Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (18.07.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has called on UNSG, Antonio Guterres to personally undertake action for the materialization of an unofficial five-party meeting, which would clarify the process aiming at finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. In a letter sent to the UNSG on 10 July 2019, Akinci underlined the importance of an unofficial meeting between all sides for overcoming the soonest possible what he called “blurriness” created by statements made by “the Greek Cypriot leader”.
Noting that finding a solution in Cyprus became more urgent due to the increasing tension in the area, Akinci said that the only way we had was to work sincerely to this end. He alleged that, because of various messages regarding the basis of the solution given by the Greek Cypriot leadership to different interlocutors at different times and different occasions, confusion had been created as to whether the Greek Cypriot side had really the intention of finding a comprehensive solution. He argued that the issue of whether all sides had the same view regarding the target of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution based on political equality should be clarified and made a call on the UNSG regarding the realization of an unofficial five-party meeting in order to confirm that the sides concerned had the same target.
According to Akinci, if necessary, the sides could benefit from EU experts, just like it had happened in the past during the Cyprus negotiations. He argued that if common ground was established, a clear timetable should be set in a process focused on the solution under the UNSG’s leadership.
Akinci said that he had felt the need to share his views and concerns with the UNSG regarding the situation at this stage, during which Jane Holl Lute’s contacts entered into deadlock and tension in the Eastern Mediterranean increased. He recalled that in the past, he had suggested that during the preparation of the terms of reference the sides should clearly state their commitment to the past convergences, the 11 February 2014 Agreement and the six-point framework set by the UNSG on 30 June 2017 at Crans Montana. Noting that what he was suggesting in other words was for the sides to reaffirm their commitment to the agreements of the past, Akinci alleged that the Greek Cypriot side had made a step back from these agreements, the statement of 11 February  and especially from the agreements on the issue of governance and power sharing.
Moreover, Akinci reiterated the allegation that the Turkish Cypriots were harmed from the existing status quo and lived in uncertainty. He further expressed the view that the mandate of UNFICYP should not be a means for the continuation of the status quo in Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (18.07.19) reports Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has argued that it was clear that the proposal submitted by Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci to President Anastasiades regarding the establishment of a joint committee on the hydrocarbons would be rejected. In statements yesterday during one of his meetings, Tatar argued that the view of the Greek Cypriots on this matter was that they would find the hydrocarbons around the island and could give something to the Turkish Cypriots, if a solution was found one day. “It is not possible for us to say yes to such a thing, because we should also be included in this effort”, he said.
Referring to Akinci’s proposals, Tatar added: “We have shared these proposals with President Akinci, consultations were held with Turkey and, at the end of the day, this proposal was submitted. What was the reply that came from Anastasiades? They cooked again the old pilaf and put it in front of us. That is, it was clear that he would reject it and in the end he rejected it”.
Noting that Turkey’s Fatih and Yavuz vessels were in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tatar alleged that “motherland” Turkey had taken the necessary steps “to protect the interests of both the Turkish Cypriots and its own”. “We will protect our interest and rights in the best manner”, he claimed.
Referring to the Cyprus negotiations, Tatar said he opposed the continuation of the process from the point it had remained at Crans Montana and claimed that what they should do was to develop the “TRNC” together with nationalist people who have the “correct ideology”. He further reiterated the allegation that the developments at Crans Montana showed that a federal solution was not possible in Cyprus.
Referring to the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha, Tatar noted that the issue had been coming onto the agenda continuously during the negotiations and that the impression that the city would be given to the Greek Cypriots was created. He alleged that almost all the properties in occupied fenced-off Varosha belonged to EVKAF religious foundation and added that after the inventory study, they should “enter into a process”. He argued that if they succeeded, the “TRNC” economy could be developed.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (18.07.19) reports that Gulsah Manavoglu, self-styled deputy with the People’s Party (HP), has said that the proposal for establishing a joint committee on the hydrocarbons had been submitted by former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu [Translator’s note: In 2011].
In a written statement issued yesterday, Manavoglu referred to the proposal submitted recently by Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci to President Anastasiades and noted: “The one who prepared that proposal is Ozersay, the then negotiator of Eroglu. The framework of the proposal on the committee which is discussed today had been drawn much earlier by Kudret Ozersay. And Mr Akinci submitted this proposal”.
She also alleged that the recent developments proved that the proposal made by Ozersay saying that “we should head to different forms of cooperation” was right.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (18.07.19, http://www.starkibris.net/index.asp?haberID=278399) reports that the Social Democracy Party (TDP) described the rejection by the Greek Cypriot leader and the Greek Cypriot party leaders of the latest proposal of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to establish a joint committee on hydrocarbons as extremely worrying for the future.
In a written statement, TDP claimed that it is saddening that proposals aiming to develop a cooperation environment instead of conflict and to eliminate the increasing tension in the region especially recently due to the natural gas researches, are being rejected. The statement added: “This does not benefit any side”.
Claiming that unilateral activities on the hydrocarbon issue and disregarding the rights of the Turkish Cypriot “people” serve unfortunately only tension and not cooperation, TDP argued that the stance of the EU towards the unilateral activities does not contribute to the solution efforts in Cyprus but increases the tension.
TDP’s statement also argued that the reason for rejecting the proposal made by Akinci is not realistic or convincing.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (18.07.19) reports that Sener Elcil, the General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ trade union (KTOS), said that the Turkish Cypriot community is pursuing “adventures” to reach a solution in Cyprus instead of giving a fight on the basis of the Republic of Cyprus to gain international political status. He added that for this reason, Turkish officials and “TRNC officials” are bringing the Turkish Cypriots face to face with “hot conflict” again with their diplomatic mistakes.
In his written statement, Elcil, reminding the reasons of the communal conflicts in the past, argued that the mistakes made after the communal conflicts in 1963 brought the Turkish Cypriots into the present tense environment.
Criticizing the policies of the past by Turkey, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots that lead to conflict, Elcil said that always innocent people are the victims of a war. In this context, Elcil stressed that the processes of the Turkish Cypriot community to claim its rights stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus should be continued until the end.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis (18.07.19) reports that Fuat Oktay, the Vice President of Turkey is paying an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus in order to represent Turkey to the celebrations to be held on the occassion of the 45th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the island.
The military parade in occupied Lefkosia will start at 9.30 Saturday morning July 20.
The “Turkish stars” of the Turkish Aviation Forces will fly over the parade between 11.00-11.30 while on the same day they will fly over occupied Morfou- Karavostasi between 11.30-12.00 and over Keryneia between 17.55-18.40.
Reporting on the same issue, illegal Bayrak (18.07.19 http://www.brtk.net/turk-yildizlari-kktc-semalarinda-parlayacak/) reports that due to the rehearsals of the “Turkish stars” the flying of drones, paragliding and similar air sports are banned for security reasons between 18-21 of July.
Oktay will also participate together with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in the inauguration ceremony of the “technological valley” of the “Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus” in occupied Kapouti village.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs Postası (18.07.19) reports that the chairman of the “Turkish Cypriot football federation” Hasan Sertoglu denied a report by the Greek Cypriot newspaper “Politis”, according to which the “Turkish Cypriot football federation” exerts pressure to the Cyprus Football Association (CFA-KOP), in order initially, for friendly matches to take place between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot teams and at a later stage matches for to take place between Turkish Cypriot teams and teams of other countries, with the approval of UEFA.
Sertoglu told the paper that they had neither an official nor an unofficial contact with CFA. He also said that their aim is to play friendly matches with teams from all over the world and that they are in contacts with EU officials over this issue.
He also said that another aim they have is to have foreign teams make their preparation in the occupied area of Cyprus, which as he said, will be beneficial for tourism and bring income. He added that conducting friendly matches between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot teams is included in a “Confidence Building Measure” package and that “some circles are exerting efforts and are in contacts with the two “associations” as regards the issue.
“Our aim is to conduct friendly matches writing a letter to FIFA as we did in 1983”, he stated, adding that the Turkish Football Association is exerting efforts towards this direction.
According to Turkish daily Sabah (18.07.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/defense/2019/07/17/turkeys-involvement-in-f-35-program-impossible-white-house-says), Ankara on Wednesday rebuked the United States for its decision to exclude Turkey from the F-35 program over its purchase of an S-400 missile defence system from Russia. "This unilateral step is incompatible with the spirit of alliance and does not rely on any legitimate justification", the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, rejecting Washington's claim that Turkey's purchase of the S-400 system would weaken the F-35 program.
"The fact that our proposal to establish a working group with NATO to discuss this issue has been left unrequited is the most obvious indicator of the prejudice on the U.S. side and the lack of will to resolve this issue in good faith," the Ministry said.
The statement said that the U.S. commitment to its strategic partnership with Turkey must go beyond just words, especially in the fight against terror groups such as Daesh, the PKK, People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). "We call on the U.S. to take back this mistake, which is bound to inflict unrepairable harm on our relationship," the Ministry said. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.07.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-german-top-diplomats-discuss-e-mediterranean-145067), Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on July 18 had a phone call with his German counterpart, according to the former's diplomatic source.
Çavuşoğlu and German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass discussed Eastern Mediterranean and Syria issues, said the source, asking not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The phone conversation came after the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted on July 15 a conclusion on Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (17.07.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/erdogan-condemns-attack-on-turkish-diplomats-in-erbil/1534400), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday condemned the armed attack targeting Turkish diplomats in Erbil, Iraq.
“I condemn the heinous attack targeting our consulate employees in Erbil. I wish God's mercy upon our employee who was martyred in the attack,” Erdogan said on Twitter. “Turkey asked Iraqi and local authorities to swiftly find the perpetrators,” he added.
Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop also expressed grief over the deadly restaurant attack. “The necessary response to this malicious attack will be given as soon as possible,” Sentop said on Twitter.
Earlier, a Turkish diplomat, who was serving at Turkey's Consulate General in Erbil, was killed in an armed attack at a restaurant.
Vice President Fuat Oktay also condemned the attack and offered his condolences to the family of the deceased diplomat. "Our relevant authorities continue their works to find the perpetrators of the attack," he tweeted. (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (17.07.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-opposition-backs-government-over-eastern-med/1534217), Turkey's opposition IYI (Good) Party Wednesday voiced its support for the government on the Eastern Mediterranean issue. "As IYI Party, we announce here that we stand behind the current stance of the government [on the Eastern Mediterranean issue]," the party leader Meral Aksener told the parliamentary group meeting of her party.
“The Aegean is not a Greek sea,” she said, adding that the “Mediterranean Sea does not fall in the continental shelf of Greek Cypriots in its entirety”. (…)
Aksener called on the Turkish government to take an immediate step towards the attitude of Europe and Greece over the Eastern Mediterranean issue. (…)
Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (16.08.19, http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/1491100/CHP_den_AB_ye_yaptirim_tepkisi.html) reports that Unal Cevikoz, Deputy Chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), says that the EU’s stance to disregard completely Turkey and the “TRNC” [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus] is unacceptable, claiming that the implementation of sanctions to Turkey by the EU does not aid the solution of the Cyprus problem with peaceful ways.
In a written statement, Cevikoz claimed that the stance of the EU that the sanctions on Turkey, which, as he says, is the most important economic and trade partner of the EU, may continue, is not an approach that will reduce tension in the eastern Mediterranean. He described these sanctions as the third biggest mistake of the EU, after the acceptance of Cyprus as a full member of the EU before a Cyprus settlement and the none removal of the “isolation” of the Turkish Cypriots after the Annan referendum.
Accusing the AKP leadership that with its “mistaken foreign policies” has leaded Turkey in isolation in the eastern Mediterranean, Cevikoz argued that in order for Turkey to avert this isolation in the eastern Mediterranean, a ground for dialogue should be created urgently with the countries in the region. He added: “In this context, our Ambassadors in Cairo, Damascus and Tel Aviv and the Consul General in Jerusalem should return to their offices immediately. Turkey should discuss in detail for making a comprehensive assessment the soonest possible by estimating all the possibilities of declaring an Exclusive Economic Zone in the Mediterranean”.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (18.07.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-will-not-give-up-on-its-rights-in-the-eastern-mediterranean-3495764), Turkey will not abandon its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean, a senior official from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party claimed on Wednesday.
Speaking to the lawmakers at the Turkish parliament, Mehmet Mus, the AK Party deputy chair, slammed the EU decision to suspend high-level talks with Ankara. "No country can deprive Turkey of its sovereignty rights with that kind of threats," said Mus.
He added that Turkey will continue its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean "without bowing to the pressures". His remarks came after a conclusion adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council on the Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. (…)
Mus said that Turkey will never accept the decision taken by the EU. "We invite the EU to act objectively in accordance with international law," he added. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.07.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/s-400-missile-deployment-continues-145032), the initial delivery of the Russian S-400 defence missile systems by air will continue until July 23 for parts of the Russian batteries, its launchers and the electronic equipment of radar systems, which will enable the final integration of the missiles when they arrive in Turkey, a Turkish official has told Hürriyet Daily News.
The 13th plane arrived in Turkey on July 17 to deliver components of the long-range air defence systems. The missiles are planned to be dispatched by sea, according to a military source, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported.
Turkey on July 12 received the first shipment of the Russian S-400 air defence systems. Since then, cargo flights from Russia have been arriving on Mürted Air Base in the capital Ankara.
The deployment of the first batch of the systems will be completed by the end of the year and total deployment will finalize until April 2020, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said earlier. (…)
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