Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (30.04.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, is visiting Istanbul upon an invitation by the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. Ozersay will attend the opening ceremony of the International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul, which has been held every two years since 1993, with the participation of foreign and defense ministers from various countries.
Ozersay is expected to hold various contacts during his stay in Turkey. Today he will meet with Akar and his delegation. Brigadier general Tevfik Algan, commander of regime’s the so-called security forces, Gunes Onar, “undersecretary” at the self-styled foreign ministry, and Cem Topcu, “protocol director” at the same “ministry”, are participating in Ozersay’s delegation.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (30.04.19) reports that the “mayor” of the occupied part of Nicosia Mehmet Harmanci met with the leader of Turkey’s opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu at CHP’s headquarters in Ankara.
During the meeting, CHP’s Deputy Chairman Responsible also for local administration Deputy Seyit Torun was also present.
According to a press release by the “municipality” in the occupied part of Nicosia, Harmanci said that in order to further develop relations between the “Lefkosia Turkish municipality” [the municipality in the occupied part of Nicosia] with other local authorities in Turkey he will continue to carry out “high level contacts” and to further strengthen and develop amicable relations.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (30.04.19) reports that Gulden Plumer Kucuk, Turkish Cypriot member in the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), has alleged that the Turkish side was fulfilling its responsibility on the issue of finding the missing persons, adding that “they had broadened their investigations for obtaining information from the people, added new researchers to their teams and established a committee for investigating the archives”.
In statements yesterday, Kucuk claimed that especially the criticism made by Fotis Fotiou, Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots, harmed the work of the Committee and added that as commissioner on human rights he could visit the committee and acquire information. “He makes statements as if the Turkish side is the only one responsible”, she argued and wondered how the remains of 1,200 persons had been found, if the Turkish side did not cooperate. “That is, we found and unearthed half of the missing persons until today”, she added.
Replying to a question, Kucuk said that they had conducted excavations in about 60 military areas until today and alleged that this showed that the Turkish side was cooperating.
Referring to the Turkish Cypriot missing persons, she said that most of them had been missing since 1963-64 and alleged that there were persons abducted from crossing points and hospitals. She claimed: “I believe that information about these people exists in the archives in south Cyprus. I think that they have information about these people in their archives and that they should share this. If they share this, it will be much easier for us to find them”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (29.04.19) reports that there was no data conforming the allegations that the body found in the occupied area of Cyprus on 6 January 2018 and it is believed that belonged to 40-year old Vietnamese woman named Dami Thi Hop, might be one of the victims of self-confessed serial killer Metaxas, who had admitted to committing several murders in the government-controlled area of the island.
Hakki Onen, co-chairman of the bi-communal committee on crime and criminal matters, told the paper that there was no official information in this direction and added that the different ways by which the crimes had been committed weakened these allegations.
Onen noted that the assumptions that the serial killer had committed the above-mentioned murder in the occupied area did not reflect the reality. He said that the records showed that the serial killer had entered in the occupied area of the island many times, “but this alone means nothing”.
He added: “The ways by which the crimes were committed are very different from each other. While in the murder of the Vietnamese woman committed in the north reference was made to ‘many stabbings’, it is said the method of ‘killing by strangulation’ was used in the serial killings in the south. However, serial killers use the same method”.
According to Onen, there was not enough evidence for making a comment on the murder of Dami Thi Hop.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Diyalog (27.04.19) reports that the “government” stopped hoping to sign the “economic protocol” with Turkey in order to pay the salaries and started looking for other alternatives. The “council of ministers” held an extraordinary meeting on Friday to discuss the problems as regards the “budget”. According to information obtained by the paper, the “council” discussed the issue of discontinuing the payment of the cost of living allowance as of July. Moreover, it decided to bring an increase of half a Turkish lira to the fuels. Additional taxes to some other products were also discussed.
Under the title “The government is looking for a way out”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (27.04.19) reports that after the above-mentioned meeting, Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister, told the paper that they were looking for a way out and that this would not be easy. He said that their effort was to be able to operate and that if they could not do this, they would do “whatever is necessary”. “We are not nailed to the chair”, he added.
Furthermore, columnist Basaran Duzgun in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (29.04.19) reports that the crisis on the signing of the “protocol” came up because the Turkish officials and the “TRNC government” disagree on the issue of “privatization”. Duzgun notes that Turkey wants the privatization of the collection of the revenues of the “departments” of electricity and telecommunication (telephones) and thinks that this issue is a “sine qua non”.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (30.04.19) reports that the “assembly” approved yesterday an additional “budget” for 2019. The “budget” for “services and activities” was increased by 574,700,000 Turkish liras and reached 8,306,200,00 TL. Moreover, the “incomes budget” was also increased by the same amount and reached 7,454,700,000 TL. The “amendment” passed with 26 votes in favor, 12 against and 12 abstentions.
According to illegal Bayrak television (30.04.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=foreign-ministry-slams-archbishops-statement), the “deputy prime ministry and foreign ministry” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus has condemned the statement made by the Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos on Easter Sunday that those who crossed daily to the north for shopping and who travel via Ercan airport [the occupied airport of Tymbou] had strayed from national and religious values.
In a written statement the “foreign ministry” claimed that the words spoken by the Archbishop are a medieval approach and mentality and a clear indication that there has not been the slightest improvement in the racist and primitive stance of the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church.
“This statement unfortunately shows that the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church is racist and far from tolerant. It clearly shows that no changes have taken place in its way of thinking” the statement argued.
“The Archbishop evaluating those who shop in the North and travel via Ercan airport as straying from national and religious values is a sign of medieval mentality. One of the most important factors that will increase confidence and security between the two peoples on the island is trade, economy, tourism and cooperation” emphasized the statement.
The statement calls on the Greek Cypriot leadership to condemn the statement made by the Archbishop and issue a message that emphasizes the importance of cooperation in order to prevent the lack of confidence that already exists between the two sides from deepening further.
“In reality, the statement added, traffic and trade between the two communities are precisely what will serve to boost relations and cooperation, as well as economic interdependence, which is what Cyprus needs” concluded the statement.
Under the title “Turkey pushes EU for membership decision”, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.04.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-pushes-eu-for-membership-decision-143000), reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the EU needs to decide the future of Ankara-Brussels bonds. He suggested the EU should halt full EU membership talks if they aren’t serious and don’t want Turkey in the political and economic union. He said Turkey’s patience is running out for the EU’s unrealized promises.
“Turkey has fulfilled all the criteria during the AK Party (Justice and Development Party) administration. Despite this, the only reason why we could not be a full member is the EU’s inconsistent policies. As a country that has met all the liability and kept all its promises, we are expecting the same from the EU,” Erdoğan said at his party’s assessment camp over the weekend. (…)
“A step that needs to be taken for either strengthening or cutting Turkey-EU ties […] must be done by the Europeans. Don’t you like, don’t you want Turkey? Then, say: ‘We are parting ways,’ and get it done. You already have no use for us,” Erdoğan said.
The President slammed the EU for making lame excuses to hinder Turkey’s EU process and said their pretexts have been unfounded and baseless, a fact known by both the EU and the European Parliament.
“They opt for accusing Turkey in order to conceal their unprincipled stance,” the president stated. Specifically, he accused the EU of not keeping promises to provide financial assistance to the Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey. Turkey has wasted a lot of energy on membership talks, but the EU is still delaying the process, Erdoğan said.
“They did the same on visa liberalization and customs union, and they are still delaying. We will patiently wait for the realization of promises, but it won’t be forever.”
Touching upon the Armenian issue in his speech, particularly France’s decision to commemorate on April 24 Armenians who were killed during World War I, Erdoğan lashed out at French President Emmanuel Macron. “Sending a message to 700,000 Armenians in France, Mr. Macron, will not save you. First, you should learn to be honest in politics. It’s not possible for you to win in politics unless you turn to be an honest politician,” Erdoğan said.
Macron is new to politics and does not know “this businesses”, the President said. He said he has discussed the issue with the French president a number of times. (…)
President Erdoğan also touched on the ongoing dispute between Turkey and the United States on the former’s plans to procure Russian S-400 air defence systems. “We, on the S-400 issue as well, have significant divergences of opinion with the U.S., which pursues policies in Syria that don’t befit our relationship of alliance by any means,” he said. He reiterated Turkey’s determination to undertake security reinforcements such as the S-400s. (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency Ankara Anatolia (29.04.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/erdogan-trump-discuss-russian-s-400-working-group-bid/1465462), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump discussed a proposal for a working group on Russia’s S-400 air defence system via telephone on Monday.
According to a statement by the Turkish Presidency, Erdogan and Trump also exchanged views on the recent developments in Syria and "agreed to maintain the close cooperation on anti-terror fight". (…)
The bilateral and regional issues were subjects of the high-level phone conversation, as well. The two leaders also reiterated the aim for $75B trade volume, the statement added.
In a separate readout of the call, the White House said Trump and Erdogan addressed "progress" in negotiations over "security concerns in northern Syria", and added the Turkish President expressed condolences over a deadly attack on a synagogue in San Diego, California over the weekend.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.04.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-urges-ysk-to-uphold-istanbul-elections-results-143010), the Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called on the Supreme Election Board (YSK) not to bow to pressure from the national government to redo the Istanbul municipal elections. (…)
“The compass of the YSK is about election legislation and case law. If this compass deviates, it will be Turkey and our democracy which will pay the price. YSK would not handle this burden. The Council should not bow to pressures and should not be used as a tool in a crime of law,” officials with the CHP’s Party Assembly stated in a communiqué on April 28.
The Party Assembly convened under the leadership of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to discuss the results of the local elections and a recent attack against him by a nationalist mob.
CHP’s Ekrem İmamoğlu won Istanbul against the AKP’s Binali Yıldırım, ending 25 years’ rule by AKP and its predecessors in Turkey’s largest metropolis.
“Our mayors have received their credentials, but the appeal process is still going on although 28 days have passed since polls. This is not very common in our history of democracy,” said CHP.
The main opposition party has condemned the assault against Kılıçdaroğlu, describing it as a lynch attempt aimed at sparking turmoil and instability in Turkey.
“The efforts by the government to underestimate this attack and to describe it as a routine protest are not innocent. They reflect the haste of the guilty. Those who try to depict this lynch attempt as a reasonable move and to legitimize it are parts of this lynch attempt,” the CHP alleged.
The communiqué suggested that Turkey has been speedily polarized and divided in recent years as a result of the new governance system reducing the powers of the Turkish Parliament. “What we have experienced since June 24 – and the elections underlined - is the need for a new consensus that would provide rule of law, separation of powers and check and balances,” the communiqué stated.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (29.04.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-fully-prepared-for-military-op-in-northern-syria-3480058), Turkey is fully-prepared for a military operation east of the Euphrates River in Syria, the Defence Ministry announced Monday. "Units are fully-prepared. Contacts with the U.S. regarding a safe-zone in northern Syria continue. So far, there hasn't been a negative response from the U.S.," a statement read. (…)
The Ministry also made an announcement on the delivery date of the Russian S-400 defence missiles. "The first delivery of the S-400 defense missile system is slated for June-July. Contacts on the deployment area of the missiles are ongoing". (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (29.04.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-military-dismissed-16-540-personnel-since-coup-attempt-143030), some 16,540 personnel of the Turkish military have been dismissed as part of Ankara’s fight against FETÖ since a coup attempt in 2016, the Defence Ministry has said.
The judicial and administrative process is ongoing for 6,154 people, Col. Tamer Zincir told reporters on April 29. (…)
On the other hand, U.S. F-35 fighter jets will be delivered to Turkey in November, according to a Turkish military official who asked to remain anonymous.
The delivery of the S-400 Russian made anti-missile defence systems will start in June, the official said. Turkey and the U.S. continue talks on the possible purchase of American Patriot systems, the official added.
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