According to illegal Bayrak television (02.08.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akar-on-cyprus-issue-3), Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar claimed that it was meaningless to try to weaken or strain Turkey’s guarantee with various statements. “This is a vain effort. Turkey is a guarantor in Cyprus and it will use this right in the most efficient way” Akar added.
Addressing a reception held at the Gazi Officer’s Club in Ankara which was organized by the “TRNC embassy” in Ankara in line with the 1st of August Communal Resistance Day, Akar noted that the Turkish Armed Forces as it exercised the “peace operation” [editor’s note: the Turkish invasion to Cyprus] 45 years ago was also beside and determined to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots.
Claiming that both Turkey and the “TRNC” [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] had shown in every occasion that they were in favour of peace and stability, Akar alleged: “We always supported peace and stability with our statements and actions. We made our proposals on what’s needed to be done for the peace and stability of the TRNC and the whole island. We did and will continue to do our part there.”
Reminding that a proposal of the “TRNC” to establish a common committee on the hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean was rejected by the “Greek Cypriot administration”, he said: “Turkey supports the idea that the maritime jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Cyprus, the protection of equal sovereignty rights and fair sharing of the resources should be determined through a consensus of riparian states. This is really a concrete and rational approach however we are experiencing some problems in the perception of this.”
Stressing the importance of Turkey’s guarantee in Cyprus, Akar further claimed: “It is meaningless to try to weaken or strain Turkey’s guarantee with various statements. This is a vain effort. Turkey is a guarantor in Cyprus and it will use this right in the most efficient way. Our activities in our maritime zone and in areas licensed by the TRNC are continuing and will continue without interruption as planned. This is our right stemming from international law; it is a national right. No one has the right to change this. We will continue our works.”
Claiming that Turkey has been working towards solving the problems in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and in Cyprus within the framework of good neighbour relations, he alleged: “We did and continue to do our part on this issue. Everyone should know that we take our strength from international law.”
“Our hope is that Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration will understand that it is more logical, positive and beneficial to seek an answer to question ‘what can we gain together?’ within the framework of good neighbour relations, with respect to international law and towards the fair sharing of the resources. We support the solution of the problems experienced in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and in Cyprus through cooperation and mutual respect with the newly formed government in Greece. We made so many attempts on this issue until today and we will continue with our efforts aimed at solving these problems”, Akar argued.
Claiming that the Turkish Armed Forces was the most important guarantor of peace, stability and security in the region, Akar argued: “Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces will continue to be the most important guarantor of peace, stability and security in the region. Our efforts are continuing on this issue. We hope to get positive outcomes from these efforts. We protected and continue to protect the legitimate rights of both Turkey and the TRNC within the framework of international law and in accordance with the guarantee and alliance agreements. Our determination on this issue should not be tested.”
Reiterating that they will not tolerate a fait accompli or the reported usurpation of rights, Akar said: “It’s been seen in the previous years that Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces are well planned and act with determination. It will be for the benefit of everyone to understand this reality and review their activities accordingly.”
Noting that their target was to make peace and stability permanent on the island, he claimed they were sure that reaching a bi-communal, bi-zonal just and permanent solution in Cyprus which will be based on political equality will bring peace and stability to the island.
Stressing that Turkey will continue to be the biggest supporter of the Turkish Cypriots, Akar said: “It is out of question for us to make concessions on this issue. Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces are ready to do whatever necessary there. We are closely following the developments in Cyprus. Within this framework, the Turkish Armed Forces is ready to fulfil any duty to be given on land, in seas and in air.”
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (02.09.19) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who is continuing his preparations before the meeting he will have August 9 with President Nicos Anastasiades, will hold meetings with the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot parties which are “represented in the parliament”.
Reporting on the same issue, Halkin Sesi (02.09.19) reports that Akinci, together with his negotiation team met also with academics known for their work on the Cyprus problem.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (02.08.19) reports that there were five new cases of West Nile Virus in the occupied area of Cyprus. They were diagnosed after blood tests were sent to Turkey for examination.
