Under the title “A tripartite meeting may occur”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Halkin Sesi (02.09.19), on its front page, reports that UN Secretary General’s special envoy, Jane Holl Lute, had a two hour meeting yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
In a written statement following the meeting, Baris Burcu, Turkish Cypriot leader’s spokesman, said that it was a long and fruitful meeting, adding that Akinci explained in detail the stance of the Turkish Cypriot side, which is clear, on the issues that they lay emphasis on for years now.
Burcu further said that Lute is trying to finalize her work on the terms of reference which was also the expectation of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, for this reason she expressed her wish to meet again with Akinci today (Monday).
Burcu announced that the meeting will be held today in the afternoon.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen(01.09.19) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that it was wrong to avoid discussing the issue of the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha with the international community, adding that the issue could become a catalyst for the solution of the Cyprus problem. In an interview with the paper, Talat noted that only the “president” could discuss the issue internationally, since the self-styled foreign minister was not recognized. He argued, inter alia, the following:
“[…] The only one who could speak on the issue internationally is our president of the republic. The world does not recognize our foreign minister anyway. The only authority which could defend this issue internationally is the president. Can Mr Kudret go to Brussels? What will he say there and to whom? The person who will do this is the president of the republic. The president of the republic must not be outside the process, but he must be willing and active. […]
It is possible for Varosha to become a catalyst, but instead of saying ‘I am opening it’ and be in conflict with the UN Security Council, the most correct thing to do for this is to take steps through the Immovable Property Commission, which is accepted by the European Court of Human Rights. […]
In my view, it is wrong to avoid discussing with the UN on the issue of Varosha. If it were me, I would have discussed this issue with the UN, I would have said my intentions, I would have examined their [the UN] intentions and I would have acted knowingly. […]
How will EVKAF foundation and the former users be protected at the same time? […] This is not possible. There is a big contradiction. It belongs either to the one or to the other. […]
Turkey, the government, the foreign minister and the prime minister are speaking. Everyone is speaking committing a foul, no one’s words are on a sound basis. What we are expecting is not for the president of the republic to react against Turkey and the government, but to hold contacts, to be active. […]
What the Turkish Cypriots need is not a leadership which is in conflict with the world, which does not take the UN as its interlocutor. This happened in the past with Denktas and Eroglu and we saw the result. The Turkish Cypriots are continuously disappearing; they are migrating from this country. […]”
Writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Haberci(02.09.19) columnist Hasan Ercakica reports that the “new policy” implemented by the “government” of the breakaway regime regarding the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha would face political and financial difficulties, but in combination with what he calls the “balance achieved with the natural gas explorations in the sea”, this policy could potentially become the reason for finding an urgent solution to the Cyprus problem.
Under the title “The Varosha policy: The issues on which the Greek Cypriots are uneasy are obvious”, Ercakica refers to the visit to the island of UNSG’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute and argues that the two issues which come into prominence among the wishes of the Greek Cypriots in order for the Cyprus talks to resume from the point they had left off at Crans Montana were the breakaway regime’s policy for Varosha and the termination of Turkey’s natural gas explorations around Cyprus.
Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side was satisfied with the current status quo and would do nothing to change it voluntarily, Ercakica claims that the Turkish side was trying to “break the mold” by using two ways simultaneously: “The first one is to create a balance in the natural gas explorations in the sea and thus to make an agreement compulsory, in order to be able to benefit from this natural wealth”, he argues and adds:
“And the second one is, by opening Varosha for settlement to the extent allowed by the current circumstances, to increase the uneasiness of the Greek Cypriot people deriving from the fact that no agreement was reached. […]
Let us return to Lute’s visit, if you want: The Greek Cypriot side, which is trying to administrate its affairs in the way it understands, preserving the Cyprus problem as it is, was worried by the policy regarding Varosha and turned it into a main topic on the agenda with the UNSG’s representative. Even this alone, is an indication that the policy on closed Varosha could achieve its goal”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (31.08.19), under the title: “Discussion on Maras”[Translator’s note: fenced-off city of Varosha], reports that the “mayor” of the occupied Famagusta municipality, Ismail Arter, commenting on the latest statements by so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay concerning the “partial opening of the fenced off city of Varosha”, alleged that in case such a decision is taken, they have sufficient staff in the “municipality” which would be able to contribute and help with services.
He went on to add that if a decision is taken for the “opening of Varosha as a whole”, they would employ more staff.
Also speaking on the issue, Mertkan Hamit, activist and member of the “Famagusta Initiative”, supported that the initiative undertaken by so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay is nothing but a “pre-election political propaganda”. “Everything taking place right now is nothing but show -off. It is an effort to send messages to the Greek Cypriot side on the one hand and on the other hand to the federalists in the north and also to the supporters of the TRNC”.
Hamit added further that the “process for the opening of Maras” is an effort, which will not be result-oriented but indeed, aims to cause confusion.
Under the title “If elections were held today boycotters would be the first party”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Detay(02.09.19) reports that the turnout would reach only 69% in case “general elections” were held next Sunday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, according to the results of a public opinion poll conducted by the paper in August 2019 with the participation of 1,039 persons, using the method of face to face interviews. The paper writes that 30,61% of the participants in the survey stated that they would not go to the ballot boxes and that 15,30% of the voters were undecided.
The “ruling” National Unity Party (UBP) comes first in the preferences of the participants in the survey with 39,38%, while its “coalition partner”, the People’s Party (HP) is in fourth place with 9,17%. HP will pay the price for the establishment of the “government” and its failures, argues the paper, noting that the percentages of the Revival Party (YDP) of the Turkish settlers and of the left-wing New Cyprus Party (YKP) were another result that was impressive. YDP seems to have increased its percentage to 14,17% and to have become the third most powerful party in the occupied area of the island. YKP, on the other hand, seems to have succeeded, for the first time in its history, to enter into the “assembly” overcoming the threshold of 5% and reaching 6,04%.
The low percentages of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and the Democratic Party (DP) are also a surprise, writes Detay, adding that these parties have three “deputies” each and now TDP seems to have fallen to 1,67% and DP to 1,88%. The opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) seems to have preserved its second place with 25,83%. The Communal Liberation Party – United Forces (TKP-BG), the United Cyprus Party (BKP) and the Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP) receive 0,21%, each.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (01.09.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot businessman Bulut Akacan, who was arrested and accused of being involved in a fight with two other Turkish Cypriot businessmen in occupied Keryneia, was now arrested again facing charges of being involved in illegal betting and of being the owner of illegal betting sites.
Akacan was arrested on Friday and gave a ten-hour testimony in the “police department” in occupied Lefkosia. The “police” seized further a huge number of computers, mobile phones and hard discs belonging to him. Akacan was expected to be sent to the occupied Keryneia district “court” on Saturday.
Akacan is the son-in-law of the very well-known Turkish Cypriot businessman Vakkas Altinbas and was also a “candidate” with the National Unity Party (UBP) but failed to be "elected". He is also the publisher of the Turkish Cypriot daily Haberci.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (01.09.19) reports that Akacan faced “court” in occupied Keryneia and the “court” issued an arrest warrant against him. According to information obtained by the so-called police, the illegal betting sites belong to Akacan who is accused of violating the “law of gambling games”. Today he is expected also to be brought to “trial” for the above charges while on September he will be judged for the case of being involved in a fight.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.09.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-apply-its-own-plan-if-not-allowed-to-control-syria-safe-zone-erdogan-146212) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey will put its own operation plan into effect if Turkish troops do not control a "safe zone" in northeast Syria, which it has been planning with the United States, within a few weeks.
Turkey has no time and patience and it wants a safe-zone to be built along the eastern Euphrates line, along Syria, as soon as possible," said Erdoğan in a speech at a graduation ceremony at the National Defence University in Istanbul. "If our soldiers do not control the region within a few weeks, we will put our own operation plan into effect," he said.
Turkey has no intention of abandoning its NATO membership and its allies, Erdoğan also underlined.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.09.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/idlib-attacks-drive-wave-of-syrians-to-europe-146217) reports that in a sign that the Syrian refugee problem is worsening, 13 boats filled with 547 refugees landed on Greece’s Lesbos island on Aug. 29 – the biggest since the height of the crisis in 2015-16. The refugees, including 246 children, 177 men and 124 women, arrived from Turkey.
“It surprised us. We haven’t seen this type of simultaneous arrivals in this number since 2016,” Boris Cheshirkov, spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) in Greece, was quoted as saying by Greek media.
An additional 32 individuals in another boat have been rescued at sea and transported to Lesbos, whereas another 65 have been rescued in two separate incidents off the island of Kos and the northern mainland city of Alexandroupolis.
In addition the paper also reports (02.09.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/welcoming-refugees-turkey-now-reaps-economic-benefits-146208) that Syrian entrepreneurs provide a living for at least 7% of their 3.6 million compatriots in Turkey, according to a study released this week by a Turkish-based think tank.
Analyzing the performance of refugee-driven firms operating in eight provinces near the Syrian border, the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, (TEPAV) surveyed some 400 companies, about half refugee-driven and half not.
Highlighting Syrians' entrepreneurial spirit, TEPAV, based in the capital Ankara, said more than half (59.4%) of the Syrian business owners were successful. "A gradual increase in entrepreneurial activity by Syrians was seen in Turkey starting in 2011,” the start of the Syrian civil war, said the report.
The study also pointed to a correlation between the rising number of Syrian enterprises in Turkey and trade with Syria climbing to pre-war levels, with more than half of refugee-driven companies being micro-sized and operating predominantly in the service sector.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.09.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/un-envoy-to-syria-to-visit-turkey-next-week-fm-cavusoglu-146201) reports that the U.N. Special Envoy will visit Turkey to discuss the latest situation in Syria, Turkish foreign minister said on Aug. 30.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Geir Pedersen will visit Turkey’s capital Ankara next week. Çavuşoğlu said if the regime in Syria continues aggression, it will lead to a new humanitarian disaster.
Soreide, for her part, praised Turkey’s stance on Syria, saying that humanitarian aid must continue in the region. “If Turkey had not taken a step, not opened the borders, or not accepted the refugees, the situation would be much worse in the region,” she added.
Çavuşoğlu said that the air defense system was “Turkey’s urgent need”, adding: “We wanted to buy it from the U.S. and our other allies in NATO, but we couldn't.” He noted that Turkey has already paid $1.4 billion to buy F-35 planes from the U.S. and said: “We want to buy them”.
“If we cannot buy the F-35 [fighter jets], since we need fighter jets, we will seek other alternatives. In this case, nobody can blame Turkey for buying fighter jets from this country or that country,” Çavuşoğlu added.
Turkish Daily Sabah (02.09.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2019/09/02/erdogan-slams-chp-for-dismissals-in-municipalities-support-to-suspended-mayors-with-terror-links) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday criticized the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for firing people from municipalities and supporting suspended mayors facing terror charges.
Addressing the crowd yesterday in the central Anatolian city of Konya during an inauguration ceremony, Erdoğan reminded listeners that the CHP assured voters that they would not fire anyone from municipalities if they win before the elections. Erdoğan said that the CHP lied to citizens despite pre-election promises.
"They said they would not fire anyone from municipalities, yet they did. There are some things that we will do about it," he added. Erdoğan also slammed the CHP's support to the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and mayors who were suspended due to “links with terrorism”.
"The mayor of Istanbul rubs shoulders with those who have links with terrorism in Diyarbakır," said Erdoğan referring to Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu's visit to southeastern Diyarbakır to show support to the suspended HDP mayors.
"Those who cannot take up a position against terrorism cannot be a mayor or a politician," he added.
The mayors of Turkey's Diyarbakır, Van and Mardin metropolitan municipalities were suspended two weeks ago by the Interior Ministry over terrorism charges. According to an official statement by the ministry, the mayors of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van provinces – Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Ahmet Türk and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan, respectively – were suspended for supporting terrorism.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.09.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/reform-strategy-to-guide-new-turkish-judicial-year-/1570236) reports that a government plan for reform of the Turkish judiciary will set the agenda for the new judicial year starting this week, said Turkey’s justice minister on Sunday.
"The new judicial year will be a period of deepening the principle of the rule of law, which stands a guarantee of fundamental rights and freedoms with a reformist and determined approach," Abdulhamit Gul said in a written statement ahead of Monday’s official opening of the judicial year.
Touching on the government’s Judicial Reform Strategy Document, which was unveiled on May 30, Gul stressed that the document would help realize the government’s goals and commitments.
"In line with the main objectives of this document, which we prepared with the principle of trustworthy and accessible justice, we will realize the targets and activities that we committed our nation to one by one on a democratic and pluralistic ground with the active participation of all relevant institutions." He went on to say that the document will lay out the roadmap for the new judicial year.
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