the framework of this “decree” and that the procedure for all, except for eight of them, has been completed. She said that many empty and unsold houses exist in the occupied area of Keryneia.
The “draft-law” was approved with 40 votes in favor and 10 abstentions.
Speaking on the same issue, Oguzhan Hasipoglu, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), said that with the “amendment” made to the “law”, foreigners could purchase up to three immovable properties in the occupied area instead of one.
According to illegal Bayrak television (15.04.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=trnc-being-promoted) so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman alleged that “it was his government’s aim to promote the TRNC in the best possible way to Turkey and Turkish Cypriots living abroad and to strengthen the perception towards the Turkish Cypriots”.
“It is our main aim to make the TRNC a visible place by the world” Erhurman said during a meeting he held with the Head of the Presidency for the Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) Abdullah Eren and his accompanying delegation.
Also speaking during the visit, Eren said that it was their aim to keep in touch with similar communities and assist students who would like to receive scholarships to universities.
Explaining that it was one of their duties to contribute to the “rightful cause of the Turkish Cypriot people”, Eren said “we are always by the side of the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot people”.
Erhurman for his part said that “it was his government’s priority to make the TRNC more visible to the world and added that currently the number of tourists that were expected from Turkey was not reached and therefore the TRNC needed to be further promoted in Turkey. We look forward working with the Presidency for the Turks Abroad and Related Communities in order to further promote the country”, he argued.
Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (15.04.19, hhttp://www.brtk.net/cumhurbaskani-akinci-15-temmuz-dernegi-heyetini-kabul-etti/ ) broadcasts that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met yesterday at his office with a delegation from the Turkish 15th July Association, headed by the chairman of the above-mentioned organization who briefed him about its activities.
According to a statement issued by his office, Akinci said during the meeting that opposing the effort of doing away with the persons elected by the people’s will was one of the most important indications of being committed to democracy and added that those who gave their lives for democracy should not be forgotten.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (15.04.19, http://www.yeniduzen.com/yine-zaroglu-yine-olay-114167h.htm) reports that tension was created yesterday between Bertan Zaroglu, “deputy” with the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP), and the “police”. The incident took place when a “police officer” stopped a vehicle rented in the name of Zaroglu. The driver of the vehicle was a student, who was fined for “driving without insurance”.
In a statement made afterwards in the social media, Zaroglu reminded of his “immunity” and claimed that the “police” confiscated his vehicle. He also lied by saying that he was driving the vehicle. The “police”, however, announced that the traffic cameras showed that the driver of the vehicle was another person.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.04.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/albayrak-meets-trump-conveys-erdogans-messages-on-s400-142691) reports that Turkey’s Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak met on April 15 with U.S. President Donald Trump and conveyed the messages of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, including Turkish decision to purchase Russian made S400 anti-ballistic missile systems.
Speaking to a group of Turkish journalists, Albayrak said he left the meeting at the White House with a positive impression.
Albayrak said he first had a meeting at the White House with Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin, as well as Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on how to reach the target set by the two countries' Presidents to reach 75 billion dollars trade volume. Albayrak said he later met U.S. President at the White House.
“I conveyed the messages of the President [Erdoğan] and we had a positive and constructive meeting,” he said.
“I have had positive feedback [from Trump] and I will convey the necessary messages to President [Erdogan] when I get back [to Turkey]", he added.
“Concerning the S400 process which is based on Turkey’s needs, I witnessed a constructive view and positive approach at the presidential level,” he told the Press.
Following his talks with Trump, Albayrak continued meetings with his interlocutors on how to increase the trade volume in different sectors.
(…)Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.04.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/-economy-should-be-stabilizer-in-us-turkish-ties-turkey/1453331) reports that addressing a gathering of business leaders in the U.S. capital, Albayrak said that financial ties between the countries must "be just as robust as our traditional security partnership".Economic ties should serve as the "main stabilizer" between the U.S. and Turkey, Albayrak said on Monday.
"They should play a more active role in determining the future of the relationship between the two countries. I realize this is easier said than done. But I want to assure all of you that this is our vision," Albayrak said, acknowledging that the "historical depth and institutional strength of the security alliance" has been the "linchpin" in bilateral relations.
Albayrak noted further existing strains in bilateral relations between the NATO allies but said they should not "prevent us from looking to the future with a positive outlook".
"Let us avoid threats of sanctions and games of brinkmanship and work on creating a realistic yet positive agenda," he said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.04.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-praises-good-relations-with-us-despite-issues-14265) reported that Turkey and the U.S. have developed a good relationship despite a number of issues between the two countries, Turkey's presidential spokesman said on April 14.
“The U.S.-Turkey relationship has a special place,” İbrahim Kalın said at a reception held ahead of the 37th annual conference on the U.S.-Turkey relations, organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK), Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAİK), and American-Turkish Council (ATC), in Washington.
“With [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump coming into power, the two Presidents have developed a good relationship. They have a good chemistry,” Kalın said.
Stating that the two counties have faced a number of issues over the past two years and continued to address the issues, Kalın said that the friendship of the Presidents of the two countries has “played a significant role” in preventing the issues from turning into crises.
“We have issues to address, no doubt, but I think, it's these kinds of platforms, meetings and people like you that can provide a venue, a platform to address these issues in a way. That's based on again shared interests, as well as common values and objectives,” Kalin added.
(…)Also, among the attendees of the reception were Turkey's National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan as well as numbers of high-ranking officials.
Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency 15.04.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-ultimatums-not-helpful-turkeys-defense-chief/1453041) reported that Akar said Monday that the take-it-or-leave-it deadlines coming from the U.S. do not help dialogue between Ankara and Washington.
"Threats, ultimatums and deadlines do not help and they are not in line with the alliance’s spirit," Akar said at a conference on American-Turkish relations in Washington where he discussed Turkish procurement of the Russian S-400 missile defense system and pressure the U.S. has put on Turkey because of its decision.
"We believe this issue can be solved through constructive dialogue," he said of talks with its NATO ally. "There is no change in Turkey’s commitment to NATO," Akar said.
Another area of concern for both sides, Akar said is the plan for a safe zone along the Turkish-Syrian border. "A possible safe zone should address Turkey's national security concerns," Akar said.
Akar added that he wanted to move further the current relationship with Washington in the defense sector, where Turkey is mainly a buyer of U.S. technology.
"We do not solely want to be a market anymore, instead we want to be partners as in the case of F-35s," he said.
He noted Ankara's growth in the defense sector, saying there has been a larger focus on "indigenous design" and creating its own defense systems.
(…) "The Turkish defense industry is well equipped to be a partner and a significant player in regional and global markets," said Akar, adding that in the three-day event, they will discuss ways to reach a $75 billion bilateral trade target with the US.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.04.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/no-genocide-colonialism-in-turkeys-history-fm-cavusoglu-142673) reported that Turkey’s Foreign Minister claimed that Turks are proud of their history because they have not committed any genocide or partaken in colonialism, vowing at the same time that the Turkish government will not stay silent against “some countries trying to lecture Turkey on history,” in reference to France and Italy’s recognition of the 1915 killings of Armenians as genocide.
“We are proud of our history because our history has never had any genocides. And no colonialism exists in our history,” Çavusoglu alleged while addressed an event at Selçuk University in the Central Anatolian province of Konya on April 15.
“Turkey will never take history lessons from those who have forgotten the history of their own countries and will not hesitate to give a lesson to those who dare question Turkey’s history”, Cavusoglu said, indirectly recalling a quarrel he had with a French Parliamentarian last week in the southern province of Antalya on the sidelines of a NATO parliamentary meeting.
“France is the last country which can lecture Turkey on genocide and history,” Cavusoglu had said, in response to a statement by French deputy Sonia Krimi. “France should mind its own dark history in Rwanda and Algeria,” he added.
Ties between Turkey and France have soured after French President Emmanuel Macron’s declaration of April 24 as a day to commemorate what Armenians call the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Italian parliamentarians also have proposed a motion for the recognition of the 1915 incidents as genocide, drawing Ankara’s harsh reaction.
Cavusoglu, in his address in Konya, stressed that Turkey is currently facing many threats and challenges in this period, adding: “We should therefore prepare our country for this. We should perfectly learn and tell of our past and history. This will shed light on our future too.”
In an age where terrorism, radicalization and intolerance are making most of the global challenges, Cavusoglu cited the “main pillars of Turkish civilization” as the best remedies to address these problems.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.04.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/ak-party-candidate-votes-clearly-stolen-in-local-polls/1452925) reported that the Justice and Development (AK) Party candidate in Istanbul Binali Yildirim said on Monday that it was "clear" that his votes had been stolen and registered to his opponent during the country’s latest local elections last month.
Yildiirm told reporters in a press conference that it was the Supreme Election Council (YSK) that would make the final decision on Istanbul's local polls held on March 31.
"We must patiently wait until the Supreme Election Council declares the Mayor of Istanbul," said Yildirim.
Criticizing his opponent Ekrem Imamoglu of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Yildirim said it was too early to celebrate a victory at a time when the legal proceedings on the election results were ongoing at the YSK.
Yildirim slammed Imamoglu's messages to foreign governments asking them to pressure the YSK to give him the mandate as soon as possible. "Reaching out to foreign governments, asking them to pressure Turkey is abhorred by Turkish people. As a Turkish metropolis, Istanbul cannot be run by mayor who comes to office through rigged elections," said Yildirim.
According to unofficial results Ekrem Imamoglu led the Istanbul mayoral race with 48.79% of the vote prior to all recounts, ahead of AK Party's Binali Yildirim at 48.51%.
Contesting the results after "organized irregularities" surfaced, AK Party has asked for a recount, saying this may change the results.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.04.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/election-board-accepts-main-opposition-chps-appeal-for-maltepe-142688) reported that the Maltepe district election board on April 14 evaluated the objections made by the AKP and MHP and decided to cancel the counting of additional balloting committees brought during the vote count, decreasing the number of balloting committees from 12 to two in the re-count of these votes. This would mean a do-over of the recount at these balloting committees, about 400 polls, for the third time.
The CHP objected to the district election board decision and the YSK assessed its objection on April 15 ruling in favor of the main opposition party’s appeal. Recounting in Maltepe district resumed as of the late afternoon on April 15 and was expected to finalize after the Daily News went press.
Earlier in the day, CHP spokesperson Faik Öztrak said that the ruling party “does not want a recount of votes and does not want to leave the control of Istanbul,” which is why it was trying to prolong the process.
Öztrak suggested that the ruling party was trying to keep the country’s agenda busy with the election news and delaying it in order to cover up the deepening economic crisis in Turkey.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION