A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (09.08.18) reports that Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Donmez has said that within the forthcoming months Turkey will hold its first drilling for natural resources in the Mediterranean. Asked to comment on the exploration for hydrocarbons carried out in Eastern Mediterranean by the Republic of Cyprus, Egypt and Israel and whether the places in which Turkey will hold drillings are known, Donmez recalled that Turkey has been carrying out seismic researches in the Mediterranean for the past five years and noted that the data obtained during this researches are extremely important. He argued:
“We have obtained a drilling platform. Within the forthcoming 1-2 months it will start drillings. We called it Fatih [Translator’s note: it means conqueror]. Frankly speaking we expect to conquer our hydrocarbons reserves in Eastern Mediterranean with this vessel. We are optimistic. Many neighboring countries in Eastern Mediterranean have found natural gas. Our data is also very good and positive. The colleagues have made their assessments. We will hold our first drilling in Antalya’s open sea within the Turkish economic zone. The other will be in the open sea of Mersin. This will be realized in the form of a research in a more shallow sea. Turkey is unfortunately depended on foreign sources in [the fields] of oil and natural gas. […]”
Noting that if they find oil and natural gas, this will be a “game changer” move, Donmez said: “We want to search for and find this natural gas or oil wherever it is, in the mainland or in the sea”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (09.08.18) reports that the control held by the self-styled ministry of education in the Hala Sultan theological college in occupied Mia Milia area [a few weeks ago] has caused a big crisis in the occupation regime’s relations with Turkey, which, because of this control, decided to cut the economic aid it provided every year for the field of education in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. According to the paper, first the Turkish officials reduced this aid by 50% and then they totally stopped providing it.
During this school year, Turkey would provide 2,3 million Turkish liras (TL) for the printing of books and 20 million TL for the construction of new schools and renovation in existing ones. With this money, two new schools in occupied Keryneia area and one primary school in Neapolis, Gonyeli, would be built and the lyceums in occupied Koma tou Gialou and Mia Milia area would be repaired.
Turkish Cypriot primary school teachers’ trade union (KTOS) reacted to the cut of this aid describing it as “an embargo imposed on the Turkish Cypriots by Turkey”. “Not only Turkish Cypriots but hundreds of thousands of children citizens of Turkey living in the in the northern part of Cyprus will be influenced by this embargo implemented by Turkey”, said KTOS in a written statement, adding that the target of this mentality, which uses money as a weapon, is to force the Turkish Cypriot community to kneel. Noting that the great majority of the inhabitants in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus are citizens of Turkey, KTOS expresses the view that an administration which does not respect even its own citizens “is useful to no one”.
In statements to the paper, KTOS’ general secretary, Sener Elcil said that this year there is a need for 124 teachers in the secondary education and 56 teachers in the primary schools, but the numbers given [by the “ministry”] say that they need 88 teachers in the secondary and 36 in the primary education. Elcil noted that this school year will begin without schools, without teachers and without books.
Finally, Basaran Duzgun, Havadis’ editor-in-chief, comments on the issue in his column under the title “Like a nest of tariqats [Translator’s note: Religious orders]…” According to Duzgun, all bad things happening now in the field of education are because of Hala Sultan theological college, which some insist to use as “nest of tariqats”. Duzgun also notes that 57% of the children studying in the schools in the occupied area of Cyprus are citizens of Turkey.
Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (09.08.18), columnist Gokhan Altiner reports that a quarrel was experienced last Tuesday before the meeting of the “council of ministers” between the self-styled ministers of education and finance, Cemal Ozyigit and Serdar Denktas respectively, because the lesson of religion has become elective and not compulsory as of this year in the schools in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Citing information obtained from “reliable sources”, Altiner says that he knows that Ankara as well has many times “warned” Ozyigit to “show the necessary sensitivity” on the issue of the lesson of religion. He argues that a crisis was caused “behind closed doors” due to the fact that Ozyigit’s “partners” in the “coalition government” also warned him on this issue.
“In spite of all these, yesterday the lesson of religion in schools has been turned from compulsory into elective”, writes the columnist arguing that a “serious crisis” will soon come up within the “four party coalition government”. Altiner wonders how will “prime minister” Erhurman, who will soon visit Turkey for holding meetings with Turkish officials, explain this situation.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (09.08.18) reports that Okan Dagli, spokesman of the Famagusta Initiative, has said that he does not consider the opening of the barricades in Deryneia and Apliki areas possible during this year. “At least with this mindset it will be difficult for them to open”, he argued in statements to Kibris Postasi TV.
He argued that both on the issue of Deryneia barricade and the Cyprus problem Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci and one part of the “coalition government” remained inactive and silent and the matter is administered having as axis self-styled foreign minister Kudret Ozersay.
According to Dagli, Ozersay is the one who spoiled the agreement regarding the opening of the barricades and it is not necessary for the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP) to support this agreement. He added:
“One of the tenders […] was the tender for a car parking place. I saw this morning that a tender was invited for this. Nothing was done yet regarding the other parts of the gate. The statements made by the prime minister have no relation with the reality, because nothing is being done in our side. As for the Greek Cypriot side, it prepared the gates six months ago. There is a lack of will for these gates and we do not have a will. […] Someone must show leadership, but this is also absent.
The army has sovereignty, an authority in the border area and does not want to make concessions from this. Now a new formation of the army exists there. According to information we have obtained, the army builds two emplacements with reinforced concrete there. Behold, if you are not able to somehow downgrade the army’s will at a point from which civilians will pass, more problems will come up. […] If this mentality does not change neither Deryneia nor Apliki gate will open. […]”
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.08.18) publishes statements by the four CTP “deputies” who visited the Deryneia barricade the day before yesterday to inspect the works in the area.
Asim Akansoy said that the works in the government-controlled area of the island have been completed and that the deficiencies regarding the opening of the barricade are in the occupied part of the crossing point, arguing, however, that the remaining work will not require a long time to be completed.
Fikri Toros said that they support the opening of barricades in order for the deadlock in the Cyprus negotiations to be overcome.
Dogus Derya said that the asphalting works ended but the tender procedure has not been completed yet. She argued that the works must be speeded up.
Sila Usar Incirli noted that they attach great importance to the new crossing points, which will bring the two communities closer from social and economic points of view. She said that a part of the works at Deryneia crossing point has not been completed yet and wished for the works in both sides to end soon and the contacts between the communities to increase and contribute to the solution process.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.08.18) under the title: “Why the financial aid provided by Turkey is not used?”, refers to a report published by Haberkibris website, according to which the so-called four-party coalition government in the “TRNC” like the previous “governments” is not able to use constructively the funds allocated by Turkey to the occupation regime for infrastructure, investments and reforms.
According to the paper, only 20% of the financial resources allocated by the Republic of Turkey to the “development and economic cooperation office” of the so-called Turkish embassy in the occupied area of Cyprus were used for infrastructure projects, while, at the same time, only 36% out of the resources were used for the real sector.
According to a statement issued by the “development and economic cooperation office”, the allowance for infrastructure projects and investments by Turkey in 9 different “sectors” in the occupation regime for this year has reached 464 million 319 thousand 566 TL and the so-called government was able to use only 96 million, 890 thousand, 532 TL out of them (20.87%).
Also, according to the figures provided by the ““development and economic cooperation office”, 45 million, 150 thousand TL were spend for infrastructure investment and 23 million, 218 thousand TL were spend for the “sectors of defense, security and justice”.
The same figures say that although Turkey has allocated funds (approximately 11 million 800 thousand TL for the environmental sector), the so-called government has not spent not even a cent for this sector.
Regarding the real sector, from the fund of 212 million TL, only 76 million 885 thousand TL were used by the so-called government. Also, according to the figures, the occupation regime used 30 million 309 thousand TL for the “higher education sector”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.08.18) reports that the former “judge” and columnist in Yeni Duzen newspaper Tacan Reynar, has received threats addressed through the social media against his life.
According to the paper, a person called Gagatay Hufezye Ozdem, who a columnist in NPNHABER.COM website, has shared a post in his personal account in social media writing the following: Tacan Reynar: 2018 Kutlu Adali model”.
Speaking to the paper about the above mentioned post, Reynar described as a personal attack against him the above post which makes a reference to Kutlu Adali (assassinated in the 6th of July 1996 in front of his house) and called on the so-called police to investigate the case. “This post constitutes a personal attack and a threat against me. It was made with a reference made to Kutltu Adali, who was assassinated by fascist and dark segments of the society because he was an intellectual and progressive person and a journalist acting his duty in this land with patriotism”, Reynar stated, adding that taking into consideration what happened back then and the “realities in the country”, he is worried at the current stage, not for himself but for his “country”.
“Undoubetly, the police should carry out an investigation towards the context and the purpose of this post”, said Reynar.
According to illegal Bayrak television (09.08.18-BRTK http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=sahali-resumes-contacts-in-ankara), so-called minister of agriculture and natural resources Erkut Sahali met in Ankara with the Turkish Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli, as part of his “contacts” there.
No statement was issued to the press following his meeting. Delegations of the two “countries” also held a meeting to discuss technical issues.
Speaking to BRT before his meeting with the Pakdemirli, Sahali pointed out that the “agriculture sectors” in both Turkey and the “TRNC” were going through a hard period due to the drought experienced last winter. “To make matters worse animal breeders now have to deal with the fall in the value of the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies resulting in serious price hikes. As a result the agriculture sector is experiencing negative developments” he said.
Sahali and his accompanying “delegation” will be returning to the occupation regime tomorrow.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.08.18--https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkish-us-talks-end-at-state-department/1225851By) reported that the talks to resolve issues between Ankara and Washington ended Tuesday at the U.S. State Department.
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal headed a nine-person delegation during the meeting with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan which lasted 50 minutes.
The Turkish delegation is composed of representatives from Foreign, Justice and Finance Ministries.
No official from the Turkish delegation made remarks following the meeting. According to a Treasury Department official, the delegation will hold talks with Department officials.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert confirmed those talk were underway. "We held additional talks with Turkish officials. The conversations continue," Nauert said.
The talks at the State Department were said to highlight American pastor Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest in Turkey, and U.S. sanctions on Turkish Ministers.
Turkey and the U.S. are currently experiencing rocky relations following the imposition of American sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.
The two NATO allies have been at odds since a defeated coup in Turkey in 2016 in which Ankara accused the U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen and his FETO organization of masterminding.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.08.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-iran-gas-trade-to-continue-for-supply-security/1225781) reported that Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said on Wednesday that the natural gas trade between Turkey and Iran will continue as part of a long-term bilateral contract set to run until 2026.
Speaking to news channel A Haber, Donmez said that Turkey's natural gas trade with Iran is legitimate and in accordance with a signed contract with an expiry in 2026.
"We import nearly 9.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Iran. We do not have the option of leaving Turkish citizens without electricity or in the cold. Therefore, our trade will continue according to the contract," he asserted.
The first round of the U.S. pre-nuclear deal sanctions on Iran, largely targeting the country’s banking sector, came into effect early Tuesday.
The sanctions target Tehran's acquisition of U.S. dollars, precious metals trade, transactions related to Iran's real currency, activities related to Iran's sovereign debt, and the country's automotive sector.
Donmez described the sanctions as one-sided as they are based on the U.S. government's imposition on Iran. "In fact, the EU is also very uncomfortable [about the sanctions]. We are conducting legitimate trade [with Iran]. This is also important in terms of supply security. We also have a neighbourly partnership with Iran. I am of the opinion that this [Turkey's trade with Iran] should be evaluated within this framework," he explained.
Turkey and the U.S. are also experiencing rocky relations after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul for not releasing American pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, who faces terrorism charges in Turkey.
On Aug. 8, a Turkish delegation led by a Foreign Ministry aide will visit Washington where they are expected to discuss recent tensions between the two NATO allies.
Donmez said that the delegation plans to discuss the sanctions on Iran among other issues between the two countries. "I am optimistic about this dialogue. I believe we will be able to reach a positive outcome," he asserted.
Donmez also confirmed that the construction of a third nuclear power plant is planned in the north-western Thrace region.
"In that project, we will cooperate with China. We have not decided on the exact location of this plant. In fact, there are approximately 28-30 criteria that need to be met in the requirements to construct the plant," he explained.
However, he hinted that the northern part of Turkey's Marmara region, an area with the highest energy density in Turkey, would be considered. "We believe this region is the most appropriate location [for the third plant] and meets most of the criteria we are looking for. We also aim to enlarge nuclear know-how and technology in Turkey, and this project will help that aim," he asserted.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-travel-association-seeks-to-extend-booking-com-ban-to-airbnb-expedia-skyscanner-135602) reported that the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), which has paved the way for blocking Booking.com in Turkey, has decided to take legal action against 20 other online reservation and travel portals.
“TÜRSAB will launch legal action against nearly 20 websites such as Airbnb, Agoda, Skyscanner and Expedia, which have been in unfair competition with the Turkish travel agencies and tour operators by not paying any tax although they earn income selling Turkish product and services to Turkish customers in the Turkish market,” Turkey’s leading tourism association said in its statement on Aug. 8.
The Booking.com website and app, headquartered in Holland, has been suspended in Turkey since March 29, 2017 by a court ruling citing accusations of unfair competition in the lawsuit filed by the TÜRSAB.
On March 30, Booking.com began to halt selling rooms in Turkey to Turkish users, obeying the order to block the website. However, the website and application can be used from foreign countries to make reservations for hotels in Turkey.
“As an e-commerce and technology company, we are convinced that we contribute to healthy competition in the market by offering Turkish consumers a transparent and easy platform to compare and book accommodation all over the world,” the company said, as quoted by the Associated Press on March 29, 2017.
TÜRSAB chairman Firuz Baglıkaya has recently said Booking.com may operate in Turkey following the necessary legal proceedings.
“We have been working on a model of ‘corporate subscription’ for companies like Booking.com, which are headquartered abroad but bring consumers and tourism firms together. After we implement that status, services such as Booking.com will start operating in the country again,” he said on July 9.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION