Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (20.05.19) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has alleged that the Eastern Mediterranean is not a matter of the Cypriots. Speaking in Samsun yesterday, Erdogan claimed that his country was attacked every day in the fields of security and economy and that it “destroyed” the traps set for it. “Even if some circles still consider the Syrian issue a matter of the Syrians, the Iranian issue a matter of the Iranians and the Eastern Mediterranean a matter of the Cypriots, we know very well that the essence of the issue is not so”, he alleged.
Meanwhile, addressing a group of young people at Dolmabahce Palace, Erdogan referred to Turkey’s defense industry and said replying to a question: “[…] We are not in 1974 now. In 1974 we did not have even radio sets. Our army had carried out the Cyprus operation with radio sets given to us by America and our known friends immediately implemented a silencing technique and our radio sets there did not work. What did we gain after the Cyprus peace operation by the fact that our radio sets had not worked? We gained ASELSAN [Translator’s note: A Turkish Armed Forces Foundation Company]”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (20.05.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=hydrocarbon-issue-2), Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Faith Donmez evaluated the hydrocarbon explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean during an event he attended last night.
“We have protected the rights of our country, nation and the TRNC in the Eastern Mediterranean and will continue to do so” Dönmez said.
“The Eastern Mediterranean has been a hot issue on the agenda recently. We continue to take our steps with the strong will of our President Erdogan with the aim of creating a greater and more powerful Turkey”, Donmez further alleged, supporting that they did not make concessions in their policies regarding underground resources for their targets for 2023, 2053 and 2071.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Volkan (20.05.19) reports that Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay has alleged that everyone should accept now that Turkey and the “TRNC” could not be excluded from the energy equation in the area. Addressing a fast breaking dinner at Hala Sultan Mosque during an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus last Friday, Oktay reiterated that Turkey had since the very beginning stated that it would protect both its own rights and interests in its continental shelf and the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots.
“We will not turn a blind eye to the Greek Cypriot side’s approaches which considers itself as the sole owner of the island and disregards the Turks of Cyprus”, he alleged and added that “the transfer of Fatih, our first drilling vessel, to the area west of Cyprus for drillings is an indication of our decisiveness on this issue”. He also announced that during the forthcoming period, the second Turkish drilling vessel named Yavuz would also get into action in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Oktay claimed that Turkey’s aim was to secure the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots and to safeguard what he called their legitimate rights, security and prosperity on the island. “I want to say once more that we are ready to discuss solution models which safeguard the rights of the Turks of Cyprus and meet their security concerns”, he alleged and reiterated the Turkish view that open-ended negotiation processes and approaches ignoring the “existing realities” on the island should be abandoned.
Referring to the efforts for establishing a new “coalition government” in the occupied area of the island, Oktay said that there were many issues waiting to be solved quickly, especially within the framework of the “structural reforms” and economy. He added that what the Turkish government expected was for the new “government” to seriously and without wasting any time deal with the reforms that had been on the agenda for years for the “TRNC’s” stability and prosperity.
According to illegal Bayrak television (18.05.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cavusoglu-sends-letter-to-eu), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu sent a letter to EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, EU member countries and the Foreign Ministers of the UN Security Council’s permanent members regarding Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
According to the contents of the letter obtained, Cavusoglu underlined Turkey’s political and legal position and alleged that the area in question lies entirely within Turkish continental shelf notified to the UN.
“Turkish flagged drillship Fatih’s offshore operations area is located 75 kilometers (46.6 miles) off the west coast of the Island of Cyprus and the drilling area has nothing to do with any of the Greek Cypriots’ so-called license areas or Turkish Cypriots’ licensed areas granted to the Turkish Petroleum (TP)”, the letter claimed. .
Cavusoglu alleged that the EU’s press statement in support of the Greek Cypriots – just for the sake of EU solidarity – is not compatible with international law.
He stressed that “Turkey does not recognize the unilateral and illegitimate exclusive economic zone claims of the Greek Cypriots and stated that third parties should refrain from taking sides in overlapping maritime boundary claims and they should not act as if they are a court in rendering judgment on bilateral maritime boundaries”.
Cavusoglu also argued that there is no automaticity in claiming that islands generate full maritime jurisdiction areas.
He further alleged that the question of the entitlement of islands to maritime jurisdiction areas and their effect in the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas are completely separate issues of the Law of the Sea.
Alleging that Turkey has made its position on drillings clear since 2004 and registered it in the United Nations, Cavusoglu, argued further that the final maritime boundaries in that part of the Mediterranean can only be settled through agreements and not by infringing upon third parties’ rights, to be concluded between relevant coastal states based on international law.
The other method highlighted in the letter is third party solutions, namely international courts or arbitration.
The letter allegedly said further that that overlapping maritime jurisdiction claims of the EU members, infringing on the legitimate rights of the third countries cannot be portrayed as the external borders of the EU and stated that such stance of the EU would be a gross violation of international law.
Cavusoglu claimed further that as far as Cyprus Island and its western coast is concerned, “maritime delimitation would only be possible after the political settlement on the island”.
He explicitly stressed in his letter to Mogherini that “pending the comprehensive settlement, Turkey calls on the EU to play a constructive role and not to take side or attempt to validate one side’s claims”.
He also conveyed Turkey’s dismay to his American counterpart Mike Pompeo regarding U.S. State Department’s press release on the same issue.
In his letters, Cavusoglu alleged that as the country with the longest continental coastline, Turkey has legitimate rights and vital interests in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey has been fully exercising its sovereign rights over its continental shelf in accordance with international law.
He highlighted that Turkey stands ready today, as it has done in the past, “to give its full support to ensuring a just, equitable and peaceful resolution to all pending issues, including the equitable delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas with all relevant coastal States that Turkey recognizes and has diplomatic relations, in line with international law”.
Cavusoglu pointed out that “Greek Cypriots’ unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities, disregarding the inalienable rights of the Turkish Cypriots, as the co-owners of the Island, on natural resources of the island, jeopardize the security and stability in the region”.
He also stressed that “unless the Greek Cypriots involve the Turkish Cypriots into the decision-making process regarding hydro-carbon resources or cease their unilateral hydro-carbon activities, Turkish drilling and survey vessels will also continue activities in the areas where the “TRNC” granted licenses to TP in the south and east of the island”.
He lastly underscored that “Turkey will, as it has done in the past, continue to act with prudence and in good faith”, yet, claiming that “Turkey should not be expected to sit idly and condone the ongoing violation of its rights and those of the Turkish Cypriots”.
Turkish daily Afrika (19.05.19) reports that the mayor of the occupied part of Lefkosia Mehmet Harmanci was not allowed to participate in the iftar dinner (Tr. Note: The evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset) which took place at the “Mia Milia Hala Sultan Mosque” in the presence of the Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay.
A “policeman” said to Harmanci that he was not allowed to enter the premises because his name was not included in the “protocol”. In statements after the incident, Harmanci expressed his sorrow because as he said “he was not allowed to enter the premises as a host under his title as the mayor of Lefkosia”.
Afrika (20.05.19) reporting on the issue writes that while Harmanci was not allowed to enter the area, persons that are among those who participated in the attacks against Afrika on January 2018, were allowed to enter. The paper also writes that one of these persons is MehmetIpek who appears in a picture together with Oktay and members of officials of the National Unity Party (UBP).
Under the title: “Reaction for Afrika”, Turkish daily Haberci (18.05.19) reports that the Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, who paid an one-day visit in the breakaway regime just a day after a “court” in occupied Nicosia acquitted journalists Sener Levent and Ali Osman in its decision on the “lawsuit” against the paper, neither held any “official contact” during his visit nor met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Oktay was welcomed by “prime minister” Tufan Erhgurman upon his arrival at illegal Tympou airport, but Erhurman did not participate in the program followed by Oktay, the paper notes.
According to Haberci, Oktay’s actions reflected to the decision of the “court” which acquitted Levent and Osman in its decision on the “lawsuit” against the paper for publishing a caricature/ collage on 2 December 2017, which was considered an “insult” to Turkish President Erdogan and an “effort to harm” the relations between Turkey and the “TRNC”, the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Under the title “The Commission is at death’s door”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (20.05.19) reports that the so-called Immovable Property Commission established in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus could be considered “ineffective”, one month before the examination at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of three out of the 65 applications filed by Greek Cypriot refugees. According to the paper, fifteen of these cases concerned people who were not paid the agreed amount after they had reached an amicable settlement in spite of the fact that a very long period of time passed. In the other 50 cases, the “commission” expressed no opinion, notes the paper adding that if a decision in favor of the plaintiffs is taken, Turkey will suffer a “great damage”. The paper writes also the following as regards the actions of Turkish officials:
“They hold contacts to decide whether they will go to the solution of amicable settlement by 18 June. At a high level meeting in Ankara, retired attorney general Zaim Necatigil from the TRNC was invited. If a way for an amicable settlement before the ECHR is not reached by 18 June 2019, the demands will be conveyed to ECHR’s organs as lawsuits. If the conclusion that ‘local remedies in northern Cyprus are exhausted’ is reached during these hearings, the validity of the Immovable Property Commission will end”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (20.05.19) reports that 5% of the workers in the breakaway regime are “illegal”, according to information obtained by the "state planning organization" (DPO).
The paper writes that according to a survey contacted by DPO last year, the number of employees is 132,411 and 6,742 of them are “illegal and not registered”.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (19.05.19-https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-will-receive-f-35-fighter-jets-sooner-or-later-erdogan-3481392) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that the purchase of S-400 defense systems from Russia was a done deal, adding that Ankara would also jointly produce S-500 defense systems with Moscow.
"Sooner or later, we will receive the delivery of the F-35s, their equipment, and S-400s, too, will come to our country," Erdogan said in Istanbul, where he met with young people.
"There is absolutely no question of stepping back on the S-400 issue. It's a done deal," Erdogan added.
Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have reached a fever pitch in recent months with Turkey set to begin receiving the advanced S-400 Russian surface-to-air missile system that Washington said will jeopardize Turkey's role in the F-35 fighter jet program and which could trigger congressional sanctions.
Turkey decided in 2017 to purchase the S-400 system following protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-russia-working-group-discusses-syrias-idlib-143519) reported that a working group on Syria established by Russia and Turkey convened in Ankara on May 16-17 to discuss the latest situation in Idlib and other regional issues, said a statement by Turkish Defense Ministry.
The two countries decided to form the working group after their Presidents spoke on the phone on May 14 in a bid to bring calm to the recent escalation in Syria's Idlib within the context of Astana and Sochi Agreements.
Turkey currently holds 12 cease-fire observatory points in Idlib’s de-escalation zone, as per the framework of the Astana Agreements. Russia has 10 posts.
The Assad regime has ignored the agreements and constantly strikes Idlib’s de-escalation zone.
Turkey and Russia agreed on last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression would be expressly prohibited.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-91-arrested-for-cheating-in-foreign-ministry-/1482421) reports that at least 91 were arrested in Turkey on Monday as part of an investigation into alleged irregularities in the country's Foreign Ministry entry exam with suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Prosecutors in the capital Ankara issued arrest warrants for 249 suspects on Monday prior to operations in 42 provinces.
The suspects had entered the Foreign Ministry in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, prosecutors said in a statement.
It added that the arrests were made as part of investigations on irregularities made during these exams in favor of FETO members.
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