No. 121/19 02.07.2019
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (02.07.19) reports that Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay held a meeting yesterday in Ankara with Chief of General Staff, General Yasar Guler and Vice President of the Turkish Intelligence Service (MIT), Cemalettin Celik. During the one-and-a-half hour meeting, the recent developments regarding Libya and the occupied area of Cyprus were discussed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (02.07.19) reports that so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay held a telephone conversation with Turkey’s National Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar.
In a statement on his social media account, Ozersay said that Turkey would very soon proceed with necessary suggestions to several neighboring countries over the issue of the missile that fell in the occupied area of Cyprus, on occupied Pentadaktylos Mountain range. “At the same time, we also express our discomfort over this issue and would attempt to convey our discomfort on an international level”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (02.07.19) reports that the chairman of Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman, stated yesterday that as long as peace is not achieved in the region, neither the people nor any citizens could feel fully secure. Speaking yesterday while visiting the region in occupied Pentadaktylos mountain range where the Russian- made missile fell, Erhurman pointed out the fact that it is the politicians who are responsible for providing stability and peace in the region.
In addition, Zorlu Tore, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP) and “deputy speaker” of the so-called assembly, commenting on the missile, wished that this incident would not be repeated again and called on the countries in the region to remain calm. He went on to claim that the Turkish Cypriots live in security and freedom and they have their “state”. “We still remember the pain we suffered in 1974. The TRNC, Turkey and Turkey’s army are our security”, he argued.
In his turn, the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) Cemal Ozyigit, said that the location that the incident occurred [in occupied Vouno village] is the most concrete proof that tension and war in the region have negative effects on us. He added that as long as the war and tension in the region continue, the possibility for similar incidents to happen exists and said that without peace nobody can feel secure.
Moreover, the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas, commenting on the falling of the missile in occupied Pentadaktylos mountains said that no matter if this incident is an accident or a planned attemptn, it is a clear indication that the country is totally undefended. Pointing to the fact that this incident has shown that the war in the region is very close to us, Denktas described the statements made by so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar that “we should not exaggerate on the issue”, as one more indication of inexperience and awkwardness. “It is obvious how necessary motherland Turkey’s support is for us on this matter, as well as in all other matters”, Denktas claimed.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Revival Settler’s Party (YDP), Erhan Arikli has stressed the need for the amendment of the old “defense cooperation agreement between Turkey and the TRNC”, so that as he said in the new one to assign to Turkey the responsibility for the security and the “control of the TRNC’s airspace”. “In this case, it is possible for the TRNC to be included in the S-400 air defense missile system that Turkey would take soon”. In a written statement, Arikli alleged that “it is impossible for the TRNC with its potential to defend its land, airspace and territorial waters”. He further claimed that with the new “defense cooperation agreement” to be signed between Turkey and the “TRNC” a naval base should be provided to Turkey in order to extend as he argued their national defense system to the whole Eastern Mediterranean against “south Cyprus”, as he described the Republic of Cyprus.
On the same issue, the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan said that the incident that occurred with the missile in occupied Pentadaktylos Mountains has shown once again how important peace in the region is. Izcan added that unfortunately we live in a region that has become a ring of fire where wars for energy are taking place.
Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak television (02.07.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tatar-speaks-to-a-haber), so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar has said that the Syrian government has been warned via Turkey to be more careful, adding that the necessary protests had been made.
Speaking on Turkish news channel, A Haber, Tatar responded to a question regarding the missile that crashed in the “TRNC” explaining that the findings revealed that the missile was a stray, which had landed in the “TRNC” by accident.
He recalled that a similar missile had crashed in Gaziantep in December 2018.
Tatar said that it was a relief that no one was injured in the incident. “We have filed the necessary diplomatic protests and warned the Syrian government through Turkey to be more careful, particularly for regional peace,” Tatar said.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (02.07.19) reports that according to experts from the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs, who have carried out measurements near Vouno village after the fall of a missile the night before yesterday, no danger of chemicals was established in the area.
Furthermore, the self-styled ministry of health announced yesterday that there was no health hazard after the fall of the missile.
Meanwhile, within the framework of investigations held by the “police”, ten pieces of the exploded missile were found: 2 in occupied Vouno, 1 in occupied Dikomo, 4 in occupied Kythrea, 1 in occupied Chatoz and 2 in occupied Kornokipos. The pieces in Kythrea were found in the yard of a kindergarten and on the roof of a house.
Illegal Bayrak (02.07.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tatar-speaks-to-a-haber) reports that self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar said that the “government” has taken a decision to conduct an inventory and that the ultimate goal was to open the closed city “under Turkish administration”.
He was talking on Turkish news channel, A Haber.
Claiming that the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) was unable to carry out its functions properly, Tatar said that “the former residents, including the Evkaf r Administration will be able to apply to the IPC if the closed city is opened”.
“As a result we shall be freed of the compensations and the fenced-off city will be reopened to settlement after all these years,” he said.
Alleging that Varosha had been kept closed for all these years with the thought of returning it back to the Greek Cypriot side, Tatar said that the conditions had changed.
“It has become clear after 50 years that a federal settlement will not be possible. We believe that Varosha can be reopened particularly when you consider the facts. Tensions are growing in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Greek Cypriots have rejected all settlement plans and there is no solution on the horizon. Reopening Varosha under Turkish Cypriot administration through consultations with international actors such as the UN is seriously on the agenda,” he said.
Tatar expressed his belief that the reopening of Varosha will contribute greatly to the “TRNC economy”.
“The reopening of Varosha will be a reaction to the unjust embargoes imposed on Turkish Cypriots. We aim to further strengthen the position of the Turkish Cypriot side by taking the right steps,” he added.
Tatar also recalled that “the coalition government, as stated in the government protocol, believed that all efforts to reach a federal settlement have been exhausted and that the alternative of a two-state solution should be put on the table”.
Illegal Bayrak (02.07.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=fm-ozersay-visits-maras) reports that a delegation led by “deputy prime minister and foreign minister” Kudret Özersay held an inspection tour of the fenced-off city of Varosha on Monday.
A press statement issued by the “foreign ministry” said that the visit was held as a preliminary inspection ahead of the first meeting to be held next week with a team of experts tasked with conducting an inventory in Varosha.
Under the title “Again Varosha, brother?”, columnist Metin Munir, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (02.07.19), wonders whether the practical result of this initiative of “opening Varosha” or “returning to the former property owners”, will pave the way for the Greek Cypriots to be left with no option but to sell their properties to the Turks, in the following commentary:
“When the Turkish troops were landing in Cyprus in 1974, Turkey did not have any plan as capturing Varosha, which is at the west end of this island.
However, when the Greek Cypriots, who got into panic, escaped, the Turkish tanks entered the empty town without a fight. And then, it included the region, which was the centre of the island tourism and almost all of the population was Greek Cypriots, into this geography which would later be called TRNC. Ankara decided to keep Varosha as a bargaining chip with the mentality ‘what is taken is taken’.
The town was plundered and has survived until today therefore in decay, empty and unmanned. Entry and exit to this barbed wired city has been prohibited for 45 years. Over time, the ‘opening of Varosha’ has been discussed several times, but the status of this town has not changed.
Recently the administration of Tatar-Ozersay has announced that it had decided to make first an ‘inventory study’ there, in preparation for a final decision on the issue of Varosha. Since that day, the “opening” has been discussed again.
The ‘inventory’ is an excuse. The town has an inventory [study]. The purpose of the decision to do it [the inventory study] again is to test the environment, to give time to see the stance of the Turks, the Greek Cypriots, Evkaf which claims that ‘Varosha is my property’, the United Nations and other sides on this issue, as well as to express their views.
The main aim is to inform the Greek Cypriots, who consider Varosha as ‘a bird in their hand’ to be prepared that this bird will fly away. It was also posed to the Greek Cypriots that: ‘If you want to prevent the Turkification of Varosha, sit at the negotiating table as soon as possible, and in addition stop stepping on Turkey’s foot in the Eastern Mediterranean’.
But there is an even more essential purpose: if the environment is appropriate, to put into effect a plan to Turkify Varosha.
How will this happen?
According to information that I received from sources related to this issue, like this:
The former residents of Varosha will be called to reclaim their properties. The only condition is they will accept to live under Turkish administration. It is a condition, which is not possible to be implemented practically.
The Greek Cypriots will not accept to live under Turkish administration even if they takes their properties, because this is not practical for them. First of all, the town is not in a condition to be lived. Its infrastructure has completely collapsed and there is no money or capability in the TRNC to recondition this infrastructure. But even if there was, the Greek Cypriots cannot return to Varosha.
The banks will not give them credit to repair or rebuilt their properties because they are in the Turkish side. The Greek Cypriot government will not help them either because it will not accept that its citizens live under Turkish administration.
In that case, the Greek Cypriots will take this wreck and do what with it?
The only thing they can do under these conditions is to sell their properties. The only receiver will be also the Turks.
As it can be understood from this, the practical result of this initiative to ‘open Varosha’ or to return it to their ‘former owners’ is to pave the way for the Greek Cypriot properties, which are in this ghost town, to be sold to the Turks.
This means the Turkification of Varosha over time.
Time will show whether this project, which has many political and legal obstacles in front of it, will be able to be materialized.
What is contradictory is that on the one hand Ozersay seeks a ground for an agreement with the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades and on the other hand, his initiative infuriates the Greek Cypriots.
According to the information that I received from my sourced regarding this issue, the logic of this is as follows: ‘If The Greek Cypriots sit in negotiations with us which are not open-ended, and agree on the issue of two states under the roof of the European Union, they will take Varosha and go. If they don’t talk, Varosha will stay with us’.”
Turkish Cypriot Star Kibris (02.07.19) reports that a meeting presided by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci was held as regards the issue of the mobile phones interoperability across the island.
It was decided that the GSM operators in the occupied area of Cyprus will inform Swiss-based Comfone on the outcome of the meeting held, the paper writes.
The paper further reports that after some tests are run, it will be possible for mobiles phones to be used across Cyprus.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of GSM operators, the self-styled prime minister, Ersin Tatar, “foreign ministrer” Kudret Ozersay, the head of the “Information Technologies and Communication” and other so-called officials.
The official site of the Turkish Foreign Ministry (01.07.19 http://www.mfa.gov.tr/sc_-45_-kktc-ne-dusen-fuze-hk-sc.en.mfa) publishes a statement of the Spokesperson of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, in response to a question regarding the missile crash in the occupied area of Cyprus.
The statement is as follows:
“The explosion and fire caused by the crash of a missile in Taşkent of the TRNC, (TR Note: the occupied Vouno village in the occupied area of Cyprus) in a non- residential area, last night (June 1), has not led to any loss of lives or damage. […] The TRNC authorities are bringing this incident to the attention of the United Nations and the relevant countries. We support these initiatives as well.”
Turkish daily Sabah (02.07.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/business/2019/07/02/turkey-japan-economic-cooperation-more-important-in-times-of-trade-protectionism) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish ministers attended the Turkish-Japanese businesspeople meeting organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) and the Japanese Business Federation in Tokyo, July 1, 2019.
Turkish and Japanese authorities have once again had the opportunity to reiterate their commitment to sustaining balanced commercial relations while speeding up negotiations for an economic partnership agreement to be inked this year
Elaborating on Turkish-Japan economic times at a meeting organized by the Japanese Business Federation, Erdoğan underscored the urgency to strengthen the contractual framework of the bilateral commercial and economic rapport.
Stressing the importance of an economic partnership agreement by the end of 2019, Erdoğan said he expected the agreement to strike a balance accounting for the common goal of free trade, as well as the differences in economic development.
"Turkey's exports to Japan only totalled $480 million, while its imports came in at $4 billion last year," the president explained and went on: "We are glad to have Japanese products in our market. While Japanese industrial products can enter the Turkish market freely, our strong agricultural products are under the regime of tariffs and face challenges other than tariffs." Erdoğan remarked that this offset in trade is reflected in the negotiations for the economic partnership agreement.
Speaking of the need to draw more investments from Japan, Erdoğan explained that Japan has $73 billion worth of investments in China and its total investments around the world are calculated at $965 billion. He stressed the divergence between the country's investments in Turkey and other countries. "We need to start negotiations for new investment projects," he said.
The president noted that Japan is Turkey's third-largest trade partner in Asia, and the country is one of the guides of the Turkish industrialization process.
Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (02.07.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/07/01/turkish-courts-handed-down-sentences-to-41-journalists-in-the-first-half-of-2019/) reports that the Free Journalists Initiative (ÖGİ) has announced that the first six months of the year saw the trial of 287 journalists, 41 of whom were sentenced to a total of 119 years, three months in prison, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.
The group released a report titled “Violations against journalists” for the first half of the year, focusing on the judicial pressures Turkish journalists are faced with while trying to perform their duty of informing the public.
The report said a total of 154 journalists were held in pre-trial detention during the period in question.
Twenty-nine new investigations were launched and eight investigations turned into prosecutions. One media outlet was raided by the police.
Thirty-four journalists were detained and 11 were arrested, while 22 journalists were released and two were deported.
The report said journalists in Turkey persist in doing their job despite the dire conditions they find themselves in.
“The political power has standardized the media as it did with the political system. Its polarizing and alienating rhetoric was widely reflected in the mainstream media,” it said.
Turkey ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
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