No. 731 06.11.2019
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkın Sesi (06.11.19) reports that Yasin Aktay, adviser of the chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said that Turkey would not allow a fait accompli on the Cyprus problem. In statements to HK news agency, Aktay said that no reference to resumption of the negotiations in the Cyprus problem could be made without an agreement on a “common vision” between all the concerned sides.
He claimed: “A new negotiating process can begin only on the condition of an agreement of all the sides concerned on the issue of a common vision and the registration of the acceptance of the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot side, the rotating presidency, and the effective participation in the decisions”.
Arguing that the Cyprus negotiations could not be concluded with the methods used until today, Yasin alleged that the negotiations could not begin from the point they had collapsed at Crans Montana because of what he called “the intransigent stance of the Greek Cypriot leader”, “as if nothing happened”.
Referring to the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Yasin claimed that the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot “people” in the area could not be usurped. Reiterating that Turkey was determined to protect these rights, Yasin “warned” that no one should attempt testing Turkey’s determination.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Volkan (06.11.19) reports that Turkish Vice President, Fuat Oktay has reiterated that the political equality of the two sides was a sine qua non for a solution in Cyprus. Speaking during a meeting with young people from the occupied area who visited Turkey, Oktay argued that achieving peace was not possible on the basis of the principle of minority and claimed:
“You must have a say for your own future. This is something human. Hydrocarbon resources exist. You see where the interest in the area is deriving from. It is a reality which is being discussed today, but it is known for decades. Now it came to light. Turkey is exhibiting the same stance here. Since two peoples exist on the island, this should be a fair sharing. This prosperity belongs to everyone who lives on the island and should be shared fairly to both sides”.
Referring to the situation in the occupied area of Cyprus, Oktay argued:
“500 thousand persons should live peacefully together. […] You may have opponents, but when the TRNC is in question, you should be able to act together. […] The distance with those who were living there before 1974-75 [Translator’s note: And the Turkish settlers who were brought to the island afterwards] must definitely be decreased. Everybody who lives there should be united on a common denominator and the common values of a common denominator. We should make sure of this. Turkey will not allow for anyone’s nose in Cyprus to bleed. […] A strong Turkey […] is tantamount to a strong Cyprus […]”.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris Postasi (06.11.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in a meeting on Tuesday with the new Ambassador of France to Cyprus Isabelle Dumont, briefed her in detail on his proposal through the UN special representative for Cyprus to establish a joint committee on natural gas.
According to a written statement, they exchanged views on the upcoming trilateral meeting in Berlin on November 25. Akinci also explained to the French Ambassador the position of the Turkish Cypriot side on the Cyprus issue.
According to illegal Bayrak television (06.11.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=fatih-docks-at-mersin-port-for-supplies-and-repairs), Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said on Wednesday that the Fatih drillship will resume drilling operations at a new location off the coast of Cyprus in the coming weeks after resupplying and repairs.
Speaking to reporters on the side-lines of the 12th International Energy Congress, Dönmez said: “The Fatih has completed drilling at the Finike well and had currently docked at Mersin port for supplies. Following a few weeks of resupplying and repairs the Fatih will resume its operations at a new location to be determined by the TRNC [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus].”
Dönmez also reminded that the Oruç Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha exploration ships were currently conducting two and three-dimensional surveys in the area.
“The Yavuz drillship started drilling at a location marked Güzelyurt [editor’s note: Guzelyurt is the name given by the Turks to occupied Morfou]several weeks ago. We shall share the results with the public when we have something to share. We need to be patient,” he added.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen (06.11.19) reports that the so-called minister of labor Faiz Sucuoglu stated that there are around 8,000 non-registered workers in the breakaway regime.
According to a statement issued by the National Unity Party (UBP), Sucuoglu stated that their aim is to register more than 6,000 of these workers and that they have already deported 750-800 persons.
He also said that “the general social security plan” for the years 2019-2021 is ready to be signed with Turkey and will be submitted for approval to the “assembly’ in 2020.
Under the title “Protest against the appointment of a teacher with a headscarf”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Afrika (06.11.19), on its front page, reports that Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers’ Union (KTOEÖS) and the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) protested against the appointment of a teacher with a headscarf by laying a black wreath in front of the “public services commission” and the “education ministry”. Both Unions said that “the appointment is in violation of the constitution and the education law and it also encourages conservatism and bigotry in schools”.
Sener Elcil, KTÖS’ general secretary, said that it is the first time that a teacher wearing headscarf has been appointed, adding that “bigotry and fanaticism are like cancer, destroying slowly the whole body”.
Selma Eylem, KTOEÖS’ chairwoman, argued that “the current situation is due to the embassy’s [Translator’s note: the illegal Turkish embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia] imposition of a new practice of employment in the public sector and that it i aims to divide the society through the cadres of Islam and religious symbols”. She also explained that “the heads of young girls, who have not reached the age of 18, are covered in Theology College”. [Translator’s note: the Theological College of Hala Sultan in occupied Mia Milia]
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Haberator (06.11.19) reports that the chairman of “health tourism council” Dr Ahmet Savasan signed new agreements at the London World Travel Market 2019 (WTM).
In a statement, Savasan said that “they signed agreements by coming together with representatives from many countries in order to send health tourists from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East regions to north Cyprus”. He explained that they had the opportunity to cooperate with new countries, taking advantage of the international identity of the “Cyprus health tourism council”, adding that he had very productive meetings with representatives from countries like Britain, Azerbaijan, Germany, Georgia, China, Spain, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Russia and the USA.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.11.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-high-advisory-board-discusses-feto-syria-op/1636719) reports that the high advisory board of Turkish Presidency held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss |the regional and international reactions to Turkey's anti-terror operation in Syria and its fight against Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO)”.
In the meeting, the board members emphasized that “attitudes or behaviors that have the potential to weaken the struggle against will never be allowed”.
In a statement following the meeting, Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun noted that the decisive struggle against FETO would never be compromised.
"Mr. President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] stressed that the main purpose of three important operations carried out in Syria in the last three years is the fight against terrorist organizations, especially the PKK/YPG and Daesh," Altun said.
Altun stated that the advisory board members emphasized Turkey has suffered the brunt of the refugee crisis and the country blocked individuals from heading to the region to join “terrorist organizations”.
Altun said the meeting discussed the use of strategic communication channels, soft-power elements and parliamentary diplomacy tools to inform the international community about Turkey's legitimate fight against terror and to battle the fiercest smear campaigns targeting the country.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (06.11.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/erdogan-says-terrorists-still-in-planned-safe-zone-in-n-syria-3504517) reports that “there are still terrorists in the planned safe zone in northern Syria”, Turkish President said on Tuesday.
"We know that there are still terrorists in the planned safe zone. These areas have not been cleared of terrorists yet," Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group.
Erdoğan noted that the terrorists beyond the safe zone borders were organizing attacks to Turkish security forces.
"We will not be an onlooker to this situation. We will do what is necessary as we did before.
"Turkey will continue its fight until the last terrorist is neutralized in Turkey, Syria and Iraq," Erdoğan said.
The Turkish president also criticized the U.S. attitude towards Turkey's S-400 missile system purchase from Russia. "Linking the S-400s that we have purchased from Russia to the F-35 issue and notably sanctions and other issues make no sense," said Erdoğan.
"I see this persistence as a new pretext towards hostility directed to our country," he added.
Erdoğan noted that Turkey's doors are open to the countries, "which are ready to talk, negotiate, and compromise with Turkey on an equal basis".
The Turkish parliament on Thursday condemned a resolution passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, recognizing the so-called "Armenian genocide" as well as a bill backing sanctions on Turkey.
Speaking to the reporters after the group meeting, Erdoğan criticized “the U.S. support for the YPG/PYD terror group in Syria”.
"Unfortunately, the U.S. is also on patrol with the YPG/PYD. They were supposed to withdraw [from planned safe zone]," Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a press conference.
"Although they decided to withdraw, how can we explain that patrol in the region that the U.S. is carrying out with this terrorist organization? These are not included in our agreement," Erdoğan said.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.11.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/-turkey-s-refugee-policy-sets-example-for-world-/1636735) reports that the Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu stated that some 90,000-95,000 irregular migrants will have been sent back to their countries by end of 2019.
Speaking to private broadcaster Tvnet, he said 371,000 irregular migrants have been caught in Turkey since January.
"Germany says ‘We have achieved great success’ if it repatriates 35 Afghans a week. The number of Afghans Turkey has repatriated so far has reached 60,000,” Soylu said, adding Turkey will have sent 90,000-95,000 irregular migrants back to their countries by the end of this year.
Soylu said irregular migrants were coming to Istanbul because of their employment needs and that since the beginning of the year, around 100,000 Syrians were sent from Istanbul to the cities where they are registered or where their relatives live.
He also noted that 92,500 irregular migrants of various nationalities were arrested in the country and one-third of them were sent back to their countries while the others were referred to repatriation centers.
He said the number of irregular migrants who applied for work permits had risen to 8,000 from 2,500 per month.
Around 336,707 irregular migrants have been held so far this year, said Soylu.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.11.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-outlines-seven-mistakes-in-akps-syria-policy-148343) reports that the main opposition party leader has outlined seven major policy mistakes committed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Syria since 2011, which have burdened Turkey with hosting 3.6 million Syrian refugees and spending tens of thousands of billion dollars for their care.
“Turkey has made some very important strategic mistakes on Syria. I will cite those under seven items. You (the AKP) will not be able to challenge them, because they are 100 percent true,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) told his parliamentary group at a weekly address on Nov. 5.
According to Kılıçdaroğlu, the AKP’s mistakes since 2011 are listed as follows:
- Turkey failed in its assessment on the place of Syria in the international order. One of the most important reasons for that was the exclusion of the foreign ministry and experienced diplomats from the decision-making processes. That brought about an adventurous foreign policy.
- Turkey has become the subcontractor of imperialistic powers whose objective was to divide Syria. It became a party of these policies as well as of proxy wars taking place in the Syrian theater.
- As a subcontractor, Turkey has paved the way for the free passage of terrorists to and from Syria, sparking criticism from the West for allowing a “jihadist highway” on its soil.
- Turkey has failed to give a strong response against the kidnapping of its 49 citizens including its Consul-General in Mosul by ISIL in 2014. Although it had all the rights stemming from international law, it did not react against the terrorist organization who kept its citizens 101 days.
- Turkey also failed to protect the Süleyman Shah tomb in northern Syria, Turkey’s one and only territory outside its borders, in the face of threats by ISIL in early 2015. That strategic mistake has made Turkey a country which cannot protect its own territories.
- Turkey failed to struggle against ISIL and protect the territorial integrity of Syria. If Turkey would stage an effective fight against ISIL, it would have a much different and positive place in the eyes of the international community.
- Because of wrong policies, Turkey has ended up being wrong although it is right on its fight against terrorism. Instead of carrying out an effective campaign to convince the international community that the Operation Peace Spring against terrorism was held to address Turkey’s legitimate security concerns in line with international law, the government officials’ use of a narrative based on “conquer” has weakened the legitimacy of the operation.
Kılıçdaroğlu also recalled a letter sent by U.S. President Donald Trump to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 9. The letter called on Turkey to avoid a unilateral action in Syria in a language that violates basic diplomatic protocol rules.
“’This letter is an insult to our people,’ you should write to him. ‘We can’t have something like that in our archives,’” he added.
In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.11.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/-turkeys-fight-against-feto-matter-of-survival-honor/1636462) reports that “Turkey should continue its fight against Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) until the terrorists pay price for their betrayal”, the head of an opposition party Devlet Bahceli said on Tuesday.
“The fight against FETO is a matter of survival and honor,” Bahceli said in a statement.
''There is no difference between Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorist organizations,'' Bahceli said.
“Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whose death is meaningful in terms of timing, and Fethullah Gulen, the “treacherous” leader of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) who is under guard in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, are in the same category with PKK terror group’s baby killer ringleader Abdullah Ocalan,” he added.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.11.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/eu-rapporteur-urges-restoration-of-trust-with-turkey-148355) reports that Turkey is "very important" to the European Union and trust must be rebuilt between the two sides, said the EU Parliament's new Turkey rapporteur.
In his first-ever interview with media after coming to office, Nacho Sanchez Amor told Anadolu Agency that he would endeavor to be objective during his term, and maintain contact with any interlocutors concerned.
Stressing that the EU recognized Turkey has "legitimate concerns on security," Amor said this did not constitute consent to Ankara acting "unilaterally" in Syria, referring to Turkey's recent anti-terror operation in northern Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the agreement allows Turkish forces to conduct operations inside Syria near the Turkish border.
Amor underlined that Turkey's operation in northern Syria was a major obstacle to developing Ankara's relations with Brussels, which he said shared a wide consensus over the issue.
Amor said he remembers both Alan Kurdi -- a Syrian child who drowned in the Aegean Sea while trying to cross to Greece -- and the toddler Muhammed, who was killed in a cross-border mortar attack on the town of Akçakale in Turkey.
"I have to criticize sharply any attack on any civilian target coming from anywhere in that area," he stressed.
Amor underlined that the EU always praised Turkey's acceptance of refugees, which he said was a "shining example" of the EU's principles and values.
He said Turkey has a "complete right" to ask EU for support in sharing the burden of refugees.
Amor added that he was planning to make his first visit to Turkey in January.
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