Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan(04.09.19) reports that UNSG’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute met with Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci yesterday. In a statement after the meeting, Baris Burcu, Akinci’s spokesman, said that the UN envoy would meet with Akinci again this morning.
Writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (04.09.19), the paper’s director, Cenk Mutluyakali reports that a “serious blackout” exists as regards the process followed by Lute aiming at the sides reaching an agreement on the “Terms of Reference”. Under the title “The UNSG will announce the terms of reference”, Mutluyakali cites unconfirmed backstage information and argues that the two leaders were close to an agreement. “Beyond the ‘tripartite summit’ in New York, effort is being exerted to determine a new ‘road map’ for the negotiations”, writes the columnist adding that “actually a ‘draft framework’ is being formed’, which will constitute the agenda of the leaders’ meeting with the UNSG in New York. “The aim is the announcement of the ‘Terms of Reference’ by UNSG Antonio Guterres after the tripartite meeting and the beginning of a new negotiating process”, notes Mutluyakali. He adds:
“[…] The question which comes to mind now is the following: Will a new framework be announced and will the Guterres Framework be lifted? The following answer is given to this question: The Terms of Reference will come up with the Guterres Framework, the Document of 11 February 2014 and the agreements [achieved] at Crans Montana. Models other than federation will remain outside the equation once more. […]
The most intensive work on the ‘Terms of Reference’ is being carried out on ‘how a formula will be found for a negotiating process, which will be result oriented and not open ended’. A reference to Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean is expected to be included in the ‘Terms of Reference’. An allegation: The diplomatic traffic is not limited only to the Cypriot leaders. Guarantor countries Turkey and Greece are also included in it.
Where do Akinci and Anastasiades insist?
Anastasiades: He wants a point which would mean a ‘warning’ for Turkey to be included in the ‘Terms of Reference’ and a call to be made for ‘withdrawal of its warships’. He demands for the way of the hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the initiatives for Varosha to be paved.
Akinci: He demands for the issue of political equality and effective participation to be reflected in the ‘Terms of Reference’ very clearly and explicitly. Moreover, he is concentrating on a ‘timetable which is not a timetable’ for the negotiating process in order for [this process] to be ‘result oriented’”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (04.09.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has made “harsh” statements regarding UNSG’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute’s ongoing contacts on the island, describing as “supporters of the status quo” those who want the resumption of the negotiations. In a post on social media Ozersay argued the following:
“The actual supporters of the status quo, who do not want a change of the situation in Cyprus, are those who attempt to imprison us again in the same procedures on the same basis, which have been proved many times to be unable to reach a result under these circumstances. Neither history nor the Turks of Cyprus will forgive those who commit this mistake”.
Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak (04.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/ozersayendiseli-degilim-temkinliyim/), speaking yesterday during the presentation of the work of the UBP-HP “government” in the first 100 days since its establishment, Ozersay argued that he was “leery” and not “worried” about the dialogue process carried out by Lute and for this reason he was making some “warnings” when he saw how the process was advancing. He claimed:
“The biggest danger or risk which we see is the resumption of the negotiations from the point where they left off. You know that in our government program we had said that a change of mentality was needed in the negotiations. We had said that the federal solution in Cyprus was not possible under these circumstances. The government has not been briefed yet by the presidency on the work regarding the terms of reference”.
Referring to the issue of the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha, Ozersay said that this depended on how you would handle the process of taking the area out of the scope of being a military zone. He added: “If you handle it with a gradual implementation, I do not think that you will face a financing problem. We will see this during the forthcoming weeks. I do not want to give more details. The Greek Cypriot side is trying to take some measures on this issue. Our efforts are continuing. EVAKF’s property rights are an important issue. In any case, EVKAF’s representatives participate in the inventory committee in closed Varosha. I do not think that it is right for me to enter into the details of this legal debate. The work of the committee is continuing. I want to say that we will see new steps within the next few weeks or months”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (04.09.19) reports that so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar reiterated that the goal of the “government” is a two-state solution in Cyprus. Speaking yesterday during the presentation of the “government’s action during the first 100 days in office”, Tatar reiterated that from the first day of its “formation”, the “government” tries to explain its goals, which are the following:
1) “Stable economic development. Increase of the “gross national product” and of the “per capita income”,
2) Quick completion of infrastructure projects with contemporary steps,
3) Developments of all “sectors of economy”,
4) Development of the services provided in “education and health”,
5) Following a proactive policy on the Cyprus problem, to ensure that a two-state solution on the Cyprus problem, the protection of “our rights in sea”, the issue of the opening of “Maras under Turkish Cypriot administration” and via the “immovable property commission”, will be included in the agenda”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (04.09.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-receives-verwey) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met with the Director-General and Head of the Structural Reform Support Service in the European Commission Maarten Verwey and his accompanying delegation yesterday.
During the meeting, Akıncı briefed Verwey on his proposal made to President Nicos Anastasiades for the joint management of the hydrocarbon resources.
Akıncı and Verwey also exchanged views on the latest developments on the Cyprus issue.
According to a statement released by the “TRNC presidency”, during the meeting Verwey also presented Akıncı the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s response letter.
In his response, the President of the European Commission Juncker said that the issue of hydrocarbons must benefit both communities in Cyprus and contribute to peace and stability.
The best way to do this would be through a comprehensive solution, Juncker said in response to a letter Akıncı sent to the President of the European Commission in July, explaining in detail the proposal he had made to the Greek Cypriot side on setting up a joint committee on natural gas.
Juncker in his letter also welcomed the meeting held between Akıncı and Anastasiades on the 9th of August, the work carried out with the UN Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute and the upcoming meeting with the UN Secretary-General.
Furthermore, he reiterated the European Commission’s support to the UN led efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Juncker also welcomed the leadership shown by Akıncı for the implementation of the confidence building measure of interoperability of the mobile phones and expressed the belief that this move would contribute to the building of trust between the two sides.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (04.09.19) reports that the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), Serdar Denktas has stated that they should protect as the apple of their eye the “judicial system in the TRNC”, warning that Turkey is exerting efforts to change and impose its own judicial system in the “TRNC” as well.
Speaking in a televised program broadcast by Genç TV, Denktas claimed that Turkey wants the formation of a “justice ministry in the TRNC” where the “judiciary will be bounded” and alleged that the formation of such a “ministry” would mean that the “judiciary system would be equalized with that of Turkey” and at the same time, the “ministry” will be functioning under the control of a political system. He added further that in such a case, the “judicial system” would not be independent anymore. He warned further that if the “judiciary loses its dependency; this would mean the end of this country”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (04.091.9) under the front-page title: “2 months’ deadline to the UBP-HP government”, reports that the “Turkish Cypriot Businessmen Association" (ISAD) held yesterday a protest at Agios Dometios/Metehan crossing point, demanding from the so-called National Unity Party-People’s Party (UBP-HP) government to facilitate the crossings from and to the occupied area of Cyprus.
Issuing a written statement, the “chairman” of “ISAD”, Enver Mamulcu and the members of the “association” gave a two-month deadline to the so-called government to undertake measures that would ease and facilitate crossings.
Pointing out that it is the first time that an “economic organization” organizes such a protest in order for all difficulties experienced at the crossing points to be overcome, the paper stresses that a remarkable increase was experienced on the crossings of the Greek Cypriots and foreigners to the occupied area of Cyprus through the crossing points during the last six months, which has reached 2 million.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.09.19) reports that in a declaration distributed to the Press, the “association” proposes the following measures: 1) Increase on the number of staff at check-points and shortening of the duration of shifts, 2) to double the current passageways and complete the soonest possible the incomplete infrastructure, 3) opening new crossing points in Lefkosia and especially in Kaimakli and Caglayan areas for vehicles and also opening of new crossing points in Pergamos and occupied Famagusta, 4) implementation of Fast Truck card that would work under the supervision of the United Nations and will included both “people” in the “north and the south” in order to facilitate speed crossings, 5) providing “legal facilities” on issues related with military services and overnight staying at “immigration registry”, 6) development of technology infrastructure and implementation of the crossing systems which are implemented in the world.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.091.9-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-against-special-status-on-eu-membership/1572142) reports that Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized Slovenian President Borut Pahor's statements over offering Turkey a "special status", instead of a full EU membership.
Speaking at the 14th Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia on Monday, Cavusoglu said Pahor was "strongly" advocating Turkey's EU membership until last year.
"I do not know what changed his mind. Probably [French President Emmanuel] Macron and some others. But there should be a principle of continuity of the state and also of the EU," Cavusoglu said.
He said further that Turkey is ready to open a new chapter in negotiations with the EU, if the issue is related to standards and commitments.
Cavusoglu said that if Turkey does not meet the opening or closing benchmarks, then Turkey cannot be a member. "But if Turkey meets the opening benchmarks of the chapters, then, we should actually continue our negotiations," he added.
Pahor said that he would suggest a "special status" for Turkey and Ukraine, and full EU membership for Western Balkan countries.
Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community (a precursor to the EU) in 1987. It became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2004.
However, negotiations stalled in 2007 due to objections by the “Greek Cypriot administration” [Translator’s note: the Republic of Cyprus], as well as opposition from Germany and France.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.09.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/syrias-idlib-is-getting-devastated-like-aleppo-erdogan/1572395) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Syria's Idlib faces gradual devastation, just like the Aleppo city of the war-torn country.
Erdogan's remarks came at a press conference following a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis at the presidential complex in Ankara.
"Turkey is not expelling and closing its doors to refugees, but we will be happy if we can help the establishment of a safe zone [in Syria]," Erdogan said.
Last Saturday, Erdogan said in Istanbul that Turkey will apply its own plan of action, if Turkish soldiers are not allowed to control safe zone in Syria.
“In three weeks, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, Turkey will use the last possibility to find a compromise with the U.S. on building a safe zone along the eastern line of the Euphrates River”, he said.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, for his part, hailed Erdogan’s proposal on Syria safe zone, saying: "Turkey doesn’t want money but a safe zone with schools, houses and investment inside it."
Also addressing the bilateral trade relations with Turkey, Babis said that the trade volume between the two countries could be increased.
Babis underlined the great cooperation potential between the two countries, especially in areas such as energy and defense industry.
“We would like to see Turkish companies in our country," Babis said, mentioning the opportunities in the construction area.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.09.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-has-plan-b-if-us-fails-to-keep-promises-for-syria-safe-zone-defense-minister-146257) reported that Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Sept. 3 that Turkey will realize its plan B if the United States fails to keep promises it made for a safe zone in northern Syria.
“We follow the fulfillment of promises on the safe zone issue with great sensitivity and carefully. We do not accept work without checking each of the information provided to us individually,” Akar said on his visit to the western İzmir province for the 2019-2020 Flight Training Year opening ceremony.
Akar said that Turkey and the U.S. had agreed on a framework in the negotiations of the safe zone and a calendar was created.
“This is followed carefully by Turkey’s commanders”, he said, recalling a delay in the Manbij deal, another deal over a city elsewhere in Syria between Turkey and the U.S. “We still remember the promises made on Manbij and Raqqa. We haven’t forgotten any of this,” he added.
“In this context, the removal of terrorists from the region, the destruction of fortifications there, the collection of heavy weapons, missions of our helicopters, as well as our aircraft and jets flying there in the future, and the realization of patrols and establishing base areas,” he elaborated on the deal.
“For this purpose, the Joint Operations Center was established in Akçakale, border town in Turkey’s southeast, where officials are working intensively”, he noted.
“If there are any troubles in the promises made to us, if they do not fulfill them, our armed forces and the state of the Republic of Turkey have a plan B, and a plan C there. We are ready to put them into practice,” he stated.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.09.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkish-minister-rejects-eu-claim-on-greece-migration-/1572445) reports that Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu on Tuesday refuted recent claims about the increasing number of migrants from Turkey to Greece and said: "If the EU was concerned about Turkey as much as Greece, the problems may be solved."
Soylu's remarks came at a joint news conference ahead of a bilateral meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
Soylu hailed the UN’s global efforts to address the refugee crises as he pointed to a migration influx in Turkey. "I believe that the UN is following the issue with much more attention than the EU. We regret the recent statement from the EU,” he said, rejecting claims that migration from Turkey to Greece was on the increase.
“If the EU was concerned about Turkey as much as Greece, we would solve issues and problems better,” he noted.
Soylu said that a total of 30,842 migrants went to Greece during an eight-month period last year, while figures for 2019 stood at 29,025, indicating a 6% drop.
Grandi thanked Turkey on behalf of the international society for hosting 4 million refugees and said that a global forum on refugees would be held at the end of the year in Geneva. Turkey is one of five countries co-convening the meeting. “This is very significant because Turkey is the largest refugee hosting country in the world,” he said.
(…)The meeting will convene at the ministerial level and include UN member states and other stakeholders.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION