Under the title “Surprise visit to Ankara”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkın Sesi(22.08.19) reports that Ersin Tatar and Kudret Ozersay, self-styled prime minister and “foreign affairs minister” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus respectively, are visiting Ankara today to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Güneş (22.08.19), mouthpiece of ruling National Unity Party (UBP), describes Tatar’s visit to Ankara as “crucial and important” in the light of the developments. Citing “political observers” in the occupied area of Cyprus, the paper reports that during the visit, issues such as the “government’s” decision to open the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha, the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot leader for a federal solution to the Cyprus problem and the fact that the “TRNC” could not make the economic progress which Turkey would also wish will be discussed.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (22.08.19) refers to the issue under the title “Economic protocol is on the agenda” and reports that self-styled finance minister OIgun Amcaoglu arrived in Ankara one day earlier to hold contacts on the so-called “economic protocol”.
Turkish newspaper Milliyet (22.08.19) cites a “high ranking” Turkish Cypriot “official” and reports that Erdogan and Tatar will discuss the coordinates where seismic exploration vessel Oruc Reis will anchor and the amount of resources found until now in the Eastern Mediterranean. According to the paper, Oruc Reis has already departed for the area. Tatar will also brief Erdogan on the inventory study in the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha and discuss with him the demolition and construction of buildings in the city after the inventory study is completed as well as the tenders’ procedure, notes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (22.08.19, https://www.brtk.net/ubp-hp-hukumetinden-ilk-resmi-ankara-ziyareti/) broadcast that Tatar and Ozersay departed this morning for Ankara. In statements at the illegal airport in Tymbou prior to their departure, Tatar said that their meeting with Erdogan would take place at 18.00 hours today and that various issues would come onto the agenda. He noted that the “economic and financial protocol” and the Cyprus problem topped the agenda and added that they would demand support from Turkey for some needs they had. “It is very natural to demand the support of the motherland for the TRNC’s prosperity”, he claimed.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (22.08.19) reports that Trade Union Platform reacted against the so-called “protocol for economic and financial cooperation” between Turkey and the breakaway regime, describing it as “political imposition”. Representatives of the platform held a press conference yesterday during which they read a joint statement. They said that they would fight against an agreement on the “protocol” in every way they could, including a general strike.
“The ‘Financial and Economic Cooperation Agreement’ signed with Turkey is an imposition with a political content, totally, aiming at the continuation of the status quo and the division, produced on the island by the UBP-HP government for the sake of money and remaining in office”, said the statement.
It also noted that while on the one hand 3,5 million Turkish liras (TL) were given to religious activities and 5,5 million TL to associations and trade unions established by Turkey in the occupied area of the island, on the other “ridiculous amounts” were given to education, health and cultural activities on the condition that they were approved by the Turkish “embassy”.
The statement concludes saying: “The Turkish Cypriots are turned into minority with the change of their demographic structure and the seizure of their communal properties and institutions and, by being pushed to despair, their political will is usurped through employees appointed by Turkey. Our country is not for sale! We do not accept it!”
Moreover, speaking at the press conference, chairmen of DEV-IS and KTAMS trade unions, Hasan Felek and Guven Bengihan respectively, expressed the view that the “protocol” would lead the Turkish Cypriot community to annihilation.
Selma Eylem, chairperson of secondary school teachers’ trade union (KTOEOS), said that the aim was to create in the occupied area of Cyprus the same situation which exists in Turkey.
Sener Elcil, general secretary of primary school teachers’ trade union (KTOS), said that 56% of the students in the “state schools” were Turkey’s citizens, 5% citizens of third countries and 39% “citizens of the TRNC” and having two nationalities. “While the number of the Turkish Cypriots living in the north part of the island is 135 thousands, the population exceeds 800 thousands”, he argued.
According to illegal Bayrak television (22.08.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=turkish-culture-minister-in-trnc), Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nuri Ersoy, who is currently in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, for a series of “official contacts”, met separately with the self-styled minister of national education and culture Nazım Çavuşoğlu and the self-styled minister of tourism and environment Ünal Üstel this morning.
Speaking during the visits, the Turkish Minister gave messages of cooperation. He said that they were working hard to promote the “Turkish Cypriot identity” around the world.
Speaking during the visit, Çavuşoğlu thanked the Turkish Minister for the support for the preservation of cultural assets in the “TRNC”. “We are one nation, two states,” said Çavuşoğlu, claiming that Turkish Cypriots guaranteed their existence through the strong cooperation with Turkey.
Ersoy, for his part, announced that “actors from the two countries will be staging a joint play once a cooperation protocol is signed in the coming month”. He further said that their goal was every script to be prepared to be staged in the “TRNC”, Turkey and London.
Speaking during his visit to Üstel, Ersoy said that they aimed to achieve a stable flow of foreign tourists to the “TRNC” through a lasting and sustainable promotion campaign.
