According to Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (22.08.18, http://www.brtk.net/ozersay-hukumet-irademiz-nettir-her-iki-kapi-da-yakinda-acilabilir/), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that their “government” wants the crossing points in Deryneia and Apliki areas to open as soon as possible. He claimed:
“Our will as a government is for the Deryneia and Apliki crossing points to open as soon as possible. I think that both gates could open soon. Our government is taking steps in Apliki and in Deryneia both for the migration and customs and on other issues. The process is continuing. We can reach nowhere by accusing each other on these issues. As government, we attach importance to the development of the economic relations by the opening of both gates and we support this. In spite of the fact that we are exposed to various obstacles by the Greek Cypriot side in practice on issues related to economy, we think that the development of economic relations between the two sides will contribute both to dialogue and mutual trust. Apliki will benefit not only our people living in Lefka, but also the Greek Cypriots who live in the south of the area. The same situation is valid for the shopkeepers of Famagusta area. From time to time, we follow though the press the objections of some Greek Cypriots. I do not think that these objections have a reasonable basis. I wish for the Greek Cypriot side as well to exhibit a positive approach for the opening of both gates without making excuses”.
Asked to comment on Chief of Staff for the US Army, General Mark A. Milley’s visit to the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus, Ozersay said that they closely follow the visits of the US military officials. He alleged:
“We are passing through a period during which the Turkish-American relations are as turbulent as never before until today. It is not possible to accept the fact that the US President has chosen the way of implementing sanctions on many states […] at the cost of spoiling the relative stability which exists in the military and economic relations in the world and furthermore the fact that he is attempting to do this for Turkey as well which is a NATO member and ally for so many years. I hope that the US officials will not attempt to make a move that will change the balances in Cyprus, having as their starting point the current situation in the Turkish-American relations, which preserves the uncertainty as to the point they will reach. The US foreign policy has stopped being predictable, we can all see this. We are in a continuous consultation on these developments with the officials of the Republic of Turkey”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.08.18) reports that the paper and the editor-in chief of the paper, Sener Levent continue receiving threatening messages. Pointing out that the threatening messages against the paper were increased especially after the attack against the paper on 22 January 2018, the paper publishes a threatening message received by a group called “Allah’s friend”.
Under the title: “Sener Levent is thirsty for his death”, the message writes that Sener Levent, seems to be thirsty for his death after opening a lawsuit against the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “There is no other explanation for this”, the message added.
Also, another message signed by someone called “Haci”, writes the following: “TRNC should shut down immediately this paper. Otherwise, the government would suffer a lot. This paper receives open support from the Greek Cypriots and the supporters of FETO”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (23.08.18) reports that Kudret Ozersay, “deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs” of the Turkish-occupied north said that legislation in place “punishes those who are trying to deceive by overcharging on products after taking advantage of the increase in the foreign exchange through fines, closure of the workplace and imprisonment’”. He added: “The legislation gives authority to the government and we’re not afraid of anyone”.
In statements to the Turkish Cypriot news agency “TAK”, Ozersay stated that “price and quality control officers have been appointed since today”, adding that “the government may declare some products and services as regulated and controlled”. He further said that “those who do not comply with the maximum price or maximum profit practice on the products declared as controlled products and those who violate the law will be punished”. He added: “In case of a conviction, the a fine up to 10 times the minimum may be imposed or up to 3 years imprisonment or up to 30 days closure of their workplace or all these penalties combined”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (23.08.18) reports that Tufan Erhurman, the self-styled prime minister, said that after visiting three major markets he had the opportunity to personally see price differences on goods.
In a post on his social media account, Erhurman wrote: “Today (yesterday), by walking around in three big markets in Nicosia, I saw with my own eyes the price differences on the products.” He also gave an example of the price gap between products.
He said despite the prices gaps, Erghuman noted however, that opportunism during such periods shouldn’t be overlooked.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (23.08.18) reports that twelve officers of the “trade department” were appointed as “price and quality control officers”.
According to a notification published in the “official gazette”, “minister of economy and energy Ozdil Nami appointed twelve employees from the trade department as price and quality control officers with the authority given by article 17 of the 1977 regulation and supervision of goods and services law”.
In his article in Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (23.08.18), columnist Resat Akar comments on the situation which exists in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus in all fields. Under the title “We have created a fake world for ourselves”, Akar refers to the media in the occupied area and says:
“Let us first start from our own sector. In a country as big as a palm, we have 8 TV stations, 22 newspapers and 66 radio stations. A state aid is given every month to a part of them with the tricks of the politicians. Moreover, the social insurance deposits of the employees, again in one part of them, are made by the state. However, our radios silence when you approach the Bogazi of Keryneia or the Bogazi of Trikomo. You start listening songs in Arabic or Greek, because the frequency which is allegedly yours and is documented by TRNC’s High Broadcasting Council ‘is actually fake’.
When it rains or when the wind blows, out TV broadcastings are interrupted. Around 800 persons are employed in BRT, the state corporation. The state has two TV channels and many radio channels. In spite of the fact that it has exploded from the point of view of personnel, the second TV channel usually broadcasts piratical films or old programs broadcasted in the other channel are transferred here. Very well, what is the aim with this broadcasting? Is there a politician who knows or can explain this?
In the same manner, the sales of the great majority of the newspapers at the dealers are small if any. Some of them are purchased for the state departments with ‘partisan decisions’. The purchase of newspapers which do not belong to parties is stopped, they purchase for the party organs. The state pays the money for this. Isn’t this an ‘illegal’ action? Very well, when you carry out illegal actions, how can you refer to ‘questioning the corruption’? […]”
Under the title: “Bootlick cut across all boundaries”, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.08.18) reports that Ali Hakan Yavuz, “member of the administration board” of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who is illegally visiting the occupation regime on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha (Bayram feast), dives in the waters of “north Cyprus” and opens a placard with Erdogan’s photo, in order to wish him on the Bayram Feast on behalf of the Van district offices.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.08.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/greek-judiciary-slammed-for-backing-enemies-of-turkey/1237180) reported that AK Party spokesman Omer Celik slammed the Greek judiciary on Wednesday claiming that it has supported the "enemies of Turkey" by granting asylum to coup-plotters.
In a Twitter post, Celik said: "The Greek judiciary sided with Turkey’s enemies and coup plotters with this decree. This is much more serious and shameful than supporting terrorism."
The statement came after the Greece's General Council of State rejected the government's appeal against the asylum of one of the eight ex-Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece after the July 2016 defeated coup.
"We will never forget those who support terrorists by providing arms and protect coup plotters by judicial decrees," Celik said.
"Greece suffered a lot from coups in the past but it is obvious now that there are other motives for the Greek judiciary to leave the path of law and instead protect coup plotters," he said.
The General Council of State, which is the supreme administrative court of Greece, made its decision on Suleyman Ozkaynakci's case on Tuesday, setting a precedent for other cases involving the seven fugitive Turkish soldiers.
A few hours after the July 2016 defeated coup to overthrow the Turkish government, eight ex-military personnel arrived in Greece on a hijacked Black Hawk helicopter and requested asylum.
Turkey immediately issued an extradition request, which was eventually declined by the Greek Supreme Court in January 2017, after a series of trials and appeals.
Turkish authorities accuse the soldiers of being involved in the defeated July 2016 coup and being members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
(…)In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the decision "not only breaches Greece’s international obligations to combat terrorism, but also constitutes a violation of the provisions of the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
"By rejecting the extradition of the putschist traitors, Greece has prepared the ground for such decisions, which offends the conscience of the Turkish nation."
Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Ministry and military officials called the decision to grant asylum to FETO members an “exact example of lack of foresight”.
"The court decision on the coup-plotters is an exact example of lack of foresight in a period when we are talking about the reinitialization of confidence-building measures and showing all kinds of good intentions,” the officials told Anadolu Agency.
“No improvement can be expected on the implementation of the confidence-building measures without taking decisions on the coup terrorists in accordance with the law, democracy and good neighbourly relations,” they added.
Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul also lashed out at the Greek decision, saying it contradicts international law and democratic norms. "It is the Greek judiciary that has made the country a safe haven for the terrorists by rejecting the international laws, and the Greek politics which have established a terrorist haven in the middle of Europe by opening its doors to the terror group members that are responsible for this massacre of law,” Gul tweeted.
Turkish daily Sabah (22.08.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/08/23/us-disregard-of-legal-process-unacceptable-presidential-spokesman-kalin-says) reported that the spokesman of President Tayyip Erdogan slammed on Wednesday the United States' disregard for Turkey's legal process, adding that Washington had made arbitrary comments and demands in the case of a detained pastor.
In a statement to Reuters, Ibrahim Kalın called on the U.S. to respect Turkey's judicial independence, one of Ankara's most pointed responses yet to criticism over its detention of a terror-linked evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson.
"There is rule of law in Turkey and the Andrew Brunson case is a legal issue. There is an ongoing legal process related to this individual," Kalın said in a statement to Reuters.
"It goes without saying that we find unacceptable the disregard of the legal process by the United States, which has been making certain demands."
His comments came after U.S. President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton told Reuters that Turkey made a "big mistake" by not releasing Brunson.
Kalın said Bolton's remarks regarding Turkey's economic situation and Qatar's support were proof that the U.S. administration is targeting its NATO ally as part of an economic war.
He said the U.S. has established that it intends to use trade, tariffs and sanctions to start a global trade war. “Turkey has no intention of starting an economic war but cannot stay silent”, he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-tries-to-protect-coup-fellows-nationalist-party-leader-136061) reported that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has accused the United States of trying to protect its “fellows” who took part in the coup attempt against the Turkish government in 2016 and claimed that U.S. President Donald Trump administration’s recent “attacks” on the Turkish economy have been for this reason.
“The U.S. is trying to seize Turkey in terms of economy and politics,” he said, speaking to party members who had gathered at the MHP headquarters for an Eid-al Adha greeting on Aug. 22.
The U.S. is harming its relations with its ally and its friend Turkey over a pastor, he said, referring to the detaining of U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey, which has caused a diplomatic rift between Ankara and Washington.
Bahceli questioned Trump’s real intentions and said that “it is not just a matter of a pastor.”
“The U.S. is trying to protect its coup fellows,” Bahceli added. He suggested the U.S. is about to grant asylum to 200 coup plotters.
“Global powers are protecting FETÖ [Fethullahist Terrorist Organization], the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] and ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant],” Bacheli further alleged, praising the recent economic support from Qatar to Turkey.
In a commentary in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (23.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/yusuf-kanli/brunson-is-not-the-only-issue-136063) under the above title, columnist Yusuf Kanli writes the following:
“Taking the case of United States evangelical pastor Andrew Craig Brunson to the Constitutional Court with the demand that the continued house arrest and travel restriction has compromised the pastor’s rights may not yield any results. Carrying the issue to the European Court of Human Rights may not do any good either. Efforts to compel Turkey through various horse trade tactics to let the pastor travel to the United States may eventually produce results, but the crisis in Turkish-American relations will not be resolved anytime soon.
It could be argued one fundamental reason leading the Brunson issue to evolve into a major crisis in Turkish-American relations was the depressive need for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to gain the support of evangelists and the Jewish lobby in order to win the upcoming November elections in the U.S. We could indeed expect an increase in the U.S.-Turkey standoff, or some tangible surprise moves, similar to accepting Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and moving the U.S. Embassy there.
However, the rift between Turkey and the West in general, with the U.S. in particular, is not one limited to the electoral designs of Trump or him being held hostage by evangelists. At the very root of the crisis lies the fact that Turkey has been double-playing between its Cold War era allies and foes for a long time, persistently distancing itself from the norms and values of the ‘free world’ and giving strong signals of a will to join a club of autocrats rather than a club of democracies, which has kept it in the waiting room for over the past half century.
The sanctions against two Turkish Ministers, suspending the sale of F-35 jets—of which Turkey is a manufacturing partner—increased iron and steel tariffs for imports from Turkey and similar developments are all strong indicators of anger against Turkey from the White House. The operation against Turkish currency—as Ankara has rightfully perceived—is indeed a financial declaration of war.
It may be overoptimistic to assume the Americans eventually will have to solve this problem and that the increased tariffs could be defeated at the World Trade Organization, as Ankara is a partner of the project, who has spent over $900 billion so far for it, and produced certain parts in Turkey. The threat to take the issue to international arbitration is equally nonsense, as Turkey agreed while signing the F-35 agreement those problems among the partners would be resolved through talks and no one had the right to take problems to arbitration. Of course, the Turkish audience might be happy to see the Turkish presidency take up such challenges, but the palace must be very much aware of how empty those statements were.
Turkey’s S-400 deal with Russia that symbolized the rapprochement between Moscow and Ankara, the Astana process and similar dialogue between the two capitals have not been developments that have been very welcome for Washington. Furthermore, Turkey undertaking joint operations or security plans in Syria supported by Russia, while Washington has been actively supporting, abetting and indeed arming Kurdish groups that Turkey has considered a number one threat to its national security, are all elements that have compromised the 60-year-old allied relations between Washington and Ankara.
Last but definitely not least, U.S. efforts to impose sanctions on Iran cannot be acceptable for Turkey as a country, which is energy dependent on Iran, in addition to it being a border country likely to be most-affected through such measures. The last time Turkey was provided exceptions from Iran sanctions was used by some Turks in an incompatible manner that landed, for example, a senior banker with a public Turkish bank, in a U.S. prison.
If the house arrest and travel restrictions on Brunson are to be lifted tomorrow, nothing will improve in Turkish-American relations. The course is one aimed at a head-on collision”.
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