According to illegal Bayrak television (16.05.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cavusoglu-says-turkey-will-continue-hydrocarbon-drilling), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has reiterated Ankara’s determination to protect the rights and interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot “people” in the Eastern Mediterranean to the very end.
He said his Ministry was informing foreign diplomats as to the drilling situation and “everyone has seen the realities”. Çavuşoğlu alleged that Turkey was carrying out drilling activities in its own continental shelf and EEZ declarations by any country, especially one they do not recognise, does not mean they are valid declarations.
He claimed that “Turkey had communicated the extent of its own continental shelf to the United Nations”. He further claimed that “drilling in areas licensed by the TRNC would also continue”, adding: “Despite our warnings – despite the fact that we warned the EU and the international community – the Greek Cypriot administration [translator’s note: as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus] is conducting unilateral drilling operations without guaranteeing the rights of the Turkish Cypriots”.
Çavuşoğlu argued: “This problem needs to be resolved. Instead of making statements against Turkey, the problem must be solved from its root. And then the hydrocarbons around Cyprus can be evaluated and channelled through Turkey into the international market. If instead of adopting this logical approach they take unilateral steps then we do what we have to do”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (16.05.19) reports that the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), Ersin Tatar, has launched yesterday the first round of talks with Turkish Cypriot political parties, with the aim to form a new “government” in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Speaking yesterday after a meeting with the leader of the People’s Party (HP), Kudret Ozersay, Tatar described the meeting as “positive and good”, supporting that they evaluated the general political situation and the current conditions existing in the “country”. “We are not in a concrete situation so as to say that we will cooperate with the one or the other party”, Tatar said, adding that if they “cannot form a coalition either with CTP which has 12 deputies in parliament, or with HP which has 9 “deputies”, then there is also the possibility of moving towards early elections”.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (16.05.19) reports that Tatar, who undertook the “mandate” by Akinci to launch talks for the formation of a new “government”, held yesterday separate meetings with several Turkish Cypriot political parties. According to the paper, Tatar’s meeting with Ozerday was the longest one and lasted for an hour, since, HP seems to be the next “possible partner”. The paper adds that after the meeting with Ozersay, Tatar said that even though the expectations for “coalition partnership between UBP-HP” are high, there is no agreement yet.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (16.05.19) reports that the other three political parties which formed the former “coalition government”, besides the HP, which are the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP), showed a decisive stance during their meetings with Tatar, stating, that they will not participate in a “coalition partnership with UBP” and thus pointed to HP.
According to the paper, Ozersay avoided making any clear statements whether his party will participate in the formation of the new “government”, claiming that the possibilities of the “formation of a coalition government between UBP and HP” are equally the same with those of not “forming a government”.
Also, the leader of the Revival Settler’s Party (YDP) Erhan Arikli, supported the need for going to “early elections” and alleged that his party is ready to back a “coalition government between UBP-HP” in case they would set a date for “early elections”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (16.05.19) reports that the district “court” in occupied Nicosia is expected to announce today its decision on the “lawsuit” against the paper for publishing a caricature/ collage on 2 December 2017, which was considered an “insult” to Turkish President Erdogan and an “effort to harm” the relations between Turkey and the “TRNC”, as the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus is described. The paper recalls that the “lawsuit” was filed after a complaint made by the then Turkish “ambassador”, Derya Kanbay.
Writing in his column today, Sener Levent recalls that the then Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs, Recep Aktag had stated that he would personally do whatever he could for Afrika to be convicted. Arguing that Ankara wanted to close down Afrika and its journalists to be punished, Levent writes:
“[…] They say that this is the reason why it cut the money to the TRNC government. This is the reason for which its relations with Mustafa Akinci are so damaged. Because they did not punish us. Erdogan thinks that this could be done with a signal by the government. Just like in Turkey. In fact, Serdar Denktas admitted this during a sincere conversation with a trade unionist. The trade unionist asked: ‘Why has Turkey cut the money to you?’ Denktas said: ‘Because we did not punish Afrika newspaper’. Metin Munir, journalist for many years, also wrote it the day before yesterday: ‘The relations between Erdogan and Akinci have since a long time been cold. Erdogan, who does not know that the judiciary is independent in Cyprus, is offended with Akinci because he did not put in prison a journalist with the allegation that he had insulted him’.
Many people do not even know that the government in the north collapsed for this reason. […]”
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.05.19) reports that due to the fall of the Turkish Lira the fees of the “universities” in the breakaway regime as well as the rent of the houses rose and as a result some circles are taking advantage of the students who are suffering because if these developments.
This is turned into an attack “against the universities of the TRNC” writes the paper, adding that some persons launched a campaign οn social media under the hashtag “#kibrisagelmeogrenci”, that is “do not come to Cyprus student”, trying to create a negative impression for the “universities” in the occupied area of Cyprus. The paper also writes that efforts are exerted on social media to bad-mouth the “universities” and to create a negative image of them because of the rise in rents and the high prices of air tickets.
The "higher education planning evaluation, accreditation and coordination council",("YODAK") in the occupied area of Cyprus was motivated in order to prevent the bad mouthing, the paper writes, adding that YODAK officials held meetings with representatives of every “university” that operates in the “TRNC”. Common action was decided during the meetings. Some representatives of the “universities” mentioned that the numbers of students from Turkey was reduced as well because life in the breakaway regime is much more expensive than in Turkey and called on the “state” to take action.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (16.05.19) under the title: “The bells ring”, reports that the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers' Union (KTOB) has announced that the occupancy rate of the hotels which are members of the union has shown a 20% decrease for April, comparing with the same month last year.
In a written statement, the “KTOB” said that the occupancy of the hotels for April is 51%. The statement added that the occupancy rate at the five-star hotels for April is 60%, pointing out that although there is an increase of 7% comparing with March, it has decreased by 20% if compared with April, 2018.
The statement added that the occupancy rate for April at the smallest hotels is 42%, showing an increase of 7% if compared with March and a 14% decreased if compared with April of the previous years.
Commenting on this development, tourist agents warned the “officials” that the decrease on the occupancy rate in the “TRNC” would affect negatively the other “sectors” as well.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.05.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot politician Albay Durduran is in intensive care after suffering a heart attack.
Durduran, who is a member of the secretariat of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), is kept at the hospital of the “Near East University”.
According to Turkish daily Sabah (16.05.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/05/15/president-erdogan-iraqi-pm-abdul-mahdi-discuss-bilateral-ties-in-ankara), Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi visited Turkey on Wednesday and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss bilateral issues and the fight against terrorism, in a bid to further strengthen bilateral relations.
The two leaders discussed the fight against terrorism, reconstruction works in Iraq and steps to be taken to enhance cooperation between Iraq and Turkey, especially in the areas of trade and energy, during their meeting at the Beştepe Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara.
In a joint press conference, Erdoğan said Turkey and Iraq had signed a mutually beneficial military cooperation and trust agreement. "We agreed on rebuilding Iraq, developing areas affected by Daesh occupation and establishing a trade corridor to the south of Iraq," Erdoğan said.
He added that the Defence Ministers and Intelligence Chiefs of Turkey and Iraq would meet soon to discuss further details of the agreements.
Erdoğan went on to say that Turkey and Iraq are on the same page regarding Syria's territorial integrity.
On the energy front, the Iraqi and Turkish leaders highlighted the importance of reopening the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline which has been vandalized by the Daesh terror group.
Abdul-Mahdi said: "We will never accept any security threat against Turkey stemming from the territory of Iraq".
The fight against the PKK terrorist organization was one of the topics at the top of the two leaders' agenda since it is a major security concern for both countries. (…)
Another important issue during the meeting was the reconstruction of Iraq after the three-year war against Daesh. The reconstruction will include cities destroyed by terror and war, ruined roads, buildings, damaged electricity production capacity and distribution networks and other damaged sites. Iraqi infrastructure has also been deteriorating due to insufficient investments and maintenance.
Water management in Iraq was another issue which was extensively discussed in the meeting. Previously, both countries agreed to work together on water management to prevent a water crisis in the region. Turkey had also decided to send a special representative, Veysel Eroğlu, to Iraq to share Turkey's experiences on the issue. (…)
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (16.05.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-slams-greece-for-acquitting-dhkp-c-terrorists-3481180), Turkey on Wednesday criticized Greece for acquitting nine reportedly DHKP-C terrorists who were arrested in 2017.
In a written statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy claimed: "The acquittal reveals why these terrorist elements are nested in Greece. The terrorists were arrested by Greek police over suspicion of attempting to assassinate Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This decision by the Greek court clearly is interrupting the efforts to combat terrorism in Europe”.
“Turkey is worried that Greece has become a safe haven for terrorist organizations”, he concluded. (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency Ankara Anatolia (15.05.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-reiterates-no-delay-in-russian-s-400-delivery-/1479014), Turkey on Wednesday reiterated that there will be no delay in the delivery of Russian S-400 air defence systems, an issue which has mounted tensions with the U.S.
“A delay or suspension [in the delivery of S-400] is out of question. Neither is it on the agenda,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters after a meeting with Angel Tilvar, chairman of Romania’s parliamentary committee on European affairs, in the capital Ankara.
“The procurement was a ‘done deal’,” Cavusoglu stressed.
Turkey already proposed to form a joint working group to assess whether the S-400 will pose a threat to NATO or not, he said, adding that NATO should take part in this group.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey and the U.S. exchanged views on the working groups, hoping that the U.S. will accept the suggestion and resolve the issue. (…)
Meanwhile, under the title “Turkey, Russia agree to form joint committee for Syria’s Idlib”, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.05.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-russia-agree-to-form-joint-committee-for-syrias-idlib-143455) reports that Cavusoglu said also on May 15 that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have agreed that a working group on Syria’s northwestern province Idlib should convene as soon as possible.
“There are inter-alleged claims on harassments. This working group should be gathered as soon as possible to put these [claims] on the table with the evidence and be examined,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters. (…)
According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (15.05.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/15/akp-mayor-implies-istanbul-mayoral-candidate-imamoglu-has-greek-roots/), the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Mayor of İstanbul’s Esenler district has said Greeks were very happy about the election of Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul mayoral candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu in the March 31 local elections because he is from Trabzon.
Esenler Mayor Tevfik Göksu was referring to the Pontic Greeks who traditionally lived in the region of Pontus, on the shores of the Black Sea and in the Pontic Mountains of northeastern Anatolia until 1922. Trabzon, İmamoğlu’s hometown, is a Black Sea province in northern Turkey.
Speaking at a fast-breaking dinner on Tuesday, Göksu said it was the Greek media that was the happiest about the election of İmamoğlu as İstanbul mayor on March 31. He asked the people where İmamoğlu was from. In response, they said, “Trabzon.”
“This is a big incident. They have another thing in mind,” said Göksu in remarks that attracted widespread criticism. (…)
According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (15.05.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/15/court-declines-to-sentence-turkish-journalists-in-mit-trucks-case/), a Turkish court has refused to sentence former Cumhuriyet newspaper Ankara representative Erdem Gül and opposition deputy and former editor-in-chief Enis Berberoğlu in the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks case, ruling that Berberoğlu’s current sentence for another crime is sufficient and dropping the case against Gül, the Evrensel newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The two journalists were on trial in İstanbul on charges of aiding terrorist groups due to their alleged role in the publishing of a report on MİT trucks transporting weapons to rebels in Syria in 2014.
The prosecutor had demanded up to 15 years’ imprisonment for both.
The court decided that Berberoğlu, who at the time was editor-in-chief of the Hürriyet daily, has already been adequately punished, in reference to a 25-year sentence he is serving for leaking classified information to Cumhuriyet daily journalists in May 2015.
It said there were no grounds for him to be handed down another sentence in this case.
As for Gül, the court ruled that he should have been charged with violating the confidentiality of an investigation instead of aiding terrorist groups. Gül’s case was dismissed on the grounds that the statute of limitations of four months prescribed in the press code has already expired.
After the hearing, Gül gave a statement in which he stood by his publications. “Journalism is about writing stories, taking pictures and publishing them. It’s about looking out for the public, which is not a crime. Sooner or later Turkey will be a place where journalism is not treated as such”, he said. (…)
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