A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
According to illegal Bayrak television (27.07.18, http://www.brtk.net/disisleri-bakanligi-bmbgnin-kararini-reddediyoruz/), self-styled deputy prime ministry and foreign ministry of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, criticized not only the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate on Cyprus but also that it is abandoned on the Greek Cypriots’ games. The “ministry” claimed: “We stress that this mistaken approach is one of the biggest obstacles ahead of the solution and we announce that we have rejected this resolution”.
In a written statement issued by the “foreign ministry” evaluating the UNSC resolution, it is claimed that the resolution would harm the process of efforts to gain acceleration again in Cyprus, adding: “Unfortunately, the opposite factors in the approach of the Secretary General have been included in this resolution”.
In the statement, it is also pointed that there are elements that they are conflicting with each other, adding that the only element that could be considered positive in the resolution is the fact that the existence and the task of the UN Peacekeeping Force in the island has been seriously questioned.
The statement said further: “It is not the resolution in itself, but the debates surrounding the drafting of the resolution that show that a Pandora’s Box has been opened. It is inevitable to question the UNFICYP, which has become at the same time part of the status quo instead of the substance of the problem and the path to follow in order to solve the problem in Cyprus”. It is stressed that due to these and similar stances Cyprus has been trapped in lack of solution.
Later, the statement reiterated the known position that the Turkish side has always had a constructive stance during the negotiations.
The statement also said: “This latest resolution of the Security Council has an approach that is not in line with the recent initiative which has taken place before the UN Secretary General. This resolution in general supports the continuation of the situation, the status quo. On the other hand, the essence of the Cyprus problem is involved with the current conditions, the status quo, that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to share the power and the wealth with the Turkish Cypriot side. It is obvious that in case of continuation by the Security Council of these and similar approaches, which are based on their own preconceptions and which ignore the current realities, the possibility of finding a just and permanent solution acceptable by both sides, which is very difficult, is rather eliminated”.
The statement concluded: “We will share in detail our views and concerns about the resolution with all concerned sides and mainly with the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General. Besides all this, as in the past resolutions and in this resolution, we stress that the extension of UNFICYP’s mandate in Cyprus is a mistaken stance and will be one of the biggest obstacles in the solution of the Cyprus problem and we announce that we reject this resolution”.
Illegal Bayrak (27.07.18 http://www.brtk.net/ozersay-baris-gucunun-gelecegi-icin-artik-pandoranin-kutusu-aciliyor/ ) broadcast that the self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kudret Ozersay stated that “nothing is cooked as regards Cyprus”.
He was replying to questions by a Bayrak journalist during a program where Ozersay evaluated the latest political developments.
Ozersay said that perhaps the Greek Cypriot side tries to create another perception, however the truth is that the General Secretary (of UN) sent an envoy just to detect the situation.
Pointing out that Lute will prepare a report, Ozersay said: “There is a new situation here. This is not an internal report by the Secretary General; Lute’s evaluation and report will become the Secretary General's information to the Security Council.
“I hope that the Security Council will not prevent Permanent Members from taking the approach of understanding the final situation that the general sector has sincerely tried to identify," Ozersay said.
Pointing out that the task and presence of the Peace Force has now become seriously questioned, Ozersay said, "Now the Pandora's box is opening a little. The Security Council is discussing this. We are interfered with the issue through our representatives there. This task will begin to be debated thoroughly in January after 6 months. It is not the beginning of the negotiations, but it is like a search exercise in the sincerity of asking for something from here. It is healthy and correct in such a way”, he said.
He added that the “presidency” and Turkey have a very healthy dialogue and together with the new system in Turkey it will strengthen the general sense about the next process and empower the Turkish Cypriot side.
Ozersay said that he does not believe that a solution can be reached if the negotiations continue the way they have been taking place during the last 50 years. “Is there a change in mentality? Will the Greek side share power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriot side? If you are not ready to share you will not reach the result no matter the kind of negotiation you are doing”, he said.
He added that he wants to be realistic and he refrains from giving hope. “The two sides cannot survive today talking about how this marriage will be for 50 years. In health, in fire, in crime cannot act in unity. […] We are missing out on the truth and the problems today because politics is a hope-making negotiation”, he said.
Stressing that they are giving a clear message to international actors with Turkey, Ozersay, said that if the current conditions do not change the Greek Cypriot side will not come to the point of wanting a solution. “If there is no solution they will be the legal government of the island, the members of the EU and will not share the natural gas….”.
Ozersay further claimed that if the status of the UN Peace Force is started to be questioned deeply then the Pandora box is opened and the Greek Cypriot side will start to be afraid, saying that the Republic of Cyprus is going away from its hands. “Without this concern, it will not question the status quo today”, he stated.
Asked if he wants the partition (of the island) Ozersay said that he speaks about what is true about now and about the future. “I cannot hide what reality is from the citizens. In the conditions we are in, we are not moving towards a genuine partnership that both parties have agreed upon. I do not say to you things that will be likeable on your ears. I am not hiding for the society from the people. We have to say the truth as it is. Everyone who wants a solution has to know that the status quo will not change as long as we do not take steps to interrogate the facts that I am talking about and to make changes in them. "
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (27.07.18) with the above title, on its front page, reports that a lawsuit was filed against Afrika newspaper’s journalists Sener Levent and Ali Osman in Ankara.
According to the paper, “civilian policemen from the judicial branch visited yesterday the newspaper notified them that two penal suits were filed against them by Ankara’s Public Prosecutor. Ankara notified Sener Levent and Ali Osman that they want them to plead. However, Sener Levent refused to testify by saying ‘I don’t believe that I am guilty on these cases. I am innocent. Because I am innocent, I don’t find it necessary to plead and I reject the cases’”.
One of the lawsuits is regarding Afrika’s article with the title ““Another occupation operation from Turkey” published on January 21, 2018 and the other is against Levent’s article under the title “Zorba the Cypriot” published on February 1, 2018.
The paper also reports that the “TRNC prosecutor’s office filed a lawsuit against Afrika newspaper a few months ago for both cases”.
Sener Levent, in his today’s commentary, recalls that “the judge Tacan Reynar, who tried the men who attacked Afrika newspaper, resigned and immigrated to Canada”.
Under the title “A decision for drilling in the Mediterranean”, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (27.07.18) reports that Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez said that their drilling vessel, which sailed off to the Mediterranean on May, will conduct its first drilling in the Mediterranean this year.
Addressing the “Road investments and financial business association summit” held under the auspice of the Ministry of Energy with the contributions of ICBC and China Embassy in Ankara, the Turkish Energy Minister stressed that establishing a system that Turkey will ensure the natural gas supply security is important.
Noting that a strong political and economic stability is one of the most important factors for the realization of such huge international projects, Donmez said: “We have also accelerated our seismic exploration and oil and natural gas drilling activities in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea with our seismic exploration vessels Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa and Oruç Reis. We hope our drilling vessel Fatih to conduct the first drilling this year in the Mediterranean”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.07.18) reports that Ahmet Savasan commented on his appointment as vice president of the Global Healthcare Travel Council (GTHC), which took place in April.
In statements to Ankara Anatolia news agency, Savasan stated that he was appointed to this position due to Turkey’s help.
“TRNC has gotten an international representation thanks to Turkey’s decisive stance and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’s tourism and environment minister’s [Fikri Ataoglu] support”, he stated. His election to the council was welcomed by 57 countries but it disturbed the Republic of Cyprus on the island, according to Savasan’s claims.
Savasan was appointed as a vice president of the council in April at the General Assembly meeting of the Council, where the so-called TRNC minister of tourism and environment Ataoglu was also present as Honorary Committee Member.
Illegal Bayrak (27.07.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=aid-for-greece 2/4) broadcast that the solidarity towards Greece by Turkish Cypriots continue and adds that the Republican Turkish Party had organised a campaign to collect clothing and goods for the Greek people.
They had called on people to bring their donations to the Party headquarters by 2pm this afternoon.
All the donations will be sent to Greece to assist the people.
Meanwhile the “north Cyprus Turkish Red Crescent” has announced their deepest sorrow at the tragedies that have been experienced in Greece.
They have informed the IFRC and the Greek Red Cross that they are ready to provide support and assistance to them in order to heal their wounds.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.07.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-regrets-un-resolution-on-cyprus-peace-force/1215130) reports that Turkey expressed regret over the recent UN Security Council Resolution on the extension of the mandate of its peacekeeping force in Cyprus for a period of six months.
In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said:
Regrettably, the wordings prejudging the future conduct of the Cyprus settlement process which were included in the last two Resolutions on UNFICYP, namely Resolution 2369 adopted on 27 July 2017 and Resolution 2398 adopted on 30 January 2018, have been retained in the text of this Resolution as well.
Turkey sees no meaning in these wordings contained in the most recent Resolution of 26 July on the extension of UNFICYP’s mandate, which prejudge the result of the contacts by the Secretary-General’s consultant and the possible future shape of the settlement process. These wordings also do not contribute to the settlement of the Cyprus issue.
Following the closure of the Conference on Cyprus on 7 July 2017 without an outcome and the end of the last negotiation process, the UN Secretary-General indicated the disappointment which ensued from the closure of the Conference without an agreement being reached. He invited the parties, particularly the two Leaders on the Island, to reflect deeply on this result and on the possible way ahead. For the past year, Turkey has been conducting its reflection in close consultation with the Turkish Cypriot side, on the basis of the broad perspective presented in the Secretary-General’s call.
With this understanding, when consenting to the appointment made by the Secretary-General for the purpose of holding exploratory contacts with the two sides on the Island and the three Guarantors on their reflection periods, Turkey put on record its view that this temporary appointment would not imply any restart of the negotiation process which ended in 2017. This view was confirmed by the UN side.
We believe that any process in the coming period can only be successful if it is based on the current realities on the Island and the experience gained from the negotiations conducted during the past half century, and if it aims for suitable expectations and outcomes.”
The statement came hours after the Security Council authorized a six‑month mandate renewal for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) as of July 26.
The unanimous decision to extend the mission comes amid a U.S. push to downsize the force, which stands at roughly 1,000 UN personnel.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (27.07.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-vice-president-pence-vows-to-keep-working-for-pastor-brunsons-release-135062) reports that Turkey "will never tolerate threats from anybody," Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said after US President Donald Trump tweeted to warn Ankara about "large sanctions" over the arrest of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being tried on terrorism and spying charges.
"No-one dictates Turkey. We will never tolerate threats from anybody. Rule of law is for everyone; no exception," Çavuşoğlu said in a tweet on July 26.
Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın, on the other hand, said "threatening language is unacceptable," while calling on the U.S. "to adopt a constructive position."
“Turkey is a fully independent and sovereign country that determines its own destiny. The Brunson case will proceed in its own way, as it should be in a fully independent and sovereign country, and supreme Turkish justice will have the ultimate say,” Turkey's Justice Ministir Abdulhamit Gül said on Twitter.
Earlier on July 26, President Trump said “The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson."He described Brunson in his tweet as “a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being.”“He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!” Trump added.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence also said on July 26 “the United States of America will impose significant sanctions on Turkey” if Brunson is not freed.
“To President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and the Turkish government, I have a message, on behalf of the President of the United States of America. Release Pastor Andrew Brunson NOW or be prepared to face the consequences ... If Turkey does not take immediate action to free this innocent man of faith and send him home to America, the United States will impose significant sanctions on Turkey until Pastor Andrew Brunson is free,” Pence said in two consecutive tweets.
Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which Ankara blames for the failed coup in 2016.
Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesman Hami Aksoy also released a statement after Trump's and Pence's tweets on July 26.
"Turkey is a sovereign state with a deep-rooted democratic tradition and political order which upholds the supremacy of law . No one can give orders to Turkey and threaten our country. The rhetoric of threat against Turkey is unacceptable," Aksoy said.
"In order to improve its relations with the United States, our country has displayed necessary political will and did its part more than enough. It is impossible to accept the U.S. Administration’s threatening messages, which totally disregard our alliance and friendly relations between our countries," the statement continued.
"As regards the Brunson case, necessary information has been provided to our U.S. counterparts on various occasions and it has been clearly expressed that this issue is totally within the competence of the independent Turkish judiciary. We invite the U.S. Administration to leave aside this wrongful rhetoric and come back to the existing framework of constructive dialogue that we have been engaged in so far," it added.
In addition, Serdar Kilic Ankara’s Ambassador to Washington stated that the United States should not resort to threats against Turkey. "My message was crystal clear; No one should expect Turkey to give in to threats and that as an ally the US should not resort to threats against us," he said in a post on his Twitter account, adding that U.S. authorities had failed to take into consideration his explicit advice at all levels.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.07.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/erdogan-putin-meet-on-sidelines-of-brics-summit/1214995) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a one-on-one meeting on Thursday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Johannesburg, on the sidelines of ongoing BRICS summit.
The two leaders met to discuss various issues mainly Syria, bilateral ties, and the upcoming Tehran summit as part of the Astana process. The meeting lasted for 75 minutes.
“Any kind of solidarity between us makes someone jealous,” said Erdogan before the meeting.
There has been improvement in all fields including political, military, economic, culture and trade between the countries, Erdogan said.
Recalling a $100 billon-trade volume target between the two countries he said: “I believe [...] we will realize this target.” The Turkish President also praised tourism figures between Russia and Turkey, saying: “I think some 6 million [Russian] tourists will visit Turkey this year.”
Putin expressed his gratitude over carrying out joint projects with Turkey. “Our relations will always continue to overcome various crises,” the Russian President said. “Our relations in the economy will also improve.” Putin added: “I am very happy to meet you.”
Erdogan and Putin have spoken over the phone 16 times this year to discuss regional issues, particularly Syria, and bilateral relations.
In addition, AA (27.07.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/erdogan-warns-south-africa-against-feto-threat/1215164) also reports that Erdogan warned South Africa against the threat posed by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
“We must be vigilant against this organization whose main goal is to pit a brother against brother,” Erdogan said, addressing Muslim community leaders during a visit to Johannesburg where he is attending the BRICS Summit.
Turkish Daily Sabah (26.07.18) reported that after the Good Party (İP) Chairwoman Meral Akşener confirmed Wednesday that she will not seek re-election as party leader, the names of two deputies have emerged as likely candidates.
The İP announced on Sunday that it will hold an emergency convention at a future date. Its current leader, Akşener has already announced that she would not seek re-election in the convention, despite requests from many party members and supporters.
In the wake of the Akşener's likely exit two names - Koray Aydın and Ümit Özdağ - have emerged as potential candidates for party leadership.
The İP held a consultative party camp in western Afyonkarahisar province after the June 24 elections. Reports claimed that tensions ran high at the event as many blamed Akşener for the poor results and party members urged a new road map to prevent the party from dissolving.
In reply, Akşener decided over the weekend to hold an extraordinary convention. She accepted her responsibility and said she won't seek another term.
Both Aydın and Özdağ are current deputy chairmen of the party and had led the dissidents in the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), raising their voices against Chairman Devlet Bahçeli, who has ruled the party since 1997.
After the opposition failed to dislodge Bahçeli following a heated judicial process, they left the party in 2016. In October 2017, the İP was founded by the dissidents under the leadership of Akşener.
However, Akşener received just 7% of the votes in the June 24 presidential elections, well below the hype created around her at home and abroad.
Her party, on the other hand, was able to send 44 Deputies to Parliament thanks to the alliance formed with the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(CS / AM)