A.Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Under the banner front-page title “Tension escalates”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (11.06.19)reports that after the arrest warrant issued by the Republic of Cyprus for the members of the crew of Turkish drilling vessel Fatih and officials of companies which cooperate with it, tension increased regarding the explorations for natural gas and oil, which the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey are simultaneously carrying out in the Eastern Mediterranean. “Statements made by officials from Turkey and the TRNC have indicated that a hot conflict could happen any moment in the Eastern Mediterranean”, argues the paper, which refers to statements made on the issue by Hami Aksoy, Spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fatih Donmez, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Omer Celik, Spokesman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime, Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) Erhan Arikli, chairman of the Turkish settlers’ Revival Party (YDP) and Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democrat Party (TDP).
Aksoy alleged yesterday that, if the information published in the press was true, the arrest warrant would not be valid for Turkey. Claiming that the Republic of Cyprus “ignores and usurps” what he called the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, Aksoy argued that in case the Republic of Cyprus “dares” to issue such an arrest warrant “no one should doubt that we will give the necessary answer” and that “we will launch the necessary legal procedures”.
In a statement yesterday, Donmez alleged that Turkey had never succumbed to any threat in the past and would not succumb to threats in the future. He reiterated the Turkish position that they would not allow the usurpation of the rights of the “TRNC” and the Turkish Cypriots. Donmez claimed also that they would continue their efforts for achieving regional peace through the fare sharing of the wealth in Cyprus and the Mediterranean and added that they would continue as planned their explorations for oil and natural gas in the area. “As soon as it completes its preparations, Yavuz drilling vessel will also start operating in the area”, he noted.
In a post on his social media account, Celik reiterated the allegation that Turkey would not allow the Greek Cypriots to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and described the arrest warrant as “an open provocation”. “If the Greek Cypriot administration attempts such initiatives, it will face the necessary reply”, he argued, expressing the hope that the information published in the press as regards the arrest warrant is not true. “The Greek Cypriot administration should abandon the policy of daydreaming and return to the world of realities”, he alleged.
Addressing the “assembly” yesterday, Denktas argued that the views which his party has been supporting since 2003 were justified and added that as “parliament” they should raise their voice on the hydrocarbons issue, but “Turkey is the one who should actually raise its voice”. Denktas said that both the breakaway regime and Turkey should evaluate diplomatic and legal measures which could be taken.
Also speaking at the “assembly”, Arikli argued that it was not correct to pass over the issue of the arrest warrant against Fatih’s crew and added that the “TRNC” should also take steps. Claiming that Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci should also take some steps, Arikli accused Akinci of not making any “serious statement” on the issue and of opposing the solution of “two separate states in the EU” in his message for the Bayram. Claiming that Akinci could not ignore the “government” and the “assembly”, Arikli alleged that Akinci “should give a chance” to the discussion of the “two state solution”.
Finally, also addressing the “assembly” yesterday, Ozyigit said that the “solution of two states in the EU” was a “dream” and added that if during the “presidential elections” to be held after one year the “people” say that they wanted new things, they would give the authority accordingly. Ozyigit described as “important” the hydrocarbons issue and added that if careful steps were not taken on this issue, they might find themselves in an environment where conflict might arise.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (11.06.19) reports that the self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar held a meeting with the “Turkish ambassador to Lefkosia”, Ali Murat Basceri, during which the latter wished Tatar success in his new “duties”.
According to the paper, Bahceri told Tatar that Turkey always supports “the TRNC state and its people”. He also said that they will continue their co-operation and that he visited Tatar in order to examine the things they will do together.
On his part, Tatar said that as soon as the new “government” received a “vote of confidence”, he travelled together with “deputy prime minister” Kudret Ozersay to Ankara where they held important contacts with the Turkish President and the Turkish Foreign Minister. He also said that they will work together with Turkey for the prosperity of the Turkish Cypriot “people”, the development of “TRNC” and the protection of the Turkish Cypriots’ rights and claimed that it is the Greek Cypriot side that makes mistakes and acts illegally in Cyprus. He also said that the warrant against Fatih’s crew is wrong and added that they always support Fatih.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (11.06.19) reports that during a press conference yesterday, KTOS (the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union) referred to the problems the school in the occupied areas in Cyprus are face and gave information about the numbers of students studying there.
According to Sener Elcil, KTOS general secretary, 56% of the students in primary schools are from Turkey, 3% are from third countries and the rest are Turkish Cypriots. As he said the efforts to provide education for foreign students create chaos and it is not in favor of the Turkish Cypriot students.
He also said that 11 new school buildings are needed in the breakaway regime.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.06.2019-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-slams-greek-cyprus-over-reported-arrest-warrant/1500483) reported that Turkey on Monday slammed the “Greek Cypriot administration’s” [as the Republic of Cyprus is referred to] decision to issue arrest warrants for crew members of the Turkish-flagged drillship Fatih.
Issuing a written statement, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy alleged that any such warrants are "null and void for us”. "Nobody should doubt that we will give the necessary response if it dares [to do so]," Aksoy added.
His remarks came after the “Greek Cypriot administration” reportedly issued arrest warrants for crew members of the drillship Fatih and officials of companies cooperating with the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).
"We will also initiate the necessary counter-legal processes together with relevant institutions," Aksoy also alleged, claiming that Greek Cypriot efforts to halt Turkey's work on its own continental shelf using such futile methods “will yield no results."
"Turkey will resolutely continue its petrol and natural gas exploration and drilling as planned in order to protect the rights of both its own continental shelf and the rights of Turkish Cypriots, who are equal partners of the island,” Aksoy added.
Speaking separately, ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Spokesman Omer Celik alleged the following "We will not allow the Greek Cypriot administration to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots."
"The news that the Greek Cypriot administration issuing arrest warrants for the crew of our Fatih drillship and officials of the companies cooperating with TPAO is a clear provocation," Celik argued. "Ignoring the Turkish Cypriots and trying to usurp their rights is vain politics," he further alleged.
Meanwhile, Devlet Bahceli, head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), also condemned the reported Greek Cypriot move as “unlawful.” “Turkey has the strength and competence to overcome "barbaric" and "anti-peace moves in the eastern Mediterranean”, Bahceli said.
On the same issue, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez stressed that Turkey’s exploration activities are continuing without any disruption by the threat of arrests. "Turkey never surrendered in the face of any threat and it never will," he added.
Turkish daily Vatan (11.06.19-https://www.star.com.tr/guncel/turkiyeden-dogu-akdenizde-govde-gosterisi-haber-1460068/) reported that the annual “Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gönyeli 2019 Search and Rescue Exercise” kicked off this morning in the breakaway regime with the participation of search and rescue teams from Turkey and the “TRNC”. The exercise will be completed on Thursday. The first stage of the exercise, the land phase, will take place in occupied Keryneia 101 Evler (houses) which is located near the occupied St. Hilarion castle, while, the second stage of the exercise which will be conducted at sea will take place on Wednesday, the 12 of June off the coast of occupied Famagusta. The exercise which is conducted jointly by Turkish Armed Forces and the “TRNC” will constitute a show of strength in the Eastern Mediterranean, writes the paper. It also adds that 12 observes from different countries, such as Afghanistan, Palestine, Qatar, the “TRNC”, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria and Pakistan will watch the exercise.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (10.06.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/akp-chp-istanbul-nominees-agree-on-tv-debate-ahead-of-polls-144068) reported that the two main contenders of the Istanbul rerun elections, Binali Yıldırım from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Ekrem İmamoğlu from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), agreed on a live TV debate that will be aired by all channels on June 16, a week before the polls.
The debate will be moderated by renowned journalist İsmail Küçükkaya of Fox News.
The announcement was made on June 10 by Mahir Ünal and Engin Altay, the respective deputy leaders of the AKP and CHP. The two men said they agreed on a six-article protocol for the live debate after the two party leaders also provided their consent.
Ünal told reporters that the debate “will be held under the principle of same question-equal time.”
“The two parties will set up a joint technical committee to undertake technical works for the coverage of the live debate”, added Atlay.
The debate will take place in Istanbul’s Lütfi Kırdar Congress Center at 9 p.m.
The last TV debate between rival political leaders took place between AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and former CHP leader Deniz Baykal before the 2002 general elections. Since then, due to heavy polarization, political leaders have avoided TV appearances together with their contenders. The İmamoğlu-Yıldırım debate, therefore, will mark a milestone.
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