No. 104/19 05.06.2019
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Under the title “The swords are being drawn”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (05.06.19)reports that Ersin Tatar, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) and self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the Cyprus problem had come onto the agenda during the meeting he had with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul the day before yesterday. Speaking yesterday at his party’s headquarters during the exchange of wishes with the public for the Bayram, Tatar expressed his satisfaction with their contacts in Turkey and noted that the details of many issues had been discussed and the “government” would take steps on the Cyprus problem, economy and other political issues.
Meanwhile, replying to questions during an interview with Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (05.06.19), Tatar said that he respects Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, but they have different views on the Cyprus problem. He argued that the situation now was different comparing to four years ago when Akinci was elected. Tatar alleged that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had stayed for eleven days at the Crans Montana and got angry because he saw how “insincere” the other side was and what President Anastasiades did for allegedly not finding a solution. He also alleged the following:
“[…] Their [Translator’s note: the Greek Cypriots] aim is to take the whole of Cyprus into the EU. Their understanding for the word federation is different. In their view, it is a structure in which the majority governs the minority, goes until osmosis and in the end of the day it is a unitary state. Turkey does not exist in this model. Neither do its guarantees nor its army. In this environment, we will be annihilated.
This federation is not possible from now on. For this reason, both we and Mr Kudret said that ‘it has been exhausted’. And Turkey says, in a diplomatic sense, that let federation stay at the table, but let other options also exist. What we understand of the two separate states within the EU is the current situation. Two separate states exist in this country. […]”
Under the title “Billions of sterling pounds are needed”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Diyalog (05.06.19)reports that Ayfer Erkmen, chairman of the so-called “Immovable Property Commission” has said that 6,545 applications filed by Greek Cypriot refugees are pending in front of the “commission” because of the lack of money. In statements to the paper, Erkmen argued that these 6,545 applications concerned sale of Greek Cypriot properties and that “in order for these cases to be concluded, several billions of sterling pounds are needed, but somehow the generation of resources is not possible”.
The paper writes that Arif Mapolar, a member of the “commission” has resigned, as a result of which questions were raised as to whether the “commission” was being dissolved. Asked on the issue, Erkmen denied the information that the “commission” is being dissolved and admitted that decisions could not be taken because of the lack of money. He also said that on 13 June another person would be appointed in Mapolar’s place so that the members of the “commission” will become seven again and be able to take decisions.
Asked how many decisions they have taken until today, Erkmen said that they have taken 205 decisions with a cost of 110 million sterling pounds.
Complaining about what he called the “indifference” of the “governments”, Erkmen also said that Turkey does not send money because the “assembly” did not approve a “law” for putting a “betterment tax” on these properties.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Akit (04.06.19, https://www.yeniakit.com.tr/haber/maden-uretimi-artiyor-disa-bagimlilik-azaliyor-enerjide-altin-donem-785298.html), Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez reiterated that they will start drilling at a location “licensed” by the “TRNC” [Trans. Note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] in the beginning of July.
In a meeting with the economics editors of Thrace Regional Directorate of Turkey’s Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), Donmez said that they are doing substantial effort both in the land and in the sea in search for oil and gas, adding: “We are going to do 130 exploratory drillings this year. Some of them are at the sea. We will carry out 7-8 drillings this year in the sea. We are mainly in the Mediterranean. Our drilling ship has started the second drilling and will continue. A program of about 100 days has been determined. The upgraded works of Yavuz vessel are continuing. I estimate that by the end of June, it will set out from the port. At the beginning of July, it will start drilling at a location licensed by the TRNC. The two vessels are capable of drilling two drills each a year on average. They have both similar characteristics”. Donmez further said that they have made sure that a large part of the employees on these ships at this moment is local.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.05.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-resolutely-continues-operation-in-n-iraq/1496634) reports that the Operation Claw in northern Iraq against the PKK terrorist organization “resolutely” continues, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
“Operation Claw continues. There is no slightest deviation. The operation continues resolutely," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul. The Turkish Armed Forces launched Operation Claw against the PKK terror group on May 27. Earlier, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that Turkish security forces neutralized “a total of 64 terrorists since May 27 both at home and in northern Iraq”.
Akar said “a total of 28 terrorists were neutralized as part of Operation Claw, 25 others during air operations in northern Iraq, and 11 terrorists across Turkey”.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (05.05.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/defense-ministry-slams-journalists-insulting-remarks-against-turkish-generals-143937) reports that Turkey’s Defense Ministry on June 3 vehemently condemned remarks by Murat Alan, the news director of daily Yeni Akit, towards the generals of Turkish army, saying these remarks “scathe the rights and interests of the nation.”
“On June 1, one of the participants in a television program used destructive language adding up to defamation. Attempting to insult the commanding generals of the Turkish Armed Forces [TAF], who endeavor to do their duty with graveness and sincerity, before the public, scathes the rights and interests of our noble nation,” the ministry’s written statement said.
All members of the army come from the heart of the Turkish nation, the statement added.
The ministry also stressed that it is inevitable for these kinds of remarks to demoralize the army and the country, in the midst of successful military operations at home and abroad.
“We are vehemently condemning this inappropriate statement towards the honorable generals of TAF, which is beyond measure and legal boundaries,” the statement declared.
The ministry’s condemnation came a few days after Alan’s remarks in which the news director drew an analogy between the Turkish military’s commanding generals and “donkeys,” saying the generals have no choice but to abide by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Your generals with epaulets, who did not behave, now take a stand with Erdoğan. They will side with Erdoğan whether they like it or not,” Alan said on June 1.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also slammed Alan’s remarks, echoing the ministry’s statement by saying the news director’s statement was “presumptuous.”
“Some circles are trying to hurt our solidarity. Nobody can speak ill of the TAF, its order structure, generals, officers or sergeants. These people will pay before the law,” Akar said on June 4. “As the Defense Ministry and TAF, we will continue to do everything that needs to be done, within the scope of law. These people will learn to not cross the lines. They will pay before the judiciary,” the minister added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also condemned Alan’s remarks, saying they are “disturbing.” Altun added that it is “unfortunate” that these statements included President Erdoğan.
Concurrently, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik too slammed the journalist’s comments. “It is unacceptable for someone to insult our generals by using Mr. President’s name. We reject and condemn these statements from top to bottom,” Çelik said.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION