No. 122/19 03.07.2019
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (03.07.19) reports that while tension on energy continues in the Eastern Mediterranean and the war between Turkey and Syria is heated up in the Syrian territory, discussions started on the issue of placing in occupied Cyprus the S-400 missiles, which Turkey will receive from Russia.
In statements to Russian newspaper Izvestia, Ahmet Berat Congar, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), argued that the main dangers for Turkey were the Eastern Mediterranean, “northern Cyprus” and Syria and added that the S-400 missiles could be established in these areas.
Noting that first they were examining how they would protect their southern and eastern borders, Congar said that currently technical studies were held and added that they were working on the points of the army’s deployment. He also argued that Turkey’s borders were like a powder keg and warm areas existed in Iran, Iraq and Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkın Sesi (03.07.19) reports that Arda Mevlutoglu, expert on defence policies, commented on the reasons of the fall of an S-200 missile in the occupied area of Cyprus the night before yesterday and what Turkey should do. He argued that Israel had carried out an aerial attack against Syria and that the missile could have been fired against the Israeli airplanes, missed and fell in Cyprus. He claimed also the following:
“The question that comes to mind here is the following: Has it [the missile] really been fired against an Israeli airplane or has Israel misled the Syrian radars by creating a fake target as a result of electronic war? […] Something like this could have happened. We could not know whether Israel has deliberately secured the fall in Cyprus of the missile fired against it. However, it is almost certain that Israel did something like an electronic confusion to the Syrian radars, it created a false target. The danger of these incidents to increase exists”.
Political analyst, Serdar Sement implied that this was an intentional action by Israel, because of the improvement in Turkey’s relations with the US during the recent G-20 Summit. He alleged that when Turkey wins something as regards the US, Israel and the United Arab Emirates get into action. Sement claimed that the said countries wanted Turkey’s disagreement with the US to turn into conflict and sanctions. Everybody saw how necessary Turkey’s taking the S-400 is, he alleged. Sement argued that the Turkish army in Mersin and Diyarbakir and their AWACS saw the above-mentioned missile and where it had been fired from.
Meanwhile, sources told Turkish newspaper Milliyet that it was very likely for the Israeli airplanes to have drawn the missile outside its range in their effort to disengage and that the missile exploded in the air before falling on the ground.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.07.19) reports that experts from the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) of Turkey who came to the occupied area of Cyprus to inspect the area after the crash of the Russian made S-200 missile on occupied Pentadaktylos mountain range, reached to the conclusion that there is no risk for chemical effects after the incident.
In statements on the issue, the director of the search and rescue unit of the AFAD department, Suleyman responding to the worries expressed by the Turkish Cypriots over the missile crash, alleged that there is no chemical risk or other threat in the area. He further alleged that they had carried out an inspection in the area over possible chemical risks, reaching to the conclusion that no risk exists.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.07.19) invoking reliable resources reports that 13 parts of the missile that crashed the other day on occupied Pentadaktylos mountain range were transferred yesterday with a military vehicle to a military unit in occupied Dikomo. Meanwhile according to the paper, experts who came in the occupied area of Cyprus from Turkey’s Department of Chief of General Staff had started examination over the missile parts.
Out of the 13 parts belonging to the S-200 missile, which fell in occupied Vouno, 4 were found in occupied Vouno, 1 in occupied Dikomo, 5 in occupied Kythrea, 1 in occupied Chaos and 2 in occupied Kornokipos.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (03.07.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that the search for a solution on the basis of a federation has ended and that the Greek Cypriots did not want a solution. “We have come to the point of playing the Varosha card”, he claimed in a statement referring to the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha yesterday during a meeting with the Municipalities Association from Turkey. Tatar also alleged that because of the claims of international powers and countries in the area, Turkey’s position in the “country” became more important and added that after the natural gas and oil issue came onto the agenda it was important to give messages of unity.
Meanwhile, in a written statement issued yesterday, Tatar alleged that his “government” would “solve the issue of Varosha within the framework of the TRNC laws and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights by opening the way for the Immovable Property Commission to take up the applications of Varosha’s former inhabitants and of EVKAF”.
He claimed that EVKAF Administration’s allegations regarding Varosha were “strong” and added that he talked based on the information and the documents which EVKAF had put forward. Tatar reiterated that the regime would take the “necessary steps” after carrying out inventory studies and that they would inform the parties concerned and the public regarding the road map, which they would follow taking into consideration the title-deeds and the documents possessed both by Varosha’s “pre-1974 inhabitants” and EVKAF.
“While the Greek Cypriot intransigence on the Cyprus issue, their hostile steps on the hydrocarbon explorations, are there, Varosha is not a Confidence Building Measure anymore”, he alleged and claimed that President Anastasiades’ proposal regarding the establishment of a bi-communal committee on Varosha was “malevolent” and “could never be accepted”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kıbrıs (03.07.19) reports that the works for the “protocol for economic and financial cooperation” which will be signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime were completed and in the next few days the Deputy President of Turkey Fuat Oktay, is expected to visit the occupied area of Cyprus.
According to the paper, in the fits phase the “protocol” is expected to be signed and in 2019 the flow of money from Turkey is expected.
The “government” is planning to cover the amount of 288 million Turkish Lira which were used last year from the “TRNC budget” for the so-called security forces. This money will be used to pay various businessmen that the “public service” owns money to. It was also decided that the various works and constructions that were paused, like the building of new prisons and roads, will continue, the paper writes.
In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (03.07.19) writes that in an interview he gave to the paper, so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar confirmed that Oktay is coming to the occupied area of Cyprus soon.
Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (03.07.19) reports that the TCG Gür (S-357) submarine of the Turkish Armed Forces will be at the port of occupied Keryneia. According to a statement by the so-called security forces, the submarine will be opened for visitors from tomorrow until July 8.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (03.07.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/russian-turkish-head-of-parliaments-meet-in-moscow-144642) reports that a return to the visa-free regime between Russia and Turkey would accelerate economic, social and humanitarian relations, Turkey's Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop said on June 2.
Meeting Valentina Matviyenko, Russia's upper chamber of parliament speaker, Şentop said the issue was one of utmost importance to the Russian-Turkish political agenda.
Noting that political alignment between Ankara and Moscow impacted all areas of relations, particularly economic ties, Şentop underlined that the two countries' leaders set a goal to reach $100 billion trade turnover between the two countries.
"We also want to develop our economic and cultural relations with Russia's regions and diversify the areas and actors of cooperation. What makes all this easier is the visa exemption. I am confident that our economic, social, cultural relations will gain impetus if we are able to re-enact the visa-free regime," he said.
Şentop praised cooperation between Ankara and Moscow in Syria, saying it allowed them to address "issues of regional and global importance."
"Our relations are multidimensional. The two countries cooperate on many issues in Eurasia, acting in close and coordinated efforts to stop the conflict in Syria," he said.
For her part, Valentina Matviyenko, head of Russia's Federation Council, said intense dialogue between the leaders of Russia and Turkey set the pace of relations between the two countries.
"The intensity of the political dialogue between the leaders of our countries, the special, trust-based relations that have developed between our presidents, certainly set the pace for the Russian-Turkish relations, define the agenda of these relations, discipline the governments, which are trying to implement the agreements reached at the highest level," she said.
Matviyenko called the Russian-Turkish efforts in Syria "an important factor" in international relations.
"Thanks to the efforts of Russia and Turkey, it was possible to largely clean up the territory of Syria from terrorists for the most part , to preserve sovereignty, to prevent the collapse of the country as it was in Libya and Iraq," she said.
Under the above title, Merve Şebnem Oruç, publishes an article in Turkish Daily Sabah (03.07.2019 https://www.dailysabah.com/columns/merve-sebnem-oruc/2019/07/03/do-you-believe-in-coincidences-after-the-g20-talks-i-dont) and writes that the timing of all the alarming developments in the region have coincided with the G20 summit, and it looks like the region will heat up even though the summit had an overall positive atmosphere.
“Does the Syrian regime want to fight Turkey?”, the columnist wonders and writes the following:
At this point, it is necessary to mention another important meeting of President Erdoğan during the G20 summit, the one with French President Emmanuel Macron. Erdoğan stated that the meeting, during which both leaders discussed the recent developments in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, was more "positive than expected."
After Macron said, "Turkey needs to end illegal activities within [Greek] Cyprus's economic zone," Erdoğan responded: "Who are you talking to about this issue? Turkey is a guarantor in Cyprus with Greece and Britain." A similar message was repeated, this time in person to Macron in Osaka. Erdoğan stressed that only the EU can state its opinion, not France, other than the guarantor countries.
Erdoğan's remarks about the meeting indicate that Macron did not oppose the warnings. The efforts of France to have a base in Greek Cyprus [TR. Note: The Republic of Cyprus] and growing influence in the Eastern Mediterranean would only increase tension in the region pointlessly, nothing else.
