Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (29.11.19) reports that a counter attack has come from Turkey against the efforts of the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as the Republic of Cyprus is described, and Greece to allegedly “unilaterally divide the Eastern Mediterranean, taking the backing of the US and the EU”.
According to the paper, an agreement to delimitate their “areas of jurisdiction in the sea” was signed yesterday between Turkey and Libya. The agreement was signed in Istanbul by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Fayez Al Sarraj, Chairman of the Libyan Presidential Council of National Accord.
“The agreement aims to put forward the lawlessness of the unilateral creation of fields of exploration for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean by the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece during the recent period and the distribution of licenses to international companies”, argues the paper which publishes also a map with the area delimitated by the two countries.
Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (28.11.19, https://www.brtk.net/turkiye-deniz-yetki-alanlari-konusunda-libya-ile-mutabakat-imzaladi/) refers to the agreement signed yesterday between Turkey and Libya to delimitate the areas of their maritime jurisdiction and describes it as “a development which will influence the Cyprus problem and the drillings in the Eastern Mediterranean”.
In statements after a meeting with Mesrur Barzani, Prime Minister of the Regional Kurdish Administration of Iraq, Turkish Foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu alleged on Thursday that the agreement with Libya was tantamount to protecting what he called “the rights of Turkey deriving from the international law”. He argued: “Our position is that we support the fair sharing of this kind of wealth in the Eastern Mediterranean working with everybody for delimiting the zones of maritime jurisdiction. If there are countries which do not approach this, it is their business”.
Cavusoglu said that they could hold meetings on the issue with all the countries except for the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as he described the Republic of Cyprus. He noted that such meetings with the countries of the Mediterranean could be held “when the ground is appropriate”.
According to illegal Bayrak (28.11.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tacoy-addresses-comcec-meeting), Hasan Tacoy, self-styled economy and energy minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, said that the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral activities in the Eastern Mediterranean will not be left unanswered.
Speaking at the 35th Ministerial Session of the COMCEC (Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation) on Wednesday, Taçoy said it will not be possible to execute any project in the Eastern Mediterranean by disregarding Turkey and the “TRNC”. “We are taking important steps towards protecting Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriots’ rights regarding the hydrocarbons in the region,” Taçoy added.
He also pointed out that a natural gas pipeline and electricity cable connecting Turkey and the “TRNC” was inevitable.
Touching on the outcome of the trilateral meeting in Berlin, Taçoy claimed the Greek Cypriot side’s only goal was to create a Cyprus without Turkey. He noted that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades in his statement following the meeting, laid out his preconditions for the resumption of the talks, stating that Turkey must cease its hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and abandon the initiative to open the fenced-off city of Varosha. “There is not a single Turkish Cypriot who will accept his demands,” Taçoy stressed.
“You will be made to pay a heavy price even for dreaming of a Cyprus without Turkey,” Taçoy warned and concluded his remarks by claiming, “We do not even have an issue called the Cyprus problem. We have the TRNC reality.”
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (29.11.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minster of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), has met in Strasbourg with Jan Zahradil, Czech Member of the European Parliament (MEP), who is reportedly one of the prominent members of the Group of Conservatives and Reformists in the EP.
Noting that during the meeting they exchanged views on the Cyprus problem and the future of Europe, the paper writes that the UBP is also a member of the Group of Conservatives and Reformists. UBP’s general secretary, Ersan Saner and former self-styled foreign minister, Tahsin Ertugruloglu also participated in the meeting.
In his statements, Zahradil expressed his satisfaction for meeting the UBP chairman and added that he was pleased to listen to Turkish Cypriot “people’s” views in a period during which the future of Europe was discussed.
Tatar thanked Zahradil for his contribution in favor of the Turkish Cypriots during the discussions on the issue of the halloumi cheese in 2014. He noted that his party had decided to follow an active policy to explain to everybody what he called “the just cause of the Turkish Cypriot people”. He added that they wished the deepening of their relations with the Group of Conservatives and Reformists in the EP. He also alleged the following:
“The place of the Turkish Cypriot people is Europe. This is prevented by the intransigent stance of the Greek Cypriot side and the submission to this. We must change this. Our efforts in this direction will continue”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (29.11.19) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat in exclusive statements to Diyalog TV, evaluated the outcome of the trilateral Berlin summit and said that the outcome was the expected one.
Talat condemned also Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for his statement after the summit that ““We have put the derailed train on the right track”, claiming that the only person who has return back on track is the leader of the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as he called President Nicos Anastasiades. Accusing Akinci of not following a proactive and a multi-direction policy on the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem, Talat claimed that Turkey and the “coalition government” in the “TRNC” have not returned to the track.
Referring to the statements made by the UN’s Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres that he would work so that a five-party conference to take place in an appropriate time, Talat said that a good preparation work should take place. Talat stressed the need for everything to be prepared and only the issue of security and guarantees to remain at the latest stage.
On the issue of security and guarantees, Talat said that he considers that the existing system of security and guarantees should not change. “I would prefer the continuation of the existing system of guarantees. However, if we fail to persuade the international community on this, I consider that there are formulas that could be discussed”, Talat argued.
Referring to the forthcoming so-called presidential elections to be held next April in the occupied area of Cyprus, Talat said that he considers that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) would be the most appropriate and the most right candidate. Talat reminded then that the party’s basis did not give full support to Sibel Sibel’s candidacy in 2015 “presidential elections” and said that a similar thing should not happen in the forthcoming “elections”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (29.11.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has referred to the Cyprus problem and said that he would continue trying for “the establishment of a structure which is based on two founding states, the sovereignty will emanate from two equal communities and political equality and security will be valid for everyone, protecting our rights until the end”.
In statements yesterday during a visit to occupied Famagusta “municipality”, Akinci noted he wished a solution which would be acceptable for both sides and added: “I always say that life does not stop. On the one hand this struggle continues and on the other great duties fall on the shoulders of both the government and the municipalities as well as of the civil society in order for the TRNC to move towards a better future, to be able to stand more firmly on its own feet. We will continue our efforts knowing our responsibilities in this direction”.
Self-styled mayor Ismail Arter thanked Akinci for his visit and expressed his satisfaction for the fact that he was given the opportunity to listen firsthand the developments in the Cyprus problem. He noted that the opening of the crossing point in Deryneia area caused vivacity in occupied Famagusta.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (29.11.19) reports that Mehmet Harmanci, mayor of the occupied part of Nicosia, has participated in the International Forum on Local Solutions to Migration and Displacement, which took place in Gaziantgep, Turkey, with the participation of more than 30 mayors from 13 countries.
In his address, Harmanci said that “especially the Turkish municipality of Nicosia and the TRNC in general host a population of temporary migrants much bigger than the local population”. He added the following: “The population of temporary migrants consists of the population of those who live here for a long period of time with a work and residence permit and even of the population of those born here –second generation- but were not (could not be) granted citizenship –and their families-, of the population of the workers who are employed unregistered as well as of foreign students and refugees”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (29.11.19) reports that six more persons were granted “citizenship” with a decision taken by the self-styled council of ministers on 19 and 25 November 2019. “Citizenship” was granted to the following persons: Yasar Akcay, Eugenia Kuscu, Gamze Kirdag, Hatice Kaya, Kenan Yumusak and Kemal Bozlar. The names of the new “citizens” were published in the “official gazette” of the breakaway regime on 27 November.
More than half of today’s (29.11.19) Turkish newspapers carry a front-page Eastern Mediterranean’s map along with the story on the maritime deal between Turkey and Libya, as follow:
Milliyet: “A Turkey-Libya shield in the Eastern Mediterranean”
Yeni Safak: “Now the game in the Eastern Mediterranean has started”
Star: “We destroyed the game in the Mediterranean”
Turkiye: “A union of crescent in the Mediterranean”
Milat: “Libya, the new neighbour”
Dirilis Postasi: “The occupation in the Eastern Mediterranean will be ended”
Cumhuriyet: “A move at the Eastern Mediterranean”
Sozcu: “We destroyed the plans of oil allies”
Aydinlik: “This signature will change the balance”
On the same issue, Cagatay Erciyes – DG at the Turkish MFA – in a post at his Twitter, wrote: “The Maritime Boundary Delimitation Agreement between Turkey and Libya was concluded in line with the legal views and positions expressed in Turkey’s letter dated 13 November 2019 addressed to UN”.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (28.11.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/11/28/turkey-libya-sign-cooperation-maritime-jurisdiction-agreements), under the title “Maritime deal with Libya secures Turkey's rights in Mediterranean”, reports that Turkey protects its rights provided by international law in the Mediterranean thanks to a deal signed with Libya, determining the limitation of the maritime jurisdiction of both countries
Turkey and Libya signed two separate deals on Wednesday following a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the head of the Presidential Council of Libya's U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al Sarraj, in Istanbul. One of the deals was critically important as it enabled Turkey to secure its rights in the Mediterranean while preventing any fait accompli by other regional states.
According to a statement released by the Presidential Directorate of Communications, the two countries signed two deals following the two-hour meeting between the leaders. The first memorandum of agreement regards security and military cooperation, while the second regards the limitation of maritime jurisdiction. These two agreements aim to strengthen cooperation and ties between the two countries, the statement said.
"Today's security and military cooperation agreement with the National Government of Accord in Libya is a broader version of our previous military cooperation framework agreement. This has been at the top of our agenda to support security and peace in Libya," Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said following the signing of the deals. Sending a series of tweets from his official Twitter account, Altun said the agreement establishes "training and education, structures the legal framework, and strengthens the ties between our militaries. We are confident we will improve the security situation for the Libyan people together," he added.
The paper writes: “The Turkey-Libya memorandum of understanding on maritime delimitation has provided a legal framework to prevent any fait accompli by regional states. Accordingly, the attempts by the Greek government to appropriate part of the continental shelf that belongs to Libya, which is approximately 39,000 square meters in area, since 2011 by exploiting the political crisis in the North African country have been averted.
The agreement also confirmed that Turkey and Libya are now maritime neighbours. The delimitation starts from Turkey's southwestern coast of Fethiye-Marmaris-Kaş and extends to the Derna-Tobruk-Bordia coastline of Libya.
The maritime delimitation agreement also recognizes Turkey's rights in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) extending into the southeast of the island of Crete, thwarting any illegal attempts to confine the country's EEZ in the Mediterranean into an area of 41,000 square meters.
Consequently, the agreement also pushes other regional actors – Israel, Egypt, the Greek Cypriot administration [Republic of Cyprus], Greece and European Union (EU) states – to negotiate with Turkey for any pipeline project to carry Eastern Mediterranean natural gas to European markets. The proposed route for this pipeline passes through Turkey's EEZ, which is again marked through the agreement inked with the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli. In March 2019, Israel, Greece and the Greek Cypriot government signed a deal on the proposed EastMed pipeline in Tel Aviv with the participation of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. It is estimated that the $7 billion project will take several years to complete and deliver 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the issue yesterday, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey has the right to have negotiations with every country when it comes to the jurisdiction areas in Mediterranean. Stating that the talks with Libya also took place in this respect, Çavuşoğlu said that these deals mean that Turkey protects its rights under international law in the region. He added that in the upcoming period, similar deals may be done with other Mediterranean countries as well. "Although right now it does not seem possible to have such deals with some countries, in future it may be possible," he said.
"We [as Turkey] always have the intention to share the richness of areas like the Mediterranean and Aegean fairly while protecting our rights provided by international law. This is also valid for the reserves in Cyprus," he said.
On the same issue, Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Safak (28.11.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/historic-turkey-libya-agreement-to-put-an-end-to-greek-occupation-of-east-med-3506151), under the title “Historic Turkey-Libya agreement to put an end to Greek occupation of East Med”, reports that journalist Mehmet Kancı, speaking exclusively to the paper, claimed that Turkey will be within its rights to counter any threat to its interests starting from the open waters of Crete Island
The historic agreement reached between Turkey and Libya will put an end to Greece and 'Southern Cyprus’s 15-year reportedly violations of international sovereign rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, according to an expert on the topic.
According to Turkey’s state news agency (28.11.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-lashes-at-frances-criticism-of-anti-terror-op/1658539), Turkey on Thursday dismissed recent comments by French President Emmanuel Macron against Turkey's operation in Syria. "Macron's words, in my eyes, have no meaning," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, claiming that the French leader "constantly hosts" terrorists at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
On Macron's comments that the NATO alliance had become "brain dead", Cavusoglu said the French President disgruntled everyone, including NATO members, and drew criticism from all. "Right now, there is a void in Europe, he is trying to be its leader," Cavusoglu said, adding that with such remarks, Macron could not be the leader of Europe.
Following Macron's remarks, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin quoted German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who reportedly said the French President continually engaged in "disruptive politics". "Macron keeps breaking one cup after the other and still wants tea," Kalin said on Twitter.
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party also slammed Macron's comments, with spokesman Omer Celik saying: "Macron should first face the situation of his own country which has held operations all over Africa to protect its colonial interests in disregard to [international] law". He added: "Macron's words on Syria is nothing more than France's intention to keep its colonial past in Syria alive with bright sentences."
Blaming NATO for France’s poor policy choices and growing strategic irrelevance is unfair to the longstanding alliance, said Turkey's communications director Fahrettin Altun on Friday, adding in English on Twitter that “It is unfair to the French people as well”.
According to Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (28.11.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2019/11/28/president-erdogan-decries-divide-in-the-muslim-world), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lamented divisions based on sectarianism in the Muslim world and called for unity. Addressing the sixth Religious Council meeting of the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB) in Ankara on Thursday, Erdoğan also criticized Muslim countries "seeking answers in the West". "The fault lines among Muslims are further sharpened by the highlighting of differences in races, languages, sects and temperament," said Erdoğan, who has pursued closer relations for Turkey with Muslim countries during his tenure as Prime Minister and President.
Noting that the Turkish nation never differentiates between the Rashidun Caliphs, referring to the 30-year reign of the first four caliphs following the death of the Prophet Muhammad, Erdoğan said that Shiism and Sunnism are reflected as separate religions by some people.
Mentioning that sectarian and interest-oriented approaches have prevented Muslims from finding common ground, Erdoğan stressed that an understanding that sees self-interests above the interests of the ummah has nothing to offer to Muslims.
Touching on Turkey's effort toward the interests of Muslims, Erdoğan said Turkey takes actions against attacks on things sacred to Muslims and to ensure that the Islamic world takes a common position as well as fights for gaining self-confidence among Muslims. "Muslims look for solutions in the Western capitals for their problems, instead of reaching out to their Muslim brothers and sisters for help," he lamented.
Turkish news portal Ahval (28.11.19, http://ahval.co/en-66424) reports that Turkish security forces have been investigating provocations against Alevi people in Turkey’s third most populous province, Izmir, and will soon arrest those responsible, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday.
The police launched an investigation after unknown people drew red crosses on the doors of houses belonging to Alevis and wrote discriminatory messages on the walls of the buildings in a neighbourhood Izmir’s Gaziemir district.
The Alevi community makes up an estimated 12% of the population in Turkey, making Alevis the largest religious group following Sunni Muslims. There have been frequent cases of harassment against Alevis in which red crosses are painted on the doors of their homes.
“Some marks have been left on the doors of some houses. The aim is to divide our country,” Erdoğan said during a speech in Ankara. “Our security forces are working to find those who put those marks on the doors. They will be held to account when they are arrested,” he said.
Erdogan further said that Turkey had witnessed similar acts during the massacres against the Alevi population in the late 1970s.
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