According to Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris Postasi (04.10.19, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n298921-pincher-iki-toplumlu-federal-kibrisi-destekliyoruz-akinciyla), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met today with the British Minister for Europe Christopher Pincher in the occupied part of Lefkosia.
According to a press release by Akinci’s office, during the meeting, Akinci briefed Pincher on the constrictive contribution of the Turkish Cypriot side to shape the terms of references and the difficulties that they face.
Referring to the natural gas issue, Akinci informed the British Minister for Europe that the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal to the Greek Cypriot side on the hydrocarbon resources issue in the Eastern Mediterranean continues to be the only way out and provided him with detailed information on the proposal.
British Minister, for his part, said that the United Kingdom, as always, supports a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal Cyprus, which respects the equality of all and recognizes the equality of all. He further said that he agrees with the Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci on the issue that the equality is important and was glad that he had the opportunity to talk with him.
Turkish Cypriot negotiator Erhan Erçin and Akinci’s spokesperson Barış Burcu, as well as other members of the negotiating team were also present during the meeting.
According to illegal Bayrak television (04.10.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tacoy-comments-on-yavuz), so-called minister of economy and energy Hasan Tacoy evaluated the Yavuz drill ship returning to Cyprus’ shores and made a statement regarding the “threats made by the Greek Cypriot side, issuing an arrest warrant”.
Tacoy said that the Yavuz drill ship was off the shores of the Karpaz peninsula and that after carrying out drilling activities on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot “people” had returned to Mersin to refuel and prepare for new activities in the region.
Claiming that the Greek Cypriot side had perceived this as Turkey taking a step back on the issue, Tacoy alleged that this was not the case, and argued the following: “The Greek Cypriot administration, despite all of our warnings, signed an agreement with ENI and TOTAL companies for parcel 7”. Alleging that during that time a meeting had taken place in Ankara calling for cooperation with the Greek Cypriot side but that instead the Greek Cypriot side had chosen to increase tensions, Tacoy claimed that therefore the Turkish Foreign Ministry had announced that the necessary steps would be taken.
Tacoy supported further that Turkey and the “TRNC” had begun taking the necessary steps together and alleged that “Yavuz drill vessel has come to parcel 7 that is within the exclusive economic zone of north Cyprus and Turkey” but reminded that the Greek Cypriots have signed agreements in this area.
“Yavuz drill vessel will carry out the necessary activities in the necessary areas on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people. If we want peace and tranquility on the island, this would not be achieved by ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people on the island. We do not support tensions,” he further claimed.
He further said that instead of taking steps towards reaching an agreement on this issue the Greek Cypriot side is threatening to issue an international arrest warrant for the Yavuz drill vessel. “I’m calling on the Greek Cypriot side from here, this is not a right policy they are pursuing, they will lose” Taçoy claimed.
According to illegal Bayrak television (04.10.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=lefke-meeting), the National Unity Party-Peoples Party “coalition government” have begun carrying out visits to districts throughout the occupied area of Cyprus as part of a campaign to brief the public and exchange views with them on ways of better serving the “country”. Last night they held their first meeting at the occupied village of Lefka.
Self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar, and self-styled deputy prime minister foreign minister Kudret Özersay alongside “cabinet members”, bureaucrats, “Lefke governor” Sadi Güneş and “Lefke mayor” Aziz Kaya were all present during the meeting.
Speaking first Tatar informed citizens regarding the actions the “government” has taken and noted that soon the 2020 budgetary discussions were going to begin therefore they wanted to hear about the problems in the area so that they can take the necessary actions.
On the Cyprus issue, Tatar noted that “the government believed that alternative ideas needed to come into play and informed the public regarding the efforts that are being carried out in the eastern Mediterranean together with Turkey”. He also touched upon the issue of the opening of the “closed city of Maraş” [occupied fenced off Varosha] and the economic protocol signed with Turkey.
Tatar further said it was their main aim to encourage economic growth to take place and for all sectors to further develop.
Özersay, for his part, said that “the UBP-HP coalition government was working in unity and harmony and added that their greatest power as a coalition government came from their shared agreement on their views on foreign policy”.
Touching upon the Cyprus issue Özersay said that “they were putting forward game changing approaches and added that showing that they are ready to discuss options other than a federation and taking steps to open the closed city of Maraş [occupied fenced off Varosha] were part of their game changing moves”.
Referring to the steps taken in coordination with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, Özersay reiterated that they would not allow anyone to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris (04.10.19) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade (KTTO) sent a letter to the President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli and to the leaders of political groups in the EP informing them on the position and the expectations of the Chamber regarding the “direct trade regulation”.
In a written statement, KTTO said that “the direct trade regulation was an important proposal by the EU Commission in 2004 in order to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community and to contribute to the development of the Turkish Cypriot economy”.
In the letter, it was reported that although 15 years have passed, the non-implementation of an efficient instrument where the Turkish Cypriots will be able to conduct optional and direct trade with the EU is unacceptable. It was also stressed that direct trade would help in the direction of limiting the economic gap between the two communities and will help the efforts for solution.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (04.10.19) reports that a delegation of the so-called assembly, consistING of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) “deputy” Armagan Candan and the National Unity Party (UBP) “deputy” Ersan Saner, attended the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) General Council meetings in Strasbourg.
According to the paper, speaking during a session of the council’s meeting where Marija Buric, the newly appointed general secretary of the assembly was also present, Saner referred, inter alia, to the effects of the non-solution of the Cyprus problem to the daily life of the Turkish Cypriots, stressing also the need for the “unfair, inhumane embargoes and isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots” to be lifted.
Describing as “unacceptable” the fact that the Turkish Cypriots live under “embargoes” for the past 50 years, Saner claimed that this constitutes a violation of their human rights. He further claimed that the “political, social and economic isolation affects Turkish Cypriots in all aspects of their daily life” and called for the “lifting” of the so-called embargoes, the soonest possible.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (04.10.19) reports that so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar met yesterday with the chairman of the “administration board of the Eko Eurasia Association” Hikmet Eren and his accompanying delegation.
Eren and his delegation are illegally visiting the occupation regime in order to attend a meeting organized by the Four Vision development, entitled: “TRNC-Ukraine meeting of real estate consultants”.
Speaking during the meeting, Eren alleged, inter alia, that they have undertook initiative in order to look for investment potentials not only in Turkey but also in other Turkic Republics including the “TRNC”. He further argued that it is in this framework that businesspeople from the “TRNC” will come together with the businesspeople from Ukraine. He further explained that Ukrainian businesspeople would search for investment opportunities in the “TRNC”.
In his turn, Tatar claimed that the “TRNC” wishes to improve its “cultural, economic, and political ties” with several countries, alleging that it is “an open countries for investments”.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (04.10.19) reports that Eren and his accompanying delegation met further with so-called minister of tourism and environment, Unal Ustel.
Speaking during the meeting, Ustel expressed pleasure over the organization of such an event in the “TRNC”, supporting that this would contribute to the development of ties between the two “countries”.
Stating that Ukraine is a strategic partner of their “motherland Turkey”, Ustel argued that Turkey’s strategic partners are also their strategic partners. “We attach importance not only to the developments of our trade ties with Ukraine but also tourism potentials”, Ustel alleged. He further added that the occupation regime would be attending the Ukraine Tourism Fair that will take place in March 2020.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (04.10.19) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) 27th ordinary general congress will take place on Sunday at the Ataturk Sport Centre in occupied Lefkosia. According to a written statement issued by the CTP, within the framework of the congress, the 75 person’s central committee of the party and the higher disciplinary council will be determined.
According to illegal Bayrak television (04.10.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cost-of-living-4), the cost of living for September in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus has been announced as 1.88%.
According to a press release by the “TRNC Statistics Council”, the cost of study groups, private schools and tutoring has gone up. Out of the 12 main groups from the consumers price index 7 of these have experienced a price hike while 5 groups have dropped in price. (…)
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (04.10.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkish-drill-ship-to-start-offshore-operations-south-of-cyprus-monday-3502174), Turkish drill ship Yavuz will start a new round of offshore drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean, south off Cyprus, on October 7, a Turkish diplomat said on Friday.
Çağatay Erciyes, head of the Foreign Ministry's Department, claiming that the area where Yavuz would launch drilling operations was within Turkey's continental shelf, wrote on his Twitter account: “Yavuz will launch a new round of offshore drilling operations on 7 October 2019. The drilling area lies within the Turkish CS registered with the UN and in the permit licenses that Turkey’s Government granted to TP, which were published in the Turkish Official Gazette in 2012”. He also posted: “Turkey doesn’t recognize the CS/EEZ maritime boundary claim of the GCs despite their efforts to portray this claim as EU waters or boundaries which is a blatant violation of international law. GCs unilateral actions since 2003 violate Turkey’s & TC’s rights”.
Under the title “Safe zone is a matter of life or death”, Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (04.10.19, https://www.sabah.com.tr/gundem/2019/10/04/guvenli-bolge-hayat-memat-meselesi) publishes an interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in the paper commenting on the latest developments in Syria, the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and the operation to the East of the Euphrates.
Referring to the natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean, Cavusoglu said: “We do not discuss the activities we carry out in our continental shelf. We do not discuss issues concerning our national sovereignty. The demands of the Turkish Cypriot people and the Turkish people regarding the hydrocarbon wealth around Cyprus are extremely clear and fair. We said that we have to share this. The continuation of unilateral activities without sharing or agreeing is not right. We sent before a seismic research vessel. When the drilling ships went there, they were saying ‘they are coming, wandering and turning back’, the balance changed. In the coming period, it [balance] will change more.”
Under the title “Turkish drillship Yavuz on second duty in Mediterranean”, Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (03.10.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkish-drillship-yavuz-on-second-duty-in-mediterranean/1601424) reports that the Yavuz drilling vessel is en route to the “Guzelyurt-1” [editor’s note: plot 7 of Cyprus’ EEZ) well in the Mediterranean Sea to continue oil and gas exploration activities, according to Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez on Thursday.
"Our Yavuz drilling vessel is in a new expedition," Donmez wrote on his Twitter account.
"Yavuz is moving towards the Guzelyurt-1 well where it will drill. We will not stop to make our underground resources available to our nation," he added.
According to an issued Navtex or navigational telex, the Yavuz drilling vessel will continue to work in the Mediterranean until January 2020. (…)
Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (04.10.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/10/04/turkey-determined-to-end-syria-safe-zone-work-with-us-if-it-stalls), under the title “Turkey determined to end Syria 'safe zone' work with US if it stalls”, reports that Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar told his U.S. counterpart Mark Esper by phone on Thursday that Ankara was determined to end its work with the United States on establishing a "safe zone" in northeast Syria if Washington stalled on the issue.
Akar told U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper that Turkey sought the establishment of a "safe zone" some 30 km (19 miles) east of the Euphrates river and called on the United States to completely halt support for the People's Protection Units (YPG), the PKK terrorist group's affiliate in Syria, according to a statement by the National Defence Ministry.
Akar stressed during the phone call that Ankara not only wants to secure Turkey and its nation but also wants the security and protection of other religious and ethnic groups living in the region, namely the Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, Christians and Yazidis. (…)
According to Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet Daily News (03.10.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-greek-ministers-discuss-migration-crisis-147118), Turkey's Interior Minister on Oct. 3 hosted Greek Migration Minister to discuss the migration crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey's Süleyman Soylu and Greece's Giorgos Koumoutsakos -- alternate Minister for Migration Policy -- discussed the migration policies between the two countries. (…)
Following his talks with Soylu, Koumoutsakos met Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran at the Turkish Foreign Ministry building.
Koumoutsakos and Kıran discussed the Turkey-EU refugee deal and its importance on combating irregular migration.
Noting that Turkey fulfils its obligations under the deal, Kıran said Turkey expects the EU to perform its own responsibilities. Kıran also stressed the importance of the EU doing its part on the issues of visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, opening new negotiating chapters with Turkey and providing finance to accelerate the process. (…)
Meanwhile, HDN (04.10.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-hosts-maximum-number-of-refugees-minister-147130) reports that Turkey hosts a maximum number of refugees and is currently home to five million displaced people, including 3.6 million Syrians, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Oct. 3.
Soylu held a meeting with his German counterpart Horst Seehofer, French counterpart Christophe Castaner and EU commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, in Ankara.
Stressing that the Syrian refugee issue is a “big tragedy”, Soylu said the migration has been increasing in the region. He added that Turkey was significantly affected by the migration, reminding the European countries that his country was hosting over five million refugees. (…)
According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (03.10.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/10/03/turkish-polling-guru-says-akps-core-voter-base-at-low-point/), Bekir Ağırdır, the general manager of KONDA, one of Turkey’s leading polling companies, said the core voter base of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has gone below 30% for the first time in its history, the T24 news website reported on Tuesday.
Speaking to T24, Ağırdır said the AKP’s influence has been weakening while its nationalist ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), has been enjoying an increase.
Ağırdır addressed a recent proposition by AKP officials to work on an amendment reducing the 50% threshold for presidential elections to 40%. “Under no circumstances will they be able to sell a 40 to 45% threshold plan to the Turkish public,” he told T24. (…)
According to a study published on Tuesday by the İstanbul-based Centre for Research on Social Influences (TEAM), AKP voters’ commitment to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been in sharp decline, the Euronews Turkish service reported.
TEAM’s study also said the AKP-MHP alliance has been polling below 50%, implying an uncertainty regarding Erdoğan’s re-election chances under a 50 percent system.
The study also noted an apparent hesitancy among voters about former AKP founders like Ahmet Davutoğlu and Ali Babacan who recently parted ways with the party to establish new ones.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(DPs / EH)