Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (13.08.19) reports that Hasan Tacoy, self-styled minister of energy and economy of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey have been following a “proactive” foreign policy recently and that one indication of this policy is the fenced-off occupied city of Varosha. “We have started taking the necessary steps for opening Varosha, which is closed for years. This place will open under Turkish administration”, he claimed in statements to Turkish Demirören news agency (DHA).
Referring to the recent illegal visit by Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar, Chief of the Turkish Armed Forces and all the force commanders of the Turkish army to the occupied area of Cyprus, Tacoy argued that this “historic” visit “gave faith to the friends” and “stroke fear to the enemies”.
Noting that Akar and his delegation stayed in the occupied area for three days, Tacoy argued: “The visit was not planned in a simple manner. With the three full days, the message was given to the Turkish Cypriot people that ‘we are here, you are safe’. If I were in Greek Cypriots’ shoes, I would advise them to read Akar’s statements again and underline them. We are in favor of an appropriate solution to the problems in Cyprus with peaceful methods, peaceful ways within the framework of good neighborly relations. This is our basic approach. […]”
Replying to a statement reportedly made by Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis that Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at protecting its own interests, Tacoy alleged that “the Greek Cypriot Minister should first stop usurping the Turkish Cypriots’ rights and then talk”. He claimed that Turkey was carrying out researches for natural gas in its own area and in areas for which the Turkish Cypriots had given what he called a “license” to it. “It fully protects the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots here”, he alleged.
Commenting on information published in the Greek Cypriot press that drilling activities would begin in parcels 6, 7 and 10 of the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Tacoy alleged the following: “The Greek Cypriots should clearly understand the following: Only tension is created by steps taken before the solution of the Cyprus problem and an agreement on the island. It is an eclipse of the mind for the Greek Cypriots to think that they will use smoothly the natural resources, which are around the island, without giving the Turkish Cypriot people their rights”.
Referring to the Minister of Energy, Tacoy argued: “Leave Israel, leave Egypt and talk with the Turkish Cypriot side, which is a partner of all the wealth of the island. I know that Mr Lakkotrypis is a smart man. Steps which are outside the realities in Cyprus should not be taken. It would be useful for this process to be conducted together with the Turkish Cypriots. They will never be able to materialize their future plans by opposing Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (13.08.19) reports that crisis and chaos is expected in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus because the “government” insists on implementing its decision regarding a 2% cut from the six-month cost of living allowance paid in July, in spite of the fact that this decision has been turned back from the “constitutional court”. More than 70 thousand persons were influenced by this cut.
“Government officials” have reportedly decided to prepare a “law” for implementing this cut which is included in the “protocol’ signed with Turkey.
Citing statements made by Guven Bengihan, chairman of “civil servants’” trade union (KTAMS), the paper notes that the trade unions, on the other hand, are focused on continuing their struggle in the streets and at the “judiciary”. Bengihan referred also to the minimum wage, describing “unacceptable” the fact that this wage is 2,958 Turkish liras (TL), while the hunger threshold is 3,167 (TL).
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (13.08.19) reports that illegal “American University of Keryneia” (GAU) has started its “Africa mission” with its “GAU ambassadors” team, which consists of “GAU”’s students. The mission is headed by the chairman of “GAU’s” administrative council, Serhat Akpinar and its first meeting was with the Nigerian Higher Education Council, which has reportedly expressed full support to “GAU’s” “Africa mission”.
In a statement on the issue, Akpinar said that this was “GAU’s” first “Cross Borders” opening in Nigeria with the participation of 12+2 state universities. “The Rectors of 14 Universities, which participate in the process and the presidency of the Nigerian Higher Education Council, will officially visit Turkey and the TRNC after my personal invitation […]”, he noted adding that upon a request by the Nigerian National Universities’ Council, they would especially cooperate in the field of maritime and aviation.
Akpinar said also that “GAU” would cooperate with 14 African countries, adding that they would continue their cooperation with the Ivory Coast and Congo. He noted that they would afterwards launch their Middle East and Central Asia missions, which include countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Dubai, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.08.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/other-plans-if-syria-safe-zone-deal-does-not-work-defense-minister-145726), Turkey may act on its own in northern Syria to create a safe zone if a deal with the United States does not work as wanted, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has said, speaking of “plan B and plan C” to clear territories in the east of the Euphrates River.
“We assess that some new steps will be taken regarding this in the upcoming days. Here, the control and coordination of the aerospace is very important. A great deal of progress has been made for this,” Akar said during an interview with state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT).
He was referring to the depth of a to-be established safe zone, which was also discussed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his American counterpart Donald Trump over a telephone call.
“We are saying this with our desire to act jointly with our American allies within the context of alliance and strategic partnership spirit, after the establishment of a Joint Operations Center,” he added. If the U.S. fails to cooperate on this issue, Turkey has other plans as well, Akar stressed. “Call it either a plan B or plan C, we will have activities of our own, if other plans fail,” he said.
The Defence Chief also underlined that Ankara has determined a time span for activities because Turkey “no longer has tolerance” with such delays and everything needs to happen according to a pre-determined program.
“We have set some time periods. Because we have seen that some delays occur and some things have been lengthened out, based on our previous experiences,” he said.
Akar also conveyed that authorities have picked time points to control the objectives of the plan, adding that cooperation will continue if the U.S. continues to abide by the Turkish time span.
Turkey will carry out its own plan if a problem occurs, the Minister underlined.
Other activities will follow the establishment of the Joint Operations Centre, according to the Minister. “We have overtly exhibited that we will not allow a terror corridor in southern Turkey. We conveyed our determination to take all the necessary precautions.”
Meanwhile, the first U.S. soldiers tasked to perform their duties at the Joint Operations Centre arrived in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa on Aug. 12.
Regarding the ongoing disputes about the drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean and the Cyprus issue, Akar said that Cyprus is a “national cause” for Turkey because the latter “shares a common fate” with Turkish Cypriots.
“Cyprus is a national cause for us. We know that we share a common fate with our Turkish Cypriot brothers,” he said.
Ankara has important rights and duties since it is a guarantor state on the issue, Akar said. “We will continue to perform our rights and duties in a delaying and problem-free manner, no one should doubt this. We have done our part and we will continue to do it,” he added.
“We have been on the side of our Turkish Cypriot brother and we will continue to be on their side,” he stressed.
Regarding rising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean on energy, the Minister said no solution can be reached without the presence of Turkey or “Turkish Cyprus” [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus]. “We have been saying that no initiatives that aim to usurp our rights and laws will be successful. We want everyone to know that the state of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] are ready to take any steps necessary concerning this,” he added.
The Defence Chief also stressed that Turkey is for peaceful discussions like the ones that took place in Ankara and Athens. “Thus, we are slanted towards reciprocal dialogues and meetings on all matters in the Aegean, eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus,” he added.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (12.08.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-says-joint-operation-center-with-us-to-start-functioning-soon-3497969), a six-member U.S. team has arrived in Turkey's southern Şanlıurfa province to prepare for a joint operation centre that will be established in efforts to set up a safe zone in northern Syria, Turkey's Defence Ministry said Monday.
Turkey and the United States agreed last week to establish a joint operation centre in Turkey to coordinate and manage a planned safe zone in northeast Syria, a move that appeared to reduce the chance of imminent Turkish military action.
The joint centre will start functioning in the upcoming days, the statement added.
Washington and Ankara said they had agreed to establish the operation centre for the safe zone, but gave few details. Their statements followed three days of talks between military delegations and months of stalemate over how far the safe zone should extend into Syria and who should command forces patrolling it.
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