Later Ersoy paid a visit to the childhood home of late Turkish politician Alparsan Türkeş which was recently converted into a museum. (…)
The Turkish minister will be departing from the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus later this afternoon.
According to illegal Bayrak television (22.08.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=new-commanders-in-cyprus-2), the appointments of high-ranking military personnel by the Turkish Supreme Military Council (YAŞ), which have been ratified by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, took effect following its publication in the official gazette.
The Council made 75 appointments in the land force, 25 appointments in the navy and 27 appointments in the air force.
According to the appointments, changes have also taken place in the top brass of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus.
Lt. Gen. Sezai Öztürk has been appointed as the new Commander of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus replacing Lt. Gen. Yılmaz Yıldırım who has been appointed as the Commander of the 7th Army in Diyarbakır.
Brigadier General Altan Er has been appointed as the new Commander of the so-called security forces.
Outgoing Commander of the so-called security forces Tevfik Algan has been appointed as the Commander of the 52nd Motorized Infantry Brigade in Istanbul.
While Brigadier General Taner Uysal has been appointed as the Commander of the 28th Division, Brigadier General Nihat Ergün has been appointed as the Commander of the 39th Division and former so-called security forces Commander Brigadier General Osman Akyıldız as the Commander of the 14th Armoured Division.
According to the YAŞ decisions, Lt. Gen. Şeref Öngay has been appointed as the commander of the 3rd army.
While Gen. Yavuz Türkgenci has been appointed as the new Commander of the Land Forces Training and Doctrine Command (EDOK), Lt. Gen. Ali Sivri has become the new Commander of the Aegean Army.
Lt. Gen. Sinan Yayla has been officially appointed to the position of 2nd Army Commander which he had been assuming as acting commander.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.08.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-us-agree-to-launch-1st-phase-of-safe-zone-plan-145958Turkey’s Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın, speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara on Wednesday, said that Turkey's agreement with the U.S. on safe zone in northern Syria is a "positive step", adding that negotiations with the U.S. on the implementation, process and scope of the safe zone are still ongoing.
Kalın stressed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will speak with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the phone over Idlib in the next couple of days.
Erdoğan will also have a phone call with the U.S. President Donald Trump over the safe zone at their earliest convenience on Thursday or Friday, he added. "The U.S. commerce secretary and his delegation will visit our country in September. They will hold a couple of meetings to achieve the $100 billion trade target," he said, adding that the date of Trump's visit to Turkey is not clear yet.
He also said that Erdoğan and Trump might have a meeting at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Sept. 17-30.
Referring to the establishment of the safe zone, he said joint patrols of the U.S. and Turkish troops will begin soon east of the Euphrates river, adding that the Turkish drones have already started to fly in the region.
"The protection of the demilitarized and the de-escalation zone in the region is especially important. Otherwise, the violation of the agreement and a humanitarian tragedy will be inevitable," he added.
Following the Syrian regime's airstrike on Monday, which targeted Turkish convoy in Idlib, he said the closure or shifting the location of the 9th observation point is "out of question”. He stressed that the forces at all 12 observation points will continue to serve at their current posts. (…)
Kalın reiterated Turkey's call on Russia and the Syrian regime to end violations. He also said that there will be a trilateral summit between Turkey, Russia and Iran on Sept.16 in the capital Ankara as a follow-up of the Astana peace process.
"We will have a chance to work through the implementation of Idlib Agreement, the establishment of the Constitutional Commission and the main parameters of the political process from now on", he added. (…)
Reiterating Turkey's resolve in countering terrorism, Kalın said his country will continue Operation Claw in northern Iraq and Operation Kıran in southeastern Turkey. (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (21.08.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-us-agree-to-launch-1st-phase-of-safe-zone-plan/1561828), Turkish and U.S. Defence Chiefs on Wednesday spoke over a phone call and agreed to launch the first phase of the Syria safe zone plan from today.
Hulusi Akar and Mark Esper also agreed that military delegations from two countries will meet in Ankara soon to discuss next stages of Syria safe zone plan, according to a Turkish Defence Ministry statement.
Akar said the safe zone east of the Euphrates River in Syria should be established within the framework of the principles set out in the calendar without losing time, the statement said.
Turkish and U.S. military officials had reached an agreement on Aug. 7 that a safe zone in northern Syria will be a "peace corridor" for displaced Syrians longing to return home and establish a Joint Operations Centre in Turkey to coordinate the establishment of the safe zone.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (22.08.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/deporting-legal-migrants-out-of-question-says-turkish-min-3498725), Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, speaking to foreign journalists in Istanbul on Wednesday, ruled out deportation for legal migrants, claiming that the ongoing action was only against irregular migration.
Soylu’s remarks came as Turkey extended a deadline until Oct. 30 for unregistered Syrians in Istanbul to leave the city and to go to the provinces, where they were first registered. However, some foreign media outlets misconstrued the facts stating Syrian migrants were being returned to their home country forcibly, which has been embroiled in civil war since 2011.
“There are over 540,000 Syrians in Istanbul. We have planned schools and hospitals for them. We cannot exceed this capacity. This is loud and clear," Soylu said.
“One of our biggest successes is the registration of all Syrians coming to Turkey under temporary protection status and to update their registrations after a while.”
Soylu futher said that Turkey has complied with international law and human rights when dealing with the issue of irregular migration, adding: “From the very beginning, we’ve followed a principled, planned and consistent policy. We’ve taken no indiscriminate step [on this] ”.
However, Europe came to terms with the crisis in 2015 – four years after the Syria war broke out, he said and added: “From 2011 to 2015, the West wanted to use Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon as a depot. They realized in 2015 the problem will spread to their borders and got flurried".
Noting that the latest figure of Syrians living in Turkey under temporary protection at 3.6 million, Soylu said: “The figure for those who returned to their country is 347,000”.
Stating that Afghan and Pakistani irregular migrants were continuously crossing through Agri, Igdir and Van [eastern] border crossings, Soylu said: “We’ve held over 100,000 Afghan migrants last year. They are coming to Turkey as they see Turkey as a safe country. Turkey allocates both money and human resource to this issue. We’ve sent 32,000 Afghans to their country. How did we send them? By plane”, adding they had spent $40 billion on this.
Referring to the suspension of three mayors in eastern Turkey earlier this week, he claimed: "They are openly supporting PKK. We saw it and launched an investigation. What would you do? Would you have ignored the continuation of this aid until the case concluded?" (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah (22.08.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/business/2019/08/22/northern-cyprus-expects-to-generate-1b-in-education-revenue-this-year), the “TRNC” (editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyrpus) plans to generate about $1 billion in revenue in 2019 from 102,000 students studying at 21 illegal universities in the occupied area of Cyprus. About 55,000 students from the Republic of Turkey are studying in the universities that stand out as the "leading sector" of the “TRNC economy”.
According to the Measuring, Selection and Placement Center's (ÖSYM) results of quotas of formal higher education programs and the number of entrant candidates, 8,039 students from Turkey are eligible to attend universities in the “TRNC” this year.
Preparations for new incoming students have started in the “TRNC”. Self-styled economy minister Hasan Taçoy noted that education makes up about 10% of the “TRNC economy” in a statement to Demirören News Agency (DHA) yesterday. He added that the education sector makes numerous contributions to the TRNC economy. Indicating that the “TRNC” made $800 million in revenue from the education sector in 2018, Taçoy said: "We expect approximately $1 billion in 2019."
Pointing out that universities are being strengthened with techno-parks and research and development (R&D) activities, Tacoy said: "We want to pioneer the industrialization of our universities, which are a smokeless industry. We are working in this direction." (…)
Murat Tüzünkan, vice chairman of the board of trustees of “Near East University”, remarked, adding that students constitute 30% of the population. (…)
According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (22.08.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/08/22/ecthr-asks-turkey-to-provide-defense-for-wikipedia-ban-by-end-of-october/), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has asked Turkey to provide a defence statement justifying a two-year-long ban on popular online encyclopaedia Wikipedia by Oct. 31, Deutsche Welle reported.
The Wikimedia Foundation filed a petition at the court in April on the grounds that the ban on Wikipedia in Turkey, which went into effect in April 2017, violates the right to freedom of expression.
Officials said at the time that an “administrative measure” had been taken but gave no reason for the ban.
Turkish media said authorities had asked Wikipedia to remove content by writers “supporting terrorism”.
The Strasbourg-based court, which decided to give the case “priority treatment”, is asking Turkey to prove that its ban on Wikipedia is in compliance with an article on freedom of expression in the European Convention on Human Rights. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah (22.08.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2019/08/22/akkuyu-nuclear-plant-receives-funding-from-russias-sberbank), Sberbank, Russia's state-owned banking and financial services company will provide a $400 million loan for the construction of Turkey's Akkuyu nuclear power station, the bank announced yesterday.
Sberbank, the first loan supplier for the nuclear project, will provide the seven-year loan to the Akkuyu Nuclear company; a subsidiary of Russian nuclear firm Rosatom.
The intergovernmental agreement was signed between Russia and Turkey in May 2010 for the plant that will consist of four VVER-1200 power units with a total installed capacity of 4,800 megawatts (MW).
Upon completion, the plant will generate about 35 billion kilowatts-hours of electricity per year, with a service life of 60 years.
On March 8, the laying of the foundation for the first reactor of the nuclear power plant was completed and works are in progress for the second unit.
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