According to illegal Bayrak television (17.04.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akar-says-tcs-rights-cannot-be-ignored), Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar claimed that “the Turkish Cypriot peoples and the TRNC’s rights over hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean should not be ignored”.
“Any attempts to do otherwise will not be tolerated,” Hulusi Akar told Anadolu Agency following a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Patrick Shanahan in Washington to discuss recent political and military developments.
Responding to a question, Akar said that a bill had been prepared by US Senators regarding the Eastern Mediterranean. “We conveyed our concerns regarding this bill. I told Mr Shanahan that our Turkish brothers who live in Cyprus have rights and the TRNC people have equal rights over energy resources in the area which cannot be ignored and that any activities taking place in the region cannot ignore the realities. We warned them any attempts to do otherwise will not be tolerated. I believe we made ourselves clear,” he added.
According to illegal Bayrak (16.04.19, http://www.brtk.net/bakanlik-bunyesinde-enerji-verimliligi-birimi-olusturmaya-karar-verdik/), Ozdil Nami, self-styled minister of economy and energy, said that during his recent meeting with the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez, the Turkish officials announced that they were ready to help them on the issue of energy efficiency, because they have a lot of experience on energy efficiency.
Speaking yesterday in a program at “BRT”, Nami noted that Turkey has created a unit on energy efficiency and they are going to establish a similar unit in their “ministry” with experts on the energy efficiency.
Referring to the issue of transferring electricity with cable from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus, Nami explained that he asked Donmez during their meeting if there is anything they can do from their side, adding: “They have told us that this issue has been evaluated through their own internal decision making mechanisms and in the light of these evaluations, they will inform us the soonest possible”
Nami further said: “Therefore, all kind of works are being carried out on both technical and minister level. Our strong desire is this to go forward. A complete feasibility study to be done. The evaluations with scientific figures that we keep to be presented and this project should be implemented quickly after it has been proved with these figures that the cost and the bills will be decreased. This is not a project that will be implemented unilaterally by the TRNC, the other party [Turkey] should be ready to safeguard this connection. The political will is there, but the technical works should give us the light too”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs (17.04.19, http://www.starkibris.net/index.asp?haberID=275650) reports that Turkish Navy’s TCG Sakarya submarine anchored yesterday in occupied Keryneia port, where it will remain until 22 April. As of today the submarine will be open to the public, writes the paper adding that TCG Sakarya is in the area within the framework of the Mediterranean Shield Operation.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs (16.04.19, http://www.starkibris.net/index.asp?haberID=275625) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has sent a letter to the French Foreign Minister after the calamitous fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. In a statements issued by his “ministry”, it is noted that Ozersay expressed his sorrow for the disaster at the Cathedral, which he described as an important historic symbol and place of worship for millions of people. He also expressed the “TRNC government’s” solidarity and support to France.
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot newspaper KıbrısPostası (17.04.19, http://www.starkibris.net/index.asp?haberID=275625) reports that in spite of the warnings and the efforts of closing down a construction, which constitutes a threat for the Agios (Saint) Vasilios Church in occupied Keryneia, the works for the above-mentioned construction continue without a “permit”. The construction is being built in an area of the so-called Keryneia University, which belongs to well-known businessman Suat Gunsel.
In spite of a statement made by Aysegul Baybars, self-styled interior minister of the breakaway regime, that the “city planning department” would do whatever was necessary, there was no pause in the construction area and the works continued, writes the paper.
“While the world is crying for Notre Dame, we are continuing to destroy the cultural heritage, because of the fact that the officials remain silent”, notes the paper adding that the most serious issue was that fact that the “contract” with EVKAF religious foundation as regards the construction ended on 31 March.
In an effort to protect the church, which suffered damages during the construction works, scaffolding was built around it, but the area was dug deeper. Moreover, the rain that fell the day before yesterday weakened the ground around the church and increased the fears that the construction will collapse.
Finally, Ziya Egemen Sencer, “deputy vice chairman” of occupied Keryneia’s “municipal council”, has stated through his social media account that the self-styled city planning department was the one that gave the “permit” which put the church in danger. He also said that they expected to be briefed by the “ministry”, the “city planning department” and the “antiquities department” on the issue.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.04.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/un-chief-submits-cyprus-report-to-security-council/1454486), reported that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres submitted a progress report to the Security Council on the UN mission to mediate between the two sides in Cyprus.
The report focuses on the UN delegation’s progress for the past six months towards reaching agreement to begin "meaningful results-oriented negotiations" between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side.
"This report [dated April 16] will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/2019/322," it said.
"It is my hope that the ongoing consultations will lead to a return to negotiations, to which I could devote the full weight of my good offices, with the aim of reaching a lasting resolution of the Cyprus issue," Guterres said in his report.
"I call on the two leaders, their communities, the guarantor powers, and other interested parties to engage in these efforts constructively, creatively and with the necessary sense of urgency," he added.
In the report, Guterres hailed two recent meetings between the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akıncı who met in October and in February for face-to-face exchanges.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.04.2019-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/reproductive-medicine-experts-meet-in-northern-cyprus/1454060) reported that key opinion leaders and experts in reproductive medicine and assisted reproductive technologies gathered at the “3rd International Expermed Congress” which took place in the occupied area of Cyprus.
More than 350 participants from 17 countries discussed novel approaches and technologies to today’s personalized reproductive medicine last weekend, according to a statement by the Bahceci IVF Centre.
The theme was the impact of approaches and technologies on diagnosis, treatment and management of difficult infertility cases.
The group focused on reproductive surgery, clinical embryology, andrology, reproductive genetics, immunology and new developments in stem cell therapy.
“With its ambitious scientific content, the Expermed Congress series created a unique opportunity for participants to discuss novel approaches and technologies in reproductive medicine,” congress chairman Mustafa Bahceci said in the statement.
“The congress became a tradition where infertility diagnosis and treatment models could be widely discussed by experts and audiences,” he added.
“Thanks to the developments in Omics technologies, we have the power to understand and diagnose many infertility cases that we have not even known their presence until now,” said Carlos Simon, another Congress chairman. The congress will next be held in 2021.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.04.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkish-us-defense-chiefs-hold-talks-in-washington/1454219) reported that Turkey’s Defense Minister and his U.S. counterpart on Tuesday met in Washington to discuss recent political and military developments.
According to a statement by the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, Hulusi Akar and Patrick Shanahan discussed developments in Syria, bilateral relations, other regional security issues and defense industry cooperation between both countries.
Akar "reiterated Turkey’s views and expectations on the proposed Safe Zone in Syria, S-400 procurement, F-35 aircraft and latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean," according to the statement.
It said that Akar underlined the importance of cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. on the basis of strategic partnership that would ensure stability and security of both countries.
The Pentagon said the two leaders met as "strategic partners."
A Pentagon spokesman said in a statement that both Shanahan and Akar emphasized "the importance of U.S.-Turkish cooperation bilaterally and as NATO Allies in achieving mutual security and economic prosperity for both countries and the region."
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.04.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/defense-minister-turkey-expects-s-400-missiles-in-june/1453799) reported that Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said that Turkey is expecting to receive Russian S-400 air defense batteries by June, the country’s defense minister said Monday in Washington.
Speaking on Monday in Washington at the 37th annual conference of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, Turkey-U.S. Business Council and American-Turkish Council, Akar said that the date had been offered by Moscow in the latest meetings on the systems’ delivery.
(…)Akar underlined that the decades-long cooperation between Ankara and Washington in military affairs as well as other fields was important and that current efforts to resolve outstanding issues between the two allies would continue. "It will be us who solve these problems, not anybody else," Akar said, stressing that that dialogue was essential.
"At times, there have been serious misunderstandings and inaccurate expressions. While these may sometimes occur naturally, they may also be consciously uttered to mislead," he said, adding that any detail may be critical in the decisions of policymakers.
Akar said further that Turkey was currently trying to use "all means" to ensure the security of its 82 million people against the air and missile threats directed at the country.
He stressed that Turkey would not integrate the S-400 into NATO defense systems deployed on its territory, not Turkish hardware connected to the alliance’s network.
"They will probably be used in the defense of Ankara and Istanbul," Akar said, referring to Turkey’s capital city and its most populous province.
He underlined that the missile batteries and F-35 fighter jets that Ankara jointly developed with other NATO countries and is currently awaiting their delivery would not be positioned close to each other.
Washington had warned that if Turkey went through with the Russian purchase, the S-400 system might covertly obtain critical information on the F-35 jets, including their detection range, which could then be relayed to Russia.
"There are S-400 missiles located in Syria while F-35s are located nearby in Israel. There are similar situations in the Baltic countries as well," Akar said.
Akar emphasized also that Turkey would need many air defense systems if it was to control its airspace in its entirety, referring to recent airborne terrorist attacks from Syrian territory. "Terrorists are attaching explosives onto improvised aircrafts and using them against our people," Akar said.
He underlined that Turkey respected Syria’s territorial integrity and had "no intention" of occupying its lands.
Akar highlighted that Turkey's main concern is the risk, threat and danger coming posed by terrorist groups.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.04.2019-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-belarus-eye-trade-volume-of-15-billion/1454132) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey and Belarus have the potential to reach a trade volume goal of $1.5 billion,
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko following bilateral meetings, Erdogan said: "Our bilateral trade volume goal is now $1.5 billion, we have the means to achieve this and encourage investors."
Erdogan pointed out that they discussed military, political, commercial and cultural relations and evaluated further steps to be taken in the direction of mutual development.
Noting that both countries signed six agreements to boost their trade volume, Erdogan said that they are working on mutual projects to boost cooperation between the two countries in the field of transport and industry.
Erdogan said further that he was pleased with the increasing number of Belarusian tourists coming to Turkey. He said that 245,000 tourists visited Turkey in 2018, compared to 113,000 in 2016, adding the figures were expected to increase further.
He went on to say that relations between both countries were based on mutual respect, adding that Turkey was the first country to recognize Belarus.
Erdogan also welcomed the way Belarus assisted Turkey in its fight against Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey that left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
"Belarus has not left us alone in this regard, they have taken the essential steps and got rid of FETO. I'd like to thank the president and ministers in this regard," he said.
Lukashenko, for his part, said that Belarus gave utmost importance to its relations with Turkey and eyed further cooperation between both countries.
"We don't have any difference of opinions on any topic, the core of our cooperation is economy. We discussed joint investments, chemistry, agriculture and textile fields," he added.
Earlier Tuesday, Lukashenko arrived on an official visit to the capital Ankara. Erdogan welcomed Lukashenko with an official ceremony at the presidential complex.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.04.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/akp-submits-appeal-for-rerun-of-istanbul-elections-142711) reported that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy chairman Ali İhsan Yavuz has submitted official paperwork to the Supreme Election Council (YSK) to annul the results of the March 31 Istanbul mayoral election, with his party seeking a do-over in the entire province.
“If the entire votes in Istanbul were recounted, the election results would be in favor of us,” Yavuz told reporters after his appeal to the high election board. He came to the board with three suitcases of documents to back up the party’s arguments for a new election.
The vote margin between the AKP candidate and the Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate fell to 19,300 after a recount, Yavuz said, adding that some 25,000 votes appear to be suspicious.
“If all of these were re-counted, our figures were real. And it would be in our favor”. The YSK has been waiting for finalization of the recount of votes in Maltepe district of Istanbul province before reviewing the ruling party’s objections and accepting a formal appeal, which would extend weeks of post-election uncertainty in the biggest province of Turkey.
The election watchdog body has been waiting to discuss the ruling party’s application to cancel elections in Büyükçekmece district along with the AKP’s appeal to renew elections in the entire Istanbul province after the recount in Maltepe finishes.
The YSK will evaluate the two objections together on the grounds that a decision on Büyükçekmece district will directly influence the final decision on Istanbul votes.
(…)Meanwhile, the election watchdog of Turkey ruled for a do-over of the March 31 election in Keskin, which will take place on June 2, after the AKP contested the results.
(…)According to unofficial results in the Istanbul mayoral race, before any recounts, Ekrem İmamoğlu, the candidate of the CHP, leads with 48.79% of the vote, ahead of the AKP’s Binali Yıldırım with 48.51%.
According to the portal Turkish minute (16.04.19-https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/16/veteran-turkish-journalist-faces-up-to-9-years-in-prison/), a Turkish prosecutor has demanded up to nine years and four months of imprisonment for journalist Hasan Cemal for allegedly spreading terrorist propaganda, the Diken news website reported on Tuesday.
The 75-year-old journalist is standing trial for a piece he wrote in 2015 on the T24 news website.
In the article Cemal shared his observations from Diyarbakır at a time when the Kurdish-dominated city was ravaged by heavy clashes between the Turkish armed forces and militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
He also wrote about the plight of civilians trapped amid the fighting and the dire humanitarian conditions in which they found themselves.
Cemal is now charged with spreading propaganda aimed at legitimizing the PKK.
The hearing was adjourned after his lawyer demanded time to prepare a defense against the prosecutor’s opinion.
A press freedom report by the Council of Europe recently qualified Turkey as the world’s largest jailer of journalists.
The country was also ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.
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