Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (18.08.19) reports that Mustafa Sentop, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), has shared a video on his social media account regarding the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha, alleging that this was “a significant contribution to the discussions on the ownership of Varosha”. “A big part of the property in Cyprus belongs to EVKAF”, he claimed.
The administration of EVKAF religious foundation shared the same video under the title “As EVKAF administration we want some realities for the ownership of Varosha area to be clarified”, the paper reports.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Güneş (19.08.19) reports that Oguzhan Hasipoglu, self-styled deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP), has claimed that they were at a turning point as regards the opening of the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha and added that they would “not wait for the Greek Cypriot side to be in the mood on this”. “We intend to open closed Varosha”, he said in a written statement.
Referring to the elections for occupied Famagusta Municipality after former Mayor Alexis Galanos had passed away, Hasipoglu alleged: “Let the Greek Cypriots stop ghost elections and see realities. Let them abandon the dream of electing a ghost-Mayor for the ghost city. Let them not deceive their people. If they have properties and rights in closed Varosha, let them come and take them and settle under our administration”.
Referring to the election of Mayors for occupied Morfou, Keryneia and Famagusta municipalities, Hasipoglu alleged: “They do not need to elect ghost mayors. Elected mayors exist in these areas”.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (18.08.19) reports that Hasipoglu stated that he would like to be his party’s candidate for the “presidency” of the occupation regime in the “elections” which are planned for next year.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (19.08.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) and self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has argued that compensations to be given for the properties in the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha would cause them a headache. In an exclusive interview with the paper, Tatar was asked whether the steps which the occupation regime was taking on this issue might cause them trouble. He replied:
“Compensations on the issue of fenced-off Varosha will cause us a headache, because due to the fact that this place is closed, the Greek Cypriots will try to corner Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights. Varosha is kept close for 45 years in order to be given to the Greek Cypriots in case of a possible agreement. Therefore, a concern exists there. What would be the meaning of keeping Varosha closed anymore after the recent events happening in the Eastern Mediterranean as a result of the unilateral steps taken by the Greek Cypriots on the hydrocarbons issue? Therefore, we have set the target of opening Varosha under Turkish administration”.
Asked whether they were considering allocating properties in occupied Varosha according to the “equivalent property law” or other “legislation” of the regime, Tatat replied negatively, adding that they were in favor of the “old owners’” applying to the “Immovable Property Commission” or to the EVKAF religious foundation administration, “because Varosha is TRNC land and a great part of it is a property of the foundation”.
Asked whether the reason for the interruption of the Cyprus negotiations was related to the issue of federation or to “the fact” that the Greek Cypriot side was allegedly not ready for a solution, Tatar alleged that the reason for this was the fact that the Greek Cypriots did not intend to share the island’s administration and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots. “As a matter of fact, Mr Akinci also accepts this. During the talks we held with Mr Akinci he also sees this. However, Mr Akinci says ‘we cannot support the two states. Let us give one more chance’. Very well, after this last chance, what will we do when it comes up that this will not happen? Will we defend a two state solution? I say that the position supported by the UBP for years on this issue is correct”.
Asked what will happen if there is no result in this “last move” on the Cyprus problem, Tatar alleged: “The TRNC exists anyway in the north now and the south Cyprus administration is in the south. That is, in the end of the day, there will be two states again”.
Asked what UBP wanted as a solution to the Cyprus problem, Tatar reiterated that they wanted “two states under the roof of the EU”. “We have not discussed this issue a lot with Turkey, but the messages coming from Turkey are in the direction that alternative methods should also be on the table and not only an agreement on a federal basis. Because the moment we will begin a negotiating process on the basis of federation only, it would be continuation of Crans Montana. On this issue Turkey had an approach like ‘the table at Crans Montana was overturned due to the Greek Cypriots, why should we gather around the same table?’ Previous statements by Mevlut Cavusolu exist in this direction”
Replying to a question regarding the population living in the occupied area of Cyprus and asked whether they planned a “population census” soon, Tatar claimed:
“Currently around 350 thousand TRNC citizens exist in our country. When students, tourists and licensed workers are added, we could say that the country’s population is estimated 500 thousands. A population census had been conducted in 2011 under the supervision of the UN. Everybody had been closed in their houses then because a population census would be conducted. This state definitely knows its population. Would it be correct for us to close people in their houses again?”
Asked whether they grant “citizenships” and whether there were any “suggestions” from Turkey on this issue, Tatar argued that they grant “citizenship” only to those who had the right to become “citizens” and that Turkey also tells them to give “citizenship” to those who had the right to take it and not to “whoever comes”.
Replying to a question regarding the forthcoming “presidential elections” in the occupied area of Cyprus, Tatar admitted that making the “right move” on this issue might cause problems in his party and added: “We have some friends in the party who want to become candidates. This issue will be clarified by the end of October. […]”
Under the title “A compulsory road map was determined”, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (19.08.19) reports that Dr Ahmet Savasan, deputy secretary general of the ruling National Unity Party (UBP), during a television programme that he attended, said that during the meeting of Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on August 9 a compulsory road map was determined. He further said that the Greek Cypriot leadership did not accept the proposals neither on political equality nor the hydrocarbon issue, which had been agreed by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties prior to the meeting of 9th of August.
Claiming that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to create an inequality on the issue of the political equality, Savasan argued that it wants also to leave out from the resumption of the Cyprus talks the hydrocarbons issue. He further alleged that this means that the “Greek Cypriot administration in the south”, as he refers to the Cyprus government, does not want to share the power and the wealth with the Turkish Cypriot “people”, arguing that as long as the current mentality of the Greek Cypriot leadership does not change, then it is unrealistic to expect that a federal partnership based on sharing would be established in the near future in Cyprus.
Recalling that the UBP leader Ersin Tatar, the UBP and the “government” are determined to bring on the negotiating table new ideas that are more realistic, including the two state solution within the EU, and can be materialized under the current conditions in Cyprus, Savasan said that during the meeting of August 9, no signal was given that a process, which is a result-oriented and with a timetable, would resume.
Claiming that the steps taken by the “government” of the breakaway regime with the support of Turkey on the Cyprus issue and on the fenced-off town of Varosa would continue with determination and in other sectors of life, Savasan argued that “their people will be able to live in prosperity without being concerned about their future in a strongest state”.
Under the title “They are trying to sabotage the process”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis (17.08.19), on its front page, reported that while the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades are preparing for the meeting with UNSG Guterres in New York in September, solution formulas other than federation, which are expressed by the UBP-HP “coalition government”, are raising eyebrows in some circles.
Izzet Izcan, leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), said that they, as a party, see the decisions of the “government” on the issue of a Cyprus settlement as fiction, adding that all the actions of the “government” are an effort to protect the status quo and to flatter the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) in Turkey.
Alpay Durduran, member of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), said that the two states solution is nonsense, adding that the negotiation process is continuing in a serious way coming in to contact with the UN.
Mehmet Davulcu, general secretary of the Communal Liberation Party (TKP), stated that as soon as the “current government” was established, the real aim of its establishment became obvious. He explained that the reason that the People’s Party (HP) established a “government” with the UBP, which is known for his opposition to the solution, is to sabotage the negotiation process.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (18.08.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci strongly criticized the censorship implemented on a theatrical play written by well-known Turkish Cypriot actor and director, Yasar Ersoy for the so-called state theater. “We do not accept the 41st government to take us 40 years back, our community does not deserve this”, he noted in a post on the social media.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (17.08.19) reports that Erdinc Akgur, director of the above-mentioned theater has denied that Ersoy’s play had been censored. He added that the play “was not considered proper by the literary committee”.
The paper writes also that the vice chairman of the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP) argued that it was not possible for them to accept “swearing and insults against Turkey to be presented as art” and the “sanctification of swearing”.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (18.08.19) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), criticized the censorship implemented on Ersoy’s play. In a written statement, Denktas argued that tolerance to criticism had been bigger in the past and reminded of a play in which Ersoy had criticized late Rauf Denktas. According to Serdar, Rauf Denktas saw the play and applauded Ersoy laughing in the end of the show. Wondering why the current “government” rejected a play approved by the former “government”, Denktas added: “Only one reason comes to my mind. While we have a prime minister who makes everyone laugh when he speaks, a play, which is funnier than he is and at the same time I think that it would make people think, cannot be staged. I did not read the content of the play. When it is staged, I will definitely see it”.
Finally, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (18.08.19) reports that Emel Tel, chairperson of the Turkish Cypriot teachers’ trade union (KTOS), issued a written statement noting that with this censorship the UBP-HP “government” was trying to strengthen its existence “with concepts such as political bullying, insulting the people and censorship, which we are used to seeing in Turkey”. She also said the following: “The discussion launched by Erdogan in Turkey and aimed at the people of theater, has come to a point that it censors theaters by law today and expression is silenced. […] With this opportunity, the aim of the puppet government in the north of Cyprus which is subordinate to Turkey was revealed once more”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (19.08.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=trnc-tourism-9), self-styled tourism and environment minister Ünal Üstel, in a statement to the “TAK news agency” regarding his aspirations from the tourism sector, said that although he had a variety of aims in front of him to develop the tourism sector there was a need for political stability in order for these aims to be realised.
Noting that the tourism sector was the locomotive sector of the economy in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Üstel said that it was their aim to bring more tourists from a variety of different countries to the “TRNC”, increase bed capacity, increase the number of flights to and from the “TRNC” and bring down the cost of ticket prices to the “country”.
Noting that ever since he came to office he has been carrying out intense meetings with Turkish officials in order to further develop the tourism industry in the “country”, Üstel said that they also called for an increase to the number of flights Turkish Airlines and Anadolu Jet conduct to the “TRNC”.
He also noted that flights have begun to Hatay and they had received a promise by Turkish officials that direct flights from the “TRNC” to Karadeniz would begin next year.
Pointing to the importance of political will in the efforts to solve the problem and the steps to be taken in the future, Üstel said “they wanted a North Cyprus company to be established under the umbrella of Turkish Airlines”. He also spoke about the developments taking place at the Ledra Street crossing point by saying that 80% of the work in the area is completed and that once all is finished tourists queuing up will be shaded from the weather while entering and leaving the crossing point.
He further said that by working in cooperation with “universities” they wanted to prepare a ten year development plan for the tourism sector.
Under the title “Turkish Cypriots are a minority in North Cyprus”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (18.08.19) published an interview with the Turkish Cypriot psychiatrist Prof. Dr Vamik Volkan, who said that “there is a change in society in terms of identity in Northern Cyprus and this should be examined”.
In an interview to the paper, Dr Volkan said: “Turkish Cypriots are a minority in Northern Cyprus, the people in the North are now a different community. This is a reality. Different identities will be influenced by each other and a new Cypriot identity will emerge. In fact, the situation in the world is not different; the identities influence each other and reshape”.
He further explained: “When I was born in 1932, there was no racism in Cyprus. Our neighbours were Greek, they were also people but we were different. Their language was different, ours was different. Despite our differences, we were together. When you were born in Cyprus, it was like being born into a laboratory. While we were growing up, we saw different groups living side by side.”
Under the title “CHP leader mocked for East Mediterranean claims”, Turkish daily Sabah (19.09.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2019/08/19/chp-leader-mocked-for-east-mediterranean-claims) reports that claims by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), that Turkey has not engaged in drilling activities in the East Mediterranean were mocked and criticized both by state officials and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu yesterday sarcastically said that Kılıçdaroğlu must think that the Fatih, Yavuz and Barbaros ships, which protect the rights of Turkey and the “TRNC” [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] in the East Mediterranean, belong to the Greek side.
Releasing a Twitter message with footage showing Kılıçdaroğlu's comments about the East Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu added: "We are ready to inform Mr Chairman, who did not get sufficient information, about our national issue, Cyprus."
At his party's provincial chair meeting in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir on Saturday, Kılıçdaroğlu said that the East Mediterranean has rich natural resources and added, "The United States, the Greek Cypriot administration, Egypt, Qatar, all of them are there. Only Turkey is not there."
AK Party spokesperson Ömer Çelik yesterday criticized Kılıçdaroğlu and said: "What the whole world has heard, Mr Kılıçdaroğlu did not hear again. Whether Kılıçdaroğlu knows or not, our government has the will and determination to protect the rights and interests of the TRNC until the end and will continue to take the necessary steps." Noting that the CHP leader's ignorance about such a national issue is concerning for the political environment, Çelik said that all political parties must support the country's rights and interests in foreign affairs regardless of their different ideologies.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez yesterday released a Twitter message on the drilling activities of three Turkish ships in the region. He added: "The East Mediterranean is all of Turkey's issue. We were here yesterday, we are here today and we will be here tomorrow." (…)
Under the title “Turkey's support to Sudan will continue to grow: Turkish FM”, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.08.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-support-to-sudan-will-continue-to-grow-turkish-fm-145845) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, on the side-lines of the signing ceremony of a power-sharing deal between Sudan’s ruling Transition Military Council (TMC) and opposition Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) alliance in Sudanese capital Khartoum, met with his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto.
At the meeting, the two Foreign Ministers discussed issues pertaining to Cyprus, Turkey-EU relations, Eastern Mediterranean, Syria and Sudan.
Turkish daily Yeni Şafak (19.08.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-replaces-three-hdp-mayors-with-suspected-ties-to-pkk-terror-group-3498325) reports that Turkey replaced party mayors of the south-eastern cities of Diyarbakir, Van and Mardin on Monday over terrorism-related investigations, appointing the state governors in those provinces in their place, the Interior Ministry said.
The three mayors were accused of various crimes including membership of a terrorist organisation and spreading terrorist group propaganda, the Ministry said in a statement.
Turkey dismissed dozens of mayors in the country's southeast in 2016 over suspected links to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terror group, replacing them with state administrators.
Ahead of local elections in March, President Tayyip Erdogan warned that mayors from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) could again be dismissed if they, like their predecessors, are deemed to have ties to terrorists.
All mayors are from the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), a party Turkey's government has accused of having links to the PKK terror group. (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (19.08.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-arrests-over-400-terror-suspects/1559336), over 400 terror suspects were arrested in 29 provinces across Turkey in one day, during operations against PKK terror group, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.
A total of 418 suspects were arrested across Turkey including in southeastern Diyarbakir, Mardin and eastern Van provinces, Turkey's Interior Ministry said in a statement. Operations are ongoing in the region, it added.
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