No. 117/19 25-26.06.2019
Α. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Illegal Bayrak (26.06.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=fm-ozersay-discusses-maras-with-vakiflar-director-benter) reports that “deputy prime minister and foreign minister” Kudret Özersay met with the General Director of the Evkaf Administration İbrahim Benter on Monday morning to discuss the inventory to be carried out in the closed city of Varosha.
In a statement issued, Özersay said that they had discussed how they could benefit from the past studies carried out by the Evkaf Administration and how the administration could contribute to the inventory.
He said that Benter had shared with him two academic projects prepared on Evkaf owned property in Varosha.
Özersay also said that he will be meeting with leaders of political parties and former “presidents” today.
Within the framework of his meetings, Özersay met with the leader of the Republican Turkish Party Tufan Erhürman this morning.
He said that he will be meeting with Mustafa Akıncı on Thursday to discuss the issue.
Ozersay also said that he will be meeting with academics and representatives of civil society organisations who have carried out studies on Varosha on Friday.
“We shall be determining the team of experts who will be tasked with carrying out the inventory by next week,” he added.
Illegal Bayrak (26.06.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=maras-opening-triggers-heated-debate-in-parliament) reports that the plans of the “government regarding the fenced-off city of Varosha were top of the agenda of the so-called assembly on Monday.
While the opposition criticized the “government” after being left in the dark on the issue, “prime minister” Ersin Tatar reaffirmed the “government’s intention” to reopen Varosha following an inventory of all movable and immovable properties in the closed city.
Addressing the plenary on Monday, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit said that “it was unfortunate they had to learn about the government’s decision on Varosha during a routine press briefing after a cabinet meeting”. He said that issue should have been discussed at a high-level meeting with the participation of the “president” before any decision was made.
Özyiğit also pointed out that the issue of Varosha had an international dimension to it and that the fenced-off city could only be opened under the supervision of the UN and by returning it to its lawful owners.
Leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman complained that the “government” had yet to share the details of its plans.
He said that there seemed to be confusion over the matter even between the coalition partners.
“Even the president who is the UN’s number one interlocutor has no information about the details of the initiative. What you say must be consistent. More importantly, you need to carry out a serious assessment before acting on what you plan to do,” he said.
Self-styled foreign minister Kudret Özersay said that the “government” had taken a clear decision to conduct an inventory in Varosha and had agreed in principle to take a step without harming the rights of former residents and the Evkaf administration.
He added that the “government’s next move will be determined according to the results of the inventory”.
“However, we haven’t decided on what will be included in the inventory and a timetable for the project,” he said.
Özersay said that meetings will be arranged with the “president”, former “presidents” and the political parties in the coming days.
Also addressing the plenary, Tatar reminded that Varosha has remained closed off for 45 years and that “the Greek Cypriot side perceived the return of the fenced-off city in the event of a solution a ‘done deal’”.
“Since there isn’t a solution in Cyprus, this option is no longer on the table,” he said.
Tatar claimed that the political situation on the island had changed and that the time to pursue a proactive policy had come. He said he believed Varosha should be reopened under Turkish Cypriot control and that its former residents should either be compensated for their properties or be allowed to return.
Illegal Bayrak (26.06.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=denktas-criticizes-government-move-on-maras) reports that the leader of the Democrat Party (DP) Serdar Denktaş has criticized the “government’s decision” regarding the closed city of Varosha.
Denktaş accused the “government” of incompetency.
In a written statement, the DP leader warned that the inexpert stance of the “government” and the convicting statements issued by the “coalition partners” could create an irreversible situation for the Turkish Cypriot “people”.
Referring to the UN Security Council resolution on Varosha, Denktaş said that the initiative to reopen the fenced-off city could see cautious support from international actors.
“The important thing is that we explain properly why we are making the moves we are making. We need to show the international community that this is a step taken in order to achieve a settlement in Cyprus,” he said.
Denktaş said that the decision on Varosha had been taken hastily and that opposition raised by the “south”, as he called the Republic of Cyprus, could work against the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.
“It’s evident that none of the international actors were consulted. The government acted hastily and ineptly. No one has the right to force the Turkish Cypriot people to pay the price for such uncalculated moves,” the DP leader said.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (26.06.19) reports that Hasan Sarica, former “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and former chairman of DEV-IS trade union, has said that opening the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha under Turkish Cypriot administration clearly violates point 5 of Kyprianou - Denktas High Level Agreement achieved on 19 May 1979. In a post on his social media account, Sarica notes that this agreement was also included in the breakaway regime’s “declaration of independence” and has the force of an “article of the constitution”.
The paper publishes “The 10-Point Agreement of 19 May 1979”, which says the following in point 5:
“Priority will be given to reaching agreement on the resettlement of Varosha under UN auspices simultaneously with the beginning of the consideration by the interlocutors of the constitutional and territorial aspects of a comprehensive settlement. After agreement on Varosha has been reached it will be implemented without awaiting the outcome of the discussion on other aspects of the Cyprus problem”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıslı (26.06.19) reports that Bertan Zaroglu, self-styled deputy with the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP) submitted some questions yesterday at the “assembly” to Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime, calling on him to reply to allegations regarding occupied fenced-off Varosha made with statements to the paper by Zeki Akcam, “professor” at the illegal “Cyprus University of Social Sciences”.
The paper notes that after the “government’s” statement that an inventory study would be held the attention was turned to the title deeds and the buildings in the fenced-off city. It also says that the title deeds had been digitalized by EVKAF religious foundation.
Akcam alleged that there was absolutely no obstacle for opening fenced-off Varosha and that the agreement signed in 1963 was null and void. He claimed that Great Britain should have paid 200 million sterling pounds to the Ottoman State from 1878 until 1915 and that only 500 thousand sterling pounds had been paid to Dr. Fazil Kucuk and Rauf Denktas. With this money Saray Hotel was built, he noted, arguing that the 200 million pounds had also “a legitimate interest”.
Furthermore, he alleged the following: “[…] Now the EVKAF administration has conducted all inventories in the sense of title deeds. In any case, inventories regarding the buildings exist in the army. When the army was doing this, some buildings were banks. Even the money has been counted for years. […] There is only one personal property which belongs to an Armenian there. And this is not even 1%. Varosha must definitely open. All the hotels which were illegally built should be demolished. […] It should come to the situation it had been on the day when the Greeks usurped it from us”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Nacak (26.06.19) reports that EVKAF’s former general director Taner Dervis has accused Ozersay of lack of information about Varosha, claiming that “in parallel to the lack of information he refers to properties of Greek Cypriots in fenced-off Varosha”. “In this sense, it is understood that he does not know or he does not accept that the entire fenced-off Varosha belongs to EVKAF administration”, he alleged claiming that during the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) process Ozersay directed the Greek Cypriots to the “Immovable Property Commission” for taking their title deeds in occupied fenced-off Varosha.
Writing in the same newspaper, Aydin Akkurt, former adviser of late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, recalls that EVKAF and occupied Famagusta’s “title deeds’ department” had carried out an inventory study for fenced-off Varosha in 1996 and that experts from Turkey also carried out an inventory study in the occupied city in 2009. He claimed that in these studies they established that all properties in the area belonged to EVKAF and notes that the occupied Famagusta “district court” issued a decision on this matter in 2002 and 2005, adding that this decision was also approved by the “high court”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (25.06.19) reports that Turkey's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sedat Önal, commenting to Turkey’s state news agency Ankara Anatolia on the “additional protocol”, said that one of the main priorities of the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry is to explain in the best way to the international community the “rightful case and struggle of the Turkish Cypriot people”.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency, an “additional protocol to the protocol on functional and structural cooperation” between the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the “ministry of foreign affairs” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus was signed on Monday in Ankara by Sedat Önal - Turkey’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs - and Gunes Onar, “undersecretary of ministry of foreign affairs”.
Accordingly, the protocol since the date it was signed in 1998, has been applied successfully shaping a closer cooperation between the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the “TRNC foreign ministry” and now it has developed an additional protocol in order to regulate a concrete support to the representatives of the “TRNC” abroad.
Turkish Ambassador Onal further said that any support given until today in order to strengthen the representation of the “TRNC” in third countries will continued and increase.
Illegal Bayrak (26.06.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=yavuz-in-antalya) reports that Turkey’s second drillship, the Yavuz, reached the shores of Antalya in the Mediterranean.
“The Yavuz which was bought by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation as part of the ‘National Energy and Mining Policy’ and with the aim of increasing Turkey’s research and drilling activities in the seas has anchored off the coast of Antalya before seting out to Cyprus for offshore drilling activities near the Karpaz (Tr. Note occupied Karpasia) peninsula” Byarak broadcast.
In addition to its drilling capabilities, the Yavuz houses a sports centre, a cinema theatre and a recreation centre as well as a mini- hospital with a doctor on standby.
The Yavuz generates its electricity from diesel fuel generators with a capacity of 42 megawatts and has 7.5 million litres of fuel capacity.
The ship, whose construction was completed in 2011, previously carried out drilling in different countries, such as in Tanzania, Kenya, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Illegal Bayrak (26.06.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozkurt-re-appointed-as-brts-director) reports that Meryem Çavuşoğlu Özkurt has been re-appointed as the Director of the illegal Bayrak Radio Television Corporation.
Özkurt’s appointment was announced by the “government spokesperson, deputy prime minister-foreign minister” Kudret Özersay following yesterday’s “council of ministers” meeting.
This will be Özkurt’s second term at the helm of the corporation.
She was first appointed as director of BRTK in 2016 and resumed the post until her resignation in 2018 following the change in “government”.
According to the official page of the Turkish presidency (26.06.19 https://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/news/542/105780/-we-continue-with-our-multilateral-searches-regarding-turkey-s-security-needs-) the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaking at AK Party’s Parliamentary Group Meeting, commented on the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and stated that Turkey will resolutely maintain the steps it takes in the region until it makes sure any kind of natural resources in the region are fairly shared. “We will never allow attempts that disregard Turkey’s and Turkish Cypriots’ rights and interests,” highlighted President Erdoğan, adding that Turkish vessels will carry on with their drilling and exploration activities while the Turkish Armed Forces take necessary measures for their security in the Eastern Mediterranean.
President Erdoğan also noted that Turkey continues with its multilateral searches regarding its security needs, and said: “We will start to take delivery of the S-400 air defense systems, which we have already ordered, next month. We have also always been open to different supply options concerning our security needs. Turkey does not need to negotiate with, take permission from or bow down to pressures of any country while fulfilling its own security requirements.”
Drawing attention to the attempts to isolate Turkey at a time when developments of critical importance concerning the region and the world have been taking place, President Erdoğan said: “The objective here is to push Turkey out of the global game that is being redesigned. We have seen the intention at the outset and accordingly completed our preparations. Not yielding to threats, we have taken a clear stance without the slightest concession on our part.
According to Turkish private channel NTV (25.06.19, https://www.ntv.com.tr/turkiye/son-dakika-omer-celik-farkin-nasil-ortaya-ciktigina-dair-degerlendirmeler-basla,GmbB4uqtL0uTarz9usIUWA), Ömer Çelik, spokesman of Turkey’s ruling party Justice and Development (AKP), speaking at his party meeting in Ankara, criticized Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ latest statement by saying: “We are warning the Greek Prime Minister. He should stop using vacant expressions such as ‘Turkey will pay a heavy price for the time it will start drilling’. He should use more respectful language towards our President”.
Claiming that Greek Prime Minister Tsipras is trying to create a rift between Turkey and the EU, Celik reiterated: “The EU had made a great mistake by allowing the Greek Cypriot side to join the bloc before a settlement was reached. The EU also plays a role in the current negative developments. Instead of correcting its mistake, the EU chooses to remain silent as the Greek Cypriot side exploits its membership for its own interests”.
He further accused the Greek Prime Minister of threatening Ankara through the EU, adding that this was unacceptable and added that Tsipras must stop making empty claims and must be respectful of Ankara and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Celik reminded that the drilling vessels Fatih and Yavuz will continue their activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, reiterating that neither Turkey nor the “TRNC” will abandon their own sovereign rights there.
Under the title “A proactive move for Cyprus by Turkey: The Monaco model”, Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak (25.06.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/ekonomi/turkiyeden-proaktif-kibris-hamlesi-monaco-modeli-3496188) reports that “the Cyprus cantered energy struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean has entered into a new period”, alleging that Turkey “does not make concessions from its sovereign rights” against the Republic of Cyprus and last week sent its second drilling vessel to the area.
“The opening of Varosha and the planning of new bases have come onto the agenda against the moves of the Greek Cypriot administration, which does not take even a single step backwards on the solution issue”, alleges the paper.
Prof. Dr Gurkan Kumbaroglu, chairman of the Energy Economy Association, explained to the paper the so-called “Monaco model” for the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus and the foreign actors. He said that the “hot war scenarios” could be canceled by cooperation between Greece and Turkey in the area, adding that the energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean would secure important economic potential to both countries.
Referring to the so-called “Monaco model”, Kumbaroglu claimed that the foreign affairs and defense in the occupied area of Cyprus could be bound to Turkey and an autonomous structure could exist in the internal affairs. He said that Monaco transferred its foreign affairs and defense to France and alleged that this could constitute a very good example for Turkey and the “TRNC”, adding that “I am saying that it would be useful for the TRNC to transfer its defense and foreign affairs to Turkey until the former secures its recognition”. He also argued:
“Without international recognition, without opening representation offices in other countries, it is not possible for the TRNC to carry out in practice its foreign affairs anyway. I believe that Turkey should follow a proactive foreign policy for securing TRNC’s international recognition. A similar situation exists on the defense issue. The tension in the Eastern Mediterranean is there and the TRNC’s defense is de facto on Turkey anyway. It is useful to openly put a name to this”.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.06.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-elections-send-message-of-democracy-to-world-says-chp-head-144473) reports that the renewed Istanbul elections of June 23 sent a message to the world, restoring trust in Turkey’s democracy, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on June 25.
“[The world] had given up on hopes of democracy in Turkey. They were saying there is repression and violence in Turkey, the [ruling party] was using all means of the state and that there is a partial judiciary. They thought that democracy will not exist in Turkey anymore. Regardless of all these, we sent a democracy message to the world. Hence, they watch us with astonishment,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at CHP’s parliament group meeting, in capital Ankara.
“Now the whole world is closely watching our culture and ambition of democracy. We said we can do this, because we have faith. We believed, we did and we made this come true,” he said.
“No one should worry: Turkey’s path has been cleared and will get clearer. Peace, abundance and democracy will come to Turkey,” he said. “We seek to solve Turkey’s problems with knowledge and wisdom, not with quarrels. This saga does not belong to the CHP. It belongs to those striving for democracy; it is the saga of Turkey. We will do great things, all together,” he added.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.05.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkish-parliament-ratifies-new-military-service-law/1515456) reports that Turkish parliament on Tuesday ratified a new military service law cutting the military service period in half.
A total of 335 lawmakers approved the law in the 600-seat parliament, 17 lawmakers voted against it, and two lawmakers abstained.
The new law reduces the military service period to 6 months from 12 months, which also makes the paid military service permanent for those who can afford it.
The Turkish citizens will be required to undergo a one-month military training and they will be exempted from serving for the remaining five months by paying 31,000 Turkish liras ($5,371) under the new law.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION