A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (07.06.18) under the title: “Crisis for the return”, reports that the “Immovable Property Commission decision” (“IPC”) for the return of the property in the occupied village Larnaka tis Lapithou to the Greek Cypriot owner Nikolas Skourides, has caused tension and quarrels in the occupied area of Cyprus.
According to the paper, three so-called deputies with the National Unity Party (UBP) Zorlu Tore, Ersin Tatar and Ayda Caluda, visited yesterday the occupied village in order to ease the worries of the residents in the village.
Tore, in his statements, described the “IPC decision” as objectionable, claiming that the “commission” should be more careful in decision-making from now on. Tore further stressed the necessity for the “amendment of the law” concerning the “IPC”, claiming that equal conditions should be implemented in the “south” regarding the return of property to the Turkish Cypriots.
“The issue should be solved between the states and not with personal applications”, Tore claimed.
Also, in other statements, the muhktar of the occupied village, Hatice Besiktepeli and the residents of the village alleged that they will never accept either Nikolas Skourides or any other Greek Cypriot returning to the village and settling. Besiktepeli claimed that they also “abandoned their properties in the south in 1974”, alleging that they will never accept the Greek Cypriots returning to the village.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeniden Nacak (07.06.18) reports on the same issue under the title: “We do not want not even a single Greek Cypriot”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (07.06.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=erhurman-issues-statement-on-cancelled-rally-stage), self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman has said that the government had launched an initiative so that the Lefkosa special stage (in the occupied part of Nicosia) of the “Cyprus Rally” takes place.
In a statement through his social media account, Erhurman claimed that the special stage of the rally which had included “both parts of the city” since 2014 and which had united the capital, had been reportedly cancelled by the Greek Cypriot Automobile Association on various grounds.
“Our efforts to prevent this important event from being cancelled are continuing. I only hope that this historical mistake is corrected”, he wrote.
Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (07.06.18) reports that the "martyr lieutenant Caner Goneyli 2018" search and rescue exercise will be held between 18-22 June with the participation of civilian and military bodies from “TRNC” and Turkey search and rescue teams.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.06.18) reports on the forthcoming “municipal elections” to be held in the breakaway regime on June 24 and writes that the number of “voters” is 190,174.
Reporting on the issue, the paper writes that the breakaway regime is divided in 6 districts and 28 “municipalities”, despite the fact that it covers an area of 3,355 square kilometers. There are 111 candidates for the positions.
The “municipal elections” are held every 4 years in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (07.06.18) reports that the so-called minister of economy and energy Ozdil Nami, in exclusive statements to the paper, said that they are in favour of the privatization of the “electricity authorities” in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Accusing the previous “government” of the National Unity Party (UBP) for lack of vision on the “electricity issue”, Nami alleged that they are moving forward examining formulas for the “privatization” of the “Turkish Cypriot electricity authority” (“KIB-TEK”).
On the same issue, the paper writes that a big problem concerning electricity consumption is expected to arise next year in the “TRNC”, since, according to the paper, the demand of “KIB-TEK” for the opening of tenders for four new electricity power plants, has not yet been accepted.
Commenting on the issue, academician Hasan Ulas Altiok stated that taking into consideration that the tenders have not yet been opened for new electricity power plants, there is an imminent risk of a power outage.
Also, the chairman of the self-styled electricity authority (El-Sen) trade union, Umut Oksuzoglu stated that with the interconnection with the “south” and the position of AKSA, they will barely be able to meet consumption demands for the current year. “Steps should be taken immediately for the. We will be left in the dark if no steps are taken the soonest possible”, he said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (07.06.18) publishes an interview with fashion designer Barbaros Sansal, who was attacked one and a half year ago at Istanbul's main airport and later arrested and prisoned for the comments he made on social media against the regime of Tayyip Erdogan, while on vacation in the occupied area of Cyprus
Barbaros, who arrived in Cyprus via Larnaca airport, visited the occupied area of Cyprus for the first time since the incident and stopped by Afrika’s headquarters. Speaking to the paper’s editor-in-chief Sener Levent, he explained what happened during the attack and about his time in the Silivri prison and said that he held the “TRNC responsible” for what happened to him.
As he said, he was sent back to Turkey escorted by a “TRNC policeman” who watched his lynching at Istanbul airport, and added that he is willing to take the issue up to the European Court of Human Rights.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (07.06.18) reports that brucellosis, an infectious disease, is rapidly spreading in the occupied area of Karpasia, where animal breeding is more developed. The producers have stressed that the villagers reached the brink of bankruptcy and made proposals to the “government” accused of not taking any measures to address their problems.
Mustafa Naimoglu, chairman of the “association of animal breeders”, claimed that there was no animal disease screening in the occupied village of Galinoporni for 13 years. He further said that, in general, in Cyprus Brucellosis is at 2%, but in this area (occupied area of Karpasia) this figure has reached 30%, adding that this incident proves the seriousness of the matter.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (07.06.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-slams-greek-presidents-remarks-on-aegean-issues-3413238), Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy on Wednesday responded to a statement by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos regarding the EU’s environmental program “Natura 2000”.
In response to a question, Aksoy warned the EU "not to become a tool of Greece’s political exploitations". "It is well known that Greece has long been exploiting EU environmental programmes, primarily 'Natura 2000' with respect to the Aegean issues", the statement said, adding that the Foreign Ministry had released a statement regarding the matter on March 31.
"Turkey’s position on this issue was also explained last week to a representative of the EU Delegation,” it added.
The Greek President made a statement establishing a strained relationship between “Natura 2000” network and borders and territory, Aksoy said.
"These statements do not bear any legal effect. Moreover, such statements are of a confessional character, demonstrating that Greece simply abuses EU environmental programmes such as ‘Natura 2000’ according to its political expediency."
Aksoy argued that Turkey would not accept any possible fait accompli presented by Greece towards the geographical formations in the Aegean Sea, the legal status of which are disputed.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/omer-celik/the-future-of-turkey-eu-relations-in-a-time-of-global-uncertainty-132872) publishes the following opinion by Turkey’s EU Minister Omer Celik:
“(…) Turkey’sEU membership is more important than ever given the new dynamics and changes in the world order. The international system needs Turkey-EU cooperation in order to solve a number of global problems, ranging from the economy and energy to foreign policy, as well as discrimination and terrorism—within the context of our common values. Therefore, it is essential that Turkey-EU relations reach a certain level of strength and the EU develop a fair and principled approach towards Turkey.
Today, it is unclear what the EU wants or what its goals are in its relations with Turkey. After all, Turkey has still not been able to achieve the progress it deserves and wants from the accession negotiations despite them beginning more than a decade ago. The EU’s approach to relations with Turkey in the last few years cannot be considered separately from the internal crises in the Union and changes in the international system. The issue is the EU’s failure to properly interpret developments both within the Union and outside of it on a global level. However, there are numerous EU leaders who recognize the key role that Turkey will play in overcoming the existential crises that the EU is facing. One example of this is the Turkey-EU Summit that our President had with EU Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Varna on 26 March 2018.
The Varna Summit was beneficial in that it renewed trust in Turkey-EU relations, which are currently going through a difficult phase. The leaders’ affirmation of the importance of Turkey-EU cooperation and the emphasis on Turkey’s candidacy at the highest level, especially as the EU has once again put enlargement back on the agenda, is another positive sign that the prospect of membership still valid.
For Turkey, the most important priority is opening the way to accession negotiations. However, the EU has not fulfilled its commitment to complete preparations for the beginning of negotiations on the chapters blocked by Cyprus. The accession negotiations are the backbone of Turkey-EU relations. (…)
The most important thing about the Varna Summit will be turning the positive atmosphere into concrete policies and practices. Overcoming the problems in the Turkey-EU relationship will have significant benefits not only for Turkey and the EU but also for our region, the international system, and global peace.
Turkey has been pursuing EU membership for more than half a century, and this pursuit reflects the history of how Europe became the ‘Europe’ of today. Turkey will continue to be a ‘key country’ for the stability and prosperity of Europe and the world in the future.”
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (07.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/jailed-hdp-candidate-demirtas-makes-campaign-speech-through-wifes-phone-132888) reports that Selahattin Demirtas, the jailed presidential candidate of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), reached out to voters through his wife’s phone on June 6, holding a campaign “rally” from his prison cell in the northeastern province of Edirne.
Demirtaş on June 6 issued his first, and possibly only one, audio message of the campaign, using the weekly 10-minute telephone call he is permitted to make to his wife Başak.
To distribute the speech, the HDP produced a slick video of the message, which begins with Başak Demirtaş welcoming family members to their home in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır. Her mobile then rings and she puts it on loudspeaker.
“Hello my darling, how are you?” she says, and after some brief pleasantries Demirtaş makes a campaign speech of around five minutes. “Sadly, Turkey has been transformed into a semi-open prison. They are trying to create a society based on fear and trying to reign though fear,” he declares.
Speaking confidently and without interruption from an apparently prepared text, Demirtaş describes himself as a “political hostage” but also urges optimism among the HDP faithful. “Demirtaş is not the man who is in a cell in Edirne. It is you. Have confidence in yourselves,” he says.
“I am lucky, I must be the only candidate who is able to do election campaigning via his wife on the phone,” he adds. At the end of his address, the family members, who have been sitting in respectful silence, erupt into applause, chanting “Selo [a short form of Selahattin] for president.” (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah (07.06.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/06/07/german-envoy-to-ankara-ice-age-between-turkey-germany-put-behind), Turkey and Germany have enjoyed close cooperation and warm ties for a very long time. Moreover, the bond between the Turkish and German people is unique. That being said, a tumultuous period for the past one-and-a-half years not only crippled bilateral trust, but also alienated the two sides. For the past couple of months, however, things have started to look different. Tensions have relatively cooled down, and politicians have ceased their fight with each other, at least to a certain extent.
Speaking to Daily Sabah in an exclusive interview in the wake of the normalization process, Martin Erdmann, German Ambassador to Ankara, said the "ice age" between the two countries had been put behind". Both our countries are interdependent and our societal relations are too interwoven to not be on speaking terms. That is the lesson we have learned, which has brought Berlin and Ankara to resume their contacts. But we are not yet there. In short: I would call the period that lies behind us the ice age. We are now in the defrost period, in other words, on the way to normalizing our relations," Erdmann said, expressing his hope for the process to succeed.
(…) Chancellor [Angela] Merkel, Foreign Minister [Heiko] Maas and Foreign Minister [Mevlüt] Cavusoglu participated in this commemorative event. This shows that Turkey and Germany are part of one single family and that our two countries went hand in hand in the past and will go hand in hand in the future."
For a long while, critical voices within the European Union have been accusing Turkey of running away from Europe and European values with giant steps. In fact, the claim is far from acceptable in Ankara.
When asked about whether Turkey drifts away from Europe and European values or if Europe pushes Turkey away from itself, Erdmann said neither is the case. "Turkey clearly is part of Europe. There is no geostrategic alternative to this orientation," the German envoy said, however, he refused to gauge Turkey's chances of joining the EU club.
"It is a question that nobody can currently answer. We do not know how the European Union will develop in the years to come after the so-called Brexit, nor do we know which direction Turkey, in political and other terms, will take in the future. So at this moment we should not try to answer the question of a possible EU membership. It is an open process."
Contending that Turkey needs to come closer to the EU acquis, the German envoy touched on Turkey's domestic affairs, calling for an end to the state of emergency. "It harms the interests of Turkey," he said. (…)
In spite of all the crises and ultimatums between Turkey and Germany over recent years, business has run smoothly as always. Turkish and German companies in the two countries have acted with a cool head. Erdmann agrees: "Indeed, it is a little known fact, even to many policy decision makers, that the economies of Germany and Turkey are largely intertwined. Turkey is part of the German and European production chain". Stating that there are more than 7,000 German companies in Turkey and 90,000 Turkish companies in Germany, Erdmann said: "More than nine percent of Turkish exports go to Germany; more than nine percent of Turkish imports come from Germany." Pointing to a stable investment climate, a steadfast economic policy, an independent Central Bank, the legal system and other factors, the German envoy said, "provided these elements are guaranteed, I am convinced that Turkey will have a bright economic future and will become an even more important economic partner to us."
Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (07.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/dont-use-s-400s-even-if-you-buy-them-us-tells-turkey-132904) reports that Turkey and the United States recently took an important step in the right direction by endorsing the road map for Syria’s Manbij province that will lead to the withdrawal of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) at a meeting between Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C.
Although it is regarded as a positive development for the normalization of ties, there are still some very important pending disputes between the two long-standing allies, including Turkey’s procurement of S-400s from Russia.
Senior Turkish and American officials have been in close dialogue and negotiations to overcome the troubled waters on ties for some time, with a special emphasis on two main issues: S-400s and the Manbij process.
Speaking to diplomatic sources who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issues, the Hürriyet Daily News has obtained important background information about closed-door talks between the two countries on these key matters. They have engaged in hectic diplomacy in the last few months at almost every level, with the last one being between Cavusoglu and Pompeo on June 4.
One track of this Turkish-American diplomacy was focused on Turkey’s bid to expand its air defence with the sophisticated Russian-made S-400 anti-ballistic missile systems. The U.S. has long been against this procurement for three main reasons.
Firstly, it is against NATO’s plans to further isolate and deter Russia. (…) Secondly, there are concerns that this deployment would endanger the flights of NATO aircrafts, particularly F-35s that are also on Turkey’s procurement plans from the U.S. Thirdly, there are trade concerns that prioritize the sale of U.S.-made Patriot air defence systems to Turkey and other allies.
Talks between Ankara and Washington on S-400s were therefore shaped around these three concerns. The main U.S. demand from its ally was the cancellation of the purchase of S-400s on the grounds that it could trigger sanctions on Turkey. Turkish officials firmly rejected this call, stressing that these systems will be bought and deployed because Turkey needs them. “All countries surrounding us have missile systems. Imagine if, for example, relations with Iran deteriorate over Syria and they launch missiles on us. How will Turkey be able to protect itself?”, was the question posed to American officials.
They also denounced threats imposed on Turkey, making clear that “any sanctions on Turkey will not be left unanswered.”
Following Turkey’s firm stance on the purchase of these systems, U.S. officials hinted that “Turkey should not use the S-400s even if it does buy them from Russia,” while Turkish diplomatic sources said this was not a realistic expectation.
Having dismissed calls for the cancellation, Turkey suggested joint work with the U.S. to look into potential consequences of the deployment of S-400s and to address U.S. concerns on the safety of NATO aircrafts.
In talks with U.S. officials, Turkey made clear its sensitivity in not putting NATO allies’ aircrafts in danger through the weapon systems it acquires from non-NATO sources. They also stressed that Turkey has not opted for a nine-month quick delivery option offered by Russia. “If we had accepted a nine-month delivery option, then we would have no control on the use of S-400s. They would be used only by Russian experts, as national software would not be ready to be uploaded. Instead, we have chosen the 19-month option so that we could prepare our technical work and use them under ful Turkish control. We are very sensitive on this,” officials stated.
The third aspect of Turkish-American conversations was about the latter’s revisited attempts to sell Patriot air defence systems to Turkey, in place of the S-400s. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (07.06.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2018/06/07/more-arrests-prison-terms-as-crackdown-on-feto-intensifies), Turkey's efforts to wipe out the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) continue unabated two years after the group tried to topple the government. In yesterday's operations across the country, police detained and arrested dozens of people linked to the group, while courts handed down prison sentences to the former governor of a western city and FETÖ suspects accused of fraud in the admission exam for the Police Academy.
Twenty-one suspects have been rounded up in southwestern Muğla province as part of an anti-terror operation against alleged attempts to revive the terror network. According to police sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the suspects allegedly have been playing an "active role" in efforts to bring around the terror group, holding frequent meetings, and facilitating and harboring fugitive members of the group. The sources also said that the suspects have been providing financial assistance to needy FETÖ members to keep their ties with the group intact.
In separate raids, 11 FETÖ suspects, including three women, have been arrested in 8 provinces including Uşak, Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya. (…)
The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in the capital Ankara issued arrest warrants for 33 people as part of an investigation into FETÖ suspects running private teaching institutions at seven locations. The financial crimes unit of Ankara police had launched simultaneous operations across the capital to nab the suspects. (…)
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(DPs / MK)