Under the title “Only if intentions are clear…” Turkish Cypriot newspaper KıbrısPostası (06.10.19) reports that, in an exclusive interview with the paper’s director Rasih Resat, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has “warned” President Anastasiades saying that “we have the responsibility to tell the realities like they are” and “we should leave the perception operations aside”. He also alleged, inter alia, the following:
“The issue is a process focused on the result, which requires political will and determination. It is wrong to say that Akinci wants this because Turkey wants it and therefore there is no agreement. […] We want to understand the agreements of the past clearly and continue our way. A declaration accepting this is needed. The Secretary-General wants to know this. […]
Representation in all organs and effective participation in the decisions is a precondition. Now there are some who try to caricature this. […] If there is will, reaching an agreement on the terms of reference is possible. Rotating presidency and effective participation in the decisions are the elements which complete the content of political equality. […]
Does the Greek Cypriot leader have will? His actions and behaviours will show this. I do not want to say that he has no will today and put an end. Today is not the day for this. […]
Whenever Anastasiades opens his mouth, he says that he does not want to engage in a blame game, but on the second day he comes out and accuses us. […]
It is useful for the Greek Cypriot side to clarify. I wish for the Greek Cypriot side to come quickly to this point. […] Guterres wants to help, but if he does not see this in both sides, he will not be able to proceed. We should help his effort by remaining faithful to the agreements of the past. […] If we, here in Cyprus, and mainly as leaders, give the impression of two sides which are continuously quarrelling on a wrong basis, Guterres will think again on the issue of whether he will step in. […]
[On the natural gas tension] It would be very good if we were able to cover a distance on these issues before the solution, but it is understood that this will not be possible. […]”
Akinci said that UNSG’s Special Envoy for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute might visit the island within the next few days, but this was not definite. He noted that Lute would meet with the guarantor powers as well, adding that as far as he could see the UNSG wanted a three-party meeting to be held first and see whether the two leaders were able to agree.
Under the title “Only if intentions are clear…” Turkish Cypriot newspaper Bayrak (07.10.19, https://www.brtk.net/bm-3lu-gorusme-yeri-ve-zamaniyla-ilgili-temas-kurmadi/) broadcast that the self-styled president’s office has said that the United Nations established no contact with the leaders in Cyprus as regards the place and time of a three-party meeting on the Cyprus problem.
Replying to illegal TAK news agency’s question on information published in the Greek Cypriot Press saying that UNSG Antonio Guterres had sent a note to President Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader on Friday night inviting them to Paris next month, the “presidency” argued that the UNSG made no date and time evaluation regarding the meeting.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kıbrıs (07.10.19) reports that the so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar stated that “no one can usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots”. He made this statement replying to the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who said that Turkey violates Cyprus’ rights.
Tatar stated that Turkey supports the rights of the Turkish Cypriot “people” and also supports its own rights in Eastern Mediterranean. He further claimed that the drilling that Turkey will conduct with Yavuz ship in the area Güzelyurt-1 (Morfou-1) is completely within its own continental shelf and said that the statement of the Greek Minister is within the mentality that “a clever, brazen scoundrel can make others believe that he is completely innocent and that the person he has wronged is guilty”.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Vatan (06.10.19) reports that self-styled minister of foreign affairs Kudret Ozersay reacted harshly to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ statement that “the illegal attempt of Turkey to drill in the Cyprus EEZ is part of its tactics to create a fait accompli”.
Ozersay argued: “If the Greek Prime Minister is looking for a fait accompli, let him look in the right place, let him look at the activities of the Greek Cypriot leadership” and further alleged: “The initiation by the Greek Cypriot side to license areas within Turkey’s continental shelf, even the attempt to declare parcels that coincide with the Turkish continental shelf, is a violation of international law. In this respect, ignoring these illegal attempts by the Greek Cypriot side, even Turkey’s excavation activities within its continental shelf boundaries, cannot be a natural thing. (…) Why does not Greece utter a word when the Greek Cypriot side usurp our rights, the rights of the Turkish Cypriots by granting illegal licenses to ENI and TOTAL companies? (…) We, as TRNC, stand by Turkey regarding the drilling activities, which will be held within the limits of its continental shelf, west of Cyprus island”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen (07.10.19) reports that during the 27th ordinary council of the Republican Turkish party (CTP) which took place yesterday, the 75 members of the party’s general committee re-elected Tufan Erhurman to the leadership of CTP. Erhurman was the sole candidate for the position.
“CTP demand the launching of a procedure which will lead to a solution the soonest possible. Political equality is essential. The aim is to reacha comprehensive solution on the basis of federation which is the formula on the table. […] Two separate states under EU is not a realistic option.[…] The relation with Turkey must be put on the right basis and this is for the Turkish Cypriot people to have an economy and a democracy that will allow them to stand on their own feed. […]”,Erhurman declared in the council.
In addition, Havadis (07.10.19) reports on the issue noting Erhurman’s statement about political equality. According to the paper, Erhurman said that political equality is not only a right of the Turkish Cypriots but a precondition for the federation structure as well for the solution to be functional.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (06.10.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has stated that he would not participate in a festival, which was organized yesterday by occupied Komi Kepir “municipality”, clarifying the following: “I cannot accept in an invitation by those who actively took part in the attempt of lynching against a newspaper because of what it had written and then directed their employees to place a black wreath at the presidency. This is my personal choice, but it is out of the question for me as president to make a call on anyone for boycotting. […]”
Akinci made this statement after sharing, by mistake as he said, a post by Ulker Fahri, a friend of Afrika, calling on boycotting of the occupied Komi Kepir festival.
Afrika (07.10.19) reports today that self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar and so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay participated in the festival offering support to the fascist action of occupied Komi Kepir “municipality”. In his statements Tatar recalled that Akinci had said that he shared the above-mentioned post by mistake and argued that Akinci should not push buttons which he did not know what they were. He described occupied Komi Kepir’s “mayor”, Ahmet Sennaroglu as “our own man” and added that they would always be by the side of the inhabitants of the area.
Addressing the festival, Ozersay referred to the events [the attack against Afrika] that took place in January 2018 and claimed: “I also did not approve and will never approve resorting to violence, and behaviours which remind of culture of lynching. However, it is not correct to target the festival because of the events and attempt to punish the people of the area. […] We must be tolerant. We must take lessons from the past and look at the future”.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, he alleged: “We left 50 years behind in the Cyprus problem and reached a crucial stage of taking decisions. Balances are being reshaped because of the natural gas. Very quick and sensitive developments are taking place by our side, in Syria. Social unity is needed in this environment, of course. Therefore, we should look with tolerance towards the future and not at the past”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Haberatör (07.10.19) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Communal Liberation Party – New Forces (TKP-YG), has said that his party accepted no other solution in the Cyprus problem except for federation and added that they should exert efforts in the direction of reaching an agreement with the Greek Cypriots. In statements to a Diyalog TV, Cakici alleged that the Greek Cypriot leadership took no steps that would lead the process forward and argued that big tensions were ahead of us when the natural gas reached the stage of extraction and of the sharing of money. Cakici said that the “government” in the occupied area of the island issued statements which include threats sometimes and argued that the Turkish Cypriot side should not leave the table and should push for talks.
Referring to the forthcoming “presidential elections”, Cakici said that the TKP-YG would hold its congresses in November and its general congress in January to take its decisions.
Turkish Cypriot Yeni Bakış (07.10.19) reports that 37-year-old Senem Sarafat Tulga died after she was infected with the Western Nile virus.
According to the paper, Tulga was hospitalized for a month and a half in the “state” Dr Burhan Nalbantoglu hospital.
Turkish daily Sabah (06.10.19)-https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2019/10/07/drillship-yavuz-arrives-in-guzelyurt-to-resume-hydrocarbon-exploration) reported that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an address at the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) meeting in Ankara, referred, inter alia, to the oil and gas exploration activities by Turkish vessels.
“A second drilling vessel, the Fatih, continues its operations in the region, the MTA Oruç Reis and the Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa seismic research ships conducted seismic surveys in the Black Sea and Marmara Sea in the past. "We now have two seismic research ships and two drilling vessels. There could be a third drilling ship that we can add to that, so we won't have any trouble to rent it from elsewhere," Erdogan said.
Erdogan also noted that the Fatih vessel has drilled below 4,000 meters, while MTA Oruç Reis has completed 30% of its seismic survey off the coast of Antalya in southern Turkey.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (07.10.19-https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkish-ship-to-begin-drilling-south-of-cyprus-by-tuesday-minister-3502356) reports that Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resource Minister Fatih Donmez, delivering a speech at the 10th Turkey’s Energy Summit, said that the Yavuz drillship has reached the “Guzelyurt 1-location” and will begin drilling either today or tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-drilling-ship-to-start-activity-in-a-couple-of-days-minister-147217) reports that Donmez said that the Fatih drilling vessel, on the other hand, continues its drilling activities.
“[Fatih’s] drilling at Finike region continues at 4,300 meters. We will deepen it more to 500-600 meters,” Donmez said.
“Ahead of its second mission, Yavuz carried out its operations at the Karpaz-1 well, located in the Bay of Gazimagusa, [Translator’s note: occupied Famagusta]”.
Touching upon claims that Turkey’s activities were a flagrant violation of international law, Donmez said that Turkey’s legitimacy and just stance was documented with the UN.
“We shall not allow energy piracy in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is not a country that can be excluded or pushed aside in this region. We shall continue to pursue our rights stemming from international law,” he said.
Dönmez said that Turkey would continue to maintain a key role in the region’s energy markets.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.10.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkish-us-presidents-to-meet-in-washington-in-november/1604149) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday agreed to meet his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in a visit to Washington this November.
In a telephone conversation, Erdogan and Trump exchanged views on bilateral issues as well as the planned safe zone east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, according to a statement from Turkey's Directorate of Communications.
Erdogan stressed that forming a safe zone is essential for eliminating the PKK-YPG terror threat and the safe return of Syrian refugees to their country.
Turkish officials have previously said that some 2-3 million Syrians who fled the war could be resettled in such a safe zone.
Turkey is determined to continue the fight against the terrorist group Daesh terror in Syria and take all necessary measures to prevent the recurrence of such problems in the region, said Erdogan.
Erdogan also expressed unease over U.S. military and security officials failing to meet the requirements of the safe zone agreement between the two countries.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-troops-retreat-from-n-syria-has-begun-erdogan-147193) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Oct. 7 confirmed that the U.S. troops started withdrawing from positions in northern Syria and pledged to secure the border.
"After our conversation yesterday [on Oct. 6] evening, as Mr. President [Donald Trump] stated, the retreat has begun," Erdogan told reporters at Ankara's Esenboga International Airport before his departure for a two-day visit to Serbia.
Erdogan on Oct. 5 said that Turkey is ready for an operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to clear the region of terrorists. "We have completed our preparations and action plan, the necessary instructions were given," he had said.
"It is maybe today or tomorrow the time to clear the way for [our] peace efforts which is set and the process for them was started. We will carry out a ground and air operation,” Erdoğan said. "Our aim is, I underline it, to shower east of the Euphrates with peace," he added.
“Turkey rid an area of 4,000 square kilometers (1,544 square miles) in Syria of terrorist groups in two separate cross-border operations,” Erdogan said.
Ankara Antolia news agency (07.10.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-is-determined-to-clear-region-from-terrorists/1604294) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that Turkey is determined to ensure the country's security by clearing the region from the terrorists.
"Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, we have supported the territorial integrity of this country, and we will continue to support it. We are determined to ensure the survival and security of our country by clearing the region from terrorists," Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
“Turkey will contribute to peace and stability in Syria”, he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-summons-us-diplomat-after-embassy-likes-tweet-about-mhp-leaders-health-147186) reported that Turkey has summoned a U.S. diplomat to its Foreign Ministry after the U.S. Embassy’s Twitter account “liked” a tweet speculating the health of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli, who has recently fallen ill.
The tweet said Turkey should be ready for a political realm without Bahceli, the 71-year-old ally of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The tweet was posted by journalist Ergun Babahan, a FETÖ suspect who fled Turkey following the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Babahan’s tweet said the “people of Turkey should start getting used to politics without MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli.”
The Embassy posted an apology on Twitter late on Oct. 6. “Earlier today our Embassy Twitter account ‘liked’ an unrelated post in error. We regret the mistake and apologize for any confusion,” it said. The “like” was also removed from the embassy’s page.
However, Ankara has reacted harshly. The Foreign Ministry summoned the charge d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and asked for clarification.
“Freudian slip? The US Embassy has no business meddling in Turkey’s domestic affairs. @StateDept must investigate this incident and discipline those responsible. US Embassy ‘likes’ post by FETÖ-linked figure claiming Bahçeli’s ‘end is near’,” Fahrettin Altun, the communications director of the Presidency, posted on his Twitter account.
The MHP is the ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP. The two parties entered the parliamentary and presidential elections in an alliance last year, which allowed them to attain a majority in parliament together.
The AKP also, in a separate statement said on Twitter that the user who had posted the message was wanted for links to FETÖ.
Ömer Çelik, Spokesman for the AKP, said that the U.S. State Department and Embassy needed to investigate the issue and an apology would not suffice. “It shows that some people employed in the Embassy are making a special effort to damage the relations between the two countries,” Celik said on Twitter.
“The United States Embassy needs to try to understand Turkey not through people linked with terrorist organizations but through people who can conduct proper analysis,” he said.
“Our Deputy Minister met with the U.S. charge d’affaires. They told that it was a mistake and that they had corrected it later. After we showed the necessary reactions, we told them that they should correct them more clearly,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters.
Meanwhile, Semih Yalçın, Deputy head of the MHP, said on Twitter late on Oct. 6 that Bahçeli has recovered from his illness and would return to work in the coming week. He accused the U.S. administration of supporting members of FETÖ.
The relations between the NATO allies have been under pressure in recent years over a range of issues, including Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, differences in policy in Syria and the detention of local U.S. consulate employees and citizens in Turkey.
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