Under the title “Varosha is TRNC territory”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis(29.08.19) reports that Turkish Minister of Justice, Abdulhamit Gul, who held contacts yesterday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has sent messages to the international community regarding the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha and the hydrocarbons issue. In statements after separate meetings with self-styled prime minister, Ersin Tatar and so-called interior minister, Aysegul Baybars, Gul alleged, inter alia, the following:
“Varosha is a TRNC territory. It had closed for settlement in the period after the Cyprus peace operation. In the current situation, we support the beginning of an inventory study by the Cyprus government [Translator’s note: The self-styled government of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the island known as Turkey’s subordinate administration]. We support finding a solution by protecting the property rights. […] The TRNC government has taken a very proper decision. On this issue, we are by the side of any kind of initiatives in the direction of the protection of the international rights and in favor of the Turkish Cypriot people. […]
The unilateral activities of the Greek Cypriot sector [Translator’s note: This is how he describes the Republic of Cyprus] on the hydrocarbons constituted a threat from the point of view of stability in the area. In every occasion, we say that we will not allow them. Turkey will continue its stance in a decisive manner in harmony with the international law. The rights and interests will be protected. […]”
The paper notes that during Gul’s contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus, the cooperation between Turkey and the breakaway regime on “judiciary”, forensic issues and prisons was discussed. Moreover, agreement was reached on the issue of faster extradition of criminals and their “will” in the “common struggle” against Fethullah Gulen organization (FETO) was reaffirmed, reports Havadis.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (29.08.19, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n295375-tc-adalet-bakani-gulden-kapali-marasa-ziyaret-29082019), Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul, who paid one day illegal visit yesterday to the occupied area of Cyprus, visited also the fenced-off Varosha.
During the two-hour visit to the occupied fenced-off Varosha, Gul was accompanied by Kudret Ozersay, “minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime minister” and the illegal Turkish ambassador to the occupied part of Nicosia Ali Murat Basceri.
Meanwhile, the paper reports that Turkish Minister Gul met also with the representative of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the occupied area of Cyprus Mehmet Demirci.
Under the title “The mould was broken on the issue of Varosha”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris Postasi (29.08.19, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n295292-tatar-turkiye-sondaj-faaliyetlerini-uluslararasi-hukuk-temel) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister, said that the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean are of great importance, claiming that Turkey continues its drilling activities on the basis of the international law.
Speaking during the meeting with the Turkish Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gul, Tatar claimed that the “government” with the opening of occupied fenced-off Varosha has broken the mould and claimed that the fenced-off Varosha is an extension of Famagusta, which is located within the borders of the “TRNC” and is protected by the so-called security forces (GKK).
Tatar further claimed: “There are a number of UN Resolutions taken in the past, but on the basis of the international law and no prospect of an agreement after 45 years, there is no good for Varosha to remain closed”.
Noting that fenced-off Varosha has property owners and its most demanding property owner is EVKAF, Tatar claimed: “All the documents, all the archives have been combed thoroughly. The archives both here and in Turkey until 1571 were comped thoroughly. They have submitted to us. It has been mentioned for very demanding rights. All these have been documented. After this time, what we think is the opening of this place under our administration. The former property owners, including EVKAF, should apply to the Immovable Property Commission to seek for their rights on the basis of the international law, to return their properties and this place to bring earnings”.
Tatar further argued that with the opening of fenced-off Varosha in parts, and not in a day, the “TRNC” will be strengthened more and the area’s contribution to tourism and economy will increase more. He added that the opening of the fenced-off Varosha will be a step towards proactive politics in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Claiming that the Greek Cypriot side has made unilateral agreements with all companies and countries without asking the Turkish Cypriots and without recognizing any right, Tatar saod that they will not just be looking passively, but they will take the necessary steps in consultation with Turkey.
Referring to the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tatar said that these are even more important with each passing day. He claimed that Turkey continues its drilling activities on the basis of the international law and that “TRNC” has also a role in these activities.
Claiming that there are two equal “people” in Cyprus and this is mentioned in the foundation agreement of the Republic of Cyprus and no one can ignore the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, Tatar argued that the agreements that TRNC made with Turkey, the licenses that were granted, the drilling activities in the region and all other activities are being conducted on the basis of the law. He reiterated that that Turkish Cypriots’ rights are based on the international law and added: “We will be in all kinds of relations with Turkey, who has supported all the way and has made a lot of sacrifices for us”. He concluded by saying that he feels satisfaction to carry out together all these activities by protecting the rights and interests both of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot “people”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (29.08.19) reports that the so-called ministry of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime is organizing an informative visit of Turkish Cypriot journalists and members of the “Foreign Press Union” (which consists of correspondents of Turkish media in the occupied area of Cyprus) in the fenced off Varosha city.
According to a statement of the “ministry”, the visit is taking place in parallel with the decision of the “government’ for inventory in the city. The so-called minister of foreign affairs Kudret Ozersay stated that the inventory is going on and added that this is the first time that such a visit from journalists is taking place since 1974. “In this way the public will be informed in a better way about what is going on in the area”, he stated.
Moreover, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Press Workers Union (BASIN-SEN), Ali Kismir reacted against the methods followed by the “ministry” as regards the visit noting that when they called the “ministry” asking to participate in the visit to Varosha, they were told that only those who have “yellow journalist card” can participate in it. According to Kismir, when he asked about this decision, he was told that “this is a decision of the army”. Kismir noted that while the members of his organization have an International Federation of Journalists card and European Federation of Journalists card with which they can go anywhere without accreditation, “in their own country they cannot enter Varosha with a press card recognized by the whole world”, as he stated.
Besides, in a post in social media, journalist Tynay Mertekci stated that despite the fact that he has a “yellow journalist card” for 2019, he was told that his name was not included in the catalog of the journalists who will visit Varosha. “They take only those who want to take”, he stated.
According to illegal Bayrak television (29.08.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=routine-meeting), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met today as part of their routine meetings with so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, Tatar alleged that the meeting was fruitful adding that he informed Akinci about his recent “contacts” in Turkey.
Stating that they evaluated several issues with Akinci, he noted that they discussed some problems being experienced at the crossing points and that he briefed Akinci on the “financial and economic cooperation protocol signed with Turkey”.
“I shared my views with the president on how to relieve the density especially at the Metehan check-point. I also shared my views on the Ledra Palace. I informed the president on the financial and economic cooperation protocol and our contacts in Turkey. The immovable property commission is an important instrument, however, there are some problems regarding the commission. We also discussed what can be done on this issue”, Tatar claimed.
Tatar also added that during the meeting he expressed his view that there is no serious ground for the negotiations today.
“The president himself said that the meeting to be held in New York will be an ordinary meeting. The UN Secretary General’s Special Consultant on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute will visit the president next week. The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is also expected to visit the island on the 9th of September. We agreed with the president to come together after these developments”, Tatar alleged.
Responding to the criticisms that he did not keep the “president” informed, Tatar said: “I never had such an intention. I keep my good relations with the president. I also have endless respect to the post. I am thinking about sharing every important issue with the president and I shared this with him. I’ve heard from him that there is no problem at this point.”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.08.19) reports that so-called minister of public works and transportation Tolga Atakan alleged that they would never allow any fait accompli in the Eastern Mediterranean without the participation of Turkey and the “TRNC”.
Speaking yesterday in Ankara prior to his meeting with Turkey’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Cahit Turhan, he supported that any scenario that will ignore the rights and intersts of Turkey and the “TRNC” is not possible to be realized.
For his part, Turkish Minister Turhan recalled his latest meeting with Atakan during the “celebrations for the Turkish military operation in Cyprus” on July 20 when the Gemi Kurtaran tugboat undertook duties, claiming that the “presence of the Gemi Kurtaran tugboat in the Eastern Mediterranean is an indication of their right to speak there”.
Turhan went on to claim that the “unilateral activities of the Greek Cypriot administration in the Eastern Mediterranean constitute a threat for the region”, alleging that that they would not allow these attempts in any occasion. He further argued that the presence of Fatih and Yavuz drillship and the Barbarros seismic research ship in the Eastern Mediterranean indicate their determination and willingness to protect Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriot “people’s rights and interests”. “A fourth ship, the Oruc Ries will sail down there within the next days. In this sense, we would like to point out first to the EU and then to the international community that their reactions would not affect our determination”, Turhan claimed.
Under the title “The murderer is returning to the scene of the crime”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen(29.08.19) publishes a commentary by Cenk Mutluyakali on the breakaway regime’s attempt to open the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha under Turkish administration. He reports, inter alia, the following:
“Why are we boasting? I cannot understand. As if it is someone else who turned a city miracle of the world called Varosha into a monument of shame, we are giving the good news of an ‘opening’. We demolished. We looted. We made it decay. We made such a big city smell. […]
Instead of feeling ashamed of the fact that we have razed to the ground a touristic city with its hotels and museums, its cinema halls and theaters, its banks and villas, above all these we are showing off. We will open! We will transfer! We will save it!
What we are experiencing is a process like the return of the murderer to the scene of the crime. We are returning and looking at our ‘carrion’. […] We are examining the place of the crime, we are walking over the trails of blood. After many years, we are drawing the portrait of what we have burned and demolished. […] EVKAF is shouting loudly, it is organizing campaigns, it is making films. ‘This place belongs to us, an EVKAF property cannot be sold, cannot be transferred, the last users are illegal’. Our brain functions otherwise in closed Varosha, otherwise in Keryneia, in Morfou, in Karpasia. Very well, what about the coasts, the hotels, the factories? Does the international law say that Giorgos’ property can be sold? Really, what will EVKAF do Katsellis’ hotel? It is the same EVKAF! I wonder this, which is the scope of entering? Dianellos factory could be turned into a parliament, is that so? Shall we return the hotel of Zefiros? Who knows? […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Nacak (29.08.19) reports that a “protocol agreement” was signed between the “TRNC badminton federation” and Turkey’s badminton federation.
In the framework of the protocol, the two “federations” will co-operate and trainers and athletes of the breakaway regime will be able to participate in seminars and courses for their improvement, writes the paper.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.08.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkey-us-discuss-latest-developments-in-syria/1567787) reportsthat Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone early Thursday with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, according to Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate.
Erdogan and Trump discussed developments in Syria, particularly in Idlib province, as well as bilateral relations, the directorate said in a statement.
It emphasized that both countries agreed on protecting civilians in Idlib and continuing to cooperate to avoid a new humanitarian crisis in the region.
(…) “The two leaders also reiterated their willingness to increase the bilateral trade volume to $100 billion”, the statement said.
Erdogan also said that he was pleased with the steps taken at the recent G7 summit regarding Iran, the statement said.
He also touched on the appointment of new U.S. Ambassador to Turkey David Michael Satterfield, who presented his letter of credentials on Wednesday.
Trump nominated Satterfield as the country's Ambassador to Turkey in February. The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination in late June.
(…)Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.08.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkish-president-uk-premier-speak-on-phone/1567642) reported that Erdogan spoke Wednesday to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over phone, according to Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate.
Erdogan and Johnson discussed the developments especially in Syria's Idlib and Libya, as well as bilateral relations, the directorate said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah (28.08.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2019/08/29/ypg-terrorists-just-pretend-to-be-withdrawing-from-turkish-border-erdogan-says) reported that Erdogan told journalists late Wednesday as he was en route to Turkey from Russia that the PKK's Syrian affiliate YPG terrorists are just pretending to withdraw from the areas near Turkish border and only a small portion of them actually retreated.
"Only a few of them actually withdrew," he said.
The YPG claimed previously that its militants have started withdrawing from a town near Turkey's border.
“The withdrawal is concerned with a 5 to 14 kilometer-wide strip along the border, Mustafa Bali, a member of the terrorist YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)”, said Erdogan stressing the need for the process not to be stalled like during the failed Manbij process.
To reduce tensions, Turkey and the U.S. agreed on a road map in June 2018 foreseeing the withdrawal of the YPG from Manbij and installing joint Turkish-American patrols, which began last November. However, the process has been sluggish as the terrorist group was still present in the city despite the three-month timetable set for implementing the deal.
"We will never allow the east bank of Euphrates become a safe haven for YPG terrorists. The process must move quickly," Erdogan added. "The U.S. must distance itself from those terrorists," he said.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.08.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-to-seek-for-alternative-in-case-not-getting-f-35-jets/1567650) reported that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the purchase of air missile system was an urgent need for Turkey and it had to buy the S-400 missile defense system from Russia.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart Urmas Reinsalu in the Estonian capital Tallinn on Wednesday, Cavusoglu said: “Turkey needs warplane. If it does not get F-35 fighter jets, the country will seek for alternatives, but it does not prefer that. Nowadays, the U.S. is stirring up trouble. But Turkey is still part of this 9-partner F-35 program”, Cavusoglu added.
“Turkey produces some parts of the F-35 fighter jets and also is a partner of the F-35 program. It wants to buy F-35s”, he said.
Touching on the relations between Turkey and Russia, he said that Russia's presence in the region is a reality. ''Turkey has good economic relations with Russia”, Cavusoglu said.
Moreover, he said that even if some difficulties were faced in Syria due to Assad regime’s aggression, Turkey and Russia are trying to overcome them through the Astana and Sochi processes.
Also, speaking on his visit on Tuesday to Russia with President Erdogan, Cavusoglu said that Turkey has excellent relations with Ukraine and with Estonia. "We have been supporting Ukraine's causes and Ukraine's territorial integrity."
"We never recognized the illegal annexation of Crimea, which is sometimes forgotten by some other Western countries, including EU member states. But Baltic States such as Estonia and Turkey also raise this issue."
“Turkey's relation with Russia is not an alternative to its relation with Ukraine. Also, its relation with Russia and with any other countries is not an alternative to its NATO membership or the relation with EU”, Cavusoglu noted.
(…)Moreover, commenting on relations between Turkey and Estonia, Cavusoglu said that Turkey and Estonia have excellent relations. The two countries are not only NATO allies but also reliable partners.
“The two countries agreed that they should establish a trade and economic commission”, he underlined.
Meanwhile, discussing the security issues in the meeting, Reinsalu for his part said that Turkey is an important NATO ally and also one of the best participants of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.
Also, touching upon the EU-Turkey relations, Reinsalu said that this is a momentum when the friends have to speak to each other.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (28.09.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ankara-moscow-to-hold-talks-over-su-57-fighter-jets-146130) reported that Turkey and Russia will commence talks on cooperation in the aviation industry in a bid to strengthen bilateral talks, including the Sukhoi Su-57 stealth fighter jets, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s one-day visit to Moscow, according to a senior Russian official.
“We will continue to talk about topics on the agenda and of course address the S-400s. We will talk about how we can go through a more advanced phase on the Su-35 and the possible procurement of Su-57,” Dmitry Shugayev, the head of the Russian Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, told reporters on the sidelines of the MAKS-2019.
Turkey has been showing interest in Russian fighter jets as the former was removed from the U.S. F-35 program, according to Shugayev.
Erdogan on Aug. 27 paid a one-day visit to Moscow to attend MAKS-2019, the annual Russian aviation and space fair. Erdogan also held a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss bilateral relations as well as recent occurrences in Idlib, including the attacks of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
During the aviation fair, Putin introduced the latest developments in Russian aviation and space industry, including the Su-57 and Su-35 fighter jets, Ka-52 military helicopter, Mi-38 heavy helicopter and Ka-62 medium helicopter.
Putin conveyed that Erdogan was the first foreign leader to see Russia’s “most perfect aircraft.”
After the leaders examined the engines, they held a closed-door meeting for over an hour which was followed by a joint news conference.
Turkey interested in joint production
The most important element of the steps Turkey takes with Russia is joint production and Turkey wants to extend this solidarity to the defense industry as well, Erdoğan said at the press conference.
Putin, for his side, said he and Erdogan discussed cooperation and joint works on the Su-35 and Su-57 jets.
“We talked about cooperation on the Su-35 and the possible joint work on the new Su-57. We have a lot of opportunities,” he said.
“[Erdoğan] wants to initiate a new program on air ambulances. Russia, too, has similar plans on its agenda. All our partners are interested in joint production. We are ready for this and will efficiently discuss it,” he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (28.08.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/main-opposition-chp-calls-on-govt-to-be-consistent-in-foreign-policy-146129) reported that the the Deputy leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ünal Çeviköz said on Aug. 28 at a press conference in the capital Ankara that Turkey’s foreign policy is inconsistent as it has been “paying court” to both Russia and the U.S.
“Turkey’s foreign policy is being scattered on the global scale. On one hand, Turkey acquires S-400 defense systems from Russia, and just after that, works commence to establish a ‘safe zone’ with the U.S. in northeastern Syria,”
“Then, the decision to establish a joint operations center with the U.S. is being taken, but immediately after that a Turkish military convoy gets attacked in Idlib and its 9th and 8th observation points get besieged by the Syrian army,” he said.
Turkey has been “paying court” to both Russia and the U.S., Çeviköz said. “And this is being called foreign policy”, he added.
“Turkey is no longer a subject in international relations, it is an object. It is being pulled at both ends by two global powers,” he said.
“This situation is discrediting Turkey’s reputation before the eyes of other countries”, he stressed.
“Turkey’s bilateral relations with Russia is appreciated in energy and aerospace industries. But regarding Syria, the countries’ different points of views are yet to be eliminated”, Çeviköz said.
“Russia has been extending its energy web over Turkey with the Akkuyu nuclear power plant and TurkStream pipeline project,” he said.
Çeviköz also praised Turkey’s participation in the MAKS-2019, an annual Russia aviation and space fair, and acclaimed Russia’s hospitality towards the former.
“[Russia] gave its message to all the world by bringing a NATO country, at the highest level, to the [MAKS-2019],” he said.
“But on Syria, it is never possible to say that the different opinions of Turkey and Russia are being eliminated,” he added.
Turkish daily Sabah (28.08.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/08/28/president-erdogan-receives-new-us-envoy-to-turkey-after-2-year-vacancy) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted Wednesday the new U.S. Ambassador to Turkey David Michael Satterfield's letter of credence. The Ambassador's post remained vacant for two years until Satterfield's appointment.
He will be the first to assume the position after John Bass, who had contributed to the turbulence in U.S.-Turkey relations. Bass left Turkey at the end of his tenure in October 2017.
Ambassador Satterfield was nominated for the position by U.S. President Donald Trump in February and was appointed in June. He is known for having represented the U.S. in the Astana peace process meetings – between Turkey, Russia, and Iran – held to solve the crisis in Syria.
Satterfield's previous posting was as a senior Adviser to the Secretary of State, between June and July, before leaving for Turkey.
The 64-year-old senior diplomat previously served as acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs between 2017 and 2019. Before that, he held posts like Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Libya in 2014, Coordinator for Iraq and Senior Adviser to the Secretary of State from 2006 to 2009, as well as numerous other high ranking posts.
He has undertaken assignments in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia, as well as Lebanon, providing him with almost 40 years of experience in the Middle East. Satterfield is known to be fluent in Arabic, French, Italian, and Hebrew. He attended the University of Maryland and Georgetown University.
Ambassador Satterfield officially took office Wednesday after his meeting with Erdoğan.
(…)Erdogan also welcomed Julio Anibal Riano Velandia, Ambassador of Colombia, and Muhammed Ali Lazreq, Ambassador of Morocco, Wednesday at the Presidential Complex to receive their letters of credence.
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