Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (02.02.18) refers to a “sudden” statement by Baris Burcu, Turkish Cypriot leader’s spokesman, who announced yesterday that upon a demand by the Turkish Cypriot leader in July 2017, the map submitted by the Turkish side to the UN on the territory issue within the framework of the Cyprus talks during the Conference on Cyprus in Geneva was withdrawn last December.
Burcu issued a written statement yesterday saying that the negotiations on the six chapters of the Cyprus problem had been carried out on the basis of the principle that nothing is agreed unless everything is agreed. Burcu noted that his earlier statement concerned the return of the map that came onto the agenda in July and argued that the presidential election in the Republic of Cyprus is an internal matter of the Greek Cypriot community. He criticized the fact that Akinci’s name was involved in the election campaign alleging that Akinci would not even think of interfering in the presidential elections of the Republic of Cyprus. He alleged:
“The issue of the map came onto the agenda after the Crans Montana Conference in July was completed without a result and Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades stated that his proposals were not on the table any more. After this, president Akinci called the then UNSG Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide to his office and demanded the return of the map announcing to him that the map was not valid anymore. The above-mentioned map was returned to the Turkish Cypriot side in December”.
Moreover, the paper reports that Turkish Cypriot former negotiators Osman Ertug and Ergun Olgun described Akinci’s step as “positive but deficient”. Ertug told the paper that they do not know whether the elements called as “convergences” have been withdrawn or not. He alleged that the process which ended in Crans Montana was the last one of the past 50 years and that the UNSG himself has stated that the process will not be the same anymore. “As our president said, we cannot reach a different destination by going through the same way”, he claimed.
In his statements, Olgun alleged that right after the process ended, the Greek Cypriot side stated that it withdraws its proposals. “Why we withdrew only the map? This process ended now and the proposals concerned the statements regarding the Greek Cypriot side’s approach”, he claimed arguing that all “concessions” should be withdrawn.
Moreover, political scientist and international relations’ expert, Yucel Vural told the paper that the map’s withdrawal might be developed into something in favor of President Anastasiades. Arguing that President Anastasiades, replying to those who argued that “an opportunity was lost” in Crans Montana, has been saying that no opportunity was lost because the Turkish Cypriot side was not ready. He might try to use the fact that the Turkish Cypriot side has suddenly given such information to the press for strengthening his position, he argued.
Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (02.02.18) refers to the issue under the title “Akinci also made a step backwards!” According to the paper, mutual steps were taken in order for the Cyprus problem to remain unsolved and the content of the statement that “Turkey is the only port in which the Turkish Cypriots could take refuge” is being completed. “The Cypriot leaders, who have not shown the necessary courage in Crans Montana Summit and could not achieve a solution, exerted efforts to turn the non-solution into a permanent situation by taking mutual steps”, alleges Ortam.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (02.02.18) refers to the issue under the title “’There is no proposal on the territory on the table’”, while Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.02.18) uses the title “Neither a map nor a proposal remained on the table”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.02.18) reports that the leaders of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Democratic Party (DP), People’s Party (HP) and Socialist Democracy Party (TDP) signed yesterday the “protocol for establishing a four-party coalition government”.
Speaking after the “protocol” was signed, the leader of CTP Tufan Erhurman, stated that their aim is to offer “the human rights, the democracy and the services that the people deserve”. He also stated that there are problems in the “country” that urgently need to be solved adding that the biggest problem is the approval of the “budget” for which the “ministry of finance” is working on.
Kibris also reports that replying on a question about the “economic protocol” with Turkey, Denktas, who was again appointed “minister of finance”, stated that the “protocol” will be completed by the end of 2018 and the second reports on its implementation will be made. He also said that he will continue his contacts with the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Recep Akdag and his team on the protocol and the economy.
Reporting on the issue, Illegal Bayrak (02.02.18) broadcast that Erhurman “presented his cabinet for the four way coalition government” to Mustafa Akinci this morning.
Akinci approved the “cabinet” which is as follows:
“Prime Minister Tufan Erhurman
Deputy Prime Minister-Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Ozersay
Minister of Interior Aysegul Baybars Kadri
Minister of Finance Serdar Denktas
Minister of National Education and Culture Cemal Ozyigit
Minister of Labour and Social Security Zeki Celer
Minister of Health Filiz Besim
Minister of Public Works and Communications Tolga Atakan
Minister of Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoglu
Minister of Economy and Energy Ozdil Nami
Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Erkut Sahali.”
Commenting on the new “cabinet” Kibris Postasi (02.02.18) writes that the “appointment” of Ozdil Nami in the “energy and economy ministry” is a big surprise and notes that it is not clear yet who is going to take Nami’s place as the negotiator of the Turkish Cypriot side at the negotiations.
Reporting on Erhuman’s statements, Halkin Sesi (02.02.18) writes that CTP leader refereed to the issue of “citizenships that were granted illegally” and notes that the “new prime minister” said that all the “citizenships that were granted illegally” will be cancelled.
Referring to the relations of the breakaway regime with Turkey, Erhurman stated that the new “government” aims to build these relations in a better and more rightful level, since as he said , this will mostly benefit the “people”. “We do not believe that we will face any problem as regards this issue and we will all try our best so that no problem will occur”, he said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (02.02.18) under the title: “Denktas did not disclaimed our report but instead it verify it”, reports on statements by the former “deputy prime minister” and “minister of finance” Serdar Denktas who commented on the report published yesterday by Afrika newspaper.
The report said that “officials” from the “Turkish embassy” together with the chairman of the Revival Party visited yesterday the “director” of the “central prisons”, they drank coffee and tea with him, asking him “to take care of the arrested persons”.
Denktas described in his statements as “groundless and completely fabricated the reports. He, however, explained that he held a phone conversation with the “general director” of the “central prison” who confirmed that “embassy officials visited yesterday the “general director” of the “central prison” as part of the routine visits but denied that they “discussed anything related with the suspects” or that “they had asked him to take care of them”.
Describing these allegations as “provocative”, Denktas claimed that “the aim is to create an artificial agenda”. “This country is a state of law and nobody has the right to dilute it. We will never permit this”, Denktas alleged.
Under the front-page title: “Lynching efforts was an embassy’s plan”, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (02.02.18) reports that the “Turkish Cypriot teacher’s trade union” (KTOS) in a written statement evaluated the incidents that took place on January 22 against Afrika newspaper and stated that the lynching attacks against the paper was a product of a well-fabricated and planned scenarios prepared completely by the “Turkish embassy” in the occupied area of Cyprus. “The tolerance of the police, the lynching efforts against Afrika newspaper, the planting of a flag on the assembly’s roof, the violent protest inside the assembly and the attack against Turkish president Akinci by a gathering crowd, is an implementation of a planned scenario being prepared by the Turkish embassy”.
The general secretary of KTOS, Sener Elcil stated further that when the details of the violent attacks will be revealed, it will be proved that the aim is for a state of emergency to be implemented in the “TRNC” in the way that is implemented in Turkey. He further added that the violent attacks were organized by organizations which are operating under the name “cultural association” and are supported by the “Turkish embassy” and also by the Turkish settlers' Revival Party (YDP) and the National Unity Party (UBP).
Elcil also said the following: “The aim of all these happened is to seize all the institutions which belong to the Turkish Cypriots in the northern part of Cyprus, to silence the trade unions and the press, to dominate justice and extinguish the democratic organizations. Unfortunately, all these are supported by the embassy of the Turkish Republic which is here in the island with the allegation of being a guarantor country”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.02.18) reports that workers at the “Komi Kepir municipality” left black wreaths in front of the “president’s palace door”, protesting against the fact that 6 persons were “arrested” following the attacks against Afrika newspaper.
