According to illegal Bayrak television (12.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/patlamalarda-can-kaybi-yasanmadi/), a series of severe explosions occurred in the occupied village of Agios Epiktitos on Thursday early morning at a munitions depot. A fire broke after the initial explosion.
According to BRT, “roads were closed and the power was cut as a precautionary measure. The police and the army created a safe zone and dwelling units near the explosion area were evacuated for safety. The explosions were felt in the surrounding villages and Nicosia. Due to the explosions, windows of the hotel Acapulco were broken and some guests of the hotel were injured slightly. The customers of the hotel spent the night on the beach as part of precautionary measures. Meanwhile, state and government officials inspected the area immediately after the incident”.
In statements to the press after arriving at the scene along with “prime minister” Ersin Tatar and “deputy prime minister and foreign affair minister” Kudret Ozersay, (12.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/akinci-olayda-yaralilar-var/), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said: “It is pleasing that there was no loss of life in the explosions that took place in the military zone in eastern Keryneia”. He called the public not to panic, adding that they do not have enough information of what caused the explosions.
In a post at the social media, Kudret Ozersay, said that “he is coordinating with officials from military and police department who are dealing with the situation. (…) As soon as reliable information is reached, it will be shared with the public. (…) There are no fatalities but some people were injured by glass shards that scattered because of the explosions. At the moment, the fire is still burning in the arsenal, entries are closed to the area due to the shrapnel. Electricity in the region was cut off as a measure.” He also said that the region has been largely evacuated as a precaution, but fire is not spreading.
Meanwhile, Turkey's Defence Ministry (https://www.msb.gov.tr/SlaytHaber/1292019-35301) said on Thursday that “an explosion was occurred at a munitions depot in a Division Ammunition Command in Keryneia [translator’s note: in a military camp of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus] at 01.30 by reason which has not yet been identified”.
The statement further read: “The fire, which broke out after the explosion was brought under control and the safety of the area was established. All necessary precautions have been taken regarding the incident, in which there was no casualties. An investigation committee has been formed and to determine the cause of the explosion”.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen (12.09.19, http://www.yeniduzen.com/teknik-inceleme-icin-ankaradan-heyet-geliyor-118778h.htm) reports that Ersin Tatar, “prime minister” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, in a press conference this morning regarding the incidents in the occupied area of Ayios Epiktitos, said that a delegation from Ankara is on their way to conduct a detailed investigation. Tatar further said: “Last night around 01:30, explosions were occurred at a munitions depot for unknown reasons. All necessary work has started and measures have been taken. Around 05:00 fires were brought under control and explosions were ceased. It is relief that there was no loss of life. Nine persons, who were taken to emergency, were discharged and three persons with slightly injuries are kept under observation. The incident is very serious and we need to approach the issue accordingly. A crisis desk has been established in Catalkoy municipality [translator’s note: occupied Ayios Epiktitos village] and it is doing the necessary work. A delegation from Turkey to make the necessary technical studies has departed from Ankara and is coming to the island [translator’s note: to the occupied area of Cyprus]. Details will emerge once the investigation is carried out. The radius of the blast covers an area of 200. There were soldiers in the area, but three were no casualties or injuries to the military personnel”.
Moreover, BRT (12.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/basbakan-tatarpatlamadan-etkilenen-bolge-200-donum-ve-henuz-patlamamis-muhimmat-var/) broadcast that Tatar, replying to a question whether the explosion was a possibility of a sabotage, said that the crisis desk continues its works and added that the inspection delegation coming from Turkey will be able to answer this question after their inspections.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (12.09.19) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci stated that there are various dimensions in the Cyprus problem that handle the communal, bi-communal, national and international framework and political will and determination is needed for its solution.
Akinci, who made a post in one of his social media accounts, said that because of these various dimensions, ways of solution are discussed both with the Greek Cypriot community and Turkey, the UN and the international community in general. Adding that many documents were gathered through all these years, Akinci said that political will and determination is needed for the solution of the Cyprus problem. “No one should have any doubt that we will continue to show this will on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people. The trust and support of our people will be an essential element in this procedure”, he stated.
Under the title “Treason and fear” in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (12.09.19), columnist Ali Osman argues that the opening of a “consulate” by Turkey in occupied Famagusta aims at controlling the occupied fenced off city of Varosha and preventing the decision which will be taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) within the forthcoming period regarding Greek Cypriot properties in the fenced off city.
Osman reports, inter alia, the following:
“[…] Mevlut Cavusoglu said that they would open a consulate in Famagusta. If this place was a state, Turkey would have taken a permit from the government here and then open that consulate, by listing its justifications. There is no such thing of course. This place is under Turkey’s control. […]
In the past, these things had been carried out behind closed doors. During Tayyip’s period they were revealed. Do the Greek Cypriots say in vain that our interlocutor is Turkey? Ankara is the one that determines even the negotiations. Ankara is the one that regulates economy, politics. The people here are only trying to implement its orders. […]
The northern part of the island is, to a great extent, in Israelis’ hands. It is said that Israelis are the backstage owners of real properties, hotels, motels, even night clubs. They even have a port here in order to enter and go out freely.
Do you think that the opening of a consulate in Famagusta is for facilitating the issues of the people from Turkey who live in Karpasia area? In my view, Varosha is in the question. Who knows, the UN and Tayyip will realize the opening of Varosha by reaching an agreement. Or as known, there is a decision to be taken by the ECHR regarding Varosha within the forthcoming days. It could be an initiative to prevent this. Some politicians had said: ‘The property owners who want can come and settle in their properties in Varosha’. This might be a department aimed at this. In my view it is for controlling Varosha. It might also be for convincing the Greek Cypriots who will possibly come to their properties to sell their properties to businessmen from Turkey. Time will show, but in my view, the consulate has a relation with Varosha. I also want to consider whether Turkey’s consulate in Famagusta is for inspecting the properties purchased by Israelis in the Karpasia area or more correctly in those areas. […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (12.09.19) reports that chairperson of the “Turkish Cypriot teachers’ trade union” (KTOS) Emel Tel in a written statement said that the school year in the occupied area of Cyprus will start on September 16. Tel said further that 56% of the students at schools are Turkish citizens, 5% are students from third countries (Turkmenistan, Russia, Pakistan, Nigeria) and only 39% are “TRNC citizens”.
Tel made the above statement and wondered which other “country” provides “education and health services” to population, which is much more than its own.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (12.09.19) claims that Greek Cypriots from the occupied Lyssi village, that went to their village in order to participate in the religious service that took place in their village the previous days, hauled down the Turkish flags from the “Dr Fazil Kucuk” school and “attacked the national values of the Turks”.
Commenting to the paper, the “former foreign minister” Tahsin Ertugruloglu stated that these actions must not stay unanswered, adding that they should bring the issue in front of the United Nations and ask from the UN to meet their demands. “That is when is found out who are the Greek Cypriots who made this we can demand that they could be handled to us”, he said, adding that this should be a demand by the Turkish Cypriot leader Musatfa Akinci.
Ertugruloglu went on adding that during the time he was in “power” there were controls regarding the conducting or religious services. As he said, “permission for conducting religious ceremonies should not be approved right away”. It was Akinci who was against this”, Ertugruloglu claimed.
Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (11.09.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-president-german-chancellor-talk-over-phone/1579246) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on Wednesday to German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the phone, according to Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate.
Erdogan and Merkel discussed migration, developments in Syria, Libya and bilateral relations, the Directorate said in a statement.
Turkey has been pressing the EU -- of which Germany is a powerhouse member -- to fulfil its obligations to do more to help in the migrant and refugee crisis. (…)
According to Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (11.09.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2019/09/11/turkey-us-military-teams-visit-syria-safe-zone-joint-op-center), Turkish and U.S. military delegations Wednesday visited the joint operations centre in the Akçakale district of southeastern Turkey's Şanlıurfa as part of an ongoing effort to establish a safe zone in northern Syria.
They also inspected the Syrian border, after holding a meeting with the General Staff the previous day.
The U.S. delegation, headed by Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) Lt. Gen. Stephen M. Twitty and Deputy Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Lt. Gen. Thomas W. Bergeson, visited the center which began operations on Aug. 12.
U.S.-Turkey cooperation has recently intensified after the two countries agreed on establishing the safe zone on Aug. 7.
Meanwhile, according to Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Safak (12.09.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-us-continue-safe-zone-patrols-in-nsyria-3500458), the Turkish and U.S. armed forces on Thursday started their fourth joint helicopter flight for a planned safe zone east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.
Two Turkish helicopters and two U.S. choppers took off from Akcakale in Sanliurfa, southeastern Turkey, where the two countries’ armed forces have a joint operations centre. They flew to the Syrian side of the border. The countries’ armed forces had previously done three joint helicopter flights and a land patrol. (…)
According to Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet Daily News (11.09.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-president-tells-mayors-to-leave-politics-aside-146497ANKARA), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said on Sept. 11 at a meeting with 29 municipal mayors that mayors in all provinces of Turkey should leave their political views aside and serve all equally in office, stressing the “picture of unity” at a time when it is “needed most” was remarkable. “I am pleased to be with mayors who keep a distance from terrorism, terror groups, and lawlessness,” he added.
“Of course, we may have different political views and positions, but I believe that we can demonstrate the virtue of acting in solidarity when it comes to the national interests of our country and our nation,” said Erdoğan.
“I hope that our meeting will be the first step towards democratic reconciliation. The duty of the mayors is not to pursue the convictions, but to work to bring the most beautiful, lasting and efficient services to their cities,” he stated.
Mayors from both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) were invited to the event.
The mayors of the eastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van, all from the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), were dismissed last month, being replaced by state-appointed trustees. The HDP is a party accused by the government of having links to the PKK, which Turkey, the US and the EU list as a terror group.
Recalling the March 31 local elections, Erdoğan said, “It is undoubtedly a victory of our democracy that we have successfully concluded such a big election in which 73,562 people were elected in total. Our answer to the criticisms to Turkey is this wide picture of democracy and freedom in which almost every citizen in our country is somehow involved.”
The understanding which leaves the competition in the election process and surrendered to the will of the nation is the biggest guarantee of Turkey’s future, he noted.
“I believe that you will serve as mayor of everyone in your city whether or not they voted for you,” he said. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (12.09.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/eu-affairs/2019/09/12/turkey-eu-political-dialogue-to-be-held-in-brussels), Turkey and the EU will hold a political dialogue meeting in Brussels on Friday, according to a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday.
The statement said the Turkish delegation will be headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for EU Affairs Ambassador Faruk Kaymakçı, while the EU delegation will be headed by the Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service Jean-Christophe Belliard and the Director General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission Christian Danielsson.
"Developments in the Turkish accession negotiations process, financial cooperation including pre-accession funds, the visa liberalization process, update of the customs union, as well as significant areas of Turkey's cooperation with the EU, such as counterterrorism, migration, security and defence are envisaged to be discussed," it added. (…)
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION