Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.04.18) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that there are some issues which should be discussed during his dinner with President Anastasiades on 16 April and added that no mutual accusations are needed at this point. Addressing a feast in the occupied area of Cyprus, Akinci said that everybody will gain a lot from peace and cooperation and that tears and suffering is the only thing which we will gain from the war and tension. He alleged: “However, it is not enough for me to be the only one who wants this unilaterally. All sides concerned should want this with the same vision, [they should want us] to build together the infrastructure of peace and cooperation in this island and its surrounding area. […] We should meet at the path of wisdom in the energy and security policies for a peaceful future in Cyprus. This is possible and there is a way to do it. Provided there is a will, provided that an understanding, which sees us within the equation and which does not exclude us, prevails in our neighbors in the south”.
Noting that with these thoughts he will attend the dinner with President Anastasiades on 16 April, Akinci said that he will sincerely share with his “people” the results of the dinner and argued: “Can we see the future of Cyprus and our area from the same window and the need to achieve stability? Do our dream and vision for the future coincide or we have very different understandings and behaviors? Actually this is the issue which must be discussed”.
Referring to the negotiations he had held with President Anastasiades, Akinci said that they have discussed a lot of details during the past three years and that there are issues on which they have reached an agreement and some other issues on which they disagreed. “However, at the point we have reached I think that everybody should understand that this issue cannot continue for another fifty years”, he claimed and alleged that if some people do not understand this, they should be assisted in understanding it, since “the conditions do not allow the continuation of this issue in this manner for another fifty years”.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.04.18) reported that Akinci replied to those who have criticized him for his statement that “we are at a junction” in the Cyprus problem. He alleged that he had never exhibited an attitude which excluded the perspective of a solution, but “everybody sees” that the time which passes strengthens the division of the island and makes finding a solution more difficult. “There is nothing more natural than expressing my concerns regarding the course that I see before the meeting which we will have with Mr Anastasiades”, he argued and recalled that a few days ago the leader of a Greek Cypriot political party had stated that the division of the island would be established if the current situation continued for another 2-3 years and that the Greek Cypriot negotiator said that “we are playing in the extra time”. “This situation did not happen because I have deviated into another road. Unfortunately, we have reached this point because the great effort exerted by the Turkish Cypriot side for a solution could not find the necessary response”, he alleged.
According to illegal Bayrak television (10.04.18- http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-received-spehar-and-doherty-respectively) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı met today with the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Cyprus-Chief of Mission Elizabeth Spehar.
The so-called presidential spokesman Barıs Burcu and the so-called special advisor for diplomacy and EU Affairs Erhan Ercin were also present at the meeting which focused on the informal meeting between the two leaders set to take place this coming Monday on the 16th of April.
Monday evening’s social meeting will be the first time the two leaders will be coming together since the Cyprus negotiations ended in failure in Crans-Montana last summer.
Akıncı has repeatedly stated that the aim of the informal meeting will be to listen to what the Greek Cypriot leader has to say regarding the future of the island and in no way constitutes the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations process.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting which lasted for nearly an hour, Spehar said that she had a very good meeting with Akıncı during which they discussed the upcoming social meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades.
Stating that she will be holding a similar meeting with President Anastasiades this week, Spehar reminded that Monday night’s informal meeting will be the first time the two leaders will be getting together since the talks collapsed last summer.
“We as the UN are extremely happy to be hosting this dinner. We think it will be a good opportunity for the two gentlemen to meet face to face and to discuss the issues.” she said.
Meanwhile, Akıncı also met today with the US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kathleen Doherty.
The latest developments on the Cyprus problem were discussed during the meeting.
No statements were issued before or after the meeting.
According to illegal Bayrak television (10.04.18- http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-to-attend-eurasian-economic-summit), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will be travelling to Istanbul tomorrow to attend the 21st Eurasian Economic summit, as a guest of the Marmara group foundation.
Akinci will depart tomorrow afternoon from the “TRNC” and is expected to return back on Thursday.
Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak television (10.04.18- http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=busy-week-for-ministers-in-ankara), so-called minister of finance Serdar Denktas, and the “minister of agriculture and natural resources”, Erkut Sahalli, together with the “minister of public works and communications”, Tolga Atakan and the “minister of labour and social security” Zeki Celer will be “holding contacts” in Ankara this week.
Sahali will be meeting with the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Cyprus Affairs Recep Akdag at 5pm this afternoon. He will later meet with his Turkish “counterpart” Ahmet Esref Fakıbaba.
Also, Denktas will be meeting with his Turkish “counterpart” Naci Agbal, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Cyprus Affairs Akdag and the Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek on Thursday.
Moroever, Atakan will be meeting with the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communications Ahmet Arslan.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.04.18) reports that 22-year-old Erdinc Senturk who is accused of murdering Greek Cypriot Solomos Apostolides will face trial in Turkey.
The so-called minister of justice Aysegul Baybars stated that “legally is not possible for the suspect to be handed and trialed in the TRNC”, because he is a Turkish citizen. “However if he asks for a trial in the north of Cyprus the necessary arrangements can be made”, she stated.
The paper writes that speaking to the Turkish police, the suspect claimed that they played in a casino in the occupied area of Cyprus with Apostolides and after they run out of money they went to a deserted place where Apostolides tried to sexually abuse him, thus leading to the suspect to hit him with a stone and abandoning him without realizing that Apostolides was dead. He also claimed that following this he went to Alexandretta and then to Yalova where he surrendered to the Turkish police after he found out that Apostolides was dead.
Reporting on the same issue, Kibris (10.04.18) refers to the “law” according to which a Turkish citizen cannot be trialed in the breakaway regime and notes that all the relevant to the case documents, including the statements and the camera footings, will be sent to Turkey. The suspect can be trialed to the breakaway regime only if he asks it, the paper writes.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (05.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/eu-minister-celik-rebukes-greek-minister-for-his-remarks-over-military-move-in-aegean-sea-129809) reported that Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik has lashed out at Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos over his remarks regarding recent military moves in the Aegean Sea and northeast Greece.
Speaking in Paris on April 5 following a meeting with France’s EU Minister Nathalie Loiseau, Celik called Kammenos “mindless.” “When we look at his statements, we see that he is mindless,” Celik said.
“The issue of the Eastern Mediterranean cannot be handled unilaterally. The guilty part in the whole process is the Greek Cypriot side,” he alleged.
(…)Kammenos had described Turkey as an “enemy that continues to provoke us” and announced that he has ordered the deployment of 3,500 additional military personnel in the Aegean and another 3,500 across Turkey’s border in Thrace.
“If they have the guts let them dare to challenge one inch of our territory ... the Greeks, united, will crush them,” Kammenos said at a reservist exercise on the eastern island of Ikaria on April 4.
There was no immediate comment from Turkish officials.
The March 1 arrest of two Greek soldiers who strayed into Turkish territory while on a border patrol has further strained relations between the two countries. The soldiers remain detained in Turkey.
“What is needed is the vigilance of the entire Greek people in facing an opponent, an enemy that continues to provoke us,” Kammenos said. “We are not frightened or brought to our knees by their provocations, their threats, and their insults. They make us stronger,” he added.
Kammenos, who heads the small right-wing Independent Greeks party, is a junior partner in the government of left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
In a televised address on April 3, Tsipras called for “calm and moderation” in dealings with Turkey.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.04.18) reported that Celik in statements via his twitter account claimed that EU’s solidarity towards Greece and “south Cyprus, as he called the Republic of Cyprus is not based on principles. In his message, Celik accused the EU of implementing a double standard policy on Turkey. He claimed that the EU, on the one hand says to them “you cannot behave in this way to an EU member state” and on the other hand the EU behaves as if it does not know the statements made by Greece and “south Cyprus”. “If the EU was acting and behaving based on principles, it would condemn the actions and statements of the person called Greek Defense Minister”, Celik alleged, describing Kammenos as a provocateur and a “comedy actor politician”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (09.04.18) reported that Prof. Dr. Yasin Aktay, Turkish President Erdogan’s advisor, has “seriously warned the Greek Cypriots” on the hydrocarbons issue. In statements to the paper, Aktay alleged that “Turkey will definitely not allow developments which harm the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the area” or “any illegal activity regarding its continental shelf”. “Let no one try to test Turkey on this issue”, he claimed.
Referring to the Cyprus talks, Aktay alleged that the Greek Cypriot side has caused the failure of the Cyprus Conference in Crans Montana by submitting “maximalist demands”. “The Greek Cypriot side has come now with a maximalist understanding on the hydrocarbon issue in Eastern Mediterranean. This will not be allowed”, he alleged.
Aktay claimed also that after the Crans Montana summit they cannot tolerate more waste of time with negotiating processes which will have no result. He accused the Greek Cypriot side of preventing “a result to come out from this summit which was the last chance for finding a federal solution to the Cyprus issue”.
Replying to a question, he said that the Turkish drilling vessel will soon launch drilling activities in the Mediterranean “within the legal framework which has been discussed and agreed with the Turkish Cypriot side”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (10.04.18) reports that the “Left Movement” who was established recently in the occupied area of Cyprus called on the two leaders in Cyprus to be productive prior to the April 16 dinner between them and to re-launch the Cyprus negotiations in the Guterres framework.
The Movement’s representative Abdullah Korkmazhan stated that finding a fast solution is essential for all Cypriots and noted that the dilemma faced by the Turkish Cypriots is either a federal solution or be vanished as a community.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (07.04.18) reported that 4,127 persons, who are children and spouses of mixed marriages, have applied to the Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions of Primary Teachers and Secondary Teachers (KTOS and KTOEOS) for the passport of the Republic of Cyprus.
According to the paper, 2,433 of the applicants are spouses of Turkish Cypriots and 1,649 are children of mixed marriages. However 41,4% of the persons applied to the trade unions have not applied to the Republic of Cyprus asking for citizenship.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.04.18) reported that Ayfer Said Erkmen, chairman of the so-called “Immovable Property Commission” (IPC) established by Turkey in the occupied area of Cyprus, has alleged that the “commission” has “Turkified” 17,232 donums of occupied Greek Cypriot properties [Translator’s note: Donum is a land measure of 1,000 square meters]. Erkmen said that they paid compensation for 13,000 donums and only 4,232 donums remained unpaid. He noted that the land “Turkified” in each area is: 2,654 donums in occupied Nicosia, 3,736 donums in occupied Famagusta, 5,751 donums in occupied Keryneia, 2,545 in occupied Morfou and 2,546 in occupied Trikomo.
According to Erkmen, for each donum 15,705 sterling pounds were paid, which is averagely tantamount to 11,75 sterling pounds per meter square. He added that the total cost of the 17,232 “Turkified” donums of land reaches 270 million 634 thousand 731 sterling pounds.
He claimed that 3% of the land was compensated and became Turkish and when all cases are paid, this percentage could increase to 8%. “If the payments are speeded up, the applications may increase”, he argued.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (10.04.18) reports that the foundation of the new building of occupied Morfou “municipality” was laid. Former Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, Turkey’s so-called ambassador in the occupied part of Nicosia, Derya Kanbay and National Unity Party’s (UBP) chairman, Huseyin Ozgurgun were among the participants in the ceremony.
In his speech, Eroglu alleged that the more investments are made in Morfou, the better the Greek Cypriots will understand that the area will not be returned [under Greek Cypriot administration in case of a solution to the Cyprus problem].
Kanbay reiterated the promise that Turkey will support all steps for a “stronger TRNC”, while Ozgurgun argued that Morfou is the most valuable and productive land in the occupied area of Cyprus and underlined the importance of cooperation with Turkey in taking steps for [the Turkish Cypriots] taking roots in the area.
According to illegal Bayrak television (07.04.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=alternative-tourism-efforts), so-called minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu who is in Antalya in order to take part in the Hestourex World Health, Sports and Alternative Tourism Congress and Fair, held a variety of contacts on the side-lines of the fair.
Making a statement to the press Ataoglu alleged taht he is looking into alternative tourism ideas and therefore he held “contacts” in regards to marine tourism.
He emphasised the importance of variety in the tourism field and claimed: “If we are able to bring marine tourism to our country this will create new tourism alternatives in the country”.
(…)Within the framework of his visit to Antalya, Ataoglu visited the “TRNC Antalya consulate general office” that will come into “official service” soon and met with the “consulate general” Mustafa Kemal Beyazbayram.
He also visited the “TRNC Antalya tourism and promotion office” and the Antalya Journalists Association.
Making a statement during his visit to the Antalya Journalists Association, Ataoglu alleged that this year they aim to increase the number of tourists visiting the “TRNC” to 2 million, that’s 300 thousand more tourists from last year, as he argued.
Explaining that they had begun workings so that luxury boat tours can take place between Antalya-Alanya-Cyprus, Ataoglu announced that these tours will begin prior to the summer season this year.
“We have received many proposals for the project and after our discussions yesterday we received proposals for a luxury boat with a capacity for 400 people that could do the tour in a shorter period of time. We will continue our discussions and hopefully the tours will begin in a month or so”, he further said. .
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.04.18) reported that so-called minister Ataoglu attended the “Global Healthcare Travel Council” as an “honorary board member”.
Representing the occupation regime, Ahmet Savasan was “elected” as the vice president at the General Meeting, at which 47 delegations from 38 countries were present.
The Ordinary General Meeting for the Global Healthcare Travel Council was held in Antalya at the World Health, Sport and Alternative Tourism Congress Fair.
At the General Meeting under the presidency of the Founding President Emin Cakmak, Rusyan Guliyev from Azerbaijan was elected as the President, Ahmet Savasan from the “TRNC” as the Vice President, and Constantine Constantinides from Greece as the Secretary General.
In statements on the issue, Ataoglu claimed that they have obtained a historic representation at the international arena with Savasan’s election and expressed his delight at the “TRNC’s flag being displayed at the World Health Tourism Council, at an equal stage alongside 57 other countries”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (10.-4.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=mfa-slams-greek-cypriot-efforts), the so-called deputy prime ministry and foreign ministry, in a written statement described the Republic of Cyprus’ attempts to prevent the “TRNC National Football Team” from participating in the CONIFA World Cup set to take place in London, as “an act of disrespect against the Turkish Cypriots”.
The “foreign ministry” alleged in the statement that the intolerance shown by the Greek Cypriots against sports which is a peaceful and humane activity is concerning.
The statement further alleged that the Greek Cypriots’ mentality of intolerance is only serving to deepen the mistrust between the two communities on the island.
“The Greek Cypriot leadership which claims it wants to establish a partnership with the Turkish Cypriot side should not support such backward initiatives aimed at strangling Turkish Cypriot youth but to the contrary should take measures at stopping this” the statement claimed, alleging also out that “these latest attempts demonstrated a need for a change in the Greek Cypriot mind-set not only at the negotiating table but on other social and economic issues so as to establish healthy and peaceful relations”.
The statement called on the United Kingdom as well as all other actors supporting a settlement on the island not to allow or tolerate such outdated actions.
Also,according to illegal Bayrak television (09.04.18- http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=atca-condemns-gc-side) the “association of Turkish Cypriots abroad” (“ATCA”) in response has sent a letter to the Enfield Council, which owns the stadium where the CONIFA 2018 world cup matches are set to take place, calling on the Enfield Council authorities not to pay heed to the Greek Cypriot efforts.
The efforts to prevent the “TRNC national team” is being carried out by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK which is a London-based umbrella organisation incorporating Greek Cypriot associations in the United Kingdom.
The Greek Cypriot initiative was condemned in a joint statement made by “ATCA’s TRNC representative” Kerem Hasan and “ATCA’s UK representative” Mehmet Huseyin.
The statement said that letters were sent to UK politicians and the Enfield Council containing inappropriate words aimed at preventing the “TRNC’s participation” in the 2018 CONIFA World Cup.
The statement added that the “Cyprus Turkish football association” had been informed of the Greek Cypriot side’s efforts and that letters explaining that there were “two peoples” in Cyprus. The letters also underlined the need not to mix politics with sports.
Stating that the stadium belonging to the Enfield Council had been privately rented by CONIFA and that no agreement had been signed between the Enfield Council and the “TRNC national team”, the “ATCA” statement claimed that the Enfield Council had not set any conditions regarding which team could and could not play at the stadium.
It said that CONIFA would also have to compensate the “TRNC national team” and other teams if barred from the competition.
The statement concluded by stating that thousands of Turkish Cypriots would be demonstrating if such a move was taken by the Enfield council.
According to illegal Bayrak television (10.04.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=atlasjet-halts-flights-to-trnc) the Turkish Airliner Atlasjet has announced that it is “halting all of its flights to and from the TRNC” as of the 25th of April until further notice.
Speaking on BRT this morning, the “chairman” of the “Turkish Cypriot tourism and travel agent’s association” Erkan Kilim alleged that AtlasJet’s decision to stop its flights to the “TRNC” will have an adverse effect on the Turkish Cypriot “people”.
He further saidthat Atlasjet passengers who have already purchased tickets in advance will need to follow closely statements made by the airline.
Kilim added that “it is time that a new national semi-private airline company to be set up in the TRNC”.
In statements on the issue, so-called minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu stated that they were in contacts with the Turkish Airlines to prevent Atlasjet’s decision from affecting the tourism sector.
Ataoglu also added that they have sent a request to Turkish Airlines (THY) to increase the number of flights to and from the “TRNC”.
He argued that Atlasjet had taken the decision to halt flights because it was changing flight schedules and prices.
Ataoglu also claimed that under the current circumstances establishing a new “national airline” had become inevitable.
Moreover, commenting on this development, so-called minister of public works and communications Tolga Atakan alleged that “it was out of the question for the Turkish airline company Atlasjet to completely halt all of its flights to and from the TRNC”, adding that the issue will be discussed at the so-called parliament today.
(…)Atakan alleged that he has been in contact with Atlasjet since yesterday evening following the news that the airline was halting all flights to and from the “TRNC” until further notice.
Atakan alleged that some flights had been halted as a result of developments taking place within the company but that they had launched an initiative aimed at minimizing the effects of the move.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (07.04.18) reports that members of the Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP) demonstrated against the Good Friday service held in Ayios Georgios Exorinos Church in occupied Famagusta.
According to the paper, the MDP members held flags of Turkey and of the “TRNC” and shouted slogans. They also made the “grey wolf signal”. They reacted against the decision of the “government” to give permission for the religious service to be held in the occupied church. Due to the measures taken by the “police” further events were prevented, according to the paper.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/you-will-end-up-in-hell-erdogan-tells-supporters-of-pkk-129982) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again struck a harsh tone against supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on April 8, saying that supporters of the group will “end up in hell” and vowing to continue operations in Syria and Iraq.
“We will continue our struggle within the framework of a strategy that we have determined. We thank every party that support us in this struggle. To those who speak like mouthpieces of terrorist organizations, we say you will end up in hell,” Erdogan said at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) rally in the south eastern province of Siirt.
His comments came a day after he accused France of abetting terrorists by “hosting them” at the Elysée Palace in Paris, amid a diplomatic row between the NATO allies over France’s support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
On March 30, French President Emmanuel Macron met a Syrian delegation including the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its political arm, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), giving assurances of French support to help stabilize northern Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Turkey said that Macron’s pledge amounted to “support for terrorism” and could make France a “target of Turkey.”
“France, you are abetting terrorism. You are supporting it by hosting them at the Elysée Palace,” Erdogan told supporters in the southwestern province of Denizli on April 7.
“You will not be able to explain this. You will not be able to rid yourself of this terror burden ... As long as the West nurtures these terrorists, it will sink,” he said.
Erdoğan further ramped up his tone on April 8, accusing France of “hosting terrorists.” “We have been waging an unprecedented struggle against terror. They are standing against us with the voice and demands of terrorist organizations even though they should have been supporting us,” he said.
“When it comes to their interests, they do not refrain from marching with terrorist organizations. They even host terrorists in the Elysée Palace. Then he tries to give me advice. Keep your advice to yourself. If you are against terrorist organizations then you have to stand with us. If you don’t do that, you should know that all these terrorist organizations will give you a headache,” Erdogan added.
He vowed that Turkey will continue its operations in Syria and Iraq against PKK forces, adding that the Turkish Armed Forces have so far “neutralized” a total of 4,017 militants within the framework of “Operation Olive Branch.”
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/we-will-vote-in-2019-to-save-democracy-chp-head-kilicdaroglu) reported that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu has called on “all democracy defenders” to go to the polls in upcoming elections due in 2019, vowing victory over the ruling Justice and Developing Party (AKP).
“We have to act together as people who want democracy. There isn’t any party in this, there is no right or left, no identity. It is a work about democracy,” Kilicdaroglu said on April 8, speaking at an event with Roma citizens in Istanbul.
Stating that the main opposition party “is against discrimination,” he urged Roma citizens to go to the polls in the upcoming 2019 elections. “We will go to the polls in 2019 and we will bury the dictatorial administration and its dictators in the ballot boxes. We will bring a first-class democracy to Turkey,” he added.
“We have two options in 2019: Democracy or dictatorship. All of your problems can be solved within democratic measures. Roma people should tell [the ruling party] to ensure their social security, their right to find a job. They do not deserve poverty. They will express themselves within democracy. The other option is a one-man regime in which you will not talk and you will not criticize,” Kılıcdaroglu said.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION