Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis(20.09.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has sent a message to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, recommending caution during their forthcoming contacts in New York. In statements yesterday in Ankara after meeting with Mustafa Sentop, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Tatar alleged that what he called “imperialist powers” have been exerting pressure for the commencement of the Cyprus negotiations. Referring to the contacts to be held in New York, he alleged:
“We should not be deceived by the tricks of the Greek Cypriots and of some imperialist powers. It is out of the question for us to enter into a dangerous adventure or game. We should be careful in New York. As [Turkish Foreign Minister] Mr Cavusoglu has said, if a negotiating process will begin, its conditions must become definite. We must not be dragged into an agreement process which will not protect the rights, benefits and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people. The wish of the Turkish Cypriot people is to continue this struggle together with Turkey. […]”
Referring to his meeting with Sentop, Tatar said that they had evaluated the recent developments in the Cyprus problem and pointed to the recent decisions and messages of his “government”, Turkey’s so-called support to the drilling activities and explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the so-called “Varosha opening”. He also reiterated the Turkish position that “the guarantees should continue at every stage” with or without an agreement in Cyprus.
In his statements, Sentop argued that Cyprus was their “national cause” and recalled that the parties represented in the TGNA had issued a joint statement regarding Cyprus and the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. Alleging that Turkey exerted every effort to find a sustainable and just solution in Cyprus, Sentop claimed that an approach which accepted the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots and guaranteed their security should be taken as basis for the solution. He alleged that the mentality of the Greek Cypriots was that the economic possibilities of the island belong to them.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis(20.09.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that the “direct flights” were the biggest hope of the “TRNC” and expressed the view that if they achieved this they would “go beyond the borders”.
In statements yesterday during a meeting with representatives of the Press in Ankara, Tatar said that 5-6 million persons from Turkey had visited the occupied area of Cyprus until today. He then argued: “75 million have not come. Every Turk must come to the TRNC. […] We are expecting our people from Turkey to come to the TRNC both for tourism and for investments”.
Referring to the issue of transferring electricity from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus with cables, Tatar said that this project would add value to their economic and political relations with Turkey and to quality, cheap and clean energy.
Responding to a question on occupied fenced-off Varosha, Tatar reiterated the allegation that their approach “went beyond the ordinary”. Noting that Varosha was a whole with occupied Famagusta, Tatar said that the moment they lifted the barred wires, some hotels at the beach could open and they would give strength to their [the regime’s] economy. He claimed: “I do not think that the work will last for long. Big capital groups are consulting with us, some evaluations are being carried out from now. It is a reality that Varosha could be self-financed”.
Pointing out that the applications for fenced-off Varosha could be submitted through the “Immovable Property Commission”, Tatar recalled that the “Commission” could decide on the return of property, exchange and compensation. “We think that the Commission will choose the way of the return in Varosha instead of experiencing a problem of resources. If persons have strong claims or are tenants of EVKAF, they can return here. This is our policy. Varosha is a valuable place. It is not at a size which we cannot cope with. We are acting together with Turkey on the Varosha issue”.
Arguing that Cyprus’ wealth and administration should be shared for an equal and just agreement, Tatar alleged that the Greek Cypriots did not accept this and therefore he did not think that an agreement would be achieved in the near future.
Responding to a question on the negotiations, Tatar alleged: “We should not enter into an adventure to which marginal and minority groups will drag us on the Cyprus issue. If Akinci and his friends understand well what will happen to us in such a situation, they will not go that way anyway. […] I am an economist. I know what the Greek Cypriots think. If an agreement is found today, all properties in Cyprus will be transferred to committees. What have we left in the south? What have we found in the north? Will you be able to pay the difference? The day that this happens, the economy of the north will go bankrupt together with its banks. This will be the end of the Turkish Cypriot people and the TRNC. Those who do not understand this, continue this way. […] We are in favor of two states in Cyprus. We will never make concessions from our state, from Turkey’s guarantees”.
Asked to comment on the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tatar claimed that the Greek Cypriots argued that they would give their rights to the Turkish Cypriots after an agreement was reached. “Since an agreement cannot be reached, when are we going to take our share?”, he wondered adding that “we do not trust the Greek Cypriots”. He alleged: “If they make a calculation, we will be in debt. If we are an equal people, we also have rights in the Eastern Mediterranean. We must carry out these works together. We did not see this respect from the Greek Cypriots. Turkey with its determination defends our rights”.
Under the title “It is a political disgrace, not political equality”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika(20.09.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, who arrived yesterday in Ankara for an “official visit”, was received at the airport by Saban Erdogan, Ankara’s Deputy Governor.
“Look at the situation to which those who demand political equality from the Greek Cypriots have fallen before Turkey”, notes the paper, adding that the disrespect shown towards Tatar is a political insult to the entire Turkish Cypriot community.
The paper recalls that the Turkish Cypriot side set political equality with the Greek Cypriot side as indispensable condition for the solution of the Cyprus problem and notes that the way the Turkish Cypriot side is accepted in Ankara is an evident proof that it is “Turkey’s satellite state”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (20.09.19-https://www.brtk.net/oktay-kapali-maras-mallarin-iadesi-saglanarak-kullanima-acilacak/), Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay, delivering a speech at a two day panel entitled “Last Word On Cyprus” which is being organized by the Turkish Bars Association in Turkey, claimed that the Cyprus problem was launched after the efforts exerted by the Greek Cypriots to seize the island, by breaking the partnership structure of the island. “Despite our initiatives, the Greek Cypriot side which continues to see itsself as the single owner of the island, has left the island with no solution under a new federal partnership”, Oktay alleged.
Alleging that at the current stage new ideas are necessary to be put forward, Oktay claimed further that the Greek Cypriots’ mentality of trying to present the Turkish Cypriots as a de facto minority in the island is still there and has not changed. “The most concrete proof of that is the fact that they ignore the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the natural resources”, Oktay further alleged.
Oktay went on to add that a solution on the Cyprus problem ‘should not be based on the political equality but on sovereign equality”. “The concept of sovereign equality needs to be accepted before any new talks can begin. It is necessary to accept all elements not of political equality but of political and sovereign equality. The Greek Cypriot side should honestly say how it realizes a possible solution. And in case that all elements of political equality are become accepted, it should be decided how to move forward. If not, instead of political equality, we will declare the formation of two sovereign states”, he argued.
Oktay made also statements on the drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the fenced off city of Varosha.
On the issue of hydrocarbons, Oktay said that Turkey will not remain passive against the Greek Cypriot side’s attempts to claim the island’s resources for itself,” he alleged.
Touching upon the issue of Varosha, Oktay alleged: “Maras will be opened by returning property in a just manner in light of historical documents”. He further argued that nobody deems proper the minority status of the Turkish Cypriots who are co-owners in the island. “We will never accept this, neither will the Turkish Cypriots”, Oktay added.
Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (20.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=conference-in-ankara-on-cyprus-problem) broadcast that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that “what is essential is not political equality but sovereign equality” in Cyprus and claimed that “we could have a two-state solution under the EU umbrella or a confederation” as a solution to the Cyprus problem.
“No one will be able to break our bonds with motherland Turkey,” argued Tatar during his address at the “Last Word on Cyprus” conference held in Ankara. The two day conference is organized by the President of the Turkish Bars Association Prof. Dr Metin Feyzioglu.
Tatar reiterated the allegation that “various circles supporting a federal solution” were trying to deceive the Turkish Cypriot “people” with the argument that the system of guarantees was outdated. “We shall not allow anyone to break the bonds that exist between the two countries,” he claimed reiterating that “the Turkish Cypriot people should not be tricked or deceived by such games”.
On the issue of the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha, Tatar reiterated the “government’s” determination to reopen the fenced-off city to resettlement.
Regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem, Tatar alleged that a solution in Cyprus should be “on the basis of sovereign equality and not a federation”. “What is essential is not political equality but sovereign equality. We could have a two-state solution under the EU umbrella or a confederation,” he further alleged.
In his address at the conference, self-styled minister of economy and energy Hasan Tacoy referred to developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and alleged that a serious effort was underway to protect what he called “the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people” in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We shall never abandon our rights and we derive our strength from Turkey. Our research vessels and drill ships are strengthening our hand”, he claimed.
A message from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also read out at the conference. The Turkish President also alleged that Turkey was continuing to “protect and defend’ what he called “the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people” in the Eastern Mediterranean. He claimed that Turkey was defending the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean as it was defending its own rights.
“Those who believe that the island’s resources only belong to them will always find a determined Turkey and TRNC stand before them,” he argued.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the conference, Feyzioglu (https://www.brtk.net/feyzioglu-turkiyenin-guvenligi-kibristan-baslar-bu-vazgecilmezdir/) alleged that ‘Turkey’s security starts from Cyprus”. He claimed that “this is an indispensable rule” and that even a proposal for its change could not be submitted. Feyzioglu argued that fundamental changes should be compulsorily made in Turkey’s and “TRNC’s” policy and alleged that the target of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation had ended with the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriots. “The realistic solution in Cyprus is to abandon the effort to unite with the Greek Cypriots and ensure that the TRNC will live in prosperity and security as an independent state”, he alleged.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen (20.09.19) reports that Tufan Erhurman, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), in a televised programme at “BRT” yesterday, said that the statements by Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades ahead of his meeting to New York are worrying.
Asked to comment on the UN General Assembly work in New York regarding the Cyprus issue, Erhurman said that at the latest meetings he had with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci got the impression that a tripartite meeting is not possible. Noting that if there is no last-minute change, UNSG Guterres will meet with both leaders separately, Erhurman claimed that Anastasiades’ statements ahead of his trip to New York are worrying.
Erhurman said that Anastasiades had set preconditions for the resumption of the talks, demanding that Turkey cease its hydrocarbon activities and the “TRNC government” stop the opening of fenced-off Varosha. He further noted: “This is not something that we wanted. The fact that the agreement with ENI and TOTAL came into the agenda increases our concerns even more”.
Erhurman also said that the issue of hydrocarbons could be solved through the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposals while the issue of fenced-off Varosha could be taken up within the framework of UN resolutions.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris (20.09.19) reports that according to the “protocol which was signed in 2017 between Turkey and the TRNC”, the systems of “City safety management and License plate recognition” by ASELSAN [a company of Turkish Armed Forces Foundation], which will be used in the occupied area of Cyprus, will be delivered to the “TRNC” by 2020.
According to the paper, “In the light of the needs of Turkey’s General Directorate of Security to fight terrorism and to safeguard peace and security, it will carry out the installation of the systems of ‘City safety management and license plate recognition’ in all of Turkey’s districts and provinces”, including the occupied area of Cyprus.
According to the “additional protocol” signed with ASELSAN, in 2020, 342 fixed and 94 moving cameras, 235 License Plate Recognition Systems and 22 Laser PTZ cameras will be delivered to the “Cyprus police headquarters” [translator’s editor: it refers to the police headquarters of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus].
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris (20.09.19), under the title “600 million TL comes from Turkey”, reports: “Today (September 20) the first instalment of the money is released, in accordance with the protocol signed between the TRNC and Turkey covering the six-month period until the end of 2019”.
It is also reported that “an amount of 600 million TL from the 750 million TL fund will be transferred to the account of the finance ministry”.
Olgun Amcaoglu, self-styled minister of finance, said that the money from Turkey will come on Monday or Tuesday and they will accelerate the implementation of the projects.
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (19.09.19-http://www.mfa.gov.tr/sc_-56_-sozde-ruhsat-sahasi-hk-sc.en.mfa) publishes in its official website, the following written statement on the Republic of Cyprus signed agreements with International Companies for Off-shore Hydrocarbon Exploration within License Area Number 7:
“The news of the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) [Translator’s note: as the Republic of Cyprus is referred to] signing agreements with French Total and Italian ENI for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration within the so-called license area number 7 of the exclusive economic zone, which this administration unilaterally delimited completely disregarding the Turkish Cypriots who are entitled to their legitimate rights over the entirety of the island, is an indication of GCA’s failure to understand our determination, despite all our warnings.
As repeatedly underlined and shared with the international community, a section of the so-called license area number 7 remains within the Turkish continental shelf, which has been registered with the United Nations.
As has been the case so far, Turkey will in no way allow any foreign country, company or vessel to engage in unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities within its maritime jurisdiction areas, and will continue to take the necessary measures to protect its rights and interests.
We repeat our strong warning that the unilateral acts of GCA, which aim at usurping the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, do not contribute to peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. The proposal of the Turkish Cypriots towards an equitable allocation of natural resources of the Island remains at the table. This recent signature of the agreement, however, unfortunately demonstrates that GCA is persistent in prolonging its irresponsible stance that disregards equal and inaliable rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the natural resources on and around the island.
We once more advise the interested companies against any hydrocarbon activities to be attempted within the Turkish continental shelf, trusting null and void licenses issued by the GCA”.
Turkish NTV station (20.09.19 https://www.ntv.com.tr/turkiye/fuat-oktay-turkiye-kktc-icin-gerektiginde-hicbir-fedakarliktan-kacinmayacaktir,iR4T-eZoDUqJbE59Jgl5_g?_ref=infinite) reports that the Turkish Deputy President Fuat Oktay stated that Turkey will continue to support peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. Noting that Turkey has never abandoned Cyprus, Oktay stated that they would do all the necessary sacrifices for the “TRNC”.
He made these statements speaking during a summit about the development of “TRNC tourism” held in Turkey yesterday.
Oktay said that they attach particular importance to the economic development and self-sufficiency of “northern Cyprus”, adding that a new approach is needed for the development and strengthening of the “TRNC tourism”. He also said that the breakaway regime “has made significant progress in the political, social and economic fields, despite unfair restrictions and embargoes” adding that Turkey continues to support a lasting and just solution in Cyprus based in political equality.
He added that the name of the solution model is not important for Turkey adding that what is important is this solution to include political equality, guarantees and security.
Referring to Easter Mediterranean, he stated that “Turkey gives answers to the one-sided actions of the Greek Cypriot side”.
Turkish daily Milliyet (29.09.19-http://www.milliyet.com.tr/gundem/hulusi-akardan-guvenli-bolge-aciklamasi-oyalama-geciktirme-olursa-6037157) reports that Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, speaking yesterday during an event on the occasion of marking Veteran’s Day, alleged that Turkey has the same determination as it did in 1974 with the aim to protect Turkish Cypriot’s rights.
“As we did so far, we will continue also in the future contributing to peace and stability and the security of the region. We will continue with the same determination defending the rights and interest of our ‘blue homeland’, including Cyprus. Remaining committed to international law, as well as our willingness to respect good neighborhood ties, should not be perceived as concession or weakness. Also, our rhetoric saying that ‘we will not allow any fait accompli and that we will protect our rights and interests’ should not be perceived as a threat”, Akar said, supporting that Turkey’s perspective is crystal clear.
“We say all necessary in a rational way. We are in favour of a viable and comprehensive solution in Cyprus. We consider that peace, prosperity and stability in the island would be realized only in this way. We also follow a principled stance towards the issue of fair distribution of natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. In the same way we protected our Cypriots brothers’ rights in 1974, in the same way we will to it today, with the same determination. As guarantor country and within the framework of international law, we will continue protecting our Turkish of Cyprus brothers’ rights and also our own rights”, Akar further argued.
According to Turkish news agency Demiroren (20.09.19, https://www.dha.com.tr/dunya/cavusoglu-bm-74-genel-kurulu-toplantisi-icin-new-yorkta/haber-1712329), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu flew to New York to attend the 74th UN General Assembly. He will also meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.09.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-us-to-establish-patrol-bases-in-syria-safe-zone-defense-minister-146694) reported that the Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has conveyed Turkey’s intention to establish patrol bases with the United States in northeastern Syria in a bid to efficiently conduct ground patrol missions in the safe zone in the same way the Turkish Armed Forces has done in the fight against the PKK in northern Iraq.
“We will establish patrol bases in the east of the Euphrates [River]. This would be a big achievement if we could set up these bases and the terrorists would be withdrawn from there,” Akar told daily Türkiye in an interview on Sept 19.
“They will be the joint bases of Turkey and the U.S. We want them to be permanent. Their numbers will be decided depending on the need,” Akar said, informing that an agreement on the move with the U.S. was provided.
Akar recalled that Turkey had set up permanent patrol bases in northern Iraq in the fight against the PKK and the ones in northeastern Syria would be similar to those.
“Are we going to stop afterwards? No, we won’t. Our objective is to set up a 30 to 40-kilometer deep safe zone along the borderline,” he said.
The Minister’s remarks came just a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the U.S. that it will have to act alone in northeastern Syria, should talks for the safe zone not be concluded in two weeks.
Akar has also informed about improvement in the control and coordination of the air space over the safe zone and that the process is going on although the U.S. is hesitant.
“What we have done [for the safe zone] is there. They [the U.S.] are doing unwillingly. The process is slow but moving forward. Ground patrolling will continue phase by phase and in way to cover the entire 440 kilometer-long border strip,” Akar said.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Saha (20.09.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/09/19/joint-operations-will-end-if-us-stalls-akar-says) reported that Akar said on Thursday that joint operations between Turkey and the U.S. over the planned safe zone in northern Syria will end if Washington stalls the process.
Akar said the joint operations would continue as long as they align with Turkey's interests and aims."We have completed our preparations. If necessary, we will take the matter to our own hands just as the president [Erdoğan] has said before. Our plan B and C is ready," he said.
Akar once again reiterated that Turkey respected Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"No one should doubt it but we will also not allow any terror corridor to shape up right next to our borders. Our end goal is to remove PKK and YPG elements from northern Syria and establish a peace corridor, enabling our Syrian guests to return their homeland," he said.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.09.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/number-of-syrians-in-turkey-exceed-3-6-million-minister-146711) reports that Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has said that the number of Syrian migrants in Turkey has surpassed 3.6 million, while adding that more than 350,000 people have returned to their war-hit country following Turkey’s cross-border security operations.
“The number of Syrians who reside in our country under the status of temporary protection has exceeded 3.5 million,” Soylu said yesterday, addressing an international security congress at the Gendarmerie and Coast Guard Academy in Ankara.
“Last year, around 268.000 unregistered migrants were caught and the figure has already exceeded 270,000 so far this year”, he added.
“A secure area in Syria is escalating volunteer returns to the country. Turkey is working to sustain peace in the region via dialogue and consultancy with its counterparts in foreign politics,” Soylu said.
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