Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (28.08.18 http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c36-TURKIYE/n261205-tc-deniz-kuvvetleri-komutanligi-kktcye-deniz-ussu-kurulmasi ) reports that the Turkish Naval Forces Command presented a proposal to the Turkish Foreign Ministry asking for the establishment of a naval base in the TRNC, at an appropriate position as specified.
Claiming that the establishment of such a base will contribute towards strengthening both Turkey and the breakaway regime, the Turkish Naval Forces Command said that the base will safeguard the “sovereign rights and interests of the TRNC” and Turkey in Eastern Mediterranean, taking measures to prevent invasions in the marine energy field and strengthening the position of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side in the forthcoming negotiations.
According to the statement, the base should be established as sovereign base facilities such as the British naval base in the region.
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (28.08.18) refers to articles published yesterday by Turkish journalists Fatih Cekirge in Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (27.08.18, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/yazarlar/fatih-cekirge/dogu-akdenizde-bu-tahrige-dikkat-40937803) and Ardan Zenturk in Turkish daily Star newspaper (27.08.18, http://www.star.com.tr/yazar/kibrista-gerekirse--yine-savasiriz-bilin-yazi-1378552/) and argues that developments which attract attention are happening in the area, while tension continues between Turkey and the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as it describes the Republic of Cyprus, on the issue of explorations for natural gas.
In his article, Cekirge alleged that after the Republic of Cyprus gave a military base on the island to France, the US Chief of Land Forces visited the island to also ask for a military base. Recalling Cyprus’ cooperation with Israel in the natural gas field, he claimed that Cyprus is trying to “bring the Turkish rights in Eastern Mediterranean before a fait accompli” by using the crisis in the relations between Turkey and the USA. “Turkey had stated that it would carry out explorations for natural gas in the Mediterranean in mid-2018. Behold, now I am sensing a conspiracy, a trick, a fait accompli, a provocation”, alleged Cekirge.
In his article under the title “If needed, we will fight again in Cyprus! You should know this…”, Zenturk argued that the natural gas is the first thing which comes to mind when someone refers to Cyprus today and alleged that the natural gas which Turkey possesses in the area according to the international law is enough to satisfy its energy needs for 572 years. Furthermore, he claimed the following: “An energy treasure of three trillion dollars exists right next to us and the world does its utmost for us to remain inactive. Alliances in the Israel-Greece-Egypt triangle are being established against Turkey and Britain, France and America are settled on this. It is obvious that in the very near future, Eastern Mediterranean will become the second field of settling energy accounts in the world after the Persian Gulf and imperialism is trying for all formulas which it will produce in the area to be ‘without Turkey’. For us Cyprus is a field where we will fight again, if needed”.
Referring to Turkish President Erdogan, Zenturk calls on him to sign the soonest an “agreement” with the “TRNC”, as he describes the breakaway regime in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus, for the establishment of a military base by Turkey alleging that this base should be “sovereign” like the British Base in Akrotri.
According to illegal Bayrak television (28.08.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-speaks-on-hydrocarbons-issue-2 2/4), so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side is undertaking diplomatic initiatives to cool down tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, not to warm them up.
Speaking on a program on illegal BRT last night, Ozersay said that they did not foresee a disaster scenario in the Eastern Mediterranean at this point of time.
He alleged that Turkey and the “TRNC” are only taking steps to conduct their own exploratory and drilling activities in response to similar steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side. “We have not seen a disaster scenario or tension in the region due to this” he argued. He, however, claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side’s preference is for any resources in the region to be explored and exploited jointly, ideally in the presence of a settlement. “Perhaps to be realistic at this point in time, it would be best if this wealth would be marketed and sold to international markets through a temporary agreement in the absence of a settlement in a matter which will safeguard the interests of both sides and which would not allow one side to downgrade the status of the other. I do not foresee a conflict as long as the issue is approached in this manner and common sense is exercised” he further alleged.
Ozersay argued also that the Greek Cypriot side will avoid sharing the island’s wealth as long as the international community does not highlight the fact that it belongs to both sides and continues to give the Greek Cypriots the green light to explore and exploit in the absence of a settlement.
According to illegal Bayrak television (28.08.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=gca-is-suffocating-tc-economy-says-ozersay), so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay, in a written statement, accused the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as the Republic of Cyprus is called, of trying to suffocate the “economy” of the “TRNC”, by targeting its main pillars, which are the “higher education and tourism”.
In a written statement, Ozersay alleged that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to block cooperation between the “Eastern Mediterranean University”, (“DAU) and Oxford University.
Claiming that the Greek Cypriot leadership had no tolerance towards the Turkish Cypriot side, Ozersay accused the Greek Cypriot side of targeting the “TRNC universities” as well as the ship companies using the “TRNC ports”.
Claiming that such actions were hurting relations between the two sides, Ozersay alleged further the following: “It is understood that unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot leadership cannot stand letting the Turkish Cypriots catch a breath not only over politics, culture and sports, but also in the economic sector. We are faced with a mentality that tries to cut our every contact with the economic world”, Ozersay alleged.
He further argued that such attempts carried out while the Turkish Cypriot side is trying to improve economic relations between the two sides and supporting the increase in people crossing across the two sides, is a real disappointment. He also added that “such attempts will not dissuade the Turkish Cypriot side’s struggle to exist on this island”.
Ozersay added further that when the Turkish Cypriot side maintains that a change of mind-set is necessary, it’s this what it means.
He alleged also that while the “degrees of graduates” of the “Eastern Mediterranean University” (“DAU”) are being accepted throughout the world, the Greek Cypriot officials are trying to create problems over its cooperation with Oxford University without any legal backing.“This is totally unacceptable. It’s obvious they are doing this because they know that higher education and tourism are the two main pillars of the Turkish Cypriot economy. While the degrees of graduates of the Eastern Mediterranean University are being accepted throughout the world, the Greek Cypriot Foreign Ministry is attempting to declare such institutions as illegal. The example with Oxford University is a good one”, Ozersay said, alleging that these actions contradicts the calls by the Greek Cypriot side to improve relations between the two communities.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (28.08.18) reports that the “deputy speaker of the assembly”, Zorlu Tore issued a statement reacting against the efforts which as he claims are exerted by the Republic of Cyprus for giving a military base to the US in Cyprus, “as if the agreements for giving for use the ports and airports of the Greek Cypriot side to France, Israel and Egypt were not enough”, as he claimed.
Tore claimed that the discovery of hydrocarbons in the area “increased the appetite of imperial states”, and alleged that even if the region is in danger, the “TRNC people are safe and do not worry about their future because of the presence of the Turkish army (in the island)”.
He also claimed that there is separation in Cyprus adding even if it is not a velvet one, this separation cannot be transformed into a United Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (28.08.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met yesterday with the “commander” and “major general” of the ““Turkish Cypriot peace forces commandership” (“KTBK”), Yilmaz Yildirim as well as with “major general” of the “39th division administration” Erdal Sener who handed-over his “duties” to “major general” Coskun Kaya. The above “major generals” were also met with the “speaker” of the so-called assembly, Teberruken Ulucay and with the so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman.
According to the paper, Akinci gave a honorary plaque to Erdal Sener for his “contribution”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (28.08.18) under the title: “New mosque in Lapythos instead of a school”, reports that the residents in occupied Lapythos reacted over the fact that a new mosque, the fourth one in the village is under construction.
According to the paper, the residents in the village criticized the so-called municipality of Lapythos for remaining silent over the issue and accused it of building another mosque in the village instead of a school. The residents also reacted with statements to the paper for the noise and the clouds of dust which are created because of the construction works and underlined that the mosque is built in a very big plot of land which is surrounded by several residences.
The paper writes that the mosque is constructed with the financial aid of the “Turkish embassy” in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (28.08.18) reports that in simultaneous operations by the Turkish authorities which took place in Turkey’s Balikesir region as well as in 8 other provinces in Turkey and in the “TRNC” as well, the police detained 14 more army officers with the accusation of having links with terrorist FETO organization.
The suspects were detained after the Turkish police conducted investigation in their payphones, writes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (28.08.18) reports that the “Religious Affairs Department” of the breakaway regime issued a statement regarding the visit to Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaka which will take place tomorrow, noting that as like any other visits that took place before, this one as well will be organized only by the “Department”.
According to the statement, the persons who want to participate in the visit can do so only with the visit organized by the “department”, following the “department’s convoy”.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-wants-to-take-ties-with-eu-to-a-new-phase-albayrak-136204) reported that Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has said that Turkey wants to take its relations with the European Union to a new phase in a period when its trade with the bloc is more important.
Speaking during a press conference with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire in Paris on Aug. 27, during which both sides underlined the importance of Turkish-EU ties, Albayrak said that recent unilateral steps taken by the United States had shown relations between Turkey and the EU, namely France, were more important than ever.
“We want to take relations with the European Union to a new phase,” Albayrak said, adding that Turkey wanted to increase trade with France—now at 14 billion euros—to 20 billion euros.
Le Maire encouraged Turkey to use all available economic policy tools to ensure sustainable growth. “It is in everyone’s interest, in France, in Turkey, in Europe, that the situation stabilizes in Turkey,” Le Maire told reporters in the wake of a significant hit to the Turkish Lira amid strained ties between Turkey and the U.S. over the trial of pastor Andrew Brunson.
Le Maire said further that Albayrak had stressed his country’s commitment to structural reforms.
“France encourages Turkish authorities to give this absolute priority ... by using all the leverage available through economic policy,” he noted.
“Recent steps taken by the United States against Turkey are politically motivated and could serve to ultimately bolster regional terrorism and the refugee crisis”, Albayrak also said. “We talked about the recent trade sanctions by the United States … Such decisions of sanctions will negatively affect regional stability and bolster both regional terror and the refugee crisis,” he said, adding that Turkey and France decided to move together over these issues.
Albayrak also noted that both Ministers talked about moving together regarding the trade decisions against Turkey and the EU in violation of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) rules.
“We are on the same page regarding Iran with France,” Albayrak said, alleging that recent steps by the U.S. are isolating it from its allies. “In this period, the [U.S.] dollar is losing its status as a global trade tool,” he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/washington-to-ankara-give-up-s-400s-and-get-the-f-35s-136198) reported that the members of a delegation from the United States Congress, who visited Turkey and met with their Turkish Parliament counterparts on Aug. 27, have urged Ankara to give up purchasing S-400 missile systems from Russia to receive the F-35 fighter jets.
A three-member delegation headed by Congressman Michael Turner, a member of NATO Parliamentarian Assembly, first visited İncirlik Airbase in southern Adana province. The delegation later met with Turkish parliamentarians and discussed the issues of Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 systems and delivery of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.
The Congressmen urged Ankara to abandon procurement of S-400 systems to guarantee the delivery of the F-35s, while the Turkish side stressed further cooperation against the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
The U.S. Congress recently passed legislation threatening to halt U.S. sales of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, despite signed contracts between the countries over the latter’s planned acquisition of Russia’s S-400 missile defence system and the ramifications for the U.S. industrial base if Turkey is dropped from the international F-35 program.
Criticizing the U.S. for trying to force Turkey not to purchase the S-400 air defence system from Russia, Ankara recalls that Turkey had been trying to purchase the Patriot air defence system from the U.S., but the missiles have never been sold to Ankara when they were needed the most.
Turkey has been in the F-35 program since 1999. The Turkish defence industry has taken an active role in the production of the aircraft. Alp Aviation, AYESAS, Kale Aviation, Kale Pratt & Whitney and Turkish Aerospace Industries have been producing parts for the first F-35fighter jet. Turkey plans to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets in the coming years.
The row over the F-35s came at a time when the ties between the two countries were strained over the detention in Turkey of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-president-erdogan-to-visit-tehran-on-sept-7-for-syria-summit-136177) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Iran on Sept. 7, the presidency announced on Aug. 27.
Erdogan will attend the third summit within the Astana process amid raising concerns for a possible regime attack at the rebel-hold Idlib province of Syria.
Turkey, Russia and Iran are the three countries that are the guarantors of a countrywide cease-fire in Syria and the leaders of the guarantors will meet in Iran. They have been mediating a peace process since January 2016 among Syria’s warring sides in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has held two meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the last two weeks. Cavusoglu also met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Aug. 24. Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization Director Hakan Fidan also held meetings in Moscow, just a week after their first trip to the Russian capital.
Turkey’s demarche comes over an impending Syrian military operation into Idlib where Ankara warns against a full scale military operation that will risk the lives of nearly three million civilians.
The Syrian army, backed by Russia, aims to eliminate jihadist terrorists, which have been controlling the province since early 2017.el to Tehran on Sept. 7, the presidency announced on Aug. 27.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.08.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/erdogan-talks-to-german-counterpart-over-phone/1240358) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier discussed bilateral relations and regional issues over the phone on Monday, according to a presidential source.
Erdogan and Steinmeier also exchanged views on economy, trade and investment, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said.
They also discussed the latest developments in Syria, particularly in Idlib, the source said.
They agreed to arrange a meeting between Turkish and German Foreign, Finance and Treasury Ministers.
The two leaders also exchanged views on Erdogan’s visit to Germany in September.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah (27.08.18 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/08/27/erdogan-may-discuss-bilateral-relations-regional-issues-in-phone-call) reported that Erdogan and the British Prime Minister Theresa May discussed on Monday bilateral relations and regional issues over a phone call.
According to Turkish presidential sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, Erdogan and May also exchanged views on the areas of economy, trade and investment.
They agreed on a meeting between the Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak and his British counterpart Philip Hammond.
Erdogan and May also discussed the latest developments in Syria, particularly in Idlib, the sources said.
Erdogan paid a three-day official visit to the U.K. in May, where he attended the seventh Turkish-British Tatlidil Forum in southern England and also met Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
In a press conference following his meeting with May, Erdogan said that the U.K. is the second biggest export market for Turkey, adding that the trade volume between Turkey and the U.K. was at a level of $16 billion in 2017 but their target for bilateral trade is $20 billion.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.08.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkish-american-defense-chiefs-talk-over-phone/1240408) reported that Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis spoke over the phone late Monday, a Defense Ministry source told Anadolu Agency.
Akar and Mattis exchanged views on the Turkey-U.S. defence relations, Syria and the fight against terrorism, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said. Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests - which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings - with unexpected ferocity.
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