As the paper reports, around 20 workers arrived yesterday in the occupied part of Lefkosia, left three black wreaths and read to the press a statement they had prepared regarding their protest.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (01.02.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-asks-russia-to-extradite-key-suspect-in-2013-hatay-bombings-mihrac-ural-126635), Turkey has asked Moscow to arrest and extradite Mihrac Ural, the leader of the outlawed People’s Liberation Party-Front (THKP-C), which Turkey has deemed responsible for a deadly attack in the southern province of Hatay in 2013. Ural was seen unexpectedly among participants at the Syria congress in Sochi, Russia this week. “We immediately reacted to this terrorist’s participation there and demanded an explanation from Russia,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on Feb. 1.
“We want this person’s immediate detention and extradition to Turkey,” he said noting that Ural is being sought by an Interpol red notice.
In a phone conversation on Jan. 31, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced “discomfort” to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about Ural’s presence in Sochi, as he was not included on the list of invited delegates given to Turkey, said Cavusoglu.
“Actually, the name of this terrorist was not on the list that Russia gave us. If it had been, we would have objected beforehand,” he stated, noting that Ural entered Russia with “fake documents.”
“We were uncomfortable with this,” he added, saying that Putin himself will deal with the issue.
Ural is the leader of a branch of the THKP-C, a pro-Syrian regime militia accused of masterminding a spate of attacks in May 2013 in the town of Reyhanlı in Hatay that left 52 people dead. Ural, originally a Turkish national, reportedly joined the regime’s ranks following the outbreak of civil war in 2011 in Syria. An opposition group claimed to have killed him back in 2016.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.02.18), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said a total of 800 terrorists have been killed in Syria's northwestern Afrin region as part of Turkey’s ongoing Operation Olive Branch. "Of course, this number will increase by the evening," said Erdogan, while speaking at Turkish Youth Foundation's gathering at Presidential Complex.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish reportedly security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (01.02.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ypg-cleared-from-another-area-on-12th-day-of-afrin-operation-126614) reports that a rocket fired by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Syria hit Turkey’s border province of Kilis on Feb. 1. Later, another rocket struck an office in the Barıs neighborhood of Kilis.
No casualties were reported in the attacks. Separately, a rocket was disposed under enhanced security measures in the southern border province of Hatay. It was among three rockets fired by the YPG that landed on a yard in the Reyhanlı district, but did not explode.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (01.02.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/british-lords-support-turkeys-right-to-self-defense-126669), it is the Turkish government’s right and responsibility to defend itself, a group of visiting members of the British House of Lords have said after a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“It is not just the right of any government to defend and look after its own people, it is actually a responsibility. All of us will agree with that; this is the first responsibility of any government,” Lord Stuart Polak told a group of Turkish journalists.
Polak and three other members of the British House of Lords, who were invited to Turkey by the Istanbul-based NGO Bosphorus Global met with other high-ranking Turkish government officials, including Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak. “Turkey has the right to defend itself. If people are attacking its territory and killing some of its citizens, they are perfectly entitled to defend themselves,” said Nobel Laureate Lord David Trimble.
Part of the reason why Britain was reluctant to authorize direct intervention in Syria and deploy troops in Syria is “the fluidity of the situation”, he added.
“What is the precise affiliation of these organizations? They seem to change; they shift their positions. So we can support Turkey in defending its borders, but we found ourselves reluctant to rush to a military situation that we don’t fully understand,” Trimble said.
The relationship between the U.K. and Turkey has been having the potential for strategic partnership,” Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones said. “And that’s what we would like to help develop. This is not just an ordinary relationship; we would like to see it have rather more significant status for most partners. There is obviously a growing trade relationship which even in quite difficult times have moved forward on both sides. We see a good basis to move forward there. We see a lot of potential in the relationship. Our aim is to increase the dialogue. Our aim is to really see flourishing relationship between the two countries,” she said.
Lord James Arbuthnot said their meeting with Erdogan took longer than scheduled. “We raised a lot of issues that were important. One of the issues we discussed was what is happening in Syria at the moment,” he said.
“We won’t always be in agreement with you on the definition of what groups form terrorist groups and what don’t, but in order to have a closer relationship between Turkey and the U.K., we need to have discussions like that. In the U.K., there are frequent references in the press to whether the press in Turkey is free, what the state of human rights is in Turkey. A close relationship will allow us to discuss these things in an open way,” he added.
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