A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (14.05.18, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c36-TURKIYE/n251336-erdogan-kibris-turku-yarim-asirdir-cozum-yonunde-caba-harcam) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has alleged that the Turkish Cypriots have always been exerting efforts towards the solution of the Cyprus problem for the past half century having Turkey’s strong support. Addressing the Chatham House think tank in London, Erdogan claimed that the Greek Cypriot side has not approached the establishment of a partnership on the basis of the political equality with the Turkish Cypriots.
He also threatened the Republic of Cyprus by saying: “If the Greek Cypriot side insists on continuing its unilateral hydrocarbon activities in Eastern Mediterranean, security and stability in the area will be continuously in danger. I am saying this openly and clearly. […]”
According to illegal Bayrak television (14.05.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-on-cyprus-issue-3), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has argued that the equality, freedom and security were not extreme but minimum demands and underlined that the natural wealth in the Eastern Mediterranean did not only belong to the Greek Cypriots. “Our preference is the way of peace, mind and cooperation. Both these soils and the wealth in the seas are enough for all of us”, he added.
During a speech he delivered in a ceremony for “fighters”, Akinci, noting that he did not say “zero guarantee, zero troops” in any of his statements, claimed that the twists made on this issue resulted from the Greek Cypriots own remarks.
Claiming that as in Crans-Montana there was no approach towards “zero guarantees, zero troops” today, Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot side will not accept any future security arrangement that will exclude Turkey. Akinci also alleged that the Greek Cypriot side continued to twist and dilute his words.
Akinci explained that the principles of the Turkish Cypriot side were: the political equality which will include effective participation of the Turkish Cypriot side in decisions and rotating presidency and a structure which one side will not dominate the other and the Turkish Cypriots will feel secure.
Reiterating that the date of the (Guterres) framework underlined in his latest statement was the 30th of June, he claimed there was no framework dated on the 4th of July as put forward by the Greek Cypriot side.
Stating that following the negative response by Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades on the 30th of June Framework they will wait for the UN to appoint a temporary advisor, Akinci noted they will share the Turkish Cypriot side’s vision with the temporary advisor.
Referring to Anastasiades’ statements during his reception of the newly appointed British High Commissioner that “Turkey should give up its provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Turkish Cypriot side should give up its extreme demands and then we can consider negotiations”, Akinci said: “The equality, freedom and security are not extreme demands but minimum demands”.
Commenting on the natural wealth found around Cyprus, Akinci said: “The richness in the Eastern Mediterranean is a common richness. It does not only belong to the Greek Cypriots.”
Reiterating his call to the Greek Cypriot side to either delay their explorations for natural gas and hydrocarbons which is a common wealth of people living on the island or to establish a joint committee to tackle the issue, Akinci claimed that otherwise Turkey will start explorations in the region with its new research vessel.
According to illegal Bayrak television (12.05.18), Teberruken Ulucay, self-styled parliament speaker, said that the Turkish Cypriot people also have rights over the natural resources surrounding the island and that the “TRNC” will continue to voice its view and stance on this subject at every platform, during a meeting with a delegation from the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (KTTO).
Ulucay further said that the Chamber played an important role in developing the economic sector in the “country” and expressed his view that the Chamber will continue to work towards this end in the future as well.
Touching upon the 4th Cyprus-Greece-Israel Tripartite Summit regarding the island’s natural resources, Ulucay said that the Turkish Cypriots had equal rights over the natural resources on the island. “We too have rights over the natural resources that surround the island. While we are trying to improve our economy there are negative factors that are affecting us and therefore we need to follow developments closely. We have always voiced our stance in the international arena regarding this view”, Ulucay argued.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (13.05.18) report that the Republican People's Party's (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce, speaking during an event organized in Turkey, recalled the statements made in the past by Turkish President Erdogan who argued that “Turkey is feeding the Turkish Cypriots”.
Ince alleged that on the contrary, it is not Turkey which is feeding the Turkish Cypriots but indeed it is Turkey that obtains revenues from the “TRNC” due to its unrecognized status.
Ince pointed out that Turkey earns a lot of money from the aircrafts which carry out flights in the “TRNC’s airspace”, since the “TRNC” is not recognized internationally. “So, the ‘feeding attack’ is not right”, Ince said, adding: “Do you remember the attack against the Turkish Cypriots that they are feeding by Turkey? This is not right. It is right that they are provided aid, but Turkey gains a lot of money from the flights above the TRNC’s airspace, due to the fact that the TRNC is not recognized”, Ince said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (14.05.18) reports that Ozturk Yilmaz, vice president of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has recalled that the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) government had said that if the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem collapsed, Turkey would implement its Plan B. In statements at the Turkish Parliament, Yilmaz alleged:
“[…] We had told the government that what it was doing was wrong and said what should be done. What we said came true. There is a wish for returning to the table again within the framework of the Guterres document in Cyprus. According to this, the Turkish army will be present there in restricted numbers, but the Treaty of Guarantees will be lifted, it will change. Our unilateral right to intervene will be abolished. This kind of a solution is tantamount to turning the Turkish Cypriots into a minority, to abolishing their security. We oppose this”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (14.05.18) reports that Turkish daily Aydinlik newspaper published on Saturday (12.05.18) an article under the banner front-page title “Zero troops, zero guarantees” and alleged that the US is behind Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s proposal to the Greek Cypriots regarding the acceptance of the Guterres framework, which provides for the withdrawal of the Turkish army from Cyprus and abolition of the guarantees. Referring to an “American trap”, the paper argues that Washington “got into action for the so-called ‘solution’ in Cyprus” and that US officials, who have been active for several months on the island, have suggested through Akinci a federal solution. The Greek Cypriots say that they want to finish this issue the soonest, notes the paper adding the following:
“It is said that the US is trying to make Turkey and the TRNC, which suggest the discussion of the two states or the recognition of the TRNC, to sit at the table. It is said that the dinner between the TRNC president and the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration of south Cyprus on 16 April, was a part of this plan. […] The US had taken the first step with US Ambassador’s Kathleen Doherty who said ‘sit at the table in the buffer zone’. After Doherty’s demand, the US Deputy Foreign Minister Wess A. Mitchel visited Cyprus for contacts. It was said that American officials have promised the Greek Cypriots on the Cyprus problem that ‘we will solve this problem in five years’ and that the Greek Cypriots are satisfied with this demand. […]”
Volkan publishes also statements by Turkish retired army officers and articles by Turkish journalists criticizing Akinci’s proposal as regards the Guterres Framework.
Meanwhile, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.05.18), columnist Ali Baturay criticizes those who accuse AKP or Akinci saying that “they will sell Cyprus” and notes: “Who will sell it? To whom he will sell it? For how much [he will sell it]? When they say Cyprus, surely they mean northern Cyprus. As it is known [they think] that the entire Cyprus is ours, we regret for the fact that the army did not proceed to take all of it in 1974 and this is why we refer to ‘Cyprus’, that is, the whole of it is ours. This is the mentality. […] Professors, experts, are angry saying ‘why we did not take the entire Cyprus in 1974’. […] Journalists and columnists in Turkey write similar things. A person doubts whether these people really know Cyprus, whether they are aware of Cyprus history. […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (12.05.18) reports that the so-called minister of education Cemal Ozyigit stated that the population number in the breakaway regime is not known.
He made these statements speaking during a conference where he said that the registration for primary schools is starting in June; however more registration is taking place when the schools start in September and the number of students is escalating. As he said no education planning can be made without knowing the real number of the students and noted: “Unfortunately, in this country no one knows the real number of the population”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (14.05.18) reports that the “American University” of Moldova, -which is a sister university of the illegal American University of Keryneia, (“GAU”) hosted the International conference entitled “Cooperation between disciplines in the international higher education”
According to the paper, more than 50 university officials from 30 different countries attended the conference. Among the participants were the “President of Gagauzia” İrina Vlan, the Minister of Education of Moldova Monica Babuc, the Turkish Ambassador to Moldova İskender Okyay, the Azerbaijani Ambassador to Moldova, Gudsi Dursun Oglu Osmanov. The occupation regime was “presented” in the conference by the “ministry of tourism undersecretary associate professor” İsmet Esenyel, the former so-called minister of foreign affairs Tahsin Ertugruloglu and other university staff from the illegal GAU.
According to official website of Turkey’s Presidency (https://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/news/542/92544/we-attach-special-importance-to-boosting-the-cooperation-between-turkey-and-the-uk.html), Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to reporters before flying to the United Kingdom, said: “We attach special importance to boosting the cooperation between Turkey and the UK.(…)”
Mentioning that he will meet with Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday May 15 as part of his visit and also meet with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Erdogan added that they will discuss with Prime Minister May the regional and international developments on the mutual agenda as well as the bilateral relations.
Underlining that economy, security, defence and the anti-terror fight are the priority issues for both countries and that they will exchange views on boosting the bilateral relations in these fields, Erdogan continued as follows: “We, as two guarantor countries, will definitely review the latest situation concerning Cyprus and talk about the developments in Europe. We will have the opportunity to talk over the recent developments in our region, notably Syria, Iraq, Iran and the comprehensive joint action plan, as well.”
Underscoring that the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and the UK reached 16.2 billion dollars in 2017 and 5 billion dollars between January and March 2018 an increase by 39%, Erdogan said that their goal is to reach 20 billion dollars.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (14.05.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/05/14/turkey-will-not-forget-uk-solidarity-post-july-15-erdogan-says) reports that the U.K. support to Turkey in the aftermath of the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt will always be remembered, Erdogan said, adding that the ties between the two countries are of strategic importance for bilateral interests.
U.K Prime Minister Theresa May's spokesman was quoted by the U.K. media as saying, "The visit is an opportunity for the UK and Turkey to demonstrate our close bilateral relationship and to have important discussions about issues of shared interest."
Erdogan added that the "strategic partnership" between the two ally countries is not a "simple matter of choice". The Turkish President said his country sees the partnership between Turkey and the U.K. as "a necessity for the interests of both countries and also the interests of a broader region."
Aside from the Tatlıdil Forum, Erdoğan will meet with Queen Elizabeth II and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May during his visit where he is expected to discuss Syria, Iraq and Iran and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was signed in 2015 between the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States), with the support of the European Union, to ensure that Iran's nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful.
On Saturday, Turkey's EU Minister Omer Celik was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying that the EU would be devoid of the strategic role of the U.K. following Brexit. Celik made the remarks at a panel focusing on post-Brexit Turkey-U.K. and EU-U.K. relations with Alan Duncan, Britain's Minister for Europe and the Americas, at the 7th Tatlıdil Forum. Celik said the EU will be devoid of British partnership in strategy following Brexit, but Turkey and the U.K., as two big democracies in Europe, will continue cooperating after Brexit, according to ministry sources.
Underlining that it will not be possible for the EU, which is dealing with multiple crises, to adapt to the changing international system without Turkey and the U.K. and remain an effective actor, Celik said Europe's security could not be considered complete without those two countries, said sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (14.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-has-lost-its-status-as-mediator-in-middle-east-peace-process-with-embassy-move-erdogan-131773), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 14 that the U.S. has lost its status as a potential mediator in the Middle East peace process with its decision to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“[The U.S. decision to move the Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem] is unfortunate. We cannot help but feel like we are living through the dark times prior to World War II,” Erdogan said at an event at the Chatham House think tank in London.
On the same issue, HDN (14.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/east-jerusalem-is-palestines-capital-erdogan-131757), reports that Erdogan, during a dinner organized by the TURKEN Foundation in London, said on May 13 that East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine despite all steps taken to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Speaking of the U.S. administration’s decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem, a move expected to come on May 14, Erdogan said that 128 countries voted clearly against this decision at the U.N. General Assembly. He said only a few countries had to vote with the U.S. as they were told to do so in various phone calls in return for financial aid.
The dinner was also attended by the Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Omer Celik, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın, Anadolu Agency Director General Senol Kazancı and TRT Director General İbrahim Eren.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/president-erdogan-turns-down-mhp-leader-bahcelis-call-for-amnesty-131719), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned down a demand from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli to pardon a number of convicts in Turkey, while Bahceli insists on his call.
In further remarks on May 13, Bahceli said his party is “determined on the issue”. “We are behind our words, and with God’s will, we hope that an amnesty will be approved,” he said.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesman Bulent Tezcan criticized the MHP head’s call for an amnesty. “These subjects are not something to discuss over Twitter. They are serious. They should first prepare the scope, what they want, and what they are doing before discussing it,” Tezcan said after visiting jailed CHP Deputy Enis Berberoglu in Istanbul on May 13.
“This is not something to discuss like handing out candy before an election. It should be discussed in Parliament. The proper scope and framework should be assessed,” he added.
On the same issue, columnist Murat Yetkin, under the title “An election amnesty for organized criminals?” (HDN, 14.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/murat-yetkin/an-election-amnesty-for-organized-criminals-131752”, comments on the call for amnesty in the following commentary:
“Before departing for the United Kingdom on May 13, President Tayyip Erdogan turned down an offer by his ally, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahceli, saying a “general amnesty” was not on the agenda of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ahead of the June 24 snap elections. Earlier on May 12, shortly after Bahçeli’s offer, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said the government currently has “no such plan,” before opposition parties started to express their reaction to the suggestion.
The statements from both Erdogan and Yıldırım were sensible and correct, because what Bahceli wanted was apparently not an amnesty for those who could be regarded as being in prison for political reasons. Rather, he was suggesting an amnesty for those who he called “victims of bad fortune.” The term is typically used in daily language in Turkish for ignorant and financially troubled people who happen to steal or kill amid a momentary loss of sanity or desperation, or for those who are deceived or pushed into crime by others. However, the names directly cited by Bahceli and praised as “brothers” who love the country were Alaattin Cakıcı and Kursat Yilmaz, well-known organized crime leaders whose files are full of criminal records.
Bahçeli referred to these two notorious names shortly after requesting a general amnesty. He also criticized requests for the release of Selahattin Demirtas, the presidential candidate of Kurdish problem-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), who is currently jailed under arrest. Bahceli rhetorically questioned why Yılmaz, for example, should not also be released if 100,000 signatures are collected for his candidacy, in a veiled reference to the candidacy of Meral Aksener, who resigned from the MHP to establish her Good (İYİ) Party.
The prompt rejection of Bahçeli’s suggestion by Erdoğan and Bahçeli came as a relief for many. But there are still some who are skeptical about the government’s rejection of Bahçeli’s amnesty call. Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Baris Yarkadas speculated via his Twitter account that Bahceli may have been playing “bad cop” and was actually preparing the psychological ground for a joint AK Parti-MHP alliance plan. He also claimed that a number of currently jailed journalists and writers could be included in the amnesty list as a kind of sugar coating.
A number of commentators have for the past couple of days drawn attention to the fact that Erdogan was against an early election until early April, but ended up following the challenge laid down by his election partner Bahceli when the latter suggested an early election.(…)”
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (14.05.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/dozens-of-feto-suspects-arrested-across-turkey-3381260), a total of 46 suspects linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) were arrested during simultaneous police raids across 15 provinces on Monday, according to a judicial source.
The arrests came after the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Ankara issued warrants for 86 FETO suspects, including for 25 serving colonels and 47 suspended colonels of the Turkish Land Forces Command, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
Another 14 arrest warrants were issued in the Black Sea province of Bolu for two suspended teachers, and 12 students and alumni of the Abant Izzet Baysal University.
The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Bolu issued the warrants after the suspects were accused of using ByLock, an encrypted cell phone app used by the terror group. Police operations to detain the remaining suspects continue, the source said.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.05.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkish-expats-to-vote-across-60-countries-in-election/1143867), Turkish expats will vote for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in 60 countries.
According to data obtained from the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YBT), Turkish citizens who have registered in the foreign electoral roll will be able to vote at 123 representations on June 7-19 or at the customs stations on June 7-24.
A minimum of 500 voters should be registered at a foreign representation for a polling station to be established, as per election rules.
Germany with 13 representations has the highest number of polling stations.
With seven representations, the U.S. has the second-highest number of polling stations.
France, Greece, China, Canada and Russia have four representations where polls will be held.
Turkish citizens will be able to vote in three different polling stations in Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Iran, Switzerland and Kazakhstan.
Italy, Spain, Iraq, Kosovo, Egypt, Romania, Ukraine, Belgium, the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Saudi Arabia host two polling stations.
Turkish Embassies will host polling stations in the following countries: Albania, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Algeria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, South Africa, Ireland, Israel, Sweden, Japan, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, “TRNC”, Lebanon, Luxembourg, “Macedonia”, Malta, Moldova, Norway, Uzbekistan, Poland, Serbia, Singapore, Sudan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Oman, Jordan and New Zealand.
Voting will span over 13 days in three countries and one day in 24 countries.
Turkish voters in Germany, France and Austria will vote on June 7-19.
In Denmark, the voting dates are June 9-19.
Voting in the U.S., Australia and Luxembourg will be held on June 9-17.
In Norway, Turkish citizens will be able to vote on June 14-19.
Turkish voters in Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland will vote on June 15-19.
In the U.K., Turkish citizens will be able to vote on June 16-19.
Turkish voters in Italy and Turkmenistan will vote on June 15-17 and in Bulgaria, Canada and the “TRNC” on June 16-18.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION