Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Halki Sesi (09.08.19) reports on the illegal visit in the occupied area of Cyprus of Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who, within the framework of his “contacts” there, met separately with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar and so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay.
Speaking during the meeting, Akar alleged that the launching of a new negotiation process for the sake of the negotiation would have no benefit for any of the sides. He further claimed: “Cyprus is very important for us, it is a vital issue. 82 million people would feel disturbed if Cyprus’ feet is pricked. And they would be very happy if the rose, flower blossoms”.
Reiterating that Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey, Akar alleged that the political equality and the security of the Turkish Cypriot “people” is of vital importance and an indispensable issue for them. He added that on this basis, they do not exclude any model for solution neither do they impose any model. He alleged further that they are exerting efforts focused on a result-oriented outcome, stressing at the same time the need for the negotiation talks to be result-oriented.
For his part, Akinci supported that they want peace, conciliation and friendship. Recalling Ataturk-Venizelos’ period, Akinci said that there were periods when the Turkish and the Greek people lived in harmony and peace. Pointing out that there are people in the area who suffered from war, Akinci claimed the following: “Your presence is there as well. Of course, you are exerting strong efforts there in order to enssure the security of the Turkish nation. Here in Cyprus as well, your presence is for us our biggest security. We want the peace hand we extend not to remain shaken. We hope that this hand would be handskaken since there would be a lot of benefits from Turkey’s friendship”.
Alleging that Akar’s presence in the occupied area of Cyprus should not be misunderstood, Akinci argued that Akar’s visit is not considered a threat or something else. He further added the following: “Of course we are guardians of our rights. And this is why we should be strong. But we want to use our strength for peace and friendship. (…) We want to use our diplomatic, military and political power and our power in other fields for the peace and friendship in the island and in the region […]”, Akinci claimed.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (09.07.19) reports that Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, who paid an illegal visit to the occupied area of the island yesterday, alleged that Turkey, as guarantor power, has always been in favor of peace and supported the solution of the problems with peaceful ways and methods, within the framework of international law and good neighbory relations.
In statements during a meeting with Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Akar claimed, however, that no one should “make wrong calculations” on this issue and that Turkey would never allow a fait accompli. He reiterated that they imposed and excluded nothing in the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and added that “[…] we think that negotiations without a result have no meaning and that efforts focused on the result are needed”.
In his statements, Tatar reiterated the allegation that the Turkish 1974 invasion of Cyprus derived from the 1960 agreements and Turkey’s rights as a guarantor power and claimed that thanks to the Turkish army, the Turkish Cypriots had established a “state”, which continued its way today by being strengthened.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (09.07.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, met yesterday with the delegation headed by the Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, who paid an illegal visit to the occupied area of the island yesterday. Describing Akar’s visit “well-timed” and “meaningful”, Ozersay alleged:
“Your presence and your visit are a guarantee of peace, security and, most importantly, stability for us. We think that those who should take the necessary message will take it. We advise those who did not take it, to take it”.
Referring to the Cyprus negotiations, Ozersay reiterated the allegation that “perhaps we are entering a period during which we have come to the point of making a change of paradigm”.
According to illegal Bayrak (09.08.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tatar-on-maras-issue), Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister, evaluating the opening on the fenced-off town of Varosa during a program he attended this morning on Güneş TV, said: “We brought forward the opening of Varosha under Turkish administration but not the return of Varosha. Our proposal received huge support both from the public and the Turkish government.”
Noting that lawsuits were brought to the European Court of Human Rights on occupied fenced-off Varosha as the region is closed and the previous owners cannot go to their properties, Tatar alleged: “Because of this, they demand compensation. Since the area is within the TRNC borders, through government initiative and contact with the UN officials we will help those who want to return back to or sell their properties.”
Noting that if the previous owners apply to the Immovable Property Commission then the commission following an evaluation would return their properties, he claimed: “Those who want to return to or sell their properties, would with this opening. We will also be relieved from the compensation problem.”
He further argued that occupied fenced-off Varosha was inter-bedded with occupied Famagusta and that its opening will bring a new living space to the “TRNC” [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus], Tatar added that “with the opening of Varosha the TRNC will have a new potential in the field of tourism.”
Under the title “No one should expect a solution”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Haberci (09.07.19) publishes a comment by columnist Harun Denizkan, who refers to the meeting held today between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci and expresses the view that no one should expect a solution in Cyprus, because “Turkey does not think only of the northern part of Cyprus now, it sets eye on the entire” island. He reports, inter alia, the following:
“[…] Cyprus has become even more important for Turkey. The Turkish Minister of National Defense, Hulusi Akar, who visited president Mustafa Akinci yesterday, during the meeting he held with Akinci, stressed that Cyprus is important for them. Is it only Akar? The Turkish Energy Minister had also visited Akinci earlier. He also told Akinci what was necessary. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also touches on Cyprus’ importance in every opportunity!
In my view, there is absolutely no use any more in the next talks between Akinci and Anastasiades, because Turkey will further intensify its works regarding the hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean. No one should dream of a federal solution! In my view, the visits of the Turkish armed forces’ commanders-in-chief and Turkish Ministers to Akinci before the talks do not have the character of support. Turkey’s red lines were reminded to Akinci and he will try not to go outside these red lines while meeting with Anastasiades.
In brief, the entire Cyprus is under Turkey’s control now! It is understood that until 2023, Cyprus is the hope of the AKP and President Erdogan for winning the elections.
In the past, the Cyprus problem had been coming onto the agenda with regional concessions, but now it is coming on the agenda with the natural gas and partnership cooperation. While in the past the Greek Cypriots were talking about Keryneia, now they have lost Morfou as well. They started listening that the natural gas is common. […]
The Cyprus negotiations will benefit only president Mustafa Akinci from now on. No matter how much these negotiations are prolonged, they will contribute to him in the presidential elections. Whether these negotiations are held on the basis of federation or on the basis of two states, there will be no solution in Cyprus under these conditions. Turkey does not think of the northern part of Cyprus now, it is setting eye on the entire island!”
In a commentary in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (09.08.19) under the title: “90%: Let’a claim our rights in the Republic of Cyprus”, columnist Cenk Mutluyakali, commenting on the results of a survey conducted every three months in the occupied area of Cyprus, by the Centre for Migration, Identity and Rights Studies (CMIRS), according to which, 90% of the participants in the survey, conducted in June 2019, said that they see positively efforts on the part of Turkish Cypriots to protect more their rights in the Republic of Cyprus, describes the survey as very interesting.
Referring to the recent illegal visit of Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in the occupied area of Cyprus, Mutluyakali underlines that the Turkish Defense Minister did not speak this time about “two different states”. He referred this time, writes the columnist to a “bi-zommunal-bi-zonal solution based on political equality”. However, the “foreign minister” spoke about another formula, without naming it, but it seems, according to Mutluyakali that he could not convince about his proposal. Referring to Akar’s statements and commenting on the results of a survey, the columnist further writes the following:
“90 out of 100 Turkish Cypriots want to protect more their rights in the Republic of Cyprus. This is because there, they ‘see the world’. They see the future, there…Historically; it has always been like this. When Turkey’s interference, impositions and mediation against the Turkish Cypriots increases, as soon as they feel as people who live in a “puppet state”, their “Cypriot” identity comes into prominence. This always happens. Every time. In the northern half of the island, the Cypriot vein still dominates. […]. Even the people who moved here after the war, even those who hadtheir children here and were assimilated to the island, do not identify with Turkey. They do not say ‘we are Turks’, they say ‘we are Cypriots’ and they want to be accepted as such. No matter if they are leftist or rightists; no matter if they are nationalist or socialist. They consider that they belong to Cyprus and they do not want to beong to Turkey. Even those who want to escape from a ‘federal solution’, turn to the Republic of Cyprus…”.
Columnist Serhat Incirli, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Haberci (09.08.19), wonders when they would begin dealing with serious problems in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus such as human trafficking, in his following commentary, which, inter alia, says:
“I had a discussion yesterday morning at my television programme on Kanal T with Dr Faiz Sucuoglu, minister of labour and social security. He announced that in 2010, the number of registered workers, who were Turkish citizens, in the TRNC were 27 thousand 792 and in 2018, they were 33 thousand 355. These are the registered workers. The unregistered? We don’t know!
Minister Sucuoglu also said that the registered workers from third countries in 2010 were 2 thousand 917 and in 2018, 14 thousand 657. The unregistered? We don’t know.
It is estimated that there are at least 8 thousand or 9 thousand ‘unregistered workers’ citizens of third countries. However, no one knows the number of those who come from Turkey and live without being registered!
A registered foreign worker can bring his family after a year. His wife, his children, his mother, his father. Would he not?
The 20% of those who work in the tourism sector, who are up to 17 thousands, are TRNC citizens. According to the law, they should have been the 60%. And the number of unemployed TRNC citizens is approximately 10 thousand.
No one knows the de facto or de jure population of the country. More precisely, the ‘de jure’ is announced to be around 300 thousand. But no one knows how many people live in the TRNC!
There are currently 9000 refugees in South Cyprus living in camps. Eight thousand five hundred of them crossed to the South through the TRNC. Minister Faiz Sucuoglu also knows and announces that there are gangs/networks who are smuggling people from Syria to Lebanon, from there to Adana, from Adana to TRNC, and from TRNC to Europe, in other words, to South Cyprus. Human trafficking.
In the same way, workers are also brought to the TRNC. These are not gangs. They are doing works legally. But the issue is the sale of people. The workers, who are coming, may not be able to work with those who are bringing them. In a way, they become unemployed. (…)”
The columnist argues that these people, who are brought illegally in the occupied area of Cyprus to work, are living there without any security, health insurance in very poor working conditions. He concludes by wondering why the necessary measures are not taken and this situation continues.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.08.19) reports that Anadolu Jet has begun flights between the “TRNC” [trans. Note: the occupied area of Cyprus] and Hatay.
Delivering a speech at the ceremony at the occupied airport of Tymbou to mark the beginning of flights, Unal Ustel, self-styled minister of tourism and environment, said that initiatives they had taken a while back had finally started to bear fruit. He also said that they are continuing to work to bring ticket prices down in order to lighten the load of travellers.
He also expressed the belief that with the increase of the number of flights by Turkish Airlines and Anadolu Jet this will serve to decrease the cost of the flights.
Claiming that the reportedly unjust embargoes enforced against the “TRNC” had negatively affected the completion rivalry between airline companies and therefore the cost of flights had always been high, Ustel noted that airport taxes also affected ticket prices.
“Airport taxes are high and we pay tax at Turkey’s airports as well so we will sit down and discuss all of this and see if we can minimise costs” said Üstel. He also announced that they hoped to begin direct flights with Anadolu Jet to the Black Sea (Karadeniz) and will start discussions to realise this as of next year.
Noting that the company T&T should also contribute to lower ticket prices, Ustel argued that the “government did its part for the completion of the airport”, which will hopefully finish in 2020. He further claimed that upon the completion of the airport, they will ask the European Court of Human Rights why an embargo is imposed to the Turkish Cypriots, adding that the new airport will be the pride of the TRNC and will “knock on” the doors of the European countries.
Meanwhile, Mustafa Sofi, “civil aviation general manager”, speaking also at the ceremony, said that the number of flights increased from 2.300.000 to 4.000.000 in a period of seven years, adding that they will be ready for international flights together with the new airport.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (09.08.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-foreign-minister-praises-eu-commissioners-term-145620) reported that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that the agreement between Turkey and the U.S. to establish a safe zone in northern Syria could be seen as a “very good start”.
“The establishment of a framework has been agreed on. It is important to set up an operation center for steps that will be taken from now on,” Cavusoglu at a press conference on Aug. 8.
Cavusoglu called the consensus with the U.S. a “framework,” saying the future modalities of the deal will be studied at the joint operation center.
He stressed that Turkey will not allow the safe zone process that it is working on with the United States to be delayed and it to suffer the same fate as an agreement on the Syrian town of Manbij.
He further stressed that all the components of the YPG, including the PYD and PKK, should be removed from the region without suggestion that some are civil organizations.
The deal aims to maintain security in this region and then provide stability to the area, Cavusoglu said, noting that the next phase aims for the return of displaced Syrians to the safe zone.
“Turkey was determined to unilaterally clear this region from terrorists, and the U.S. has seen this and stepped up to do this together,” he said, stressing that the U.S. has to collect the weapons it gave to the YPG too.
Meanwhile, Cavusoglu said that the leaders of the Astana process, Turkey, Iran and Russia, will meet in Turkey in early September.
Cavusoglu also praised the EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, saying that the wisdom of EU Commissioner for Migration enabled Turkey and the EU to write success stories amid compelling challenges.
Cavusoglu hosted the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos at the 11th Ambassadors' Conference.
He said Avramopoulos' successful term as EU Commissioner has ended but it is "way too early" for retirement. "So we look forward to continuing working with you after your term with the European Union," he added.
Cavusoglu said that European politicians usually focus on narrow political gains, instead of focusing on long term broader interests, and those politicians who appreciate Turkey's role for the EU are unfortunately fewer than before.