According to the paper the three out of the five persons are kept in the intensive care unit.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (02.08.19) reports that Turkish Cypriots who receive pension from the Republic of Cyprus reacted to the 1,7% they have to pay for the General Heath care system, describing this development as unjust.
The paper writes that since some new regulations were adopted some time ago, the Turkish Cypriots who are have permanent residents of the areas that are under the control of the Republic of Cyprus cannot receive medical care. Therefore the pensioners say that they cannot pay for a system they are not allowed to benefit from.
TÜRK-SEN and DEV-IŞ trade unions are getting ready to take action on the issue, writes the paper. TÜRK-SEN chairman Arslan Bicakli stated that only the Turkish Cypriots that pay to the Republic of Cyprus social securities for at least 12 years have the right to receive pension from the Republic of Cyprus and added that either their contribution to the General Heathcare system will stop or they will be allowed to receive medical care.
Under the title “The ghost town of Varosha will become a tourism star”, Turkish daily Milliyet (02.08.19, http://www.milliyet.com.tr/ekonomi/hayalet-sehir-maras-turizm-yildizi-olacak-6009934) reports that self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar explained to the paper the preparations for the opening of the occupied fenced off town of Varosha.
During a visit to the paper, Tatar argues that the opening of the fenced off town of Varosha will fashion “north Cyprus” into a “completely different place”.
Noting that the inventory studies are still continuing, Tatar said that this work will be completed within 6 months and after this, they will work with the Turkish government for the opening (of Varosha).
Reminding that there is an institution in the occupied area of Cyprus named “Immovable Property Commission”, Tatar explained the process to be followed: “In this commission, there are also European judges. The applications will be evaluated for compensation, exchange or refund. Varosha at this moment is closed. When it will be opened for settlement, the immovable property commission will be able to examine the applications, which are related there. The immovable properties will be able to return to Greek Cypriots, to US citizens or British. Later, the people will either return to their properties or they will sell them. There are already those who sell it them London by contract. If a Greek Cypriot runs a hotel, let him operate it. If he owns it, if he has documents. The biggest hotel at Varosha belongs to the British Royal Family. (…) the main wealth and dynamic of Varosha is its coast.”
Noting that they will act together with Turkey on the issue of Varosha, Tatar argued that “there will be an opportunity to the former legal owners to return back, including the Greek Cypriots”.
Referring to the difficulties that they face due to the production of halloumi in Turkey, Tatar said: “The halloumi which is produced in Turkey is not the same as our halloumi. However our costs of milk and logistics are high. For this reason, they sell their product much cheaper than ours. Only our product should be sold under the name halloumi in Turkey.”
According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (01.08.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/-turkey-continues-open-border-policy-for-refugees-/1547241), Turkey has denied reports that it has either closed its borders or stopped registering Syrian refugees, officials said here on Thursday.
Addressing a news conference in Istanbul, Ramazan Secilmis, head of the Combatting Irregular Migration Department at the Directorate-General for Migration Management, said the country was continuing with its open border policy for refugees and there was no question of any forcible deportation. He said that about 337,000 Syrians had returned to their country voluntarily, after signing an agreement in Arabic and Turkish language.
“Those returning voluntarily head to Syria's two peaceful zones, cleared from terror and war by Turkey. It is not possible to send Syrians to other areas," he added. (…)
The officer informed that there are over 547,000 Syrians in Istanbul alone.
He said, since the metropolis had reached its limit, new registrations were closed here. But for other cities, there is no such restriction, and refugees are free to register themselves.
The migration department official said that Syrian refugees were prohibited from travelling without permits, as some cases had been noticed, where a refugee was registered in one city, and was living in other. (…)
Under the title “US says safe zone disagreements blocking implementation”, Turkish daily Yeni Safak (02.08.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/us-says-safe-zone-disagreements-blocking-implementation-3497099) reports that disagreements over the scope of a safe zone in northeastern Syria and other issues are preventing its implementation, U.S. President Donald Trump's envoy for the anti-Daesh coalition said Thursday.
“The Turks want a deeper zone than the one that we think makes sense," James Jeffrey told reporters at the State Department, noting Washington proposed an area of some 5-14 Km along the Syrian border with heavy weapons pulled further back. He further cited unspecified "differences of opinion" over how the U.S. and Turkey "would operate in that zone". (…)
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar informed his U.S. counterpart in a phone call that Turkey expects the U.S. to completely end its support for the PKK/YPG. Akar said Turkey would be obliged to create a safe zone on its own if the countries failed to find common ground, according to a statement released Monday by the National Defence Ministry.
According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (01.08.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/08/01/turkey-hands-vast-powers-to-broadcasting-watchdog-to-monitor-internet/), Turkey has issued new regulations in the Official Gazette authorizing the country’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) to exercise vast powers over Internet broadcasting, including Netflix, according to Turkish media.
From now on, Internet broadcasters must apply for a license from RTÜK in order to continue streaming online as well as obtain an official trade registration.
While RTÜK is authorized to cancel broadcasting licenses, the Penal Courts of Peace are given the power to forbid access to any URL. Any Penal Court of Peace can prohibit access to Internet media channels.
For Internet radio, broadcasters are required to pay TL10,000 ($1,800) for a license, while Internet TV providers must pay TL 100,000 ($18,000).
Paid subscription-based Internet streamers such as Netflix or one of its Turkish equivalents like BluTV must pay 0.5% of their annual revenue from subscribers to RTÜK as a commission. In addition to these payments, Internet broadcasters are obliged to annually pay TL100,000.
Yaman Akdeniz, an expert on Internet laws and regulations, wrote on Twitter that the vast powers given to RTÜK might also lead to a form of censorship targeting YouTube channels of foreign media outlets’ Turkish language services. (…)
The only venue in which government critics can air their opinions is the digital media; however, the new regulations aim to control it.
According to Turkish daily Sabah (02.08.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/defense/2019/08/02/last-four-ch-47-chinook-helicopters-arrive), Turkey received a final batch of CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from the U.S. on Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey said.
The delivery comes amid a dispute between Ankara and Washington over the former's purchase of a Russian-made air defence missile system. The Turkish Land Forces took delivery of four U.S. Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters that arrived at the port in the western province of İzmir Wednesday, the Embassy said on its social media account. This delivery concluded a process that began in July 2016. "Turkey now has 11 of the newest and most advanced heavy-lift rotary-wing aircraft available," the Embassy said.
The initial agreement with Boeing, an American multinational corporation, on the purchase of 11 helicopters was signed in 2011. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah (02.08.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/08/02/us-delegation-to-visit-turkey-for-syria-safe-zone-talks-this-week-as-ankaras-patience-wears-thin), a new military delegation from the U.S. will come to Turkey in the week of August 3 to continue talks on establishing a safe zone in Syria, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy said Friday, but warned Ankara will not allow Washington to stall the process by making infeasible offers. "If Turkey cannot find a middle ground with the U.S., then it will have to establish a safe zone in Syria by itself," Aksoy said. (…)
During a phone call with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Defense Minister Akar conveyed Turkey's position once more that Turkey expects the U.S. to fully withdraw its support for the PKK terrorist organization's Syrian offshoot, the People's Protection Units (YPG)-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). "If Turkey and the U.S. do not find common ground, Ankara will be obliged to create a safe zone on its own," Akar said.
On the row between the U.S. and Turkey over the latter's purchase of Russian S-400 systems and its subsequent exclusion from the F-35 fighter jet program as retaliation, Aksoy asserted that Turkey was not a customer of the project but a partner. "If we continue to be excluded from the process, we will have to try other alternatives," the Minister said.
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