The bilateral talks during the G20 summit in Osaka can open new doors, pave the way for new cooperation and improve current relations for Turkey. But, in the meantime, some critical developments in the region, such as the Assad regime's attack on the 10th Turkish observation post in Idlib, during which a Turkish soldier was killed, is a sign that nothing will be easy.
And most recently, a stray Russian-made missile launched by Syria hit the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on Sunday night. The Syrian regime said it had "confronted" Israeli warplanes that fired missiles at military positions near the capital Damascus and the central city of Homs.
However, what if the Syrian regime cannot directly attack Turkish soil and chooses to hit Northern Cyprus? The timing of all these alarming developments coincided with the G20 summit, and it looks like the region will heat up even though the summit had an overall positive atmosphere.”
Turkish daily Sabah (03.07.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/07/03/arrest-warrants-issued-for-174-suspects-linked-to-feto) reports that in a new wave of operations yesterday, Turkish authorities issued arrest warrants for 174 suspects linked to the FETÖ terrorist group blamed for the 2016 coup attempt
The Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office issued arrest warrants for 40 suspects, including active-duty soldiers, in an investigation into the terrorist group's network of military infiltrators. Police launched operations in 15 provinces to capture the suspects.
A statement by the Chief Prosecutor's Office said the suspects were all part of a secret communication network of FETÖ used by terrorist group's handlers for military infiltrators. The statement added that the suspects were contacted by handlers through public payphones to avoid detection between 2012 and 2016, the year when the terrorist group employed its infiltrators in the military to launch the coup attempt that killed 251 people and injured 2,200 others. Among the wanted suspects were a colonel, a lieutenant-colonel and three captains, along with three military cadets.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (03.07.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-head-reiterates-for-a-new-referendum-for-neutrality-144634) reports that the nation’s president needs to remain impartial, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçaroğlu said on July 2, reiterating his previous remarks, calling for a referendum to decide whether the president should be nonpartisan.
“The president needs to be impartial. If he is not [impartial], then the state will have no insurance. In a way, the president is the wise man of the state. He needs to take a neutrality pledge. The head of the state should not be a party leader,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at CHP’s parliamentary group meeting in the capital Ankara.
“Let’s hold a referendum on the president’s neutrality. An overwhelming majority will vote in favor of an impartial president,” he added. Kılıçaroğlu also stressed that the president needs to represent the solidarity of the Republic of Turkey, saying a president who is also a political party leader will fail to accomplish this.
Turkey is about to be disjointed, according to Kılıçdaroğlu, who said there is a “lack of justice and law” in the country.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said the economy has been going downhill since the switch to the executive presidency system.
In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (03.07.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/we-back-reforms-to-boost-presidential-system-mhp-leader-144626) reports that the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli, has slammed the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for its calls to take Turkey to another referendum asking people whether or not they want the president to be nonpartisan.
“Reopening a debate on the [governance] system will not help our country, nation and democracy,” Bahçeli said on July 2 at his party’s parliament group meeting.
Turkey will not turn back from the new presidential system, he noted.
Bahçeli criticized some members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for publicly discussing the efficiency of the current presidential system.
The MHP will back legal and administrative reforms to strengthen the current presidential system, he said, while adding that criticisms by these members were understandable but they “should only be made behind closed doors”, he said.
Speaking about reports that former Economy Minister Ali Babacan and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu were working separately on setting up new parties, Bahçeli indirectly said these figures were “once at the heart of the AKP.”
Turkey does not need a new party, but the determination to “carry on in its path,” he said.
Turkish new portal Turkish Minute (03.07.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/07/03/former-ministry-employee-files-criminal-complaint-against-babacan-amid-new-party-talks/) reports that a former public employee filed a criminal complaint alleging terrorism against Ali Babacan, a previous economy minister who has reportedly been engaged in efforts to establish a new political party in Turkey, the Odatv news website reported on Tuesday.
Ali Çevik, a former civil servant at Turkey’s Undersecretariat of the Treasury, accused Babacan of intentionally supporting the Gülen movement in a criminal complaint filed with the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The Turkish government accuses the movement of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement.
Babacan is reportedly in talks with former President Abdullah Gül to establish a new party, a move that could potentially weaken the control of incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s control of conservative voters.
Çevik also accused Babacan of pursuing misguided economic policies and of causing the current deterioration in the country’s economic conditions.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION