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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-27.09.18


No. 187/18                                                                                                         


A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akıncı met with  Mogherini in New York; He will meet with Guterres tomorrow

2. Özersay met with Rosemary DiCarlo

3. Ozersay: “The reason of the failure in the negotiations should be examined”

4. The British Labor Party held its annual conference with the attendance of the “Turkish Cypriot friendship group”

5. Tore: “Guarantees are indispensable taboo for us”

6. Atakan: “The Turkish Cypriot side will be ready for the opening of crossing points as soon as the Greek Cypriot side says that it is ready”

7. KTOEOS asks from the EU to increase the number of grants given to the Turkish Cypriots

8. Ataoglu: “865 million dollars in tourism revenue”


B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan: Turkey, US to overcome ‘turbulent period’

2. Turkish-Russian deal on Idlib 'last chance': Turkish FM

3. “Turkey is entering into a delusional honeymoon with Europe”


 A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akıncı met with  Mogherini in New York; He will meet with Guterres tomorrow

Illegal Bayrak (27.09.18 broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who is in New York to meet with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is holding “a series of high level and bilateral contacts”.

As part of his contacts, Akıncı met with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini.

During the meeting which was held at the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations in New York at 5:30pm local time (0.30am Cyprus time) the Cyprus problem and the Turkish Cypriot side’s relations with the EU were discussed.

“Akıncı conveyed Mogherini the sensitivity and expectations of the Turkish Cypriot people who has always proved its determination for a solution in Cyprus as well as the constructive role the EU should play on the Cyprus problem”, Bayrak broadcast.

Akinci’s spokesman Barış Burcu, Akinci’s “special advisor on diplomacy and EU Affairs” Erhan Erçin and the “TRNC New York representative” İsmet Korukoğlu were also present at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the scheduled meeting between Akıncı and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has been rescheduled for an earlier time upon a request by the UN Chief.

The meeting between Akıncı and Guterres will be held tomorrow at 7:40pm New York time (2:40am Cyprus time).

As part of his contacts in New York, Akıncı will hold various contacts and will give interviews to various media organizations.


2. Özersay met with Rosemary DiCarlo

Illegal Bayrak (27.09.18 broadcast that  “deputy prime minister, foreign minister” Kudret Özersay is continuing with his New York contacts.

As part of his contacts, Özersay met with the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs of the United Nations Rosemary DiCarlo.

Evaluating the meeting on his social media account, Özersay said during the meeting he found the opportunity to share his views on the future of the Cyprus problem following the failed negotiations process as well as on what could be done to improve the relations between the two sides.

The “deputy prime ministry, foreign ministry undersecretary” Güneş Onar, “alternate director of the foreign ministry OIC directorate Mehmet Dana” and the “2nd secretary at the TRNC New York representative office” Sertaç Güven were also present at the meeting.

3. Ozersay: “The reason of the failure in the negotiations should be examined”    

Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper(27.09.18) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has claimed that a “cold war climate” exists in the UN Security Council and that the Cyprus problem is not high on the international community’s agenda. In an interview with the paper’s correspondent in New York, Ozersay alleged that the target of the Greek Cypriots is not a successful completion of the Cyprus negotiations, but the continuation of these negotiations. “The time has come for examining the real reasons of the failure”, he claimed and alleged: “The Greek Cypriot side sees the continuation of the existing status quo as an easy field and cannot see that the solution will bring more profits than the existing status quo. Therefore, I do not think that the Greek Cypriot side will undertake a sincere initiative for changing the status quo”.

Arguing that a method outside the “established molds” should be used and that the issues should be discussed “outside these molds”, Ozersay expressed the view that the following three steps should be taken in the direction of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem: 1) “Sincere steps” for really creating trust, 2) A process of “sincere examination” and 3) Investment to a form of relation which will develop economic interdependence and a “correct message” to be given by the international players on the natural gas issue.

Replying to a question, Ozersay alleged that the continuation of the negotiations has become a target for the Greek Cypriots, because the negotiations conceal the fact that the status quo cannot continue. He argued that when the Turkish Cypriots remind the so-called isolation allegedly implemented on them or the Republic of Cyprus’ explorations for natural gas, the answer they receive is that no interim solutions were needed on these issues and that negotiations continued. “The continuation of the negotiations strengthens the unfair status which the Greek Cypriots obtained until today, makes it permanent and prevents the examination of the absurdity of the situation”, he alleged and added that during their meetings both he and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci underline that federation is a model based on sharing of administration and wealth. “We see that the Greek Cypriot side is not ready for this”, he alleged and claimed: “If someone says to us that there is such a change of mentality and understanding (in the Greek Cypriots), if they say to us that they are ready to share much more administration with you, if we see a sign for this, I might be hopeful. However, I think that it is not correct to give artificial hopes to the citizens”. 

Expressing the view that it would be important for the sides to meet even without the presence of the UN and that within this framework the meeting of the three guarantor powers in New York was important, Ozersay alleged that we needed a period of “sincere examination” and that we should question where we committed a mistake. He also argued that it would be important for the two community leaders to meet “tomorrow or the day after tomorrow” for talking.

Referring to UNSG’s temporary advisor on Cyprus Jane Hall Lute’s report, Ozersay expressed the view that [after receiving the report] the UNSG will not say that the conditions are appropriate and that the negotiations should resume from the point they had left off, “because such climate does not exist”. He claimed that the sides should meet unofficially in Cyprus if necessary and examine “what and how it would be best for them to discuss”. He argued that the sides should do this sincerely without worrying to be presented as “the good child” before some others. “We believe that first such a dialogue process is needed during which everything will be at the table and could be discussed, we need a period during which in depth discussions will be made without being squeezed within a framework, that is, we definitely not consider correct the approach saying that the negotiations should continue from the point they have been left off”, he alleged.                      

Ozersay further argued that the sides should ask for help from the UN on issues which contribute to their cooperation “from the bottom to the top” and thus trust to be built from zero.

Referring to the natural gas issue, Ozersay claimed that there is an opportunity in this field and alleged that if foreign companies force the “Greek Cypriot side”, as he described the Republic of Cyprus, to cooperate with the Turkish Cypriots this knot will be untied. Arguing that a big opportunity was wasted in 2004, Ozersay alleged things would have been very different now, if the Greek Cypriots had been told that if they wanted to join the EU they should have solved the Cyprus problem or should have taken the consent of the Turkish Cypriots. “We have the same potential before us now”, he argued and claimed: “At this stage or during the stage of marketing the natural gas, the Greek Cypriots should be told either that ‘there is a risk here, we cannot do this’ or ‘go and agree with the Turkish Cypriots’”.   

Noting that the Turkish Cypriot side indicates to the foreign companies this “risk” and that the companies are examining this, Ozersay expressed the view that the “correct platform” could be found for not harming the interests of the two sides and alleged that if the sides achieve a temporary agreement without harming their “legal status”, this will bring them economic benefits and even if the Cyprus problem is not solved, an economic interdependence will be developed with a kind of a modus vivendi. “This is the most important ground which could very fast turn into reality the political solution which we try to find”, he argued.

Replying to a question regarding the forthcoming drilling activities to be launched by the Turkish Petroleum (TPAO), Ozersay said these drilling activities will not be held by Turkey, but by a company which is mainly state-owned. “This company, however, will carry out drillings on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots”, he alleged and claimed that “there is no difference with the situation of the Greek Cypriots”.  


4. The British Labor Party held its annual conference with the attendance of the “Turkish Cypriot friendship group”

Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (27.09.18) reports that the “Turkish Cypriot’s friendship group” of the Labor Party (IP) in the UK, which was established recently within the framework of the annual conference organized by the UK Labor Party in Liverpool between 23-26 of September, has organized a reception.

According to information provided by the “representation office of the TRNC in London”, among the participants at the reception were the British Labor Party Shadow Minister Khalid Mahmood, the MPs Joan Ryan and Catherine West, the chairman of the municipal council of Enfield Nesil Caliskan, the deputy-mayor of Harringay, Emine Ibrahim and other municipality officials. Also, the “representative of the TRNC in London”, Oya Tuncali and a “parliamentary delegation” from the “TRNC” consisting of Armagan Candan, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Erek Cagatay, “deputy” with the People’s Party (HP) and Oguzhan Hasipoglu, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), were also present at the reception.

Speaking during the reception, Shadow Minister Khalid Mahmood, referred to the important role of the UK towards the efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and expressed hopes that a solution will be found soon.

Also speaking, MP Joan Ryan described as very important the fact that “deputies” from Cyprus as he called the occupation regime had arrived in London in order to attend the Labur Party’s annual conference.



5. Tore: “Guarantees are indispensable taboo for us”

Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (27.09.18) reports that the “deputy-speaker” of the so-called assembly Zorlu Tore, in statements yesterday during a visit paid to him, said, inter alia, the following: “Turkey’s guarantees are indispensable taboo for us. The Turkish army is the sole security for us. Hand in hand with the army-nation we will continue our existence in Cyprus forever”.


6. Atakan: “The Turkish Cypriot side will be ready for the opening of crossing points as soon as the Greek Cypriot side says that it is ready”

Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (27.09.18) under the title: “Preparations at the crossing points”, reports that so-called minister of transportation and communication Tolga Atakan, inspected yesterday the works which are taking place for the opening of the Apliki crossing point.

Speaking during his visit, Atakan stated that the Turkish Cypriots will be ready for the opening of Deryneia and Apliki crossing points as soon as the Greek Cypriot side announces that it would be ready.

On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.09.18) reports that Oktay Kayalp, district chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in occupied Famagusta, announced via his personal account on social media that the Deryneia crossing point will open very soon. According to the paper, Kayalp’s statement was welcomed with enthusiasm by the inhabitants of occupied Famagusta.


7. KTOEOS asks from the EU to increase the number of grants given to the Turkish Cypriots

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.09.18) reports that a delegation from the Turkish Cypriot Secondary Schools Teachers’ Union (KTOEOS) had a meeting yesterday with the  Head of the European Commission Representation Ierotheos Papadopoulos and the Head of the European Parliament Information Office in Cyprus Andreas Kettis. KTOEOS asked them to safeguard the necessary conveniences for the Turkish Cypriots who study in EU member countries.

In a written statement, Selam Eylem, Head of KTOEOS, asked from the EU to increase the number of grants given to Turkish Cypriots due to the recent devaluation of the TL.


8. Ataoglu: “865 million dollars in tourism revenue”

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.09.18) reports that Fikri Ataoglu, self-styled minister of tourism and environment, in a message on September 27 due to World Tourism Day, argued that the tourism in the occupied area of Cyprus has reached one million tourists and the tourism revenue is 865 million dollars.

Ataoglu further claimed that the brand “North Cyprus” is one of the fast-growing destinations of the Mediterranean region in the tourism market despite the hard competition every year.


B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan: Turkey, US to overcome ‘turbulent period’

Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.09.18 reports that Turkey and the U.S. will overcome the current “turbulent period” in their relations through their strategic partnership, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Wednesday.

"Our strategic partnership, which has gone through difficulties so many times, will overcome this turbulent period," Erdogan said during his address at the Ninth Turkey Investment Conference held by the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK) in New York.

 Erdogan said disagreements with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump on issues such as the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the fight against terrorism, Jerusalem, Syria and sanctions "test Turkish-American relations".

He said he believes that Turkey and the U.S. need to come a long way in their relations, especially with regards to the FETO and PYD/PKK terrorist organizations.

Erdogan said some circles in the Trump administration assume they can resolve differences with Turkey through threats, pressure and blackmail.

He questioned why the U.S. is protecting FETO leader Fetullah Gulen, adding: “Are we not strategic partners?”

Erdogan said FETO is active in 27 U.S. states and has charter schools there.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen are accused of orchestrating the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

Erdogan said the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and the U.S. was above $20 billion in 2017. He said Turkey's exports to the U.S. totaled $8.7 billion and imports totaled $12 billion.

"As of today, Turkish firms' investments in the U.S. exceed $4.6 billion," he added.

Erdogan said Turkey views the future of political and economic relations with the U.S. with hope despite Washington imposing sanctions and doubling tariffs on Turkish aluminum and steel imports.

He said there are no winners in trade wars and each unilateral decision will be met with retaliation.

Erdogan said Turkey will continue to strengthen the investment environment without compromising the rules of the free market economy.

"We will continue to make the necessary legal arrangements for attracting more direct investments and for international investors to invest safely in our country," he added.

2. Turkish-Russian deal on Idlib 'last chance': Turkish FM

Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.09.18 reports that an agreement between Turkey and Russia to avert a regime assault on Idlib province is a "last chance" for a political solution in Syria, Turkey’s Foreign Minister said Wednesday.

"We should not miss this opportunity," said Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking to Anadolu Agency in New York after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif at UN headquarters.

Cavusoglu said peace and stability should be restored in war-torn Syria through a political process.

He said the deal between Turkey and Russia should be used to accelerate the political process by uniting Bashar al-Assad regime and opposition forces.

"The most important step we can take in the upcoming period is the establishment of a constitutional committee," he said.

"Today, we shared our views regarding the immediate establishment of the constitutional committee."

He said Turkey's priority was to accelerate the political process and urged continued joint efforts with Russia and Iran.

3. “Turkey is entering into a delusional honeymoon with Europe”

Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (27.09.18 publishes the following article by Barcin Yinanc:

“The Netherlands is going to pay for this,” roared Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 2017. He was reacting to the Dutch government’s refusal to let Turkish Ministers campaign in Rotterdam ahead of the April referendum.

Turkey started to apply sanctions to the Netherlands and asked for an apology. Ankara withdrew its Ambassador and asked the Dutch Ambassador, who was outside of Turkey at the time, not to come back.

Whether the Netherlands paid the desired cost and offered the desired apology is not very clear but the two countries decided to normalize their relations last July and appointed envoys to each other’s capitals. The Dutch Foreign Minister is expected to visit Turkey next month.

Erdoğan compared German officials to Nazis when his demand to campaign in this country was turned down. He even called on the Turks not to vote for the mainstream parties during general elections, which took place around this time last year. Berlin is now preparing to welcome him for a state visit scheduled to start today.

Does that mean relations are back on track with Europe? Will the two sides say “this is where have we left off” and continue as if nothing has happened? Unless an improvement in bilateral relations with individual European countries are not reflected and replicated in Turkey’s “institutional” relations with the European Union, the answer to this question will be negative.

If Turkey’s accession talks remain frozen, if there is no green light to update the Customs Union and no progress in terms of applying the remaining parts of the refugee deal like visa free travel to Europe, then the normalization of relations with European capitals can attest to one thing: Even if Turkey remains a member of NATO and the Council of Europe, it is no longer seen as part of the transatlantic Alliance and it is degraded to the same category of just another “Middle Eastern country,” one which does not qualify to be a part of Europe due to its weak democratic credentials but one with which maintaining a high level of dialogue is important for several reasons.

These reasons may include:

- It serving as a buffer zone between refugees and the European continent,

- Its willingness to spend billions of dollars to assume NATO missions,

- It still remaining a lucrative market when compared to its neighboring countries.

 If there is no improvement in institutional relations with the EU, then that is because Turkey refuses to take the necessary steps to roll back the democratic backpedaling that has been occurring for some time. And if European capitals decide to normalize relations in the absence of any improvement in democratic standards in Turkey, then this means they unofficially ended Turkey’s accession process to the EU.

This is actually in line with French President Emmanuel Macron’s overall view about Turkey. Macron placed Turkey in the same category with Russia and said Europe should forge a strategic partnership with Russia and Turkey and should end the EU membership prospect with the latter.

This is also the line endorsed by Germany to be followed by the others. Erdoğan is going to Berlin at a time when Turkey is facing serious economic hardship. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Prime Minister Angela Merkel are hosting him despite heavy criticism from their public.

Most likely, the German government will not come with generous offers to salvage the ailing Turkish economy. Not only because German officials fear the public reaction, but because they would not like to boost an administration that still holds citizens hostage in their eyes. But it would not be surprising to find out, perhaps at later stages, that some indirect financial mechanisms will be introduced in order to avoid a “hard landing” of the Turkish economy, which could work against the German interest.

As the visit comes a day after the European Parliament decided to cancel 70 million euros in funds earmarked for Turkey on the ground that the conditions to improve the rule of law were not met, even the “photo-ops” in Berlin will be presented by the Turkish side as major achievements.

However, Turkey’s relations with Europe can never reach its full potential to serve the interest of both sides in the absence of an institutional EU anchor.

And if Turkey is ready to let go of the institutional anchor, then why did Ankara fiercely criticize Macron’s statement?”




(CS/ AM)