Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (25.09.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met yesterday in New York with Miroslav Lejcak, the Foreign Minister of Slovakia, which is currently holding the presidency of the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The meeting was held in Slovakia’s Permanent Representation Office at the United Nations.
The efforts exerted by the UNSG’s Adviser for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute were reportedly discussed during the meeting. According to the paper, Akinci referred to the tension created in the Eastern Mediterranean by what he called as “unilateral works of the Greek Cypriot side” on the hydrocarbons. He also brought onto the agenda the proposal he had submitted to President Anastasiades as regards the establishment of a joint committee for dealing with the hydrocarbons.
Akinci’s special representative and spokesman Erhan Ercin and Baris Burcu respectively attended the meeting on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side. Alexander Micovcin, General Director of the European Affairs Office of the Slovakian Foreign Ministry, and Robert Chatrnuch, Permanent Representative of Slovakia at the UN, also participated in the meeting.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (25.09.19) reports that the chairman of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman, speaking the other day during a visit he paid in occupied Lefka, stated that the formula on the Cyprus problem which is included into the program of the “coalition government” between the National Unity Party-People’s Party (UBP-HP) and which envisages a two state solution under the umbrella of the EU, is not realistic.
Stating that from the day of its formation, the so-called government had left behind federation and supports that new solution models should come into the agenda, Erhurman added that the “coalition government” put in place the formula of a two-state solution, it calls federation as ‘adventure’ and it considers a two state solution as realistic. “We have asked from the first day and we will ask again: How do you expect from Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades to make a turn back and accept a two state solution under the umbrella of the EU, taking into consideration that he even does not accept basic parameters and expresses for years now worries stating that ‘I cannot explain to my people political equality? Both Turkey and the TRNC always say the following: whatever would be the solution to be found, it would be under the umbrella of the UN and through the negotiation path. Since this is the situation, how will Mr Anastasiades accept a two state solution under the umbrella of the EU by negotiating under the umbrella of the UN? Is in this way that Anastasiades who rejects political equality that would have to persuade first the Five Permanent Members of the UN’s Security Council and then the 28 member countries of the EU? […] Do you consider this realistic? And if federation is an adventure, this would not be an adventure?”, Erhurman wondered.
Criticizing further the so-called coalition government for not touching at all on the property issue which is one of the most important issues of the Cyprus problem, Erhurman said that they only criticize federation without making proposals for example how the territory issue would be solved with the formula of a two state solution.
Erhurman went on reiterating that the CTP considers the federation solution as the only realistic one and alleged that his party would continue explaining to the “people” a road map on the Cyprus problem which is composed of three parts: 1) to work for achieving a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of federation which is on the table, 2) to form an economic model which would be able to stand on its own feet and 3) to follow a proactive stance and implement Confidence Building Measures which would step by step help the “country” to come closer to a solution.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (25.09.19) continues to publish documents from Mustafa Hasim Altan’s book under the title “The History of Turkish Cypriot Foundations with Documents”, which had been printed by the “Cyprus EVKAF Administration Publications” in 1986 and proves, according to the paper, that Abdullah Paşa Foundation, which is presented by EVKAF religious foundation as the owner of the fenced-off city of Varosha, had been compensated and closed down in 1935.
According to these documents, on 3 June 1975, EVKAF’s former director, Ahmet Sami sent a letter to Osman Orek, the then so-called vice president and defense minister of the “Turkish Cypriot Federated State”, in which he noted that Abdullah Paşa foundation, which had a trustee then, had closed down in 1935 with the payment of 18,467 liras 16 shillings and 8 kurus (pennies) as compensation to Mehmet Rahmi from Istanbul.
According to another document included in the book, Orek asked Sami whether the compensation was paid “legally” or was “upon an agreement”. After this, EVKAF’s deputy director, Turgut Suleyman replied to Orek that the payment had been made upon an agreement. The book includes also a letter replying to the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia on 20 February 1969, writes the paper. The reply, signed by Ahmet Sami, repeats the same information, according to which the above-mentioned foundation had closed down with the payment of the said amount of money as compensation to Mehmet Rahmi. The book includes also a list of the names of 158 persons to whom the money had been distributed and the amount given to each one of them.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (25.09.19) reports that a special committee that was formed by the so-called parliament will announced tomorrow its decision as regards the lifting or not of the immunity of the former “prime minister” and former leader of the National Unity Party Huseyin Ozgurgun.
Ozgurgun, who is investigated for corruption allegations, is still a “deputy” with UBP.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.09.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/74th-un-general-assembly-2019/peace-corridor-to-solve-syria-migrant-crisis-erdogan/1592883) reports that in his address to the UN Assembly in New York Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan referred to Cyprus and stated that “despite negotiations of more than 50 years, the Cyprus issue has not been resolved due to the uncompromising position of the Greek Cypriot side”.
Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side refuses to share the political power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriots, Erdogan claimed that “those who claim to solve the problem under the condition of zero security, zero guarantee have ill-intentions."
“As the international treaty-based guarantor, Turkey will continue its efforts until a solution that guarantees the security and rights of the Turkish Cypriot people is found”, he said.
"We believe that the energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean constitute an important opportunity for cooperation if we all adopt a 'win-win' approach," Erdogan said.
He also alleged that some countries in the region are trying to turn "the issue of energy resources into an area of conflict."
"In the Eastern Mediterranean, we will protect the legitimate rights and interests of both Turkish and Turkish Cypriot people till the very end," Erdogan said, and added that Turkey will be open to all proposals based on cooperation and equitable sharing.
Further in his address, Erdogan stated that a peace corridor on Turkey's Syria border will enable the resettlement of 3 million Syrians from Turkey, Europe and other countries if it is extended to the Deir ez zor-Raqqa line. He also said that "efficient functioning" of the Constitutional Committee is "critical for political and territorial unity of Syria".
Erdogan also called on UN members to back Turkey's efforts to ensure security in Syria's Idlib to avoid mass migration and massacres and he added the international community is "losing its ability to find lasting solutions" to challenges such as terrorism, hunger, misery and climate change.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.09.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/74th-un-general-assembly-2019/erdogan-meets-un-chief-leaders-in-new-york/1593369) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Tuesday with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York. The meeting was held at UN headquarters on the margins of the UN General Assembly's 74th session.
In a statement, the UN said Erdogan and Guterres exchanged views on the fight against climate change. "They also discussed situations of mutual concern, including Syria, Libya and Cyprus," said the statement. Erdogan also held a number of talks, including with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, which took place behind closed doors. The Turkish President later met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The closed-door meeting was attended by Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan and Communications Director Fahrettin Altun, among others.
Another political figure Erdogan met was Gabriela Cuevas Barron, president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The meeting was held at UN headquarters and closed to the media. He also met with the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. The meeting between Erdogan and Conte lasted 45 minutes, during which Turkish Environment Minister Murat Kurum, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Akar were present.
Under the title “US embargo in the Mediterranean”, columnist Mustafa Balbay, writing in Turkish daily opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet (25.09.19, http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/koseyazisi/1596595/Akdeniz_de_ABD_ambargosu_.html), argues that the reason for the withdrawal of the Turkish drill ships from the Eastern Mediterranean is due to an embargo imposed by USA, Britain and France to Turkey, in the following commentary:
“Our four drilling and exploration vessels are continuing their activities in the Mediterranean and occasionally are getting supplies at the Mersin port waving our flags… Their names are from important pages of our history… Fatih, Yavuz, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa, Oruc Reis… their undersea activities seem to be very costly. (…) The daily cost of a foreign drilling vessel begins from a million dollars. If the vessel was ours, the daily cost can go down to 300 thousand dollars. (…) Another factor in the high price is the monopoly of the sellers. The main centre is in USA. There are British and French firms operating under it. Turkey maintained its presence in the Mediterranean, initially with foreign vessels. Later, we owned Fatih drilling vessel. And Yavuz followed it. Turkey Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has no trouble maintaining these vessels while they are continuing their activities in the open Mediterranean. As they [the vessels] approach the open sea off Cyprus, the situation has changed.
The changing situation is very serious; USA, Britain and France have begun placing an embargo on Turkey. The chemicals, which are necessary for the drillings and its derivatives of engineering services, have not been given to Turkey, for almost two months now. We will buy them with our money… they say no…
However, the companies, which sell these products, are private. However, they have stopped their sale by abiding the US administration’s decision. British, French and Italian companies followed the US decision. When the decision text was presented to the Turkish officials, Turkey tried to look for alternative. China produces similar products. However, the desired results cannot be obtained in places, which the activities are more critical, such as the Mediterranean sea. For this reason, they are mobilized in order to obtain US and UK based products. They are trying to find temporary solutions from international markets, but this situation prevents us from working.
The companies Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford (USA), and Geo-log (Italian), from where we received the crew, the chemicals, and the equipment for the wells in Finike-1 and Karpaz-1, off Cyprus, have cancelled the agreement and said that they would not provide service, equipment, and materials for these wells and wells around the island. However, the same companies participate in works at Marmara sea. (…)
In 2010, the US officially announced that there are close to 2 billion barrels of oil and 4 trillion cubic meters of natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is officially sleeping. (…) The companies US Exxon, Noble, UK's BG, France's Total, Italy's Eni, South Korea's Kogas, Israel's Delek Drillinig Group have agreed with Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Palesinte, Lebanon, Greece and South Cyprus [as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus]. They all became one, they founded the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum. Turkey, with the longest border in the Mediterranean, is nowhere. Even Syria. Russia will be present in Syria’s EEZ in the near future. Turkey, which is alone after the land and in the sea, is really late. Turkey is trying to say ‘I exist’. They don’t want to let her. At least, after this stage, let us draw a solid strategy of ‘blue homeland’”.
Turkish daily Sabah (25.09.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/09/24/erdogan-rejects-joining-trumps-table-for-lunch-over-presence-of-egypts-sisi) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rejected to join a table where U.S. President Donald Trump was having his lunch upon seeing Egypt's coup leader Abdelfettah el-Sissi accompanying him, sources reported late Tuesday.
Erdoğan was expected to be on the same table with Trump after the United Nations General Assembly, yet due to el-Sissi's presence, he and his delegation reportedly went back and sat for lunch at another table. Trump previously called el-Sissi his "favorite dictator," a remark that shocked the audience due to its brazenness.
Erdoğan also previously urged the U.N. to launch an official investigation into the death of Egypt's first and only democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi.
"They didn't make the slightest intervention as the country's first democratically elected president suffered for more than 20 minutes. They didn't deliver his remains to his family or let him be buried in his hometown per his will," Erdoğan said, blaming Abdel Fattah el-Sissi for Morsi's death. "Sissi is a tyrant, not a democrat," Erdoğan said.
Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (25.09.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/09/25/more-than-26000-people-investigated-for-insulting-turkish-president-in-2018/) reports that a total of 26,115 people were investigated on allegations of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan throughout the year of 2018, indicating a 30 % increase from the previous year, according to the Birgün daily.
A total of 4,480 of these investigations turned into court cases, and 2,462 of the suspects, including 19 under age, have received various punishments.
On Monday a social media user from Turkey’s Van province was given a 12-year prison sentence for insulting Erdoğan.
Canan Kaftancıoğlu, an official from the main opposition party, was also sentenced to one-and-a-half years for allegedly insulting the Turkish President.
Hundreds of people in Turkey, even high school students, face charges of insulting President Erdoğan.
The slightest criticism is considered insult, and there has been a significant rise in the number of cases in which people inform on others claiming that they insulted the President, the government or government officials.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION