According to illegal BRT channel (19.12.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-issues-written-statement-2), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in a written statement, evaluated the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cyprus issue.
Akinci said that adopting an understanding of turning the natural resources into an opportunity which will bring peace and prosperity to the whole island had become an urgent need with the reality of deployment of military air vehicles on both sides of the island.
“At this point by repeating my call for reconciliation, I want to remind that the proposal I put forward on the 13th of July which aimed to change the hydrocarbon issue from being an area of tension and conflict to a means of a fruitful cooperation between the two peoples, is still on the table”, Akıncı said, claiming that the steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side [Cyprus government] to unilaterally benefit from the hydrocarbons led to the same steps to be taken in the “North” [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus].
Stressing that the latest developments proved that the urgency of a solution in Cyprus went beyond the borders and became a need for the region, he said: “All our efforts are towards the establishment of conditions where there will be no tension in our island and in our region and where cooperation and peace will prevail.”
“The negative results of efforts aimed at achieving superiority through a policy of tension instead of our proposals based on sharing and managing together is becoming clearer with every passing day”, Akinci argued.
Claiming that Cyprus’ recent military relations with Israel and the unmanned aerial vehicles bought within this framework had increased concerns, Akinci argued: “The tension which started with the Greek Cypriot side’s efforts to unilaterally benefit from the natural resources around Cyprus had reached a different dimension with the agreements signed with some regional countries by ignoring the Turkish Cypriots’ rights. Even the issue of providing a military base for some foreign countries in South Cyprus [Republic of Cyprus] is coming to the agenda at times. It is also known that some facilities are provided for the military ships of some countries at the ports. Besides all this, lifting the arms embargo for the Greek Cypriot side which was brought to the agenda again in the US is a negative development.”
According to illegal BRT channel (19.12.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tatar-and-oktay-meet), self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar, evaluating his one hour meeting with the Turkish vice President Fuat Oktay at the Turkish Presidential Complex in Ankara to the “BRT”, said that he had held a very beneficial meeting with Oktay and “had discussed details pertaining to the protocol signed on the 20th of July between the two countries”.
Noting that “they worked on a timetable to work on the remainder of the protocol and that in the coming months they expect to have all the requirements completed”, Tatar further said that “they also discussed the 2020 protocol that will be signed between the two countries”.
“Instructions have also been given to the necessary areas in order for the work to be completed on time for the continuation of the economic financial cooperation protocol between the TRNC [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus] and Turkey”, Tatar added.
Stressing that they always harvested good relations with Ankara, Tatar noted that although some problems may emerge from time to time they were doing their best to overcome these problems.
Drawing attention to the fact that “budgetary discussions were taking place in Turkey and the TRNC”, Tatar thanked Oktay and his team for their time and said that “they had left Ankara with the knowledge that they had reached a mutual understanding that the 2020 protocol will be signed in January 2020”.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Diyalog (19.12.19), under the title “2019 ends but the 200 million TL haven’t arrived yet”, reports that the issues of financial aid, the fenced-off town of Varosha and the immovable property commission were discussed in Ankara. The paper also reports that according to information obtained, the meeting was not requested by Ankara but by the “TRNC government” ten days ago. It is also reported that “the government is in favour of drafting and signing the protocol before being affected by the upcoming presidential elections in April 2020, because in case of not signing the protocol, the flow of money to the TRNC will not be materialized and the investment projects will be adversely affected in 2020”.
Moreover, during the Ankara visit, “the issue of creating the necessary resources and taking legal measures for the activation of the immovable property commission were also discussed. In addition, opinions about the future of the fenced-off town of Varosha , whose inventory study was completed, were also discussed”, the paper reports. While the “government” reiterated the opinion that fenced-off Varosha should be opened under Turkish administration, it is still a question of how the “TRNC” would act regarding the “additional tax law” for creating a fund for the immovable property commission, the paper concludes.
Meanwhile, self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, in statements to Diyalog paper, said that the main issue in the meetings was the economy and confirmed the news that the meeting was requested by themselves.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris Postasi (19.12.19) reports that self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar, evaluating yesterday’s news report on the direct flights issue at the news programme of Kibris Postasi web TV, said that the issue is in the “government’s agenda” for some time now. He added that a technical formula is needed in order to overcome and solve this issue.
He further said: “Following Brexit, the UK will be the second guarantor country that is not in the European Union”, claiming that the Cyprus problem, which has not been solved for 45 years now, is unlikely to be solved anytime soon. “For this reason, there is no meaning to violate people’s freedom of travel any longer”, Tatar argued.
Noting that the Turkish Cypriots living in Britain have made their voice heard on the issue of direct flights at every possible platform, Tatar added that the Turkish Cypriots in Britain have a strong lobby, which is very important.
Turkish Cypriot daily Nacak (19.12.19) reports that the Deputy chairman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Unal Cevikoz, commenting in a written statement on the Draft National Defense Authorization Act for 2020 adopted in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, which envisages, inter alia, the lifting of U.S. arms embargo on Cyprus, in favor of the “Greek Cypriot administration” [Translator’s note: RoC], condemned the US for this action.
Cevikoz claimed that the sanctions included in the bill, would cause many problems to the future ties between Turkey and the USA and at the same time, would contribute neither to the de-escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, nor to the efforts aiming to reach a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (19.12.19) reports that the central committee of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) which convened last night, evaluated the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean issue and the Cyprus issue and decided to hold a series of meetings with all sides in the island in order to exert efforts and push pressure on the solution of the Cyprus problem.
The party’s central committee underlined the jeopardizing developments in the region and sent the message that “what we currently need is not steps that would escalate further the tension but steps that would contribute to conciliation, cooperation, peace and solution to the Cyprus problem”. “The only remedy for creating an environment of peace in the island and preventing tension is for the sides which back the solution to the Cyprus problem to undertake initiative and concrete steps for the solution”, the party said.
Evaluating the deployment of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UVA’s) that have been stationed in the occupied airport of Lefkonoiko, TDP said that this step was taken in return to the “unilateral steps taken by the Greek Cypriot administration [Translator’s note: RoC] on the hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean”. The party expressed worries over the latest developments and called on the “Greek Cypriot administration” to take into consideration all warning toward this issue, as well as Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinct’s proposal to cooperate.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (19.12.19) reports that Asim Akansoy, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), in statements yesterday in the so-called assembly during the “discussion for the ministry of interior’s 2020 budget”, referred, inter alia, to data regarding the “granting of the TRNC’s citizenship” and supported that only recently, 167 people “obtained the TRNC’s citizenship” after a “decision of the ministerial council”. Akansoy added that 157 out of them are Turkish citizens and the reaming 10 are citizens of other countries.
According to Akansoy, the number of people who have obtained the occupation regime’s citizenship have reached 505 (if adding also their spouses, wives and children).
Akansoy went on demanding to be informed about the “provisions of the decisions of the ministerial council towards the issue of granting citizenship”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (19.12.19- https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ulucay-in-baku-2), the “speaker” of the so-called assembly, Teberruken Ulucay who is illegally in Baku, Azerbaijan, has taken part in the 9th General Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TÜRKPA).
Evaluating the general assembly meeting, Ulucay said that a variety of topics that closely concern the “TRNC” were discussed.
He gave the examples of the recognition of the important decisions under the titles of equivalence of diplomas and intangible cultural heritage.
Referring to the importance of their representation at international meetings abroad, Uluçay referred further to the escalation of tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, supporting that the problems should be solved by providing opportunities for cooperation between all parties through peaceful means.
Ulucay and his accompanying delegation are expected to return to the occupied area of Cyprus tonight, after completing their contacts in Baku.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.12.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-dispatch-a-team-to-russia-for-libya-talks-150000) reports that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that senior delegation from Ankara will soon travel to Moscow for substantial talks on the recent developments in Libya, expressing hopes to accomplish a constructive result in a short time, after a phone exchange with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We have made an assignment (with Putin). In the framework of this assignment, a delegation composed by our deputy foreign minister, deputy defense minister and officials from the intelligence and national security will soon pay a visit to Moscow. They will discuss regional matters in substance,” Erdoğan told a press conference in Geneva before his departure to Kuala Lumpur on Dec. 18.
“We have demanded a constructive meeting to obtain a result in a short period of time from Putin, and he told us he will issue a similar task. We have agreed that our teams will discuss both Libya and Syria,” he added.
On questions, President Erdogan underlined that the deals with Libya do comply with international law and that the government is working on some additional measures, which will be announced in due course.
“Turkey’s deal with Tripoli has changed the flow of developments in the Libyan theater where foreign powers like Russia, Egypt and United Arab Emirates have lent military support to Hafter forces”, Erdogan said. “Does Hafter have international recognition? No. No one does, even the Berlin Process does not acknowledge him”, he added.
Erdogan recalled that he had a phone call with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on Dec. 16 in which she extended an invitation to Turkey to participate in a meeting that will take place on Libya in Berlin.
On a deal between Ankara and the “TRNC” [Translator’s note: the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] for the deployment of Turkish armed drones there to a more efficient surveillance of ongoing drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan informed that the number of drones may increase in the future. “Everything may change depending ON our needs,” Erdogan said, stressing the importance of the role these drones will play in the region. “This process will continue at the same speed”, he added.
On a question whether cooperation might be launched with all littoral countries for the hydrocarbon activities, particularly with Israel, Erdogan replied “The issue of Israel has never come to our agenda. It would be meaningless to bring it to our agenda as it’s not on our agenda.”
On a question about ongoing talks for the return of Syrian refugees to a safe zone in the northeastern Syria, Erdogan said all his interlocutors, including the Americans and Russians, express solidarity but without yet concrete support.
President Erdogan also responded to questions on the opposition’s criticisms with regards to the government’s plans to deploy troops to Libya and the ongoing row with the U.S.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu has urged the government to engage in healthy dialogue with the U.S. instead of threatening it to shut down military installations on its soils, like the Incirlik base and radar site in Kürecik.
“There is a government that is taking all of its steps in a very careful way. Either İncirlik or Kürecik, or both of them… If you respect the values of this country, if you want to contribute to the future of this country, then you should better think when to call us to restraint,” he said. “Otherwise, we know perfectly where to move with restraint, where to act decisively”, Erdogan added.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.12.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/asia-pacific/fate-of-worlds-muslims-not-in-hands-of-5-countries/1677866) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that the fate of the world's 1.7 billion Muslims is no longer in the hands of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council,.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Kuala Lumpur Summit in the Malaysian capital, Erdogan reiterated that the world is bigger than five, referring to the five permanent UN Security Council members, whose veto power could prove catastrophic for smaller nations.
"The world is bigger than five" is a famous slogan repeatedly used by Erdogan to criticize the permanent council members -- China, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.
Erdogan also said that Turkey did not bow to pressure to silence it, including a coup attempt, economic terror and slander. “As they try to silence Turkey, we insist on calling attention to Palestine, Gaza, the Rohingya, Libya, Somalia and Syria,” he stressed.
At the opening ceremony, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as well as the host, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, delivered speeches.
Hundreds of government officials, businessmen, representatives of civil societies and experts from different sectors across the Muslim world are taking part in the summit.
Turkish daily Sabah (18.12.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/12/18/turkey-malaysia-sign-pacts-on-defense-technology-during-erdogans-visit) reports that Turkish and Malaysian officials signed 15 agreements in various fields, including cooperation in defense, science and technology, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday in the presence of both countries' leaders.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad at his official residence to witness the signing of 15 goodwill agreements.
The defense pacts were signed by Hulusi Akar, Turkey's Defense Minister and Mohamad Sabu, his Malaysian counterpart.
The agreement on science and technology was signed between Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank and Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia's Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister.
President Erdogan and first lady Emine Erdogan later met Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin and his wife Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah at the royal palace.
President Erdogan Wednesday arrived in Malaysia to attend the Kuala Lumpur summit at the invitation of Malaysian Prime Minister.
(…)The summit, which will be held from Dec. 18 to Dec. 21, is a global platform for dialogue that will bring together Muslim leaders, intellectuals and scholars to produce solutions to problems faced by Muslims.
It focuses on issues such as development and sovereignty, integrity and good governance, culture and identity, justice and freedom, peace, security and defense, and technology and internet governance.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.12.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-leader-slams-arrest-of-urla-mayor-says-turkey-does-not-have-democracy-149986) reports that Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu has slammed the arrest and removal of his party’s district mayor for the Aegean province of İzmir, over alleged links to the FETÖ, the group behind the defeated coup attempt of 2016.
“There is no democracy, no law in [Turkey]. Everything is being implemented with the will of just one person. We are not going to take a step back because our mayor has been arrested,” Kilicdaroglu said late on Dec. 17, during an interview to private broadcaster KRT TV.
“We will continue to put up a fight until democracy arrives [in Turkey] in a real sense,” he added.
İbrahim Burak Oğuz, CHP’s mayor for İzmir’s Urla district, was arrested on Dec. 17. Oguz is the first head of a CHP-run municipality to be arrested since the March 31 elections. Oguz is facing charges on being a member of FETÖ.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.12.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/world/turkey-to-head-osce-forum-for-security-cooperation/1677809) reports that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) decided on Wednesday that Turkey will take over the chairmanship of its decision-making body in January.
Rauf Engin Sosyal, Turkey’s representative to the OSCE, was chosen to take over the term Presidency of the Forum for Security Cooperation from the representative of the Czech Republic in a ceremony held in Austria’s capital, Vienna, according to a statement by the permanent mission of Turkey to the OSCE.
After 18 years, Turkey will again head the Forum for Security Cooperation from January to April 2020.
The forum, which works to increase military security and stability in Europe, is one of the OSCE’s two main regular decision-making bodies.
The agenda for the weekly forum meetings in Vienna includes security dialogues, allowing participating states to discuss security concerns.
The forum’s chairmanship rotates among the OSCE participating states, with each state holding the chairmanship for four months.
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