"Dimitri is definitely not one of them. He has been a sincere supporter of Turkey-EU relations," Cavusoglu said, stating that it was a privilege to work with Avramopoulos on migration and other issues at a "very difficult period".
He also added that Avramopoulos has also been a promoter of Turkish-Greek relations throughout his career. "Greece is a very important country for us. We are neighbors, allies," Cavusoglu said.
Stating that Ankara and Athens do have some problems, which Turkey does not underestimate, Cavusoglu stated that the countries have to work together for the next generations. "We can also explore the opportunities, it is all in our hands," he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (09.08.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-asia-anew-move-not-turning-back-on-europe-turkish-fm-145642) reported that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on August 8 that Turkey does not turn its back on Europe with its Asia Anew initiative.
"Being in Europe and being European are very important for us as well as being in Asia and being Asian," Cavusoglu told a news conference on the sidelines of the 11th Ambassadors Conference in Turkey's capital Ankara.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey's recent Asia Anew initiative was not an axis shift and the country would not turn its back on Europe.
He emphasized that Turkey links Asia with Europe and that the country is a bridge between the East and the West with its geographical position, its role and activities.
Highlighting that Asia is becoming the world's economic center, he said that Turkey wants to further enhance its relations with Asia in multiple dimensions. "We want to move forward our relations with the Asian countries and the regional organizations with a holistic approach, taking into account their differences," the foreign minister said.
He said further that the scope of this initiative would include education and defense industry in addition to the economy.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.09.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/refugees-huge-challenge-for-turkey-says-eu-official/1552552) reported that the EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Thursday that hosting more than 3.6 million refugees, is a huge challenge for Turkey.
Addressing the 11th Ambassadors’ Conference in capital Ankara, Avramopoulos praised Turkey for fulfilling its humanitarian endeavor.
"I would like to commend Turkey for hosting more than 3.6 million refugees. I know this is a huge challenge for your country," he said.
Avramopoulos, a former Greek politician of the conservative New Democracy Party, assured that the EU would continue standing behind Turkey to manage the challenge. "Turkey as a candidate country for EU membership, is an indispensable partner and will always be a strategically important neighbor for the European Union," he said.
He said further that the EU and Turkey are bonded by an inevitable geography, which is further strengthened by addressing mutual interests.
Avramopoulos said that a close cooperation was necessary, as he knew that Turkey will continue to face heavy migratory challenges.
On terrorism, the EU official said that it is a threat that does not stop at any national borders and does not have one single face. "Turkey and its citizens have also been hit several times, in the course of only a few years," he said.
Also talking on Turkish- Greek relations, Avramopoulos, said that he always strived to create conditions for mutual understanding and trust between Greece and Turkey. He said he had always favored the Greek-Turkish rapprochement.
Avramopoulos maintained that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the newly elected Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis are both "strong" politicians.
"They have the power to take bold decisions and achieve a breakthrough, to lead our countries into a new era of friendship, good neighborly relations and share a common vision for our great countries," he added.
According to the Turkish minute portal (08.08.19- https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/08/08/bianet-lawyer-says-ban-on-access-to-website-lifted-report/ AFP reported that the Turkish authorities have lifted a ban of access to independent news site Bianet after an outcry against a move, the company’s lawyer said on Wednesday had been made “by mistake”.
It emerged on Tuesday that an Ankara court had ordered the blocking of Bianet, known for its human rights coverage, on “national security” grounds.
It also targeted 135 other online addresses including YouTube and DailyMotion videos as well as the Twitter account of Kurdish deputy Oya Ersoy.
Bianet lawyer Meriç Eyüboğlu said on Wednesday that the ban on access had been annulled.
“The head of the police asked for the cancelation of this decision as Bianet was put on the list by mistake,” Eyüboğlu said in a statement carried on its website.
Eyüboğlu apparently discovered that the decision had actually been made on July 16 but that the authorities had not notified the company.
Examining the dossier on Wednesday, the lawyer said she found that the decision had then been annulled on July 17.
Founded in Istanbul in 1997, Bianet is well known in Turkey for its articles on human rights, violence against women and its exhaustive coverage of trials linked to freedom of expression. Its articles are published in Turkish, English and Kurdish.
Meanwhile, Turkey is the only country apart from China to block Wikipedia and was ranked 157th out of 180 countries for freedom of the press in the most recent RSF list.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION