Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (22.11.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that a federal agreement in Cyprus will abolish Turkey’s influence on the island.
Addressing a delegation of young employees of the Turkish Foreign Ministry who were illegally visiting the occupied area of Cyprus yesterday, Tatar noted that in the agreement which was provided for in the current negotiating process, federal Cyprus would be accepted in the EU as a whole and Turkey’s guarantees would be totally lifted within 5-10 years. Tatar said that in this agreement Turkey’s influence in Cyprus would be abolished, Cyprus would become EU soil and it would not be possible for Turkey to return.
“The National Unity Party will never accept Turkey to go away from here and Turkey’s guarantees to end. Our vote to such agreement will be no”, he noted.
Referring to the tripartite meeting to be held in Berlin on 25 November between the two community leaders and the UNSG, Tatar reiterated that it was an informal meeting and that he did not expect many things from it.
Referring to the issue of hydrocarbons, Tatar argued that the natural gas discovered in Cyprus’ sea should be “equally administrated”, but the Greek Cypriots cooperated with various countries and suggested to the Turkish Cypriots to give them their share from this wealth. Tatar expressed the belief that the struggle of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots on this issue would end successfully because “global norms and the law of the sea will work in their favour”.
Tatar claimed also that the “TRNC” was a “country accepted” in the world in spite of the fact that it was not recognized and added that students from 140 countries were studying in the occupied area of Cyprus and that 1,5 million tourists visited it every year.
Responding to a question, Tatar alleged that a partnership on the basis of federation was not possible and added that the Turkish Cypriots would never accept what he called “the yoke of the Greek Cypriots”. He claimed that what was possible were the “two states in the EU” or a “velvet separation”, that is an agreed separation.
Referring to the issue of the occupied fenced off city of Varosha, Tatar reiterated the allegation that it had belonged to some religious foundations during the Ottoman period and that some properties had been distributed to Greek Cypriots during the British rule. He added: “We will never give this land of our ancestors. After 1974 the case was always that we would return Varosha if there was an agreement. Our government closed this case”.
Tatar said that they wanted to open the area for settlement slowly-slowly and added that because they did not have money to pay compensation to everybody, they said that they should give the city’s former [Greek Cypriot] inhabitants their rights through the Immovable Property Commission. He reiterated that the former inhabitants, as he referred to Varosha’s legal owners, and EVKAF religious foundation should apply to this Commission.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Haberci (21.11.19) reports that according to information it obtained from reliable sources, officials from Turkey have undertaken an initiative for an investigation against Sener Elcil, general secretary of Turkish Cypriot teachers’ trade union (KTOS), because he had stated that “Turkey is carrying out a bloodless genocide” in Cyprus.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Volkan (21.11.19) reports that after Elcil’s statement on 17 November, 2019, that “Turkey is an occupier in Cyprus and carries out a bloodless genocide”, he was “rewarded” by the Greek Cypriots. According to the paper, Elcil was invited to a conference at the European Parliament organized by Greek Cypriot MEP Costas Mavrides on 20 November, under the title “The Neo-Ottoman policies of Turkey in Cyprus, Europe and Beyond”. The paper asks from the “attorney general’s office”, the “police”, the “ministry of education”, the “public service commission” and the “government” to launch the necessary “legal and administrative investigation” against Elcil and relieve him from his duties as a teacher.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (22.11.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that he had given instructions to the “attorney general’s office” to prepare the necessary “legal amendment” with the aim of preventing statements, which consider Turkey an occupier in Cyprus. Tatat made this statement yesterday during a meeting with a delegation of young employees of the Turkish Foreign Ministry who were illegally visiting the occupied area of Cyprus.
Tatar argued that Elcil’s statements did not represent the Turks of Cyprus and added that he did not know where Elcil took this power from. He added: “We are trying to digest these things within the framework of democracy. It is not something, which could be digested, but what will you do? When you administrate a state, you can solve this matter only within the framework of the law”.
In statements to Kıbrıs Postası TV (22.11.19, https://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n303952-basbakan-tatardan-isgal-yasagi-aciklamasi-sokaktaki-vatandasin-soylemi-hazmedilebilir), Tatar reiterated that he would undertake an initiative to prohibit the description of “occupier”. He argued that perhaps such an expression from an “ordinary citizen in the street” could be digested, “but a teacher who receives a salary from the state saying such an expression cannot be accepted”. He said that he was not sure who “some circles” were representing and claimed that the “faction seeds” in their statements “are harming our future”. He added: “The person who says this is a teacher and takes a salary from this state. At this point, a problem exists from a legal point of view. A teacher cannot talk like this. […]”.
Noting that “there is a great annoyance’ regarding the fact that Turkey is described as “occupier”, Tatar added “this state should not allow such statements”. “If there is a deficiency in the laws, I think that these should be amended”, he concluded.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (22.11.19) reports that Emre Dalgic, district chairman of the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP) in the occupied part of Nicosia, criticized Sener Elcil, general secretary of Turkish Cypriot teachers’ trade union (KTOS), because of his statements against Turkey.
In a written statement issued yesterday, Dalgic claimed that some statements harmed the community’s sense of unity and togetherness. He further accused Elcil of “trying to divide the community” and of “being spokesman of the Greek Cypriots”.
Under the title “He wants punishment of those calling Turkey occupier”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (22.11.19) refers to “prime minister” Ersin Tatar’s statement that he had given instructions to the “attorney general” to make the necessary “legal amendments” against those who call Turkey occupier and notes that this is “a blow to the freedom of expression.
The paper reports also that commenting on the issue, KTOS’ chairperson, Emel Tel has said that “the rhetoric of lynching and hatred” has reached the point of threatening human rights and fundamental freedoms. In a written statement issued yesterday, Tel noted that some circles in the occupied area of the island and in Turkey were recently carrying out a “lynching campaign” against the “peaceful, ecumenical and secular stance of KTOS and other organizations of the country”.
“The EU should not remain spectator to the oppression to which its citizens are subjected”, she pointed out and added: “We will continue our struggle in this direction, to resist against the assimilation policies and to struggle before international law”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (22.11.19, https://www.brtk.net/donmez-sondaj-faaliyetlerimiz-devam-edecek/), Turkish Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Dönmez confirmed the reports that the work to bring electricity and natural gas to the “TRNC” [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] from Turkey is continuing, but said that a timetable had not been set yet.
Speaking to reporters at the budget planning meeting at the Turkish Parliament, Dönmez said that “the goal was to meet the TRNC’s energy needs via undersea electricity cable and natural gas pipeline projects”.
Regarding hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, Dönmez said that reports prepared by leading international energy firms said that important natural gas reserves existed in the region. He claimed that Turkey’s drilling activities in the Mediterranean stemmed from its rights under international law.
Noting that “Turkey’s drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people will continue in areas licensed by the TRNC and Turkey without making any concessions from its legitimate rights”, Dönmez said : “We have achieved independence in offshore research and drilling capabilities through domestic means”.
He further said that the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa and Oruç Reis research vessels had surveyed a total area of 37,000km² until today, adding: “The data we have collected has speeded up our deep sea drilling operations conducted without domestic and national capabilities”.
Recalling that Turkey has two drill ships in the Eastern Mediterranean, Dönmez said that the Fatih drillship which had started operations in October 2018 had drilled at two different locations since. “It is currently drilling at a third location off the coast of Gazimağusa [occupied Famagusta] named ‘Magosa-1’,” he added.
He also said that “Turkey’s second drilling vessel, the Yavuz had just recently completed its first drilling operation off the coast of the Karpaz peninsula [occupied Karpasia peninsula] and was now conducting new operations at a location to the West of the island named ‘Güzelyurt’ [occupied Morfou]”.
Dönmez concluded his remarks by claiming that expectations that Turkey will bow down to threats were pointless, and adding: “Our approach has always been to use the hydrocarbons in the region as an element of peace and stability, not tension”.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (22.11.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-trnc-continue-to-work-on-mutual-energy-projects/1652659) reports that Donmez, commenting on the projects for the undersea electricity cable link and natural gas pipeline between Turkey and the “TRNC”, said that the shared vision for both these projects was realized through an energy protocol signed during the World Energy Congress in Istanbul in 2016.
The power line's route will originate from a new transformer station based in Akkuyu in the southern Mersin province and run to the “Teknecik transformer station” [occupied Trapeza power station situated in the Kyrenia district] located in the occupied area of Cyprus.
According to illegal Bayrak television (21.11.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akar-condemns-elam), Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar in statements during a committee meeting in the Turkish Parliament on Wednesday reiterated that Turkey will never allow efforts to create a situation which will deny their entry into the Mediterranean and Aegean to protect their rights.
Akar said that Turkey insistently supports the idea of protecting equal sovereign rights and the equal distribution of natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus through agreements to be made between riparian states.
Akar added also that Turkey’s drilling and research vessels were continuing their activities under the protection and watchful eye of the Turkish navy.
He further said that Turkey had no territorial ambitions regarding other countries.
“We desire good neighborly relations. But we shall not allow any fait accompli to take place. This should not be perceived as a threat,” he added.
Akar reminded that Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey. “No one should expect concessions from us. Our views and position on the matter is clear. The Turkish Armed Forces will continue to protect the rights and interests of Turkey and the TRNC. Turkey shall continue to be the guarantee of peace and security in Cyprus in line with the international Treaty of Guarantees and Alliance,” he said.
When asked about the flag burning, Akar condemned ELAM’s burning of the “TRNC flag” last week and said: “These racist attacks will never stop the flag of the TRNC flying forever.”
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Havadis (22.11.19) reports that the Left Movement argued that there is an effort to torpedo the trilateral meeting in Berlin and leave it fruitless even before it began, adding that there is a need for a unity among those who supports the federal solution, now more than ever.
In a written statement, Abdullah Korkmazhan, on behalf of the Left Movement, said that the trilateral meeting is of great importance for the Cyprus issue and the future of the country, adding that those who support the status quo in both sides want the new initiative of UNSG Guterres to remain inconclusive.
Under the title “The aim is different”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Bakis (22.11.19), on its front page, reports that the leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan criticized the statements by “interior minister” Aysegul Baybars that within nine months, two thousand seven hundred new “citizenships were granted”, adding that the most important point of forming the “coalition government” of UBP-HP (National Unity Party – People’s Party) is to complete the process of assimilation and integration. Izcan explained: “Distributing citizenship has nothing to do with human rights. Here, the population is being consciously changed. The aim is to annihilate the Turkish Cypriots. The UBP-HP government continues to do it successfully”.
Noting that the new fait accompli will be planned according to the new population, Izcan said that “another duty of UBP-HP government was to put an end to the negotiation process”. He explained that even a federal united Cyprus would be prevented from being considered, adding that the two separate states have already been included in the “government programme”.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris Postasi (22.11.19), self-styled foreign minister Kudret Ozersay briefed a group of young Turkish diplomats, who are currently visiting the occupied area of Cyprus as part of in-service training, on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem.
In a post on his social media account, Ozersay wrote that they have hosted Turkey’s young diplomats, as their “young diplomats” go for training in Turkey, adding: “Such briefings are important in the sense in helping Turkish diplomats who serve all around the world to have a better understanding of the Cyprus issue so that they can further our cause.”.
Turkish daily Milliyet (22.11.19) under the front-page title: “Natural gas pipeline to the TRNC”, reports that during the “1ST Eastern Mediterranean International symposium for energy” which held recently in the occupied area of Cyprus with the support of the so-called prime ministry and the “ministry of energy”, and WITHthe financial support of the Turkish defense company Aselsan, the issue of the isntallation of a natural gas pipeline between Turkey and the occupation regime was included in the agenda of the symposium for discussion for the first time.
According to the paper, besides experts from Turkey and the “TRNC”, international energy companies and experts from foreign countries such as Azerbaijan, the USA, Israel and France attended the symposium. The paper points out, however, that some participants in the symposium were allegedly forced to withdraw after they received threats by the Greek Cypriot side.
Speaking during the symposium, so-called minister of energy Hasan Tacoy, who brought the issue of the installation of a natural gas pipeline between Turkey and the occupation regime for discussion, announced that this pipeline could placed in parallel with the water pipeline. He went on to state that they could take natural gas from Turkey first and then they could sent to Turkey the natural gas from the Mediterranean.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Milliyet (22.11.19- http://www.milliyet.com.tr/ekonomi/yavru-vatana-dogal-gaz-hatti-6084746) in its website provides more details about the issue and reports that Turkey which “defends its sovereign rights and continues its struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean on the issue of the oil and natural gas, has sent an important message”. According to the paper, Turkey is preparing to make a crucial attack in the Mediterranean since it is developing a project to install a duplex natural gas pipeline between Turkey and the “TRNC”.
According to the paper, the first official statement was made by so-called minister of energy and economy Hasan Tacoy. Tacoy said that the natural gas pipeline would be able to transfer natural gas from Turkey to the “TRNC” by 2025.
Moreover, Prof. Dr Kumbaroglu who also attended the symposium said that the natural gas pipeline between Turkey and the “TRNC” could be constructed in parallel with the existing water pipeline, supporting that it could be 80 km long. Kumbaroglu further added that the duplex pipeline could be constructed so that the natural gas that would be found in the Eastern Mediterranean in the forthcoming period to be sent to Turkey from the same line and then to be transferred to Europe. He went on to add that the underwater pipeline should not be very deep since its cost would then be much higher.
So-called prime minister Ersin Tatar claimed that during the symposium the issue of the transferring of electricity from Turkey with underwater cables was also discussed. “The transferring of electricity from Turkey with underwater cables is an issue which is included in the agenda of our government, is amongst our goals and it should continue to be. Implementing a more clear energy system than the current one with natural gas, is an important matter. The pipeline could be used also for sending to Turkey electricity that could be produced in the TRNC”, Tatar claimed.
According to the paper, the US ORISE Institute and the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center from Israel were among the organizations, which attended the symposium. The paper adds that some participants were forced to withdraw from the conference after warnings made by the “Greek Cypriot administration in the south”, [Translator’s note: the Republic of Cyprus], that “you are committing a crime by visiting an occupied territory”.
Some of the speakers at the symposium were Dr. Amit from Israel and Dr. Isabella Ruble from the USA, the paper adds.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.11.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-slams-greek-premiers-migration-remarks-148952) reports that Turkey condemned on Nov. 21 the Greek Prime Minister's recent remarks on migration and described them as “baseless and unfortunate”.
"The last example of manipulation of public opinion that Greece is attempting to conduct through distortion of facts is the baseless and unfortunate statements of Prime Minister [Kyriakos] Mitsotakis," Hami Aksoy, the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in a statement.
Highlighting Turkey's prominent role in the issue of migration, Aksoy said that the current level of crossings to Europe werereduced by 94% thanks to measures taken by Ankara compared to 2015 figures, which stood at 850,000.
"It is not humane for countries located on the migration routes as well as Greece to implement 'zero migrant policy' and disregard the rights of these people. Greece and countries suffering from migration need to focus primarily on addressing the root causes triggering migration in source countries," he said.
Aksoy noted that Turkey is hosting more than 4 million migrants, and added: "Our Greek counterparts as well as the international community should understand that it is not fair for Turkey to solely shoulder the burden of migration, which is a global problem."
Noting that Mitsotakis refused to see and acknowledged the situation, the Ministry statement said that Greece keeps on pushing back the irregular migrants coming at their door.
"Disregarding European values, these people are subjected to inhumane treatment," he added.
Aksoy further said that opting for cooperation with Turkey on the matter of migration will bring more effective results than making propaganda against the country.
The statement called on the Greek authorities to "redress the inhumane conditions migrants are going through, which are also recorded by international organizations." It also called on Greece to prevent death of infant, minor migrants, as well as those who are deprived of required assistance.
Noting that migrants also have rights and freedoms under international law, the statement urged to "put an end to the push-back practice of migrants which is against international law."
It said the authorities should not use weapons against migrants. "Show respect to beliefs of migrants as well as common values of Europe and humanity," Aksoy said.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.11.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-to-activate-s-400-missile-defense-systems/1652275) reports that Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has stated that on Thursday Turkey will activate as planned S-400 missile defense systems acquired from Russia, once the relevant military personnel complete their training.
Training efforts were ongoing on the operation of the missile defense hardware”, Akar told lawmakers in the Turkish Parliament's Planning and Budget Committee.
"After this process is completed, we will conduct our planned activities [on S-400s]", Akara added.
(…) Answering questions on Turkish-backed Syrian forces fighting YPG/PKK terrorists in northern Syria, Akar said the Syrian National Army (SNA) was not part of "any group" but of people loyal to and working for their country."
"As a result of our operations, the delusion of forming a terror corridor, terror state [in northern Syria] was put to an end," he noted.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.11.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-establishes-145-km-long-30-km-deep-safe-zone-in-syria-defense-minister-148958) reports that Akar said on Nov. 21 that Turkey has established a safe zone 145 kilometers in length and 30 km in depth in northern Syria, noting that Ankara and Moscow have talks on the continued presence of YPG members in the region despite the latter having informed Ankara that a total of 34,000 YPG members left the region.
Russia informed Turkey that “a total of 34,000 YPG members with 3,260 heavy weapons were taken out from the east of Tel Rifat, Manbij and east of the Euphrates to the south of the 30 km safe zone since the morning of Oct. 29, in accordance with the principles set out in the Sochi Agreement,” Akar said.
However, Turkey has contradictory findings on the withdrawal of YPG members and this issue is being discussed with Moscow, Akar noted. “Findings to the contrary are being discussed with the Russian Federation,” he added.
Akar said also that Turkey had determined that the YPG was still present in the Manbij region “wearing the clothes of the [Syrian government] regime elements,” and had asked Russia to address the issue.
Akar went on to add that the Patriot missile defense systems deployed by Spain in 2015 in southeast Turkey as part of a NATO mission would stay by the end of 2019, but Italians would end deployment of their SAMP-T systems by the end of 2019. He explained also that the talks for extension of the Spanish systems are still ongoing.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.11.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-foreign-policy-is-clogged-says-main-opposition-leader-148964) reports that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu on Nov. 21 said that Turkey has ever-increasing problems, and two fundamental issues are in foreign policy and the economy.
“Turkey has problems, and they are getting heavier. We need to spread around Turkey and tell the public of our solutions. We are carrying out these works,” Kılıcdaroglu said.
The CHP leader’s remarks came during an interview with private broadcaster FOX TV.
“Turkey is not being governed well”, according to Kilicdaroglu who stated the following:
“Ask the tradesmen, the farmers; they are at a miserable state. The industrialists say they cannot see ahead. Foreign policy is also clogged,” he said.
Kilicdaroglu once again slammed the government’s foreign policy on Syria, echoing his previous remarks of “entering the Middle East swamp.” He said that Turkey has turned the whole world against herself with these policies.
With these problems, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can call for an early election, Kilicdaroglu said. “Turkey will either go to early polls or not, in accordance with Erdoğan’s mood,” he said.
Kilicdaroglu also added that early elections are not a priority for the CHP. “Our priority is to build a peaceful Turkey in which no child will go to bed hungry”.
Kilicdaroglu said that even though early polls are not a priority for the CHP, he gave the green light to respond in favor of early elections if the discussion comes up. “If they want, they can bring it tomorrow morning; we will approve it,” he said.
The CHP leader also said that Turkey needs to give up on the presidential system and adopt a parliamentary one. “All political parties and non-governmental organizations should come together. We will bring a constitutional change. We will build a democratic constitution that everyone will approve,” he said.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.11.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/presidential-office-refutes-claim-that-erdogan-met-chp-member-148962) reports that Fahrettin Altun, communication chair of the Turkish Presidency, refuted claims on Nov. 21 that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with a member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
In a written statement, Altun said that Erdogan did not have such a meeting in the presidential office or anywhere else and that such a dialogue did not take place.
“The claim that Mr. President met with a politician from the CHP at the presidency and that there was a dialogue between them to become the leader of the CHP is completely unrealistic and fictitious,” he said.
“In the course of nearly 43 years of his political life, our President has never taken steps to design any political party or to intervene in its internal affairs,” he said.
“While such critical days have been experienced in the fight against terrorism, while we have concentrated our attention on the future of our country in order to continue the successes achieved in diplomacy and foreign policy, we would like to state that engaging the public with the news of political magazines will not benefit the circles trying to protect their political good,” he added. "These discussions aim to preserve the ones’ individual interests," Altun said.
Rahmi Turan, a columnist with the Daily Sözcü, on Nov. 19 claimed that a CHP member had a meeting with Erdogan and that the President proposed to help the politician assume leadership of the CHP.
Meanwhile, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said that he inclined to think the claim is true. Speaking on FOX TV on Nov. 21, Kilicdaroglu said that when he read the article, he was not “surprised” by the claim.
“The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has a team to kick up a row at the CHP ahead of the party congress,” the CHP leader said.
Despite saying he has an idea of the identity of the alleged CHP member, Kilicdaroglu declined to name the person.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.11.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/top-turkish-diplomat-to-attend-g20-meeting-in-japan/1652057) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Japan’s Nagoya city on Nov. 22-23, the Ministry said in a statement.
During the meeting under G20 Japanese Presidency, Cavusoglu will address Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa, explaining the contributions of Turkey for the achievement of the SDGs in Turkey as well as in the Least Developed Countries and describing Turkey’s policies towards Africa, according to the statement.
“On this occasion, Cavusoglu will also have the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with Ministers of Foreign Affairs from G20 member states,” the statement added.
Following the G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting, Cavusoglu will participate in the Non-Proliferation Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) Foreign Ministers meeting on Nov. 23 in Japan.
“This initiative is a platform where twelve countries collaborate with the aim of strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Preparations for the NPT 2020 Review Conference will be discussed during the Meeting,” the statement said.
Cavusoglu will also inaugurate the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Nagoya, the establishment of which was announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during his visit to Japan between June 27-July 1, 2019.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.11.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/science-technology/turkish-navys-flagship-to-enter-service-in-2020/1652082) reports that Turkey's biggest warship yet will be delivered to the country's Navy by the end of 2020, said Ismail Demir, the head of Turkey's Defense Industries Presidency on Thursday.
"The ship, called TCG Anadolu, will be the pride of Turkey," Demir said in a statement.
The TCG Anadolu will be an amphibious assault ship that will also be able to function as a light aircraft carrier.
Demir noted that the delivery phase for the ship would begin in 2020, about a year before the originally-planned 2021. "I hope that by the end of 2020, we will have given this ship to our Navy. In our talks with the shipyard, we found they were pleased with the progress of these efforts," he said.
Demir underlined that the ship would carry Turkey to an ambitious naval position.
Construction of the vessel began in 2016 at a shipyard in the Tuzla district of Istanbul, where efforts to build the ship continue.
The vessel is intended to meet the Turkish Navy's various needs -- such as sustaining long-endurance, long-distance military combat or humanitarian relief operations -- while also acting as a command center and flagship for the Turkish Navy.
The TCG Anadolu will be able to transport a force the size of a minimum battalion without needing home base support.
It will carry four mechanized, two air-cushioned and two personnel landing vehicles as well as aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles. The 231-meter long and 32-meter wide ship will have a full load displacement of about 27,000 tons.
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