Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (13.04.18, http://www.brtk.net/?video_post=akinci-anastasiadisin-ne-dusundugunu-anlmaya-calisacagiz) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met this morning with the chairmen of the Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the “assembly” prior to the dinner with President Anastasiades on 16 April. The National Unity Party (UBP) did not participate in the meeting, which lasted for one and a half hours.
In statements after the meeting, Akinci said that he is trying to find out everybody’s views before going to the dinner on 16 April. He noted that he also shared his own views with the political party leaders and that they had a very useful exchange of views.
Arguing that they do not want the future generations to suffer the pain of the past, Akinci referred to the importance of the island’s two main communities understanding each other, meeting at a common ground and envisaging a common vision. He said that this could happen only through communication.
Reiterating that 50 years of negotiations were completed this year but a lasting solution was not yet found, Akinci claimed: “It is understood and accepted by everybody that this issue cannot go on for another 50 years like this. As Turkish Cypriot side we say that an open-ended negotiating process is not possible any more”.
Akinci said that during the dinner he will try to understand what President Anastasiades thinks for the future and added: “We will go to sincerely discuss whether there is an intention, a will and all these”.
Finally he noted that within this framework they discussed in depth this issue with the political party leaders and that they will meet again to evaluate the situation after the social dinner.
According to illegal Bayrak television (13.04.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cavusoglu-on-cyprus-problem) Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu touched upon the Cyprus problem during an opening speech he delivered at the International Young Diplomats Education Program.
Cavusoglu, alleged, inter alia, that a new approach should be followed on the Cyprus problem now. “We are working towards achieving a political solution. We did our best at the Cyprus conference last year; however, it did not happen. Now the elections have been held in both sides. We should follow a new way now. We should agree on which subjects we will discuss”, Cavusoglu said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (13.04.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has argued that for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem a partnership with the vision of equality, the spirit of cooperation necessitated by our era and an “open-minded mentality” are needed. Addressing yesterday the 21st Eurasian Economic Summit in Istanbul, Akinci claimed that a new period cannot start without going beyond the ordinary.
Referring to the social meeting he is expected to hold with President Anastasiades on 16 April, Akinci said that he will once again explain his vision and recall the “need of Cyprus for a culture of cooperation and consensus and not for tension and quarrels”.
Furthermore, he expressed the view that the technological developments make cooperation possible and even impose cooperation in many fields in Cyprus, but “narrow-mindedness” still continues to resist to technology. He alleged that as a result of this it is not possible to use the cellphones to communicate from the one half of the island with the other. He said that the political decision on the issue has been taken and all the technical conditions have been secured, but because of the Greek Cypriot mentality, as he alleged, this connection was not possible. Akinci accused also the Greek Cypriots of not being willing to cooperate with the Turkish Cypriots on the issue of electricity, the water, the universities and the exchange of visits between secondary school students.
Referring to the natural gas and oil resources in Cyprus’ sea, Akinci expressed the view that it is possible to use them with a vision of cooperation and an approach which will include other countries of the region as well. “The transfer of these resources, which constitute common wealth of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, could be secured with an energy pipeline which will be built according to the economic reason and connect the Middle East with Europe passing over Turkey”, he alleged and described as “historic mistake” what he called as “the insistence of the Greek Cypriots to carry out unilateral activities as if this wealth belongs only to them, instead of adopting an approach which could turn many countries of the region into strategic partners”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (13.04.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-held-bi-lateral-contacts-on-sidelines) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci held a number of bilateral contacts on the sidelines of the 21st Eurasian Economic Summit in Istanbul.
Within the framework of his “contacts”, Akinci met with the President of Bosnia Herzegovina, Mladen Ivanic.
During the meeting, Akinci briefed Ivanic on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.
Akinci also visited the “TRNC promotion stand” prepared jointly by the “presidential office” and the “tourism ministry” for the 21st Eurasian Economic Summit.
According to a statement issued by the “presidential press office”, Akinci was accompanied by the “TRNC tourism and environment minister” Fikri Ataoglu and the “mayor” of the “municipality of Lefkosia”, Mehmet Harmanci.
According to illegal Bayrak television (13.04.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akdag-speaks-on-cyprus-problem), Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs Recep Akdag, in statements during a meeting he held with the so-called minister of finance, Serdar Denktas in Ankara, claimed that Turkey supported a political settlement on the Cyprus problem.
Akdag alleged that it is a known fact that a solution will not be possible as long as the Greek Cypriot side does not recognize the “political equality” of the two communities on the island. “Everyone, particularly the Greek Cypriot side, must know that we have never separated the Turkish Cypriot people from the Turkish people. The TRNC is a separate state but when it comes to protecting the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people, we act with the same way as we would act for our nation of 81 million. In fact, sometimes we carry out positive discrimination because of all of the injustices they have to deal with”, Akdag alleged.
Akdag further argued that Turkey will continue to do all it can for the development of the “TRNC”. Stating that they are working towards achieving USD 25.000 per capita, Akdag said that this was the reason why they were investing so much on infrastructure. “We have water, irrigation and roads. We now have a hospital project. We are thinking of building a city hospital like the ones in Turkey. We shall continue to stand by our Turkish Cypriot brothers”, Akdag further alleged.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (13.04.18) reports that Serdar Denktas, self-styled finance minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, met yesterday in Ankara with Naci Agbal, the Turkish Finance Minister.
In statements prior to the meeting, Denktas said that they would discuss measures to be taken for the “public finance” because of the devaluation of the Turkish lira against the foreign currencies, claiming that this is a temporary situation for the occupied area of Cyprus and the problem will be overcome. Noting that the investments in the occupied area of Cyprus increased, Denktas called on the Turkish investors to “look Cyprus differently”.
In his statements, Agbal argued that short-term daily actions are not very decisive in the economy and added that in the global finance markets or in the geopolitical developments some activities might go beyond the ordinary from time to time. He said that the situation in the financial markets is temporary and added that “statements which are very different from each other are being made simultaneously”. He claimed that some of these statements support medium-term and long-term globalization and some other statements are made for geopolitical and tactical reasons. Arguing that this will not last for long, Agbal said that the growth of the Turkish economy was 7,4% last year and that the developments in the fields of investments, production, exports and employment are positive during the first quarter of this year as well. He argued that the mechanism of the real economy works and things are going well, adding that economy’s medium-term and long-term course is more important than the temporary developments.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.04.18) reports that the self-styled foreign minister Kudret Ozersay returned from Jeddah, Qadar, where he held a meeting with Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen the General Secretary of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
According to a statement issued by the self-styled foreign ministry, Al-Othaimeen sent an official invitation to Ozersay who held meetings with high officials at Jeddah. The statement writes that the General Secretary of the OIC expressed the support of the Islamic world to the “fair case” of the Turkish Cypriots and the reaching of a peaceful solution in the island.
Ozersay exchanged views at Jeddah regarding further promoting the relations of the “TRNC” with OIC. The breakaway regime participates with the observer status with the name “Turkish Cypriot state” at the OIC. The paper also writes that Ozersay also met with Mansur Mukhtar, deputy chairman of the Islamic Development Bank who stated that the Bank wishes to continue supporting projects in the occupied area of Cyprus in the area of health and education and that he wish that they will continue their operation. Ozersay also met with the Executive Director of the Independent Committee of Human Rights Marghoob Saleem.
OIC posted in its internet side in English (https://www.oic-oci.org/topic/?t_id=18555&t_ref=10294&lan=en) the following regarding Ozersay’s contacts”
“The Secretary General Receives Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Affairs Minister of Northern Cyprus
The Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen, received, at his office today on 10 April 2018, H. E. Prof. Dr. Kudret Özersay, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Northern Cyprus and members of his delegation.
During the meeting, the Secretary General and the Minister focused on a wide range of issues pertaining to OIC-Northern Cyprus relations. During the meeting, the two sides also examined the ways of improving their bilateral relations in all areas.
The Secretary General suggested to the Minister increasing bilateral interactions with OIC Member States and institutions to strengthen relations. He further reiterated OIC’s continued support for the rightful cause of the Muslim Turkish Cypriots who constitute an integral part of the Islamic world and for a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus issue.”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.04.18) reports that Ahmet Arslan, the Turkish Minister of Transportation and Maritime gave information about the “TRNC transportation investment” during a meeting he held with the “transportation and public works minister” Tolga Atakan who visited Ankara heading a delegation.
Arsan stated that in the framework of the “TRNC highway master plan 2012-2020” they aim to construct 400km of roads, adding that so far 255km of roads were constructed. During the current year (2018) they will separate the amount of 70 million Turkish Lira for the application of the “master plan” he said, adding that the cost of the whole project will reach 396 million Turkish Lira. So fat the amount of 122 million has been spent.
Speaking during the meeting Atakan thanked Turkey for its aid and co-operation and added that they signed with Turkey a lot of projects. He also added that the works for the application of the “e-state plan” are continuing.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (13.04.18) reports that Salih Sonustun, the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) commented on thε fail of the Turkısh Lıra and stated that Turkey must meet the needs of those affected negatively by this development like the workers and other groups in the breakaway regime and Turkey.
According to the party, the fail of the Turkish currency is a result of the war and tension policy followed by Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.04.18) under the title: “Epidemic is spreading”, reports that a big epidemic disease has broken out on dogs some days ago in the occupied Keryneia Animal Rescue (KAR) shelter which had as a result the death of 80 dogs.
According to the paper, even though the number of the deaths reduced these days, the epidemic disease spread in occupied Famagusta and Trikomo areas. Moreover, hundreds of dogs are in danger.
The paper writes that fears are expressed by veterinaries in the occupied area of Cyprus for the spreading of the disease.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syria-shouldnt-be-arm-wrestling-arena-for-military-powers-erdogan)reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Syria should not be an “arm-wrestling arena” for outside powers, amid talks with both US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin after the former’s vow to strike Damascus over the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Douma region.
“We are uncomfortable with the fact some countries that are confident of their military power have transformed Syria into an arm wrestling arena … Nobody has the right to burn the Mediterranean and Syrian soil in the fire of military and political power struggles,” Erdogan said at a ceremony in Ankara on April 12.
His comments came after Trump warned Russia on April 11 of imminent military action in Syria over a suspected poison gas attack in the rebel enclave of Douma near Damascus. Russia replied that any missile attack will be intercepted by its sophisticated S-400 anti-ballistic missile systems in Syria.
Erdogan’s remarks on April 12 indicated Ankara’s intention not to take any visible part in growing tension between the two powers. “We don’t have any intention to give up our alliance with the US, or our strategic relationship with Russia that we have formed in a broad area from energy to security, or working together with Iran to solve regional problems”, Erdogan said.
“Our relations with countries such as Russia, Iran and China are not an alternative to our relations with the West, but a supplement to them. This is not an obstacle to us expressing the wrongs of the two sides,” he added.
“Those who support the [Bashar] al-Assad regime are wrong. Those who are supporting the [Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party] PYD are also wrong. We will struggle to the end to these two wrongs,” Erdogan said.
Reiterating Turkey’s objection to the presence of the PYD within the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), formed under the U.S.-backed coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Erdogan pledged that Turkey would maintain its presence and activities in Syria “until the country becomes safe for everyone.”
“We will never have a thought to point a gun at the soldiers of our allies. But we recommend as a friend that the soldiers of these countries do not stay too close to PYD soldiers,” he said. These remarks were an apparent softening of Erdoğan’s tone against the US after he previously vowed to target all soldiers present in the Syrian province of Manbij, where U.S. forces are stationed alongside the SDF.
He also stressed Turkey’s objective of securing its border with Syria by “eliminating all terrorists in the region.”
“We consider the presence of any terrorists, either from DAESH [an Arabic acronym for ISIL] or the PYD, as a threat to our security. We see eliminating them as a must for our survival. This should be well-known,” Erdogan said.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.04.18-https://aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/president-erdogan-putin-discuss-developments-in-syria/1116308) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday discussed the recent developments in Syria with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the phone.
According to presidential sources, Erdogan and Putin agreed to stay in close contact.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.04.18-https://aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkish-greek-pms-discuss-jet-fighter-crash/111654) reported that Turkey's Prime Minister on Thursday conveyed his condolences to his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras over the death of a Greek fighter pilot when his jet crashed into the Aegean Sea.
According to a Prime Ministry statement, Binali Yildirim spoke with Tsipras on the phone about the accident as well as bilateral relations.
Yildirim expressed his condolences over the Greek jet fighter crash on behalf of himself and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the Ministry.
Yildirim and Tsipras agreed to keep communication channels open to discuss current issues properly in the coming days. Yildirim and Tsipras also agreed to maintain close dialogue and focus on a positive agenda for Turkish-Greek relations.
Yildirim and Tsipras further vowed to approach issues in a constructive matter.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (12.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-iyi-party-discuss-election-security-amid-alliance-plans-130184) reported that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılicdaroglu visited the İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Aksener at the latter’s Ankara headquarters, with the two leaders highlighting the importance of ballot box security after controversial recent legal changes.
“Everybody should go to the ballot boxes and use their votes with confidence. We will protect all the ballot boxes and we will struggle together to bring a strong democracy to this country,” Kilicdaroglu said at a joint press conference following the CHP’s visit to the İYİ Party on April 12.
Kilicdaroglu’s visit came as the CHP steps up work to build an opposition front within the framework of their objection to recent amendments in the election law and the party law.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) together passed a legislative package paving the way for a pre-election alliance, and the CHP argues that the changes will threaten election safety in favor of the AKP-MHP alliance.
Kilicdaroglu has already held meetings with the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP) on the grounds of “election security,” stressing that the meetings were not held within the framework of forming an official election alliance.
“We reciprocally expressed our sensitivity on election security in the meeting,” Kılıcdaroglu said.
(…)Also, speaking on April 12, Kilicdaroglu also said that he and Aksener both expressed concerns over rising tension in politics in Turkey, saying that “politics should be cleared of tensions and courtesy should come to the fore.”
“We may have different thoughts and different opinions, but we are voicing these different thoughts and opinions for the salvation of Turkey and we are referring to the people’s judgement,” he added.
“The existing environment of tension should be suspended and even eliminated,” Kıicdaroglu said.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION