Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (09.07.19), on its front page under the title “Yavuz vessel is off the Karpas peninsula”, reports that Tukrey’s second drill ship Yavuz has reached off the coast of Karpas peninsula on Cyprus' east coast.
The Yavuz, which departed from Gebze with a ceremony on the 20th of June waited in Mersin-Tasucu for refuelling and technical controls. Now, it can be seen off the coast of Karpas.
According to site www.marinetraffic.com, Yavuz is seen to be south of the Cape of Apostolos Andreas of Karpas peninsula.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (09.07.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci is sending a letter to the UNSG Antonio Guterres. According to information obtained from sources close to Akinci’s office, the Turkish Cypriot leader felt the need to explain his “clear stance” regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem, as the person, who is responsible for the negotiations on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side.
The letter is expected to reach the UNSG within the forthcoming days. The need to reply to the accusations against the Turkish Cypriot side included in President Anastasiades’ letter of 14 June and to “clear the blurriness” created by the self-styled government’s statements, which are far from the target of finding a solution, are assessed to be among the reasons for Akinci’s need to send the said letter.
According to illegal Bayrak (09.07.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tatar-slams-eu-for-remarks-on-turkey), self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar protested the EU’s statements regarding Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In a written statement issued today, Tatar said: “We condemn these statements which declare Turkey’s drilling activities as unlawful and concerning”.
He claimed that it was not Turkey’s activities which were unlawful but the activities carried out by the Greek Cypriot side which disregards the rights of the Turkish Cypriot “people”, adding that the EU’s stance in favour of the Greek Cypriots pushed efforts to settle the Cyprus problem into a further deadlock.
He supported that the Greek Cypriot side had rejected all offers to set up a joint committee on the issue of hydrocarbons “to ensure that revenues to be derived from natural gas could be used to fund a settlement”. He further accused the Greek Cypriot side of forming alliances against Turkey which had “legitimate rights in the Eastern Mediterranean”.
“The EU is turning a blind eye to this situation. This is unacceptable,” he alleged, claiming that the EU’s criticism of steps taken by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side were against the contemporary values it claimed to uphold and that the Turkish Cypriot side was determined to pursue proactive policies.
He said that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side will resume their own hydrocarbon activities as long as the Greek Cypriots continue their “unilateral activities”.
Illegal Bayrak television (09.07.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tore-welcomes-arrival-of-yavuz) broadcast also that Zorlu Tore, self-styled deputy speaker of the parliament of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has welcomed the arrival of the Yavuz drill ship off the coast of the Karpas Peninsula.
In a written statement issued today, Töre reminded the United Nations and the European Union that there are two “peoples” in Cyprus and that the Turkish Cypriot “people” was a founding partner of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus.
Claiming that “the Greek Cypriot side’s membership into the EU was just one of the great injustices being committed against Turkish Cypriots”, Tore alleged that the EU’s encouraging stance towards the Greek Cypriot side “contributed to raising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean”.
Touching upon the latest statements made by the EU Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini that Turkey’s actions were illegal, Töre said that such statements were unacceptable. “It is they who accepted a divided Cyprus into the EU in violation of the 1960 Treaty of Establishment. They are currently supporting the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo which is responsible for the Cyprus problem,” he argued.
Claiming that Mogherini’s statements proved that the EU official could not serve as an observer or moderator in Cyprus, Tore added: “The EU diplomat needs to be warned by the Turkish Cypriot side. The Greek Cypriots and those who support them are the source of the tension on the island”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (09.07.19) reports that Baris Burcu, spokesperson of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has asked the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) to give an account for the fact that Akinci was not allowed to address a forum organized in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus in cooperation with Turkey’s Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB).
Explaining the fact that Akinci did not participate in the forum, Burcu described the stance of the KTTO as “lack of respect” towards Akinci and as “a new hoop to the chain” of the efforts to harm Akinci’s dignity upon an initiative of the Turkish Cypriot chamber or upon “suggestions”. Noting that in case the “president” was invited to such meetings the established proceedings were for him to address the meeting, Burcu said that the second meeting of this forum would most probably be held in Turkey and wondered whether Turkish President Erdogan would be treated in the same manner, in case he was invited.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (09.07.19) reports that Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has argued that there was a systematic movement “by various circles” aiming at harming the dignity of Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci.
In a written statement issued yesterday, Ozyigit said that the “discourteous” approach exhibited by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce towards Akinci included “an important message”. He underlined the importance for the Turkish Cypriots to defend their “institutions”, their “political will” and the leader of their community, regardless of their political views.
Meanwhile, Fikri Toros, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and former chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, also reacted to the fact that Akinci was not allowed to address the so-called first economic conference and described this behaviour as disrespect to the “president” who “represents the people’s will at the highest level”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.07.19) reports that three organizations, the Famagusta Initiative, MAGEM [Famagusta Youth Centre] and Unite Cyprus Now have criticized the limitation of access to the Deryneia beach in the occupied Famagusta town this year just like last year. Only Turkish citizens and “TRNC citizens” can have access to the beach.
In a joint written statement, the three organizations have described the practice as “racism”. It was also stressed in the statement, that “steps should be taken for all people who reach the city of Famagusta (Greek Cypriots, tourists, students, immigrants) regardless of their ethnic origin”.
In the statement, they call the public to boycott “Deryneia beach” until every person has access to it.
According to Turkey’s state news agency Ankara Anatolia (08.07.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-has-never-been-expansionist-or-interventionist/1526474), Turkey’s President Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday at Butmir Military Base in Sarajevo that Turkey has never looked to expand or intervene outside its borders, adding: "I would like to underline that the Republic of Turkey has never acted with an expansionist or interventionist perspective”.
“As we always say, we have no eyes on the land, sovereignty, internal affairs of anybody, no country," he further claimed, visiting the National Support Union Command of the Turkish Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina within the European Union Peace Force. "We are only trying to guarantee our own national security, the security of life and property of our citizens", he added.
Erdogan also hailed Turkish soldiers, saying Turkey places special importance on peace and safety in Bosnia. "I would like to thank each and every one of you for [carrying out] your duties on behalf of the country and nation,” he said.
Erdogan also stressed that Turkey does not have the luxury to just sit and watch developments in Europe, North Africa, the Caucasus, the Balkans, or Central Asia, as events there affect Turkey both directly and indirectly.
Erdogan is on a two-day working visit to Bosnia's capital Sarajevo. On Tuesday he is expected to deliver a speech at the Summit of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP).
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.07.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/balkans-peace-extremely-important-for-turkey-erdogan-144793), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on July 8 that preparations for the arrival of Russia’s S-400 air defence systems are proceeding on schedule, without elaborating on a definite arrival date.
“Right now, the preparations for the arrival continue. It would be right if you do not push us on a precise date. The shipping is still proceeding. There are also certain dates [on which] we came to terms with [Russia],” Erdoğan said ahead of his visit to Bosnia Herzegovina, where he will attend the two-day South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit.
Turkey’s Defence Ministry and the General Staff are in charge of planning the settlement, location and deployment of the S-400s, the President stated. “[The Defense Ministry and the General Staff] are making the plans right now to present to us,” he said.
Following the final planning of the authorities, all of the S-400s will be deployed to the determined location and will arrive in Turkey by plane, Erdoğan added. “We hope for this to be beneficial to our country, our region and the world,” he said. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah (08.07.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/defense/2019/07/08/turkeys-domestic-uavs-protecting-drilling-operations-in-eastern-mediterranean), Turkey's domestically-made Bayraktar Tactical Block 2 (TB2) Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (SIHA) are helping protect operations by seismic research vessel Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa and drilling ship Fatih in the Eastern Mediterranean. (…)
Turkey is striving to provide full protection to its ships, which reportedly have faced harassment during operations in the region. (…)
In addition to battleships and jets now patrolling the area, 10 Bayraktar TB2 SIHAs are flying over the Aegean coast, Cyprus and the region where drilling activities are taking place to protect against potential harassment, according to Turkish daily Milliyet.
Turkish navy frigate and assault ships are providing protection from sea-borne threats, while F-16 jets are ensuring protection against possible harassment attempts by Greek Cypriot aircraft.
According to news portal Turkish Minute (08.07.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/07/08/former-minister-resigns-from-ruling-akp-signals-plans-to-found-new-party/), Ali Babacan, a former Minister and founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), announced on Monday that he had resigned from the party, signalling that he would establish a new one, according to a statement sent to Turkish media outlets. “Under these circumstances, Turkey needs a brand new vision for the future,” he said in the statement, adding that he had encountered differences with the AKP in recent years.
Babacan, 52, a Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) alumnus, was left out of the Turkish cabinet in 2015 after 13 years of service in various Ministry offices.
He is in talks about a new party with former Turkish President Abdullah Gül, another founding member of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP.
“Human rights, liberties, progressive democracy and the rule of law are our indispensable principles,” the statement said.
Last week President Erdoğan dismissed claims that a number of deputies from his AKP are cooperating with former AKP politicians to establish a rival party.
The new party talks gained momentum after the AKP suffered a major defeat in the repeat İstanbul mayoral election on June 23.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (08.07.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-to-push-relations-with-russia-forward-minister-3495069), Ankara intends to push Turkey-Russia relations forward through strong political will and close dialogue between leaders, Turkey's Industry and Technology Minister said on July 8.
"Our goal [on trade volume between Turkey and Russia] is to reach the foreign trade volume levels of $33 billion that we achieved before and then to increase this figure to $100 billion," Mustafa Varank told Turkish-Russian Industry Forum in Yekaterinburg, one of Russia's important heavy industry centres. Varank highlighted the need for balanced expansion in trade between the two countries, with both complementing each other in ability.
He added that the Akkuyu nuclear plant and TurkStream gas pipeline projects showed the importance of cooperation between Turkey and Russia at the forum organized by Foreign Economic Relations Boards (DEİK).
"These strategic energy projects deepen our bilateral economic relations and provide solid foundations for our long-term cooperation. I believe we need to increase our strategic projects," he said, underlining that these partnerships were satisfactory but not sufficient.
He noted that Turkish companies in many sectors, from woodworking to glass ceramics, from healthcare to textiles, have invested about $10 billion in Russia.
For his part, Russian Industry Minister Denis Manturov said Moscow prepared a number of packages to facilitate Turkish businesses' arrival to Russia and support long-term investments. Russia is also creating privileged conditions for Turkish business people, he added.
"The giants leading Russian industry in Turkey's market are doing successful business, as are Turkish companies in Russia," he said, stressing the "great potential to develop bilateral relations" between Moscow and Ankara.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.07.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-slams-the-removal-of-central-bank-chief-144807), main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson Faik Öztrak on July 8 slammed the removal of Central Bank chief, Murat Çetinkaya from his post by a presidential decree, saying his removal will lead to major problems in the long-run.
“Removal of the central bank chief has happened for the first time since 1931, when it came into effect. We have experienced this, too, during the single-man regime. This regime has done the things even military coups could not. What has been done is neither normal nor ordinary,” he said after a Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting in the capital Ankara. (…)
The independence of the central bank is secured under law, yet Çetinkaya’s removal was grounded on a decree-law from the state of emergency period, Öztrak said.
“Removal of Çetinkaya officially put an end to the independence of the central bank. Now, the single-man regime will be able to put in effect self-proclaimed interest rate theories,” he said. “This is being done by pushing the boundaries of law. The President carried out this removal by violating his own Constitution,” he added. (…)
Çetinkaya was removed from his post with a presidential decree published early on July 6, the Official Gazette showed. Çetinkaya, whose four-year term was due to run until 2020, will be replaced by his deputy, Murat Uysal.
Meanwhile, Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (08.07.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/07/08/turkeys-currency-weakens-after-erdogan-fires-central-bank-governor/) reports that Turkey’s lira weakened on Monday after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dismissed the central bank governor, reigniting concerns about political interference in monetary policy and expectations of rate cuts to revive the recession-hit economy, Reuters reported.
The lira stood at 5.7285 to the US currency at 0933 GMT, 1.6% weaker than Friday’s close but off a low of 5.8245 in early Asian trade as investors fretted about the implications of the move for central bank independence.
The lira is down about 8% this year after having plummeted 30% last year during the currency crisis. The main share index fell 1.14%, with banks down 1.7%. Turkey’s dollar-denominated bonds dropped across the curve. (…)
No official reason was given for the sacking, but government sources cited Erdoğan’s frustration that the bank had kept its benchmark interest rate at 24% since last September to support the lira.
The Hürriyet newspaper on Sunday quoted Erdoğan as telling a meeting with his party’s lawmakers that he had dismissed Çetinkaya for rejecting the government’s repeated demands to cut rates.
The Turkish economy shrank sharply for the second straight quarter in early 2019 as the crisis, persistent double-digit inflation and high interest rates took a toll on overall output.
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