Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (19.11.19) reports that the “assembly” discussed yesterday the Cyprus problem and the burning of a flag of the breakaway regime by members of nationalist right-wing party ELAM in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus, during the protests for the 36th anniversary of the breakaway regime’s unilateral declaration of independence.
Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), argued that great disrespect was shown towards the regime’s flag and condemned the incident. He noted, however, that it was wrong to present all the Greek Cypriots as having the same stance and asked from the “Greek Cypriot administration” to do whatever was necessary on the issue.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Ozyigit said that the process had not collapsed at Crans Montana and that only “the ball bounced off the goalpost”. Ozyigit noted that even the smallest step towards the solution of the Cyprus problem during the forthcoming meeting of the leaders in Berlin would be significant. He said that the current situation could not continue and underlined the importance of the Turkish Cypriot community being able to stand on its own feet, adding that the main issue is for the Cyprus problem to be solved and the Turkish Cypriots to be included in international law as a community.
In his address, Ersin Tatar, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) and self-styled prime minister of the regime, said that they were watching closely the process in the Cyprus problem and that the meeting in Berlin would be “informal”. He argued that Akinci “should be careful in what he says” in Berlin since we were passing through an “unusually crucial period”. Tatar claimed that no one had many expectations from the meeting in Berlin and expressed the view that Akinci should not forget that he represented the “whole country”. He reiterated that his party was in favor of what he called “sovereign equality”.
Referring to the burning of the flag, Tatar recalled that everybody in the Turkish Cypriot community condemned the incident. He reiterated the allegation that a part of the Greek Cypriot community that could not be underestimated thought in the same way as ELAM and that nothing was said on the issue either by President Anastasiades or by any other official in the Greek Cypriot side.
Erhan Arikli, chairman of the Turkish settlers’ Revival Party (YDP), said that everybody in the occupied area condemned the burning of the flag, but some people after doing so added that “these things happen here as well”. Arikli expressed sorrow for this fact and recalled examples of attacks against Turkish Cypriots in the government controlled area of Cyprus.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Arikli said he did not know whether Akinci would hold consultations prior to his departure for Berlin and alleged that “as it is understood Mr Akinci continues giving a one man show on this issue”. He claimed that Akinci did not take into consideration the “assembly” and the “government” and argued that the “assembly’ should be briefed. “What happened and Lute changed her mind and she will not go to Athens and Ankara”, he wondered and added that he could not understand why Akinci excluded the “assembly” and insisted on the tripartite meeting.
Kudret Ozersay, chairman of the People’s Party (HP) and self-styled foreign minister of the regime, said that everybody in the occupied area reacted to the burning of the flag and condemned the incident in consensus. Recalling that in the past the Chief of Police had been relieved of duty because of an attack against former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in the government-controlled area of the island, Ozersay noted that they wanted to see the same reactions now.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Ozersay disagreed with Ozyigit adding that he believed that the Crans Montana conference had failed. “If the negotiations at Crans Montana did not fail, we would not have discussed now which the basic concept of the negotiations should be”, he argued and claimed that we would reach the same point, if we continued making the same mistakes.
Finally, Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that he did not think that it was right to discuss for so long in the “assembly” any action taken by ELAM. He added that in an environment in which emphasis was given to building confidence between the two “peoples”, they should explain that no one should remain indifferent towards such incidents which harm this trust.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Erhurman described as “very silly” the discussion that started regarding the political equality adding that this issue was included in the UN parameters. Making a call on the UN to defend the methodology of the negotiations, Erhurman said that “we want a process which will reach a result that is not similar to the previous ones”. Moreover, Erhurman criticized the fact that the “government” did not feel the need to hold a briefing on the issue of the occupied fenced off city of Varosha.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (19.11.19) reports that the Turkish Ministry of Defence has condemned the burning of the breakaway regime’s flag by members of nationalist right-wing party ELAM during a protest for the anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence.
In a post on its social media account yesterday, the Turkish Ministry described the flag as “the honor of a nation” and alleged: “These racist attacks, which are encouraged by the Greek Cypriot administration, will not be able to prevent the TRNC’s flag from waving forever on the island”.
The paper recalls that the incident was also condemned by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and the Spokesman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Omer Celik.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (19.11.19) reports that Izzet Izcan, chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), has said that his party would continue opposing any kind of fascist and racist action, regardless of where it came from.
In a statement on the burning of the breakaway regime’s flag by members of nationalist right-wing party ELAM during a protest for the anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence, Izcan noted that the only way was a united federal Cyprus. He noted that this was “an expected action” by ELAM and added that all fascist organizations in the world did not differ from each other. He recalled that “flags were also burned in the northern part of Cyprus in the past and racist actions by Turkish fascists were realized”. He added that those who had remained silent then, could not shout today.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (19.11.19) reports that in statements on the issue, Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot primary school teachers’ trade union (KTOS), said that there was absolutely no difference between putting a bomb by Turkish fascists at the Bayraktar mosque and lynching Afrika newspaper on the one hand and the burning of the flag by ELAM on the other. “A fascist is a fascist”, he added.
Selma Eylem, chairperson of the Turkish Cypriot secondary school teachers’ trade union (KTOEOS), said that they condemned the burning of the flag by ELAM and all racist actions which include hatred and hostility, just like they had condemned those who threw stones against a newspaper, attempted to lynch its journalists and targeted artists, writers and journalists because of a caricature or an article.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis (19.11.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will meet on Thursday November 21 at 10.00 at the so-called presidential palace with the leaders and representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties which are “represented in the assembly”, in order to brief them prior to the forthcoming tripartite meeting with President Nikos Anastasiades and the UN’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres in Berlin on November 25.
According to the paper, Akinci will exchange views with political party leaders and representatives about the tripartite summit.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (19.11.19) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has argued that the tensed relations between Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Turkey were “making the solution of the Cyprus problem impossible”.
In an exclusive interview with the paper, Talat expressed the view that a solution to the Cyprus problem would not be possible without the approval of the guarantor powers. He added: “One of the guarantor powers is Turkey. For this reason, Akinci’s relations with Turkey are making a solution in Cyprus impossible. If there is not a harmonious relation with Turkey, the Cyprus problem will not be solved”.
Talat claimed that Turkey was unwilling for negotiations in Cyprus because there was no consensus within the Turkish Cypriot side and argued: “We have experienced the Crans Montana tragedy recently. A repetition of this tragedy would bring an even bigger tragedy. Therefore, a five party meeting, held without the completion of the preparations, would be an adventure”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberci (19.11.19) reports that so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar will visit Strasbourg within the next days.
Invoking reliable sources, the paper writes that Tatar will be visiting Strasbourg for a series of contacts. Although the date of Tatar’s visit to Strasbourg has not become definite yet, the paper adds that as it was made known, after Strasbourg, Tatar will proceed to London via train.
Meanwhile, according to the same paper, the general secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ersan Saner, in statements yesterday in a televised program in the occupied area of Cyprus said that he would be visiting a European country this month in order to hold a “series of contacts”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (19.11.19) reports that so-called presidential spokesman Baris Burcu stated that the Toros Exercise, which was being organized jointly by the “Turkish Peace Forces (KTBK) and the TRNC security forces commandership (GKK)” will not take place this year either, as in previous years.
Burcu went on to say that they have decided to cancel the exercise after the Greek Cypriot side has also decided not to hold the Nikiforos exercise.
The self-styled presidential spokesman said that this year's manoeuvres had been cancelled following consultations with Turkey.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.11.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-slams-burning-of-trnc-flag-by-greek-cypriots/1648997) reports that Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Spokesman Omer Celik strongly condemned the burning of the “TRNC flag” during protests in the Greek Cypriot side on the “foundation anniversary of the TRNC”.
"We strongly condemn the impertinent attack against the TRNC flag," Celik said in a press conference following his party's group meeting in Ankara.
Celik also spoke on recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, reiterating the following: "We will never compromise on the national interest of Turkey and TRNC in the Eastern Mediterranean sea”.
Turkish daily Sabah (18.11.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2019/11/18/turkey-cares-about-syrian-people-not-the-oil-erdogan-says) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in statements during the 2nd Istanbul International Ombudsman Conference on Monday said that Turkey cares about the people, not the oil and will never force the persecuted refugees to return to Syria.
Erdogan highlighted Turkey's humanitarian motive in Syria as he reassured Syrians who sought refuge in Turkey that the country will not force them to go back, contrary to the Republican People's Party (CHP) insistence to do so.
(…)"Turkey will never force persecuted people who fled barrel bombs in Syria to go back," Erdogan said, adding that Turkey cares about the people, not the oil.
He noted that some countries are in the "process of sharing the oil reserves" in Syria and have offered Turkey to be a partner, but Ankara refused because it is not interested in the country's resources. He did not mention the names of the said countries.
Other Turkish officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, have openly criticized foreign powers for laying claims to the natural resources of Syria, in response to U.S. President Donald Trump, who publicly acknowledged that the main goal of deploying additional troops was to protect the Syrian oil reserves.
Erdogan reiterated once again that Turkey is hosting 4 million Syrian refugees and has received 3 billion euros in assistance from the European Union.
Touching upon Turkey's determination to thwart all threats against its security, Erdogan said that the country is striving to ensure regional and international peace.
"We do not just keep terrorist organizations away from us but we also destroy them in their source. We are struggling against all terrorist organizations that pose a threat to our country and the world, including Daesh, al-Qaida and PKK/YPG," Erdogan said.
Erdogan also highlighted the importance of the bond between the people and their states, noting that countries unable to establish strong ties with their citizens are more vulnerable to domestic and foreign interference.
"It is not possible to bring down a country embraced by the people," he said, adding that countries that have turned a deaf ear to the demands of their people have faced significant destruction.
"In our region, there are many countries and administrations which are making this grave mistake," Erdogan said, as he noted that Turkey is an exception because there is a strong bond between the state and the people, which has enabled the country to stand up tall in the face of yearlong economic, terror attacks and other threats.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.11.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/deals-on-northern-syria-not-fulfilled-by-us-russia/1649070) reports that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that the US and Russia have not yet fulfilled the agreements signed with Ankara on northern Syria.
"Have they fulfilled whatever was necessary under the agreements? No, they have not until now. But they should," Cavusoglu told members of the Turkish Parliament's Planning and Budget Committee.
Cavusoglu recalled Turkey's recent anti-terror operations in northern Syria. "If we do not achieve any result, as we had started the operation [before]...we will do whatever is necessary [in northern Syria]," he said.
Cavusoglu noted that Turkey has no other solution besides clearing the region of all terror groups. "We should definitely clear the terror threat just next to us [in northern Syria]," he added.
Meanwhile, Cavusoglu said that Turkey had informed the Syrian administration before the anti-terror operation in northern Syria. "In this notification, we stressed that we respect the territorial integrity of Syria," he said.
(…)Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.11.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-asks-germany-to-arrest-extradite-ypg-ringleader-148825) reports that Cavusoglu said on November 18 that Turkey's relations with the U.S. are going through "tough times" due to Washington's approach on the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
"The U.S. has taken our purchase of the S-400s out of context and associated it with irrelevant issues", Cavusoglu said, adding also that Turkey will re-operate the consulates general in Mosul and Basra in line with their aim to reach all parts of Iraq. “We are also working on the opening of consulate generals in Najaf and Kirkuk for the first time,” he added.
Çavusoglu emphasized that it is important that the U.S administration stands at the same point as Turkey on these issues. Ankara plans to step up so as to better inform Congress and to reinforce awareness of the importance of Turkey-U.S. relations, he noted.
“We intensify our public diplomacy efforts, including our parliamentary delegation to visit Washington in the coming period,” he stated.
Turkish daily Sabah (19.11.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2019/11/19/pakistani-navy-takes-part-in-naval-drill-hosted-by-turkey-in-mediterranean) reports that the Turkish Navy launched a large-scale drill with the participation of a Pakistani frigate in the Eastern Mediterranean, which is expected to boost naval cooperation among the two countries. The Pakistani navy is also expected to participate in the Mediterranean Shield Drill, along with eight other countries.
PNS Alamgir (F260), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate from Pakistan took part in the Eastern Mediterranean-2019 Drill held by Turkey off southern Muğla province.
The frigate dropped its anchor at the Aksaz Naval Base in Marmaris district, Anadolu Agency reported.
PNS Alamgir Captain Muhammad Akram said that they were honored to take part in the multinational drill as they want to improve cooperation among friendly and allied nations.
"Pakistani and Turkish Naval Forces hold drills, visit each other's harbors and support each other in training. We are enjoying the yearlong fraternity, friendship and warm ties between the two countries," Captain Akram said, adding that the strong relations go beyond the geographical distance between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani navy will also join the Mediterranean Shield Drill, which was launched by the Turkish Navy in 2006 to ensure naval security in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Akram noted that the upcoming drill also seeks to secure naval trade traffic and uninterrupted navigation.
The Turkish Naval Forces also participated in the AMAN-2019 drill hosted by Pakistan in the Arabian Sea.
A frigate from the Turkish Navy, TCG Gökçeada participated in the maritime exercise in February.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.11.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/arrest-warrants-out-for-133-feto-suspects-148849) reports that Turkey issued arrest warrants for 133 Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) suspects in military, 82 of whom were on active duty, the İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said on Nov. 19.
The investigations launched to arrest FETÖ-linked suspects within Turkish Armed Forces in İzmir are still underway, the statement by the prosecutor's office added.
The suspects include three colonels, five majors, five captains, 12 first lieutenants, 54 noncommissioned officers and three sergeants, who were on active duty.
The prosecutor’s office issued arrest warrants for 14 expelled students from closed down military schools, as well as for two colonels, two lieutenant colonels, and three captains who were no longer on duty due to reasons such as retirement, resignation, or contract termination.
Arrest warrants were issued for 133 suspects for reportedly being contacted by the so-called "covert imams" -- senior members -- of the terrorist organization via payphones.
Provincial security forces organized simultaneous operations in 44 provinces, including İzmir.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
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