A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
According to illegal Bayrak television (04.05.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cavusoglu-in-the-trnc-3), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu paid an illegal visit in the occupied area of Cyprus for a series of “contacts.
Cavusoglu was welcomed on Friday night by so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay.
Upon his arrival, he attended a dinner given in his honor by so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman.
On Saturday morning, Cavusoglu attended the Global Journalists Councils media meeting at the Acapulco Hotel.
Meanwhile, on Saturday afternoon, Cavusoglu met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı. The meeting lasted for 45 minutes.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (05.05.19) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu has alleged that Turkey saw what he called the “unilateral steps” of the Greek Cypriot side [in the Eastern Mediterranean] and by starting drilling with Fatih platform and explorations with its vessels, took, as guarantor power, the “necessary steps” in the areas which the “TRNC” “licensed” them [the Turkish Petroleum – TPAO].
Addressing the “Global Journalism Council” held in the occupied area of Cyprus on Saturday, Cavusoglu alleged that it was not possible for Turkey to accept a solution which ignores the Turkish Cypriot “people”, their will and the political equality.
“Within the forthcoming process we will exhibit our constructive stance, but will do whatever is necessary together to protect the Turkish Cypriot people’s, TRNC’s and Turkey’s rights”, he claimed.
Arguing that the UN reports on Cyprus pointed out that there was no common ground for starting a new negotiating process, Cavusoglu said that they had no more time to waste in this process. “We said that we are open to negotiating all options […]. We are not imposing any option. We do not think that it is correct to impose any option”, he claimed.
Cavusoglu alleged that the Turkish Cypriots have always been in favor of a solution and that the reason for not being able to reach a solution until today was the fact that the Greek Cypriots do not want to share anything with the Turkish Cypriot “people”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (05.05.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci has alleged that they would continue being strong both on the table and on the ground in the Cyprus problem and “we will continue our way with the power given to us by our rightfulness”. Addressing the “Global Journalism Council” held in the occupied area of Cyprus on Saturday, Akinci said that the discussions on the Cyprus problem would continue, because as long as the problem existed, it was inevitable to continue searching for a solution.
Noting, however, that the Turkish Cypriots would not stop struggling to develop because the Cyprus problem was not solved, Akinci claimed that recently President Anastasiades has been trying to create a “confusion of concepts” by saying different things to different persons in different environments. He argued: “In some places he refers to a two state solution, in some places he says confederation and afterwards he comes here in Cyprus and says loose federation. When he met with me, he said no I did not mean this, I said decentralized federation. However, let us discuss decentralization. This was a position which the Turkish Cypriots have always defended […]”
Akinci alleged that the Greek Cypriot side rejected the political equality and the effective participation of the Turkish Cypriots [in the decisions] and that it even rejected issues which it had accepted in the past.
According to Akinci, President Anastasiades did not see the energy issue as vital for the Turkish Cypriots and ignored the fact that the Turkish Cypriots had vital interests in the energy and financial policies. Claiming that the international community’s “wrong policies” that led to the Greek Cypriot side’s [as he described the Republic of Cyprus] accession to the EU continued today on the natural gas issue, Akinci claimed that by telling the Greek Cypriots that they had the right to explore and drill for natural gas, the international community did not help stability and peace in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Akinci reiterated the view that the most reasonable route and method to carry the natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe was through Turkey and claimed that keeping Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots outside this equation did not contribute to peace and stability in the area and to a reasonable solution. Akinci also alleged:
“[…] Of course we will find the ways to protect our rights on the ground as well. There are some circles that feel annoyed from these activities. We say the following to them: Where have you been when the Greek Cypriot side was undertaking these initiatives? What are you saying, what did you say and what will you say to them? There is nothing for them. If there is nothing for them, what we are doing is a reaction to an action. It is a policy of balancing the stance of the Greek Cypriots. […] What we are doing is the policy of protecting our rights and there is no other way for this. If you will explore, we will also explore. If you will drill, we will also drill. As Turkish Cypriots, we are in cooperation with Turkey on this issue. Turkey has two drilling vessels. When the time and place comes, these will execute their duty here. They have already started doing it. Therefore, we will continue our way with the strength given by our rightfulness. We will continue to be strong both on the ground and on the table. As long as we are strong on the ground, we will be stronger on the table”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (04.05.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=fatih-drilling-vessel-on-its-way), the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party Ersin Tatar said that they welcomed Turkey’s Fatih Drilling Vessel that is on its way to carry out drilling activities in the area off the southern coast of Paphos.
Issuing a written statement, Tatar said he was pleased that Turkey’s Fatih Drilling Vessel was on its way to commence offshore drilling activities in search for hydrocarbon resources.
The statement allegedly noted that the “TRNC” and Turkey had on several occasions called for an agreement and cooperation to the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo but that the duo had rejected this and had tried to arrange a fait accompli both in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Tatar said that the Greek Cypriot side declaring its own Exclusive Economic Zone with the full support of Greece, going ahead with agreements that are “in detriment of Turkey and the TRNC” and commencing drilling efforts are clear examples of this.
“Instead of harvesting good relations and cooperation with the TRNC and Turkey they prefer becoming enemies and usurping our rights. They must know that they will never succeed”, Tatar alleged.
The statement also condemned the fact that “south Cyprus”, as he refered to the Republic of Cyprus which is not a member of NATO, was extended an invitation by NATO to attend the change of command ceremony. “We applaud Turkey who showed its outrage at the invitation by boycotting the ceremony”, noted the statement.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (06.05.19) reports that hundreds of Syrians have arrived via the illegal Tympou airport in the breakaway regime and notes that a refugee camp has been organized in the airport for the Syrians that cannot be sent back.
The paper, which reports on the issue under the title: “Secret camp in Ercan”, writes that the regime started to accept Syrian refugees and adds that around 40 persons are currently staying in a restored building in the premises of the airport and are waiting for the necessary procedures to take place.
According to Havadis, the Syrian refugees are arriving to the breakaway regime from Beirut via Turkey because the “TRNC” does not request a visa for Syrian citizens that request asylum. When their petition is accepted they are sent to refugees camps to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus, while the rest of them remain in the breakaway regime. The paper further reports that the Lebanon does not accept the return of these persons back to the country if they stay to the “TRNC” for more than 4 days and therefore those who are not considered refugees anymore are now becoming a problem for the “TRNC”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (04.05.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=trnc-economy-3), the Young Entrepreneurs and Governance Association of Turkey and the Turkish Industrialists Businessmen’s Foundation have carried out a two day visit to the “TRNC” to see firsthand the investment opportunities in the “country”.
The delegations paid separate visits to the “parliamentary speaker” Teberruken Ulucay, “prime minister” Tufan Erhurman, so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay, “finance minister” Serdar Denktas and the so-called minister of economy and energy Özdil Nami.
Their visits mainly focused on discussions regarding the economy.
The head of the Turkish Industrialists Businessmen’s Foundation Veli Sarıtoprak and the head of the Young Entrepreneurs and Governance Association of Turkey Nezih Allıoglu said that the purpose behind their visit was “to get a grasp of the economy in the TRNC and see what can be done in the field of trade and industry between the two countries”.
While meeting with the delegation, Ulucay “touched upon the economic cooperation protocol between Turkey and TRNC and said that once this protocol is signed their expectation in 2019 will be carried to a better position”.
Erhurman for his part, noted that there were problems in development in “northern Cyprus”, alleging that, they as the “government” were focusing on overcomingthe problems in this area.
Ozersay for his part informed the delegations regarding the Cyprus problem, energy and natural gas issues and the latest developments taking place between Turkey and the “TRNC”. He also briefed them on the “TRNC’s foreign policies”.
Denktas for his part noted that not only in the “TRNC” but Turkey as well were also experiencing shrinkage in the economy but expressed his belief that all will be better in the near future.
Nami expressed his pleasure at seeing the delegation in the “TRNC”.
Under the title: “The political cooker is boiling”, Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (06.05.19) reports that there are disagreements among the four parties that consists the “coalition government” in the breakaway regime.
According to the paper, during a workshop organized by the People’s Party of Kudret Ozersay on Saturday and Sunday, the activities of the “government” and especially the issue of the renting of “government plots” were discussed. Citing information Diyalog writes that Ozersay feels uneased as regards some of the “plot renting cases”, especially regarding the case of the renting of a plot by Rauf Denktas, the son of the “minister of finance” Serdar Denktas, and leader of the Democratic Party (DP) who has rent a plot for establishing a university.
Ozersay sent a letter to the other two members of the “government” the Republican Turkish Party and the Social Democracy Party on the issue criticizing Denktas’ action on and supporting that the “government” had no information on the issue. Ozersay asked to be informed on the case and strongly criticized Denktas, writes the paper.
Turkish daily Sabah (06.05.2019-https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2019/05/06/fatih-begins-drilling-second-well-in-eastern-mediterranean) reports that Fatih Drill Vessel began drilling second well in the Eastern Mediterranean on Friday and will continue its operations in the west of Cyprus Island until Sept. 3.
Exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean “continue without interruption as Turkey's first drillship is set to drill a second well in the region with full commitment to protect the rights of Turks and Turkish Cypriots”, the repor adds.
Turkey's first drillship Fatih started drilling its second well in the Eastern Mediterranean on Friday and is scheduled to continue operations until Sept. 3. The Fatih was dispatched Friday morning from the southern port of Antalya with three support vessels and a frigate toward its exclusive economic zone west of the island of Cyprus.
According to a navigational telex (Navtex) issued by Ankara, Fatih will conduct exploratory activities at longitude 31 29 25 E and latitude 34 55 32. The Fatih started well-drilling operations in late October 2018 off the coast of Antalya, a Mediterranean coastal province. While the 229-meter vessel can drill to a maximum depth of 12,192 meters, the first well will reach a depth of 5,500 meters.
To expand operations, state-run oil company Turkish Petroleum (TP) bought a second drillship, the Yavuz, and will begin drilling wells in the region soon. A twin of the Fatih, the sixth generation drillship Yavuz was bought for $262.5 million and has a length of 229 meters and a weight of 21,283 gross tons.
During explorations in the region, Turkey always maintains its commitment to international law, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday in response to a statement by the European Union foreign policy chief on Turkey's intended hydrocarbon drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In a written statement released Saturday, the Foreign Ministry rejected High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini's remarks urging Turkey to reconsider plans to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas off the island of Cyprus, noting that Turkey will carry out the drilling in line with its legal rights stemming from international law.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-rejects-eu-statement-on-drilling-in-eastern-med/1469970) reported that Turkey on Saturday rejected an EU statement on its plan to do hydrocarbon drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean.
"We reject the statement made today by Ms. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, regarding our hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean," said a Foreign Ministry statement.
As the country with the longest coastline in the region, Turkey is determined to protect its "own rights and interests within our continental shelf" as well as those of the Turkish Cypriots on the island of Cyprus, said the statement.
Turkey also said its hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean are based on its legitimate rights under international law.
"To date Turkey has not refrained from taking necessary steps in this context, and will not do so in the future," the statement added.
It explained: "In fact, it is the Greek Cypriot administration which has not abstained from irresponsibly jeopardizing the security and stability of the Eastern Mediterranean region, by disregarding the inalienable rights of the Turkish Cypriots, who are the co-owners of the island of Cyprus, over the natural resources."
The Ministry accused the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as it referred to the Republic of Cyprus of "refusing every proposal of cooperation and insisting on its unilateral activities in the region despite all our warnings."
On Saturday, EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement: "We express grave concern over Turkey's announced intention to carry out drilling activities within the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.”
Turkey’s statement also urged that all actors outside the region "acknowledge the fact that Turkey and the TRNC cannot be excluded from the energy equation in the Eastern Mediterranean, and they should stop providing unconditional support to the Greek Cypriot administration."
"Furthermore, those who have not taken any steps towards the resolution of this issue for years do not have the right to give advice to us," the statement concluded.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (05.05.16-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ankara-backs-turkish-cypriots-rights-in-e-mediterranean-defense-minister-143161) reported that Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on May 5 that Ankara is determined to protect Turkish Cypriots' rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea under international law.
“Along with the rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean under international law, as a guarantor country, Turkey is determined to always protect the rights of the people of the TRNC and not to allow the fait accompli,” Akar told Anadolu Agency.
The Minister's remarks came a day after the Greek Foreign Ministry called Turkey to stop drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Akar called on Greece for common sense and cooperation and added that the energy sources in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean should serve as a bridge for peace, dialogue and mutual development.
Under the title “Here is the reason for the S-400 panic”, Turkish daily Yeni Safak (06.05.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/gundem/iste-s-400-paniginin-nedeni-3469668), on its front page, reports: “Turkey, which will buy the S-400 missile system from Russia, faces blackmail even to be extracted from the F-35 project. It seems that USA and other Western countries are in panic. The range of the S-400 reaches 600 Km. The two systems will be placed in Izmir and Hatay and at the same time Aegean and the Mediterranean becomes a ‘Turkish lake’. The control of the Mediterranean’s airspace transfers to Turkey and all the plans of the energy battle will turn upside-down.” The paper further reports that all the plans of Athens will collapse, and all the planes departing from Greece will be able to be detected immediately.
The paper, under the title “Why Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missiles sent the West into a frenzy” (https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/why-turkeys-purchase-of-russias-s-400-missiles-sent-the-west-into-a-frenzy-3480515), also reports that for the first time since Turkey’s Cyprus “operation” [military invasion] in 1974, it faces arms sanctions from Western allies due to its purchase of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air defence missile systems, which are scheduled to arrive in July.
Since Turkey’s announcement of its procurement of the missiles, it has faced severe reactions from its allies, primarily the U.S., which has stated that the systems are not compatible with NATO equipment and may compromise its Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets. It has warned of possible U.S. sanctions if Ankara pushes on with the Russian deal.
Yeni Şafak daily, in its comprehensive evaluation, has researched and determined the reasons the West has panicked in the face of Turkey’s deal, when it showed no opposition whatsoever to other countries, such as Greece, that use Russian defence systems.
The paper argues: “With the system deployed in Turkey’s western İzmir province, the occupation plans of Greece, which has gone as far as erecting military outposts on demilitarized islands, will collapse. The S-400 system will be able to detect all aircrafts the moment they take off and lock-on on all targets. Hence, Greece will no longer be able to threaten Turkey with fighter jets or missiles.
Turkey will be in control of the Eastern Mediterranean’s airspace, including Cyprus, and furthermore be the dominant country ensuring the security of natural gas resources with the missiles positioned in southeastern Hatay. (…)
Furthermore, a New York Times article penned by four U.S. senators in April raised eyebrows, leading everyone to question the real reason behind the U.S.’s opposition to Turkey’s purchase and whether the U.S. is planning an attack on Turkey.
‘The S-400 is the most advanced system produced to date in Russia’s quest to defeat stealth technology — the system Russia built to shoot down the F-35 fighters’, the article reads.
‘Purchasing the S-400 would create an unacceptable risk because its radar system could enable the Russian military to figure out how the F-35 operates.’
The integration of the S-400 missiles into Turkish airspace where the F-35 fighter jets are present creates a huge “commercial concern” for some of Turkey’s Western allies.
The West, primarily the U.S., fears that in comparison to the Russian missiles, the shortcomings of the F-35 will be revealed, which could lead to the collapse of the extravagant project.
If Turkish pilots, who are trained in the operating of both the F-35 and S-400s, discover and reveal the deficiencies of the fighter jets, it would discourage Western countries from purchasing the new model, causing the U.S to lose its status as a leader in the global arms market.”
According to the official website of the Turkish MFA (03.05.19-http://www.mfa.gov.tr/sc_-29_-saceur-un-komuta-devir-teslim-torenine-gkry-nin-daveti-hk-sc.en.mfa), the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Hamit Aksoy, issuing a written statements said the following:
“The invitation of the representatives of the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus, which does not have any status whatsoever before NATO, amongst other EU members to the change of command ceremony for SACEUR that took place today (3 May) at SHAPE Headquarters in Mons, Brussels, was a gross blunder that cannot be explained in good faith.
We condemn this irresponsible behavior, which, we understand, was upon SHAPE Headquarters’ own initiative. We deem it necessary to remind on this occasion that the said Headquarters is under the political control of NATO Allies, including Turkey, and it is obliged to act accordingly.
Having been informed about the situation, Turkey did not participate in the change of command ceremony. The necessary steps have been taken in order to bring to light how SHAPE Headquarters committed this unforgiveable mistake.
It should be clear that expecting a positive outcome from such a fait accompli will not contribute to the cooperation between NATO and the EU. We invite NATO authorities to ensure that all Allied structures act in accordance with collective decisions and with the Agreed Framework between the two organizations”.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/nato-is-committed-to-the-defense-of-turkey-stoltenberg-143167), NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Anadolu Agency in an interview on May 5 that Turkey is the NATO ally most exposed to violence and turmoil stemming from the Middle East and suffered a series of terrorist attacks, vowing that the 29-nation alliance is committed to the defense of Turkey a day before his visit to the Turkish capital.
“Turkey, bordering Iraq and Syria, is the ally most exposed to violence and turmoil from the Middle East. Your country has also suffered a series of horrific terrorist attacks. All NATO allies stand together in our determination to fight terrorism in all its forms”, Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg will pay a two-day visit to Turkey on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Mediterranean Dialogue where he will chair a North Atlantic Council (NAC) meeting as well. The NATO chief will hold talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Stoltenberg and Cavusoglu will deliver a joint press conference following talks.
The NATO allies stand with Turkey as it faces serious security challenges by protecting Turkey with air and missile defense systems and patrolling Turkish air space by AWACS surveillance planes, Stoltenberg said. “At last month’s meeting of foreign ministers in Washington, we also agreed a package of possible actions to enhance the security of the Black Sea region. All this shows NATO’s commitment to the defense of Turkey,” he stated.
“Turkey is actively contributing to the joint defense of the alliance and NATO appreciates what Turkey is doing to this end”, he further said, pointing out that Turkey also plays an important role in NATO’s new training mission in Iraq.” It is strengthening Iraq’s security forces to help ensure that ISIS [ISIL] can never return,” Stoltenberg stressed, citing Turkey’s contributions to missions in Afghanistan, Western Balkans and Kosovo as examples.
On a question over an ongoing dispute between Turkey and the United States over the former’s plans to deploy Russian-made S-400 air defense systems, Stoltenberg described the matter as challenging. “Decisions about military procurement are for nations to make. But, as I have said, interoperability of our armed forces is fundamental to NATO for the conduct of our operations and missions,” he said.
(…) “We must also remember that since 2013 NATO allies have been reinforcing Turkey’s air defenses. Spain and Italy have missile batteries deployed near Turkey’s southern border. Their Patriot and SAMP-T systems help defend Turkey against the threat of missiles from across the border with Syria. The mission is important and NATO allies are committed to it,” he added.
Stoltenberg highlighted that NATO marks its 70th anniversary and still is in a mission to respond to many challenges at the same time. “Our world is changing and NATO is changing with it. But some things remain unchanged: Our commitment to one another endures, giving us the strength to overcome our differences and rise to any challenge. NATO will remain a pillar of stability in an uncertain world for future generations,” he said.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.05.19- http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-strongly-condemns-israeli-attack-on-anadolu-agency-office-in-gaza-strip-143160) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly condemned an Israeli attack on Anadolu Agency office in the Gaza Strip on May 4.
“We strongly condemn Israel’s attack against Anadolu Agency’s office in Gaza,” Erdogan said on twitter and added: “Turkey and Anadolu Agency will continue to tell the world about Israeli terrorism and atrocities in Gaza and other parts of Palestine despite such attacks.”
Israeli warplanes hit the building with at least 5 rockets after warning shots, Anadolu Agency’s correspondent in Jerusalem reported. No injuries or death were reported.
The strikes occurred following reports that two Israeli soldiers had been injured by gunfire near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone on May 3. At least six Palestinians were killed when Israeli warplanes struck Hamas positions in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
“Targeting of @AnadoluAgency #Gaza office is new example of Israel’s unrestrained aggression,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter and added: “#Israeli violence against innocent people w/out distinction is a crime against humanity. Those who encourage Israel are also guilty.
“We strongly condemn indiscriminate attacks by Israel in Gaza, which have been going on since yesterday, killing or injuring many innocent persons and also targeting Anadolu Agency’s Office,” Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “We call on the international community to take swift action to reduce the tension in the region, which has escalated due to Israel’s disproportionate acts,” it added.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-main-opposition-chp-blasts-israeli-air-raid-on-anadolu-agency-office-143162) reported that Turkey's main opposition party has condemned the Israeli warplane attack on the building in Gaza where the Anadolu Agency has its local office. "We condemn the Israeli attack on the Gaza office of Anadolu Agency, which was founded by [Turkish Republic founder] Mustafa Kemal Atatürk," Faik Öztrak, Republican People's Party (CHP) spokesperson, told Anadolu Agency on May 5.
Turkish daily Sabah (05.05.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/religion/2019/05/05/muslims-all-around-the-world-welcome-holy-month-of-ramadan) reported that Muslims all around the world are getting ready to welcome the holy month of Ramadan, which began on Sunday evening in Turkey.
Turkey's President on Sunday welcomed the beginning of Muslims' holy month of Ramadan.On Twitter, Recep Tayyip Erdogan wished the best for the Turkish nation, the Muslim world, and all of humanity.
Muslims in Turkey will begin fasting on Monday. The holy month will see many of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims commit to a strict daytime fast, often taking the opportunity to make promises to improve their lives.
The Ramazan Bayram, or Ramadan Bayram, which is also known as the Eid al-Fitr holiday, is expected to start on June 4 in Turkey and marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, and is celebrated for three consecutive days.
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