Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs (26.10.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci replied positively to UNSG Antonio Guterres’ invitation to the two community leaders for a joint meeting. According to a statement issued by Akinci’s spokesperson, Baris Burcu the tripartite meeting, which will be hosted by the UNSG, will be held in Berlin on 25 November.
According to illegal Bayrak television (28.10.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=pm-tatar-on-tripartite-meeting), so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar has expressed the National Unity Party’s (UBP) objections regarding the tripartite meeting scheduled to take place in Berlin, Germany on November 25.
In a written statement on Saturday, Tatar reminded that the UBP assembly had issued a statement on October 14 expressing the view that “Akıncı should not engage in negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side because he no longer represented the political will of the Turkish Cypriot people”.
“We believe that Akıncı is making some moves with the forthcoming elections in mind but whatever he does, the people do not trust him anymore,” Tatar alleged.
He also claimed that “the opposition to Akıncı by the political parties which held the majority of seats in the Turkish Cypriot parliament and Ankara was clear”.
“Under these circumstances, it would be wrong for Akıncı to sit at the table with the Greek Cypriot leader to discuss vital issues regarding sovereignty, security, territory, citizenship, guarantees and governance and power-sharing”, he argued.
Tatar also alleged that there has been no change in the positions of the Greek Cypriot side since the Conference on Cyprus held in Crans Montana 28 months ago.
According to illegal Bayrak television (28.10.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-evaluates-tripartite-meeting), so-called deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kudret Ozersay alleged that there is nothing new or exciting about the tripartite meeting scheduled to take place on November 25.
In a post on social media, Özersay said that the two sides lacked a common vision.
He expressed the view that the sides will try to finalize the terms of reference at the meeting in November. “The Terms of Reference must include past convergences, the 2014 Joint Declaration and the Guterres Framework,” he said.
Özersay, however, added that the two sides interpreted all three differently.
Ozersay went on to claim that the “foreign ministry” also questioned whether or not there was a change in the Greek Cypriot side’s mentality for a settlement. “It’s evident there is no change. I only hope I am mistaken in my analysis that supports an end to the vicious circle in Cyprus,” Ozersay argued.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen (28.10.19) reports that the Republican Turkish Party, in a post on its social media account, announced that the CTP expects from the meeting of Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, which will be held in Berlin on 25 November, to yield lasting results.
CTP’s announcement also read: “In order for the negotiation process to be able to be resumed in a results-oriented and not open-ended approach, we as CTP, underlined that the acceptance of the past convergences by the sides, as well as the acceptance of the Joint Declaration of the 11 February 2014 and the framework of the six-points submitted to the sides on June 30, 2017, by the UNSG, are important to be accepted by both sides. We recall that the acceptance of the political equality in this context, which includes the rotating presidency and the effective participation in decision-making processes are indispensable for both sides and for a secure and permanent federal solution”.
Under the title “We are divided”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Diyalog (28.10.19) reports that while the leftist political parties in the “TRNC” express support to the tripartite meeting, which will be held on November 25, the right-wing political parties express their opposition.
In statements to the paper, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Social Democratic Party (TDP), the Untied Cyprus Party (BKP) and the Communal Liberation Party New Forces (TKP-YG) have welcomed the meeting as a positive development, while the National Unity Party (UBP), the Revival Party (YKP) and the Democratic Party (DP) think that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci should not participate in the tripartite meeting.
The general secretary of CTP Erdogan Sorakin said that they consider the meeting positive, adding that it is time for an agreement on the Terms of reference to be reached.
Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the TDP, reiterated their full support and trust to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, adding that the necessary work for preparing the ground for the five-party meeting will be done. He further said: “I don’t believe it is a coincidence that the tripartite meeting will be held in Berlin. As we all know, Berlin was a divided capital and East Germany and West Germany were reunited 30 years ago. We hope for the divided Nicosia and divided Cyprus to be united. We have not been informed on the details of the terms of reference, but we know clearly Akinci’s stance.”
Izzet Izcan, the general secretary of the BKP, said that the tripartite meeting was an expected development, adding that his party supports the meeting and hopes that it will bring positive results. Reiterating that they support a federal solution and they will support any initiative towards this direction, Izcan said that he does not believe that the choice of the city is coincidental.
Erhan Arikli, leader of the YDP, claimed that Akinci is planning to exploit the tripartite meeting in order to prepare the ground for his re-election. He argued that he believes that they are going to announce at the end of the meeting that progress has been achieved on the terms of references and they will pressure Turkey at a five-party meeting. He further claimed that the greater powers want an Eastern Mediterranean without Turkey and this can only be achieved if there is a Cyprus without Turkey.
Fikri Ataoglu, “deputy” with the DP, said that it is not a coincidence that the tripartite meeting will be held in Berlin, claiming that the Cyprus problem could be solved at Crans Montana if the Greek Cypriots intended to do it. He argued that too many concessions were made in Crans Montana, even a map was presented without the “parliament” being informed. He added that he does not believe that they will reach an agreement even if there is an agreement of the terms of reference. He claimed that Akinci will use the meeting for his re-election.
Ersan Saner, general secretary of UBP, reiterated his party’s opposition to Akinci participating in new talks with the Greek Cypriot side. He argued that “they believe that Akinci should only participate in any talks, only if he wins the support of the people in the forthcoming elections”.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Haberatör (29.10.19) reports that Mehmet Cakici, leader of TKP-YG, in a written statement, said that the tripartite meeting is a positive development towards the solution of the Cyprus problem. He hopes that the meeting yields a decision for the resumption of intense negotiations that will be concluded in a short while. He reiterated his view that a federal solution and peace will be beneficial for all communities in Cyprus. He expresses his views that the negative statements by UBP and HP are due to “pre-election” campaign and reiterates the full support of his party to Akinci.
Under the title “I want to keep my hope”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Havadis (28.10.19) publishes an interview with the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman on the latest developments of the Cyprus problem and the decision of the “supreme court” on fenced-off Varosha.
Erhurman said that the biggest responsibility during the tripartite meeting in Berlin falls on the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, because his determined stance to protect the fundamental aspects of the methods in the relevant UNSG resolutions will be definitive. He added that political equality together with a rotational presidency and effective participation in decision-making processes will be the main issue that will be discussed at the meeting in Berlin, arguing that “if these issues are clarified and an agreement on a results-oriented process that is not open-ended is reached, a very important step towards a solution will be taken”. He explained that he wants to maintain his hopes regarding the tripartite meeting.
Claiming that the positions defended by President Anastasiades were in contradiction and outside of the existing UN parameters, Erhurman argued that this is the reason why they call on Guterres to protect the basis for the talks, the UN’s basis.
Referring to the recent “supreme court ruling” on fenced-off Varosha, Erhurman reiterated CTP’s view that any steps taken regarding the fenced-off town should be in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.
Asked to comment on the relations with Turkey, Erhurman said that they as CTP, have always expressed clearly that the relations should be based on mutual respect, adding that what they need is a self-sufficient, self-governing structure to achieve this.
According to illegal Bayrak television (28.10.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=donmez-speaks-on-hydrocarbon-drilling) Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez has said his country was ready for cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean with all sides.
Speaking on CNN Türk, Dönmez said that Turkey would continue with its activities in the region. “We are not after anyone’s territory. We are conducting exploratory drilling in our own continental shelf in areas licensed by the TRNC and we shall continue to do so,” he said.
Donmez reminded that Turkey has been conducting seismic research in the Eastern Mediterranean for the past five to six years. “We need to drill to see if there is natural gas or not. That is why we have two ships conducting explorations in the areas,” he added.
Dönmez also said that Turkey would continue to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots. He added that initial drilling results were promising.
Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today (26.10.19) reports that the “land and the property” of the Orams couple has been “bought” by the so-called government of the breakaway regime for 160,000 sterling pounds.
The paper, citing trusted information, reports that the abandoned luxury villa which is located in occupied Lapithos village, and was built by David and Linda Orams on a land theΥ “bought” in 2002, ”has been transferred to the finance ministry’s public estates and supplies department”. The residence will be converted for social and charitable use, possibly as an orphanage or a home for elderly people, the paper reports.
In addition, Cyprus Today, writes that the Orams flew to the breakaway regime earlier this year “to sign the necessary paperwork and to be compensated for their investments”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (29.10.19) under the front-page title: “Military base in the heart of tourism”, reports that according to allegations, the Turkish Armed Forces has obtained the necessary «license» for the establishment of a military base in Bogaz area in occupied Trikomo, which is an area used for tourism investments and is located next to the old harbor used in the past for carob trade.
According to the paper, the allegation that a military base would be established in the above-mentioned area has caused panic and disappointment not only to the inhabitans in the area but also to the investment circles in the occupied area of Cyprus.
The allegations say also that in case of the establishment of the military base, the Turkish Armed Forces will wire the whole area and because of this, tourist who would like to visit the area would come across armed military soldiers and barracks.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs (27.10.19) reports that Devlet Bahceli, chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) in Turkey has strongly criticized Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci accusing him of betraying the Turkish Cypriots. Bahceli claimed that with his “filthy and shameful messages”, Akinci had equated the Turkish “Cyprus operation” and “Peace Spring Operation” and “proved that he betrayed the office he is sitting at, the blood of the martyrs and the Turks of Cyprus”. “In the end, the sleeping communist woke up and entered into action simultaneously with the tyrants”, he alleged.
Replying to Bahceli, Akinci’s spokesperson Baris Burcu noted that Akinci was a leader who had come out from within the Turkish Cypriot “people” and put his “people’s” legitimate rights and interests as well as their dignity above everything. Pointing out that Akinci represented his “people” in the best possible manner, Burcu said that Bahceli attacked the Turkish Cypriot leader using a “fascist language and style”. He further argued that Bahceli’s “outdated and contrary to Ataturk’s principles mentality, tries with great many slanders to annihilate everybody who does not obey to his fascist dreams, Pan-Turanist ideal, which he clearly expresses in this statement and his oppressive methods”. He described this mentality as “really thought provoking and serious” especially on the 96th anniversary from the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.
Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (28.10.19) reports that MHP’s vice chairman, Izzet Yonter continued the insults against Akinci. Replying to Burcu’s statement, Yonter claimed that Akinci’s “office” was vacant now and described Burcu as “a dirty spokesperson”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (29.10.19) reports that the preparations for opening a Turkish “consulate” in occupied Famagusta area are continuing. Noting that the “consulate” will open soon, the paper writes that it will be offering services to the Turkish settlers living in the occupied area of Famagusta, Trikomo and Karpasia.
According to a statement issued by the occupied Trikomo “municipality”, newly appointed “consul”, Kasim Kaban has already started his visits to the area and within this framework he met with Hasan Sadikoglu, “mayor” of occupied Trikomo. Sadikoglu has reportedly briefed Kaban on Trikomo and the villages, which fall under to this “municipality”. He said that many “citizens from Turkey” lived in the Trikomo area and expressed his satisfaction with the opening of the “consulate”, which will “help” these people.
Turkish daily Sabah (26.10.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/10/26/turkey-to-clear-ypg-terrorists-from-border-if-russia-fails-to-fulfill-obligations-erdogan) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan highlighted Turkey's determination to clear terrorists from the Syrian border, saying that the Turkish military will complete this goal if Russia fails to fulfill its obligations under Sochi deal, as he warned Europe once again that Turkey may have to open the borders.
"If the specified area in northern Syria is not cleared of terrorists by 150 hours, Turkey will singlehandedly clear it," Erdogan told a meeting of the Fenerbahçe Football Club on Saturday. He was referring to the recent deal signed between Russia and Turkey on Oct. 22, which orders the withdrawal of the PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists.
The terrorists are expected to retreat 30 kilometers within the deadline, followed by Turkish-Russian joint patrols in the area 10 kilometers into Syrian territory. "We expect the world to respect Turkey's security concerns, support its projects to ensure the return of Syrian refugees," Erdogan said.
Erdogan also expressed Turkey's concerns about some leaders communicating with YPG terrorists and offering to act as mediators. "We will never sit at the negotiating table with these terrorists, or accept others to act as mediators," Erdogan added.
He also urged European countries to support Turkey's humanitarian projects in the areas liberated from terrorists to facilitate the return of refugees.
"If the projects we have developed for the return of Syrian refugees to their country are not supported, we have no choice but to open our borders," Erdogan told European countries.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (25.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-defense-minister-holds-talks-with-us-european-counterparts-on-syria-op-147938) reported that Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar held meetings with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and some European counterparts on the sidelines of a NATO Ministerial summit in Brussels where the Turkish army’s recent operation into northeastern Syria has been widely discussed.
Akar and Esper met on Oct. 25 at NATO headquarters and discussed security and defense issues in light of Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring as well as bilateral military matters.
Turkey and the United States on Oct. 17 agreed on a joint statement that brought about the cessation of the Turkish operation after the YPG withdrew to 30 kilometers south from the Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn strip of the Turkish-Syrian border.
Despite this agreement, the U.S. Pentagon chief has continued to criticize Turkey in a strong-worded statement at a panel held by the German Marshall Fund in Brussels on Oct. 24.
“Turkey put us all in a very terrible situation” by sweeping into northern Syria this month to fight Kurdish militia members who were allied for years with the U.S. in the fight against (ISIL)”, Esper said. He also argued that Turkey was heading in the wrong direction by shifting from the NATO orbit to the Russian orbit.
In Brussels, Akar also met his British and German counterparts, Ben Wallace and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. The meeting with Kramp-Karrenbauer comes after the German defense minister proposed setting up an internationally controlled safe zone in northeastern Syria.
Akar also met with his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos on Oct. 25 and discussed defense and security matters.
He and Panagiotopoulos also exchanged views on the Aegean Sea, Cyprus and developments in Eastern Mediterranean.
Akar emphasized that the problems between Ankara and Athens will be solved within the framework of good neighborly relations and international law.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.10.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/operation-peace-spring/turkish-president-german-chancellor-talk-on-phone/1627812) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke on the phone on Sunday, according to an official statement.
"During the meeting, bilateral and regional developments, as well as developments in northeastern Syria, were discussed," the Turkish Communication Directorate said.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.10.19http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/germany-should-act-in-line-with-alliance-spirit-turkey-147992) reported that Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Oct. 26 called on Germany to act in line with the “spirit of alliance” on Turkey’s anti-terrorism operation in northern Syria.
“What we expect from Germany is that it acts in line with the spirit of alliance,” Cavusoglu said at a joint news conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in the capital Ankara.
Cavusoglu said that YPG/PKK terror group’s affiliates in Germany had harassed and attacked Turkish citizens, and urged German security officials to act against such elements.
“Turkey is the country most sensitive to issues of Syria's territorial integrity and voluntary return of refugees,” he said, adding that some countries -- including Israel and France -- placed little importance on Syria’s territorial integrity when it was YPG/PKK terrorists trying to divide the country.
Cavusoglu also said that over 30,000 displaced Syrians had returned to northern Syria since the Oct. 9 launch of Turkey’s anti-terror operation there, according to UN data.
“Turkey will not tolerate any human rights violations in northeast Syria”, he added.
"We will investigate to the very end even the smallest bit of violation [of human rights] and complaint. We won't tolerate even the least violation of human rights violations," Cavusoglu said.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (26.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-us-top-diplomats-speak-over-phone-147980) reported that Turkey’s top diplomat held a phone conversation with his U.S. counterpart, according to Turkish diplomatic sources on Oct. 25.
Mevlut Cavusoglu and Mike Pompeo discussed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s planned visit to the U.S.
The phone conversation also addressed YPG/PKK ringleader Ferhat Abdi Şahin -- also known as "Mazloum Kobani" and bilateral ties.
Kobani is subject of an Interpol red notice and is wanted for multiple terror attacks targeting the Turkish security forces.
U.S. senators -- including Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris Van Hollen -- asked the U.S. State Department on Oct. 23 to provide a visa for Kobani so he could visit the country.
Moreover, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (29.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-us-presidential-aides-talk-ties-syria-148038) reported that Turkey's Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın and U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien spoke on the phone on Oct. 28 about bilateral relations and recent developments in Syria.
According to a statement from the Presidency, the officials stressed that the two NATO allies have to work together against all terrorist groups, including ISIL and the YPG/PKK.
Kalın and O'Brien also spoke about preparations for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to President Donald Trump in Washington set for Nov. 13.
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