Under the title “Reaction by Akinci to being sidelined”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen newspaper(10.10.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci reacted, “within the framework of diplomatic curtesy”, to the possibility of being sidelined during the negotiating process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. In statements yesterday after briefing the leaders of the four political parties which participate in the “government”, Akinci said the following on the issue:
“If Turkey continues to negotiate with the Greek Cypriot side, I will be annoyed and I will not hide this annoyance. If the Greek Cypriot side and Greece want, we can meet. We can meet unofficially. We can meet officially. If Mr Anastasiades wants, he can go to Ankara, but the Turkish Cypriot leader should also be able to go to Athens. If Turkey negotiates with the Greek Cypriot side and this becomes continuous, this cannot be accepted”.
Referring to the meeting he held yesterday with the “coalition government”, Akinci noted:
“We carried out our assessments. Tomorrow we will have a similar meeting with the opposition. Today we held a meeting with Mrs Spehar as well. I briefed the parties participating in the government about the meetings in New York. We had a fruitful meeting with the USG, but Mrs Lute’s reports had not been ready yet. Mrs Lute’s report will be received by the UNSG and we will have the opportunity to reevaluate the situation on 15 October.
With Mrs Spehar we discussed the situation as regards the opening of the Deryneia and Apliki gates. She will hold contacts in the south and we will talk again. I hope that we will meet with Mr Anastasiades on a date not in the far future. On the one hand we should determine a date for the opening of the gates and announce it together and on the other I wish to discuss with him how the future of this island will be shaped. This is our responsibility.
Some speculations are published on this issue [Translator’s note: the loose federation model]. When we will talk with Mr Anastasiades, I will expect him to further clarify this issue. The agreements reached until now include that the powers to be given to the two states exclude the powers to be given to the federal state. Beyond this, the founding states will even have the right to make international agreements. These are included in the agreements. I do not know in which fields, which are included in the agreements for the central government, Mr Anastasiades thinks that [powers] should be transferred to the wings. [Late Gafkos] Clerides had also an opinion. He supported that more powers should exist in the wings. This is not wrong. No negotiations exist now. We will have the opportunity to evaluate these in an environment in which we will meet, even if it is a social meeting”.
Referring to the meeting between the Peoples’ Party (HP) chairman Kudret Ozersay and the DISY chairman Averof Neofitou, Akinci said:
“Mr Ozersay met with Mr Neofitou as a party leader. This is not harmful. On the contrary, it is useful for other leaders of our parties to meet with other party leaders. As long as they stay within this framework, there is no problem. I am not a party leader. I am the elected leader of the Turkish Cypriot people. I hold meetings within the framework of the power given to me by the people in this capacity. We do not want the continuation of the status quo on this island. I underline that we should not go outside the UN framework. Face to face meetings will be held. I am not excluding them, but these should somehow take place within the framework of the UN as well. All sides should help in this process. […]
Yesterday we had a telephone conversation with Mrs Lute. I think that today she has completed her report and submitted it to the esteemed UNSG. We are waiting for 15 October now and we will make an assessment accordingly”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen newspaper(10.10.18) reports that Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that “a federation with a weak central government and powerful wings is not an idea that will necessitate a totally new and long lasting negotiating process”. In statements yesterday after a briefing by Akinci on the Cyprus problem, Erhurman argued that the demand of the Turkish Cypriot side for the beginning of a negotiating process with a time limit and focused on the result has not changed.
Erhurman noted also that until today the Greek Cypriot side had been in favor of a federation with a strong central government, but today is allegedly bringing onto the agenda a model of federation with strong wings and not a strong center. He alleged that this model could be discussed, but it seems that the reason for which the Greek Cypriot side distances itself from the model with a strong central government is the insistence of the Turkish Cypriot side on the political equality. He claimed that the Greek Cypriot side developed this model because it cannot explain to its people the issue of political equality.
Erhurman argued that this view does not differ much from the process that existed until today and added that powers could easily be limited, that is, this idea does not create something very new and a new negotiating process will not be needed.
Claiming that this idea could have an optimistic and a pessimistic aspect, Erhurman alleged that the pessimistic aspect is the creation of a blurred environment and the presentation of this idea as something very new which needs long lasting negotiations and actually the prolongation of the status quo. The optimistic aspect, he further alleged, is that the Greek Cypriot side prefers the model of a federation with strong wings because it will not be able to explain well the political equality.
“If so, in a negotiating process with a known end and focused on the result, just like the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal is, the other issues, which have not been agreed, could be discussed and solved together very quickly”, he claimed further alleging that if the Greek Cypriot side determines its position, this can happen much more easier.
According to illegal Bayrak television (10.10.18, http://www.brtk.net/cozum-iradesini-muhafaza-ediyoruz/), Teberruken Ulucay, self-styled assembly speaker of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, argued that the Cyprus problem could be concluded through a resulted-oriented, timetable, short and intense new negotiation process.
Evaluating the Cyprus issue during the closing session of the 3rd meeting of the Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments (MSEAP) kicked off in Antalya, Turkey, Ulucay claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side firmly preserves its will for a solution on the Cyprus issue and argued that they continue to work with hope and determination in that direction.
He further claimed: “The Greek Cypriot side is not showing the necessary seriousness to conclude the negotiations process which has been continuing for decades and to bring to the island peace and harmony. It’s been seen that the Greek Cypriot side is void of the political will that is required. To break this stance, to encourage the Greek Cypriot side to act with reason and common sense is at the same time a regional necessity. The Cyprus issue could be concluded through a result oriented, timetabled, short and intensive new negotiations process. Everything needed for achieving a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution based on the political equality of the two sides had been negotiated. What’s lacking is the political will, leadership and courage”.
Referring to the natural gas issue, Ulucay noted that the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides are the joint owners of the natural gas found in Cyprus. However, he alleged that the Greek Cypriot side issued licences to international companies in its “so-called Exclusive Economic Zone” and insisted on continuing its hydrocarbon activities without the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side. He claimed that this policy is neither good for the island nor the region.
“The restrictions and embargoes imposed on us are preventing our development and punishing the Turkish Cypriot people, who have openly and repeatedly demonstrated a strong will for a solution. I call upon each country and the whole Eurasian region to help remove the international embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people,” Ulucay said.
He claimed that “North Cyprus, despite all impossibilities, obstacles and pressures imposed on it, is a desirable tourism destination and an exemplary “country for higher education”, and added that tens of thousands of students from all around the world are studying in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (10.101.8) under the front-page title: “After Akinci was trying to exclude Turkey, he has been ostracized”, reports on a commentary by the paper’s columnist Sabahattin Ismael who argues that Turkey has been ostracized Akinci from the negotiation talks.
The columnist supports that “the Turkish Cypriot people, can now feel relieved with the ostracism of Mustafa Akinci from the negotiation process, since Akinci, during the negotiation process, made unbelievable concessions and rejected motherland Turkey’s proposal for a two-state solution”. The columnist adds further that the three main reasons that Akinci has been ostracized from the negotiation process are the following:
“1) Akinci did not pay attention to Turkey’s warnings and made formidable concessions creating fait-accompli in the talks. He made concessions on the issue of political equality, bizonality, bi-communality, the property issue and derogations, he reset the “TRNC’s title deeds”, he withdrew from our separate right of majority of votes and VETO, he recognized the right of the Greek Cypriots concerning the four freedoms, he accepted for the percentage of our population to be fixed as one fourth, he bargained on the guarantorship issue and he prepared and submitted a map to the Greek Cypriots giving them the one fifth of our land, before coming to an agreement first on the other issues.
2) Akinci rejected Turkey’s proposal saying ‘Let’s bring to the agenda a two-state solution and confederation’ and he created fait-accomli to Turkey by describing the guarantorship system as ‘outdated’. He proposed also for the Guterres document, which demands for Morphou to be given to the Greek Cypriots and also foresees the lifting of the guarantees, to be signed as a ‘strategic agreement’.
3) Akinci has been protecting, supporting and safeguarding the offensive language and rhetoric used against Turkey by the Greek Cypriots who describe motherland Turkey as an “invader ” and our army as “occupation army”, the offensive articles written in the press and the provocateur’s who published Erdogan’s caricature and wrote insulting articles against him, and those ragpickers who work in Afrika”.
Meanwhile, on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (10.10.18) publishes statements by Dr Zeki Besiktepeli, economist and political analyst, who in exclusive statements to the paper, commented on President Anastasiades’ secret meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in New York and recalled that this is not the first time that is happening. Besiktepeli argued that the Turkish Republic is behaving as if it is the owner of the rights of the Turkish Cypriot’s deriving from 1960.
Besiktepeli went on supporting that the Turkish Cypriots had never been the subject at the negotiating table and added that Turkey and Greece, who have entered into a bargaining on the oil and natural gas issue a long time ago, have now started discussing this issue behind the scenes.
Besiktepeli further supports that “If Turkey makes concessions on Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots would be the mezze (appetizer) at the negotiating table. Turkey, at the moment wants to be strong at the negotiating table as much as it can, in order to protect not the Turkish Cypriot’s rights and interests but its own rights and interests”. He further added that it is at this point that Akinci and the civil society should stake a claim to Turkey, supporting that Turkey is utilizing the Turkish Cypriots in order to protects its own rights and because it wants to be the side attending the bargaining on the oil and natural gas issue.
Besiktepeli further argues that a “community which is not sovereign and has no executive power”, cannot say “we want to take back our rights deriving from the 1960 Constitution”. He further stressed the need for Turkey to act together with the Turkish Cypriots and not to be behind them. “We should realize that the real enemy of the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus is not the Greek Cypriots, but the policies that Turkey implements in Cyprus”, Besiktepeli said, adding that if this does not become accepted, there will never be a solution on the Cyprus problem. (…)
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (10.10.18) reports that the National Unity Party (UBP) general congress will take place between 27-28 of October.
According to the paper, four candidates will run for the party's leadership while in total 143 candidates will run for an election in the "party's central committee", which consists of 72 members. The paper adds that along with the party’s chairman Huseyin Ozgurgun, Sunat Atun, "deputy" with UBP in occupied Famagusta, Faiz Sucuoglu, "deputy" in the occupied part of Lefkosia and Ersin Tatar “deputy” with UBP in the occupied part of Lefkosia as well, will run for the leadership of the party.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs newspaper(10.10.18) reports that Erkut Sahali, self-styled minister of agriculture of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the water brought to the occupied area of Cyprus from Turkey is not enough for the agricultural production in the entire occupied area of the island.
In statements yesterday, Sahali noted that their primary target is occupied Morfou area and added that the construction of the tunnel which will provide water to Morfou plain will last for three years. He recalled that the construction started two months ago, the length of the tunnel will be 5,7 kilometers and in some places it will go 179 meters under the ground.
“It should be understood that the water from Turkey is not in a quantity which will secure agricultural transformation in the Masaoria plain”, he said adding that they should develop projects for using the local resources in a sustainable manner in occupied Mesaoria.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (10.10.18) reports in its sport pages that around 431 athletes from 19 different countries will be participating in the “18th International Dr Fazil Kucuk Sport Games” which will take place in the occupied area of Cyprus from October 10-18.
According to the paper, the “official opening ceremony” of the games will take place tomorrow. Athletes from the “TRNC”, Turkey, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, FYROM, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Romania, Scotland, Moldavia, Iran, Norway and Uzbekistan will participate in the games.
Under the title “Government, retail and banking sector to fight inflation together in Turkey's full-scale program”, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (09.10.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/10/09/government-retail-and-banking-sector-to-fight-inflation-together-in-turkeys-full-scale-program) reported that Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced on Tuesday an all-out program, backed by various sectors, to curb inflation and support businesses as well as consumers amid the running inflation and currency volatility.
The program offers price discounts in the retail sector, including food and textiles, no increase in electricity and gas bills and lowering interest rates for bank loans. (…)
Albayrak said that the public sector will be the driving force in the campaign. He added that there is a strong coordination in efforts between the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT), the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) and Banks Association of Turkey (TBB).
Among the measures announced to curb inflation was a campaign of minimum 10% nationwide cut on prices. The participating companies would feature the campaign's logo on their products. A website was also launched for the campaign, which will be promoted with the #TürkiyeKazanacak (Turkey Will Win) hashtag on social media platforms.
The Minister said that an active fight against stockpiling and opportunism will also be maintained. He also announced that there would be no increase in electricity and natural gas prices until the end of 2018 unless there is an issue on the global scale.
Meanwhile, to support businesses and maintain investments, the banks will decrease interest rates by 10% on loans issued after Aug. 1, Albayrak said.
The repayments of value-added tax (VAT) returns will be accelerated and concluded by the end of the year, he added. Albayrak further said that the process to change the market law in order to decrease the prices of groceries will be concluded this month and the bill will be presented to Parliament.
In September, inflation hit 24.52% on a year-on-year basis, up 6.3% from the previous month, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). Inflation climbed for a sixth straight month, hitting the highest level in almost 15 years.
As noted in Turkey's New Economy Program (NEP) announced last month, the country's inflation rate target for this year is 20.8%. The target for next year is 15.9%, 9.8% for 2020, and 6.0% for 2021. (…)
Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (10.10.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/10/10/turkey-eyes-broader-cooperation-with-hungary-to-expand-into-europe) with the above title reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's two-day official visit to Hungary has offered a good opportunity to cement bilateral political, economic and cultural ties. Discussing ways to enhance cooperation in miscellaneous sectors, including tourism, transportation, energy, construction and trade, Turkey and Hungary aim to capitalize on joint investments and trade projects as well as expanded access to European markets.
In his address at the Turkey-Hungary Business Forum, Erdogan recalled that the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Hungary reached $2.6 billion in 2017. This figure, he said, stood only at $1.5 billion in 2009. In the first eight months of the year, the trade volume between Turkey and Hungary recorded an 8% increase compared to the same period of the previous year and reached $1.8 billion. The President recalled the common goal of reaching $5 billion in bilateral trade in a short period of time.
He also commented that the current situation of the economic relations between Turkey and Hungary is not sufficient, underlining that it is possible to expand them much further. "The trade between the two countries, which have no political problems, has completed its legal infrastructure at the point of economic relations and have close ties historically and culturally, must be at higher levels," he added.
"Turkey does not see Hungary only a transit country from which it exports goods to Europe. We aim to reinforce our partnership by storing Turkish goods in Hungary and exporting them to European countries via warehouses in the country," Erdogan remarked. (…)
Erdogan pointed out that Turkish companies have investments in many sectors in Hungary, such as logistics, tourism, energy and contracting. "The loans provided by the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency [HIPA] and the ease of visa for our businesspeople will undoubtedly expand our investments here," he said, while thanking the Hungarian government for their support to Turkish businesspeople.
Expressing his contentment for the memorandum of understanding inked between the Small and Medium Enterprises Development and Support Administration (KOSGEB) and the Hungarian National Chamber of Commerce during this visit, Erdogan said that despite the positive developments, the current situation of the economic relations between the two countries is not sufficient, underlining that it is possible to move this much further up. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (09.10.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/76-people-appointed-to-turkeys-presidential-policy-councils-137697), seventy-six people have been appointed to the Turkish presidency’s policy councils, established after a change in Turkey’s governance system following a referendum in April 2017, the Official Gazette said on Oct. 9.
The new appointees are set to develop recommendations on decisions to be made and policies to be created at the presidency. They will prepare reports for the presidency and hold regular and extensive meetings.
The councils were given the authority to ask for information from any state institution in the wake of the referendum.
Turkish think tank SETA head Burhanettin Duran, Çağrı Erhan, Gülnur Aybet, Beril Dedeoğlu, Presidential Spokesperson and foreign policy aide İbrahim Kalın, İlnur Çevik, İsmail Safi, Mehmet Akif Kireçci, Mesut Hakkı Caşın, Nurşin Ateşoğlu Güney, and Seyit Sertçelik have been appointed to the security and foreign policies council.
Adnan Tanrıverdi is also a member of the council. Tanrıverdi is a retired brigadier, who is the head of SADAT International Defence Consultancy, established in the early 2000s by soldiers dismissed from the military due to “reactionary activities” and is a company close to the AKP and offers “irregular warfare training” in various fields including “intelligence, psychological warfare, sabotage, raiding, ambushing, and assassination.”
Cemil Ragıp Ertem, businesswoman Gülsüm Azeri, Hakan Yurdakul, Hatice Karahan, Korkmaz Karaca - a former member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) party assembly - Mehmet Ali Akben, Meltem Taylan Aydın, former Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Servet Bayındır, and Yiğit Bulut have been appointed to serve at the economy policies council.
Bilkent University rector Abdullah Atalar, former Confederation of Public Workers’ Trade Unions (Memur-Sen) head Ahmet Cevat Acar, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker Ahmet Gündoğdu, Kemal Şamlıoğlu, Ökdem Vardar, Turkish Education Association Director-General Selçuk Pehlivanoğlu, Tuncay Döğeroğlu, Umran S. İnan, and Yavuz Atar have been appointed to the council of education policies. (...)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (09.10.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-us-training-for-joint-patrols-in-manbij-syria-137686), Turkish and U.S. soldiers on Oct. 9 are beginning joint training on combined patrols in Manbij, northern Syria, Turkey’s National Defence Minister has announced. "As of today the Turkish and U.S. Armed Forces began joint training on combined patrolling activities, which will be held in the region, as part of the Manbij Roadmap and Security Principles," Hulusi Akar told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Oct. 9.
Underscoring that the first group of U.S. personnel arrived in Gaziantep, southeastern Turkey on Oct. 2 for training, Akar said: "Following the completion of training, common united patrolling activities will begin in an effort to establish stability and security in the region and to prevent terrorist activities in the future". Turkey's independent patrolling in Manbij has been "continuing as planned" since June 18, he added.
Citing recent reports of the YPG/PKK surrounding the Manbij district centre with trenches and embankments, Akar said: "We have given the necessary warnings to U.S. authorities regarding the matter but have also taken our own measures". "The terror group must know that when the time and place comes it will be buried in the trenches it has dug," he warned.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (09.10.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-examine-saudi-consulate-over-missing-journalist-137685), Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said that Saudi Arabia has allowed the examination of the Consulate building in Istanbul a week after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing.
“An examination of the Consulate building will be carried out as part of an ongoing investigation,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy, upon a question on Oct. 9. He also said Saudi authorities have expressed their readiness to cooperate with the relevant Turkish government bodies over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (10.10.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/over-150-pkk-kck-suspects-arrested-across-turkey-3463123), at least 158 PKK/KCK terror suspects were arrested across Turkey on Tuesday, according to the Interior Ministry.
Among the arrested was Mehmet Serif Camci, provincial head of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in southeastern Diyarbakir, the Ministry said in a statement.
The statement said the Turkish police carried out operations across Turkey, while arrests were made in Ankara and Istanbul as well as the eastern provinces of the country. Operations are still ongoing, it added. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (09.10.18, https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/10/09/90-including-4-kurdish-journalists-detained-over-alleged-pkk-links/) reported that the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday issued detention warrants for 151 people including journalists in operations targeting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its umbrella organization, the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), according to news website Gazete Duvar.
According to the report 90 people, including journalists Abdurrahman Gök, Esra Solin Dal, Kibriye Evren and Semiha Alankuş and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Democratic Regions Party (DBP) members, were detained in early morning operations in nine provinces across Turkey. Over 300 HDP members were taken into custody in a week, the report said.
The Turkish Interior Ministry on Friday announced that 88 people have been detained in operations targeting the PKK and KCK.
The new operations came two days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would appoint trustees to municipalities in which anyone linked to the PKK is elected as mayor in local elections in March 2019. (…)
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