Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (03.05.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that the Guterres Framework had been submitted in writing on 30 June during the Cyprus Conference in Crans Montana as a non-paper and that he had reaffirmed the content of this document once more in September in New York during a meeting with the UNSG.
In statements yesterday to illegal Bayrak and TAK news agency, Akinci argued that in the Guterres Framework a very clear reference is made to the 2:1 proportion regarding the rotating presidency which is a basic element of the above-mentioned document. He argued that another basic element was the effective participation in the decisions and added that clear reference was made to at least one positive vote from each community and the creation of a mechanism for overcoming possible deadlocks. Akinci said that in the end of the Crans Montana negotiations, the Greek Cypriots accepted the rotating presidency but suggested that the co-presidents should be elected in a single ballot paper, known as “single ticket”. “These proposals had been made for many years here as well and were rejected by our side. They brought this in the very end as a tactic”, he alleged adding that there no such a thing in the Guterres Framework.
He alleged that the non-paper submitted on 30 June was not related to the “Security and Guarantees” like the Greek Cypriot side argues and added that the map included in the framework is the one submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side. Akinci said that in the Guterres Framework no reference is made either to the map of the Greek Cypriot side or the Annan Plan.
Akinci noted also that the Framework provided for two regimes regarding the property adding that adjustments protecting the rights of the “former owners”, as he described the Greek Cypriot legal owners of occupied properties, were provided for the territories which would remain in “south Cyprus”, as he called the land which would be under Greek Cypriot administration and adjustments protecting the rights of those living in the properties which would remain in “northern Cyprus” were also included in the Framework.
Referring to the “equal treatment” towards the Turkish and Greek citizens, Akinci said that the Framework provided for “just and equitable” treatment regarding those people who would demand for permanent residence. “Nothing such as a 4:1 proportion is provided. There is no numerical reference”, he claimed.
Noting that the Framework points out that the unilateral intervention practice is not sustainable, Akinci said that the document provides also for the creation of a mechanism on which the sides will agree in the end of a transitional period. “That is, it does not say that it should be lifted from the very first day. It says that it is not sustainable but it provides for a new security adjustment mutually agreed”, he alleged. According to Akinci, in the framework submitted in a conference with the participation of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the guarantor powers it was said that if there will be withdrawal of troops, the way by which this will take place could be discussed at a higher level during a meeting with the participation of the Prime Ministers.
Akinci reiterated his call on the Greek Cypriot side to announce whether it is ready to accept the Gurterres Framework “without watering it down and distorting it” and added: “If they say ‘let us negotiate these’, my call is not to negotiate this. If there is a will, there is a document […] This is not a matter of discussion. Are these principles accepted or not? If they are accepted, I am ready to accept them, let them announce this. […] If they accept them without a comment and without watering them down, a new negotiating road could open for us, but first it should be announced that this was accepted as a strategic package. The UNSG will appoint someone these days. He will discuss this with the sides. If there is an agreement, it will be revealed whether we will enter into a result focused effort which will not be open-ended”.
Referring to the criticism coming from both the occupied and the government-controlled area of the island regarding his call, Akinci said that he could not ignore the criticism, but “the people should be at ease, […] the people will take the final decision, I look after the interests of the Turks of Cyprus only”.
Noting that if there is the strategic package understanding and an agreement on principles an effort for completing its content will be a needed, Akinci argued that “if there is a will, however, there will be no need for a very long period of time”.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.05.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/gunun-basliklari/disisleri-bakanligi-sozcusu-aksoy-cavusoglu-ve-pompeo-bir-araya-gelecek/1134012) reports that the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy, speaking today in a press conference at the Ministry, referred, inter alia, to the Cyprus problem.
Asked to evaluate Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s proposal regarding the Gutteres framework on the Cyprus negotiation talks, Aksoy, stated the following: “The 50 years-prolonged Cyprus negotiation process became a vicious circle, no progress was possible to be achieved. We had always tried to be constructive in this process and we exerted efforts to be one step ahead, however, it was not possible to obtain any result due to the mentality of the Greek Cypriot side”.
Stating that “he wants to point out not what will happen, but what will not happen in the negotiation process”, Aksoy alleged the following: “We have no intention to continue playing the same game in a process where the Greek Cypriot side will not change its mentality. With the mentality of the Greek Cypriots it is impossible to reach to a federal solution. We consider that it is necessary to experience a new way”.
Illegal Bayrak (03.05.18 http://www.brtk.net/ozersay-akincinin-stratejik-paket-anlasmasi-onerecegini-bilmiyorduk/ ) broadcast that “deputy prime minister and foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay, stated that they were not informed in advance about Turkish Cypriots leader Mustafa Akinci’s strategic package agreement”.
Ozersay, who posted at social media, stressed “the importance of co-operation and dialogue between the various institutions of the state”.
Ozersay stated that he has been acting in this direction since the day that he was appointed to the “ministry of foreign affairs” and reminded that he had already informed both “prime minister Erhurman” and Akinci about the steps to be taken at each stage of the negotiations conducted behind the scenes in the context of natural gas searches.
He went on and added that he acted the same as well regarding the issue of the lifting of the custom duty on the humanitarian aid sent by the Republic of Cyprus to Greek Cypriots enclaved and to Maronites. He also said that he refused to reply to questions of the press because he does not want to put the Turkish Cypriot side in a bad position. However, he said, as a “foreign minister” he demands to be informed.
He also stated that as far as he is concerned, the “ministry” and the “government” had no prior knowledge of the “strategic package agreement”. “We are sorry to say that we were informed about it by the press”.
He also said that he would like to personally hear from Akinci how such a paper which belongs to a period of failure in Switzerland will not open the road to drift them to the point the process to continue from where it was left, without a mentality change on the part of the Greek Cypriot side, which Akinci has repeatedly stated.
Under the title “The road to the negotiations with the Greek Cypriots may be opened”, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (03.05.18) reports that a new discussion has been created in both sides with the announcement by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci that he accepts the Guterres Framework and the proposal to the Greek Cypriot side for a strategic package.
Referring also to Akinci’s yesterday statements, the paper reports that Akinci said that the Guterres Framework is not related only to with security, guarantees, and the military issue, but also envisages regulations for political equality, territory and property issues and added that in case the Greek Cypriot side does not water down this then a new road for negotiations may begin.
Meanwhile, the paper reports that Cyprus President Anastasiades asked that Akinci, but primarily Turkey should clarify whether they accept or not the provisions of the framework. In addition to this, Cyprus government spokesman Prodromou said that “Turkey is the one that does not accept this framework. For this reason Akinci cannot ask from the Greek Cypriot side to specify its position regarding the framework”.
On the other hand, former “parliamentary speaker” Sibel Siber argued that Akinci by accepting the Guterres Framework has exceeded his powers. She wondered why Akinci has made such a statement now and what it has changed after the last dinner with Anastasiades.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (03.05.18) reports that Izzet Izcan, leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) said that his party supports the resumption of the Cyprus talks within the Guterres Framework. However, the paper adds that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP) have not made yet any statement.
Under the title “The proposal can never be supported”, Turkish Cypriot Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (03.05.18) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu criticized Akinci’s proposal, claiming that renouncing Turkey’s full and effective guarantees means to jeopardize the security and the future of Turkey, the “TRNC” and the Turkish nation.
On the same issue, the paper reports that former Turkish Cypriot negotiators Ergun Olgun and Osman Ertug, in a joint statement, found surprising and provoking Akinci’s call for accepting a document, wondering how a proposal can be submitted for a document on which the Cyprus talks were collapsed and all its parameters were removed.
Zorlu Tore, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), described the acceptance of the Guterres Framework as suicide adding that the Turkish Cypriots will not commit a suicide.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (03.05.18), under the title “Where is the framework”, on its front page, reports that the leaders have brought to the fore different points from the “Guterres Framework” and publishes parts from yesterday’s statements of Akinci and Anastasiades.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.05.18), under the title “Again Anastasiades speaks ambiguously”, on its front page, reports that despite Anastasiades described Akinci’s call as positive, he did not say “yes”. The paper claims that “Anastasiades distorted Guterres’ document and shared his own interpretations”.
Cuneyt Oruc, editor-in-chief of Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (03.05.18), referring to Akinci’s statement that the map which was submitted at the Guterres Framework was the one, which was submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side, wonders whether the above mentioned map has been withdrawn or not. He further wrote: “Accurately, not before a long time, didn’t the presidential spokesman Baris Burcu announce three months ago that the map was withdrawn after Akinci’s demand?” Oruc further wrote: “We are not very at ease regarding the map in Guterres framework. Because in the framework paper issued by the UNSG reports the exact following wording: ‘Guterres’ document says the Turkish Cypriot side needs to adjust the map to address some concerns of the Greek side in relation to specific areas. No specific areas were named, but it is believed to concern the return of Morphou’. It means that some ‘adjustments’ are needed, even for this map, which is known as ‘29%+’. There was a lot of criticism, because it was submitted in Geneva. (…)”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (03.05.18) reports that the strategic importance of Cyprus is stressed in the election manifesto of the ruling in Turkey Justice and Development Party (AKP) for the forthcoming June 24 elections.
According to the paper, in the manifesto, which has not been announced yet, it is stressed that the “TRNC” is one of Turkey’s center in the Mediterranean and in the Middle East. The importance of the strategic place of Cyprus is also stressed in the manifesto while the research for hydrocarbons is Eastern Mediterranean is also mentioned.
It will also be noted that Turkey will continue with determination to take steps for strengthening the “TRNC economy” and will be underlined that a “strong Turkey means strong Cyprus”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.05.18) reports that within the framework of the “economic protocol signed” between the so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman and Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag on April 19, Turkey will allocate totally 1,230 billion TL to the “TRNC’s 2018 budget”.
According to the paper, the “protocol” will be set into force right after it will be published in the occupation regime’s official gazette.
According to information acquired by the “undersecretary” of the “ministry of finance”, Ahmet Havutcu, one part of the fund will be allocated as “credit” and the other as “grant”. From the 1, 230 billion, 595 million will be allocated as a credit and 635 million as a “grant”. Also, 420 million TL will be allocated as a “credit for supporting structural reforms” and 100 million TL as “credit for contributing to the budget deficit”.
Turkish daily Sabah (03.05.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/elections/2018/05/03/mhp-officially-nominates-erdogan-as-presidential-candidate ) reports that the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) group in Parliament decided on the nomination of the President and the chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Erdogan as presidential candidate in the elections.
The MHP's group convened yesterday in a closed-door meeting chaired by the group Deputy Chairman Erkan Akcay and officially took the decision to nominate Erdogan as the candidate in the upcoming elections scheduled to be held on June 24. The MHP is expected to make its application to the Supreme Election Council (YSK) on Friday.
The AK Party and MHP previously decided to form a political alliance named, the People's Alliance, for the presidential elections after MHP chairman Devlet Bahceli announced that his party will not name a candidate for the 2019 presidential elections and will support the re-election of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Great Union Party (BBP) also later announced that it would join the People's Alliance, and support Erdogan as their joint candidate.
Following the ratification of a 26-article bill prepared by the AK Party and MHP, which allowed parties to form alliances in the elections, other political parties also attempted to form alliances that would face the People's Alliance.
Meanwhile, ahead of the upcoming elections the MHP gave instructions to the province and district organizations with an aim of highlighting the strategies to be followed during the run-up to the elections.
According to the instructions, Bahceli called on party authorities to inform the public about the content of the new system. Turkey will be ruled with a presidential government system with the presidential elections in June. (…)
Bahceli also warned party authorities against the possible provocations and statements that might undermine the People's Alliance. He also highlighted that despite the different paths of the parties in politics, they have united to reach a common target.
As the political parties will ramp up efforts for their preparations for the elections, Bahceli stressed that during this significant period the party officials need to pay attention to using a rhetoric that is in line with that of the party.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/good-party-and-felicity-party-leaders-apply-for-candidacy-131233) reports that the Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Aksener and the Felicity Party (SP) chair Temel Karamollaoglu have submitted their applications to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) on May 2 to run for the upcoming presidential elections on June 24 and need to gather 100,000 signatures to back their candidacy.
In her short statement, Aksener said that she hoped her move will be “good for everyone.”
After his application to the YSK, Karamollaoglu said that they expressed their views to YSK chairman Sadi Güven about the election process. He will run for elections with 100,000 signatures because his party does not have a group in the Parliament, Karamollaoğlu said.
Meanwhile, Aksener visited Karamollaoglu after their application and discussed the alliance protocol on May 2.
According to the regulation, the presidential candidate can be nominated by a political party, which has received either at least 5% of the votes in the last election or has a group in Parliament and 100,000 signatures from the electorate.
The nominees that will apply for candidacy outside of the Parliament will pay 131,000 Turkish liras ($31,565) and those who can collect 100,000 signatures will be reimbursed following the election. If a candidate cannot collect enough signatures, their payment will be transferred to the Treasury.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/s-p-cuts-turkeys-rating-deeper-into-junk-131181) reported that in an unexpected move, Standard & Poor’s cut its sovereign debt rating on Turkey further into junk territory on May 1, citing widening concern about the outlook for inflation amid a sell-off in the Turkish lira currency.
S&P said the ratings decision, cutting Turkey to “BB-/B” from “BB/B,” was not part of its regularly scheduled reviews, reflecting what it said were growing concerns.
“The downgrade reflects our concerns over a deteriorating inflation outlook and the long-term depreciation and volatility of Turkey’s exchange rate,” S&P said in a statement.
“The rating action also reflects our concerns over Turkey’s deteriorating external position and rising distress in the externally leveraged private sector,” it said.
The agency said it did not believe the central bank hiking its late-liquidity window rate last week would be sufficient to bring down inflation to the state-lender’s 5% target or reduce the volatility in Turkey’s real effective exchange rate.
The bank’s reluctance to aggressively tighten policy in the face of double-digit inflation has increased concern that it is under pressure from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. S&P alluded to that in its statement, saying the central bank has been “facing increasing political pressure.”
With the weakening of the lira against the dollar, the private sector will have a harder time repaying its foreign currency-denominated debt, S&P said, adding this would negatively impact government debt—40% of which is denominated in foreign currency.
(…) “Our downgrade reflects our view that there is a risk of a hard landing for Turkey’s overheating, credit-fuelled economy,” S&P said.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.05.18-17http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-deputy-pm-slams-s-p-for-timing-of-rating-cut-decision-131226) reported that the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek has slammed an unexpected move by Standard & Poor to cut its sovereign debt rating on Turkey further into junk territory ahead of the upcoming snap elections. “The timing of the decision is very meaningful,” said Simsek, who is in charge of economy, in a series of Twitter posts on May 2.
“Has anything new happened that has required them to bring this rating cut forward?” Simsek asked, noting that the international rating agency was scheduled to review its rating and outlook on Turkey in August. “Cutting the credit rating after [Turkey’s] decision to bring elections forward is wrong,” he said, referring to the June 24 general and presidential elections, which were initially scheduled for November 2019.
“The early election decision has eased market uncertainty and Turkey is mending ties with both the United States and the EU”, Simsek added.
Turkish daily Sabah (02.05.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/05/03/turkey-to-open-consulate-in-russias-krasnodar) reported that Turkey will open a new consulate in Russia's southern Krasnodar province.
Areas of the Republic of Adygea, Krasnodar and Rostov will fall into the new consulate's remit. After opening the consulate, Ankara is expected to close its diplomatic mission in Novorossiysk, a port city located near the Black Sea.
Turkey already has five diplomatic missions in Russia, an embassy in Moscow and four consulates in Kazan, St. Petersburg, Rostov and Novorossiysk.
Turkish Airlines has flights to Krasnodar from five different locations: Istanbul, İzmir, Ankara, Antalya and Samsun, which started direct flights on April 3.
Also, Krasnodar Stadium, one of Europe's most luxurious football stadiums, was completed by ESTA Construction, a Turkish company operating in Russia.
As Turkey and Russia continue the normalization of bilateral ties, strained after the jet-downing crisis in November 2015, cooperation between the two countries has gained momentum.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION