According to Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (15.10.18, http://www.brtk.net/ozersay-kelime-oyunlariyla-kisir-muzakere-sureclerine-hapsolmamaliyiz/) Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that we should not be imprisoned in infertile negotiating processes with playing on the words. Commenting on the idea regarding the discussion of a “loose federation” model in Cyprus, Ozersay claimed that with the “loose federation” concept which will actually not change many things in the substance, the Greek Cypriot leadership may be trying to imprison the Turkish Cypriot side and the UN in the same infertile and inconclusive negotiating processes. He alleged:
“Any kind of idea is discussed unofficially of course, but if we are deceived by the loose federation and similar plays on words in the presence of the UN, we will enter into the pincers of starting the negotiations from the point they were left off. The Turkish Cypriot side should be careful from this point of view. If by saying loose federation the Greek Cypriot leadership is trying to cut back the Turkish Cypriots’ effective participation in the decision making and rotating presidency which is a sine qua non, this effort is in vain. Negotiating for a partnership based on sharing as long as there is no change of mentality, is only tantamount to wasting of time […]
The fact that the Greek Cypriot leadership does not want to share the administration and wealth with us exists in the root of the problem. Federation, however, is a model based on sharing the administration and wealth. In this case, will the Greek Cypriots not be sharing the administration with us when the powers in the federal government are less in number? In my view, decreasing the number of powers in this way, is not something which will be able to solve in any manner the problem of ‘not being able to share power’ which we are facing today. There is absolutely no meaning to insist on a model based on sharing, if the problems of not being able to share are not overcome, if, in other words, no change of mentality could be made. The Greek Cypriot leadership first used the loose federation concept and afterwards stressed that in this model it will be more possible for the Turkish Cypriots to participate less in the decisions to be taken. In brief, it was said ‘let us give you less influence in the federal government but you should abandon effective participation which is sine qua non from the point of view of your political equality. This, of course, cannot happen and is a bluff […]
If they want us to abandon political equality which could come into existence in the effective participation in the decisions, effective representation and rotating presidency, this means that they are making a move towards lifting one of the fundamental parameters. Are they ready to change the form of another parameter of the partnership and negotiate something different? The loose federation which is decorated with plays on words does not show that they are ready for this of course. Even if we share one single power in a federal structure, our effective participation in the decision making and our representation is a sine qua non of course. For this reason, I believe that everybody should be careful from this point of view. If they say that the Turkish Cypriots should be less effective in the decision making, then what is the point of a partnership? […]”.
Ozersay claimed that the number of powers had been discussed many times in the past and that during former President Christofias’ period the impression that the federal powers were increased by changing and dividing some sentences had been created. Describing this situation as “the natural results of using the Cyprus problem in the internal politics”, Ozersay argued that after many years we have come to the same point again. “However, the actual problem here is the effort of the Greek Cypriot leadership to recommence the negotiations from the point they were left off with such so-called ‘openings’”, he alleged adding that they should be careful and keep distance from approaches which will lead to this [that is recommencement of the negotiations from the point they were left off].
Illegal Bayrak (15.10. 18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-to-visit-ankara ) broadcast that the “deputy prime minister foreign minister” Kudret Özersay will be paying a 2 day working visit to, Ankara upon an invitation from Turkish Foreign Minister Mevkut Cavusoglu.
A statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that “the opportunity for the further enhancement of the close cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC, as well as latest developments regarding the Cyprus issue will be discussed”.
Meanwhile Cavusoglu and Ozersay will attend “a symposium on ‘Law and Politics in the Eastern Mediterranean’, which will be held at the Faculty of Political Sciences at the Ankara University.
Illegal Bayrak (13.10.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-responds-to-comments-he-has-been-sidelined) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı has reminded that “he is the elected leader of the Turkish Cypriot people with the primary purpose of conducting negotiations on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people”.
Akinci responded through social media to recent comments and claims that “he has been sidelined in the process to solve the Cyprus problem”.
He said that numerous comments questioning his position had been made after he drew attention to the dangers that could arise if Turkey and the Greek Cypriot side were to increase the frequency of their contacts.
“Most of these comments have expressed the view that I as the Turkish Cypriot leader, have been sidelined from the process. Within the context of the Cyprus problem, it is the Turkish Cypriot people who have elected and authorized me as their leader and president. Only the people may have the power to relieve me from such a position. The rest is empty chatter” he said.
Commenting on Akinci’s statement, Mehmet Levent writes in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (15.10.18) that the Turkish Cypriots want to see Akinci as their elected leader with the primary purpose of conducting negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem. However, he writes, the developments show otherwise:
“ […] At least you Nikos. At least you…
Never has occurred in my mind that you could be Denktashized as well.
There is not “loose federation”.
There is no “confederation”.
It means that the out of the law things that Turkey, which occupied north Cyprus has done will be accepted as fait accompli.
Because Akinci rejected the co-federation or the sophistry about loose federation, he was openly sidelined.”, writes Levent noting that the statement made by Akinci after the developments showed his uneasiness on the issue. “What is important is how and where he will put his food down to this injustice made towards him”, Levent notes.
Illegal Bayrak (15.10.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=erhurmans-reply-to-anastasiadis ) broadcast that “prime minister” Tufan Erhürman responded to a statement put forward by President Nicos Anastasiades regarding political equality via his social media website.
Erhurman in his post wrote : ‘Mr. Anastasiades said that the side that does not have the majority of vote is trying to equalize itself with the side that does have the majority of vote and determine their decisions. After all these years of negotiations to summerize political equality in this way is inexplicable.’
Erhürman said that Anastasiades needed to understand that the issue is not about a federation or whether or not the federation is a loose federation or not, what’s important is that if political equality is not part of a solution then a solution is not possible.
‘He must understand this and have the courage to explain this to his people as well’ said Erhürman.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.10.18), under the above title, carries an interview of Ozdil Nami, self-styled minister of economy and energy, given to the “Turkish Cypriot news agency” (TAK) on economy and energy issues.
Referring to the natural gas resources around the island, Nami said that they are following the issue with their “interlocutors” in Turkey. Claiming that they have called the Greek Cypriot side on several occasions for cooperation on issues such electricity and natural gas, but unfortunately they have not received a positive response until now on these calls, Nami argued that the Turkish side was obliged to take its own steps.
Nami further claimed: “They preferred to take unilateral steps by hiding behind the curtain of a recognized state. This, of course, forced the Turkish side to take its own steps. In this context, if the Greek Cypriot side has made agreements with American, French or Italian companies and have launched research activities, we have also taken the same steps with the Republic of Turkey”. Nami argued that “no one should have any doubt that the Turkish Cypriot people will continue to protect their legitimate rights and interests”, adding that the necessary steps have been taken and will continue to be taken in cooperation with Turkey.
Referring to the importance of the interconnected cable project between Turkey and the “TRNC” (carrying electricity from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus) for reducing the cost of electricity, Nami argued that the electricity costs will be decreased with the materialization of the project. He further explained that “work was also being carried out towards bringing down the cost of electricity by adopting legal arrangements which will enable more productive use of renewable energy in the country”.
Noting that the “TRNC” is experiencing a high inflation rate due to the developments out of its control, Nami added that “the competitive capacity of the country is also low in the international arena”. He further argued that “80% of the public revenue is spent on salaries and similar payments and that the capital budget is low”, he added that there is a need for changing this model and creating a competitive economy. Explaining that this could only be materialized through a long term study, Nami said that “the fact that the TRNC is not recognized by other countries than Turkey is hampering the foreign trade of the country”.
Referring to the economic table awaiting the Turkish Cypriot “people” in 2019, Nami said that they expect 2019 to be a tough year adding that they are making their plans and preparations with the aim of overcoming these difficulties.
Under the title, “Green light by the army”. Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper(15.10.18) reports that Major General Tevfik Algan, commander of the so-called security forces (“GKK”) has examined on the spot the Famagusta Gate and Pafos Gate areas in the occupied part of Nicosia, where the wish for opening crossing points for vehicles and pedestrians respectively had been expressed. The Major General has reportedly reached the conclusion that the opening of the two crossing points will not cause problems from the point of view of security and gave his approval for the continuation of the efforts in this direction.
According to the paper, UNFICYP officials said that the possible opening of new crossing points in the divided capital should decrease the buffer zone, which is under their control. Within this framework, the above-mentioned officials asked for the opening of Ermou Street and some streets near it. The UN reportedly believes that the return to their owners of the houses and businesses which are in the above-mentioned area, will serve peace on the island.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (14.10.18) under the title: “He cannot be taken serious”, reported on statements by former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and Dervis Eroglu, who in exclusive statements to the paper, commented on President Nikos Anastasiades’ latest proposal on “loose federation”.
Talat alleged that the Greek Cypriot leader is exerting efforts to distort this issue and argued that the proposal submitted by Anastasiades should not be taken seriously. “All these that Anastasiades has stated is nothing else but a crackjaw, it is a distortion which lacks of seriousness”. Talat accused further President Anastasiades for trying to turn the concentration on his face and alleging that Anastasiades is not interested and not worrying at all for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Also, Eroglu in his turn accused the Greek Cypriot leadership of delaying tactics and called on the Turkish Cypriot side to change its policy on the Cyprus problem.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (13.10.18) under the front-page title: “Guarantees is the key for the solution”, reported that the Turkish Cypriot businessman and member of the “Cyprus-EU association”, Ali Erel in exclusive statements to the paper, said, inter alia, that if Turkey does not give up from the Treaty of Guarantees, concerning the solution of the Cyprus problem, then it will be impossible for the international talks on the Cyprus problem to lead to a positive outcome.
Evaluating the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, Erel argued that it is necessary for talks to take place between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic. He further argued that system of guarantees should be abolished, that a new security system should be formed and that the two countries should discuss and set a timetable which will determine the removal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus. “If Anastasiades is discussing with Turkey on the issue of the withdrawal of the Turkish army, on the abolishment of the security system and the formation of a new security system, then there is no problem with this. But the bi-communal talks in Cyprus should be carried out by the two leaders of the communities, Anastasiades and Akinci. If the bi-communal negotiations between Akinci-Anastasiades would not be result-oriented, the reason would be the Treaty of Guarantees. So, the three guarantor countries should take action for the abolishment of this Treaty, because this, guarantees the territorial integrity and the legal structure of the Republic of Cyprus”, Erel said.
Referring to the Guterres framework, Erel stated that if this does not become accepted as the basis of the negotiation talks, the negotiation process would not be able to restart. He added that if there will be a solution in Cyprus, this should be a federal solution.
Regarding the economic crisis in the occupied area of Cyprus, Erel said that the Turkish Cypriots are those who pay the price for the remarkable decrease on the price of the Turkish Lira against the foreign currencies. Erel predicted also that the TL will continue losing more of its value due to Turkey’s social, democratic, economic and international policies. He went on saying that the perception that the Turkish Cypriot “government” can do nothing about this is wrong and added that the “government” could say that “we are adopting the euro”. “This would give us the opportunity to take a breath, prior to the solution of the Cyprus problem”, Erel added.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (14.10.18) reported that the so-called minister of national education and culture Cemal Ozyigit, has claimed that “north Cyprus” became a “centre of higher education” in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Delivering a speech during the 13th Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural General Conference which was held on 11-12 October in Morocco, by the Islamic Educational Scientific and Educational Organization (ISESCO), operating within the body of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation of which the “TRNC” is an observer member under the title of the “Turkish Cypriot state”, Ozyigit, alleged that “the TRNC’s higher education international character and diversity has been clearly seen”. Ozyigit also alleged that here are approximately 100,000 students from 145 different countries who “study” in the “TRNC’s universities” while at the same time, he alleged that there is an academic staff from 65 different countries.
According to a written statement issued by the so-called ministry, Ozyigit, in his speech has called on all member states of ISESCO to cooperate in the field of culture and to enhance further their ties with the “TRNC”. “We are pleased seing the inter-state cooperation between the member states of ISESCO and north Cyprus in the fields of education and culture, and we wish for this cooperation to develop in other fields as well such as in economy, transportation, tourism and sports”, Ozyigit said.
Meanwhile, within the framework of his “contacts” in Morocco, Ozyigit met with the Minister of Culture and Communication of Morocco, Mohamed Laaraj, the general secretary of ISESCO, Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri and the Azeri Minister of Culture, Dr. Garayev Adulfas Mursal. Ozyigit met and exchanged views with “students” from different countries”. After the conclusion of the conference, Ozyigit met further with the Ambassador of Turkey in Rabat, Ethem Berkan Oz.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (14.10.18) reports that Fikri Ataoglu, self-styled minister of tourism and environment, speaking to the paper, announced that flights between Ukraine-Mugla-“TRNC” will launch on November 15, adding that the flights will be for winter oriented tourism. He explained that within the framework of a tour operator in Kiev, Ukraine, with Hamdi Guvenc, board member of the YDA Mugla Dalaman Airport said that they wanted to carry tourists to the occupied area of Cyprus.
Ataoglu noted that the transit flights from and to Kiev and “TRNC” will be through Dalaman airport in Turkey. However, he added that according to the results of a study, they will decide how often the flights will be.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.10.18) reported that Ataoglu, during his contacts in Ankara, met also with Turkey’s President’s Chief Advisior Yalcin Topcu. In a statement at the meeting, Ataoglu said that with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s instructions there will be an increase of Anadolujet’s flights to the occupied area of Cyprus, adding that with these additional flights it is expected to be a decrease in ticket prices.
Ataoglu further argued that they will sign new projects in unity with Turkey and a video regarding a project for tourism in the occupied area of Gaziveran was presented to Topcu.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.10.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriots who live in the mixed Pyla village, and struggle with issues like unemployment and security “because of the indifference of the TRNC” feel uneasy because of the nine casinos that operate in the village.
According to the paper, the 9 casinos create various problems to the inhabitants of the village who note that all the infrastructure services at the village are provided by the Greek Cypriots since the “Turkish authorities” show no interest at all for the village. In addition the head of the village, Veysel Guden said that the casinos are not accepted by the villagers and that he informed the Peace Forces about the security issues of the village. He also said that crime complains have increased recently putting the village youth at risk.
The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs (12.10.18 http://www.mfa.gov.tr/sc_-66_-yunanistan-misir-gkry-uclu-zirvesi-ortak-bildirisi-hk-sc_en.en.mfa) issued the following statement:
“QA-66, 12 October 2018, Statement of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, in Response to a Question Regarding Joint Declaration of Greece, Egypt and Greek Cypriot Administration Trilateral Summit
We are dismayed by the unwarranted claims against Turkey in the Joint Declaration published following the closure of the Greece-Egypt-Greek Cypriot Administration trilateral summit meeting held on 10 October 2018, in Elounda, a city in the island of Crete, Greece.
In disregard of the atrocities committed by the Greek Cypriots against the Turkish Cypriots between 1963-1974 in the Island, attributing the “Cyprus problem” to the Peace Operation carried out by Turkey in 1974 based on the rights stemming from 1960 Guarantee Agreement, is unacceptable.
Within this context, Turkey will resolutely continue to preserve its rights and interests emanating from the fact that the Turkish Cypriots are co-owners of the Island.
Those who are taking steps in the region to the detriment of the legitimate rights and interests of the Republic of Turkey as well as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and those who try to ignore Turkey in the region, will never achieve their goals.”
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-us-deny-deal-over-pastor-brunsons-release-137841) reports that there has been no deal between Ankara and Washington to return U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson to his home country, who was under house arrest in Turkey’s İzmir province, the two sides have said.
“There was no deal made at all. There was no deal. But we’re very happy to have him and have him in good shape,” U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters in Cincinnati on Oct. 12.
He was released due to time spent behind bars and under house arrest, 2 years and 3 months respectively.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik denied claims that Turkey has bowed to pressure to release Brunson.
“If those claims were true Turkey would have bowed when unprecedented economic attacks took place,” he said on Oct. 13.
Following Brunson’s release, Turkish presidential communication director said that Turkey has shown it is a democratic state with an impartial and independent judiciary.
“Court ruling on Andrew Brunson reaffirmed that Turkey is a democratic country with the rule of law, and established the independence and impartiality of the Turkish judiciary,” Fahrettin Altun said in a statement.
“Like the Turkish courts, the Republic of Turkey does not receive instructions from any body, authority, office or person. We make our own rules and make our own decisions that reflect our will,” he added.
Altun said that Turkey monitored U.S. efforts to “mount pressure on Turkey’s independent court system for some time”, stating that Turkey “has been subject to various threats of sanctions”.
Reaffirming President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s stance against the threats, Altun said that Erdoğan “urged all parties to respect the court’s final decision.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo spoke over the phone following the release of U.S. pastor, a Turkish diplomatic source told state-run Anadolu Agency, giving no details.
After his release, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Turkey to free “quickly” other Americans in detention.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-gets-recordings-of-saudi-journalist-khashoggis-purported-killing-report-137835) reports that Turkish authorities have obtained audio and video recordings indicating that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and killed at the Saudi consulate where he was last seen, a Turkish daily reported on Oct. 13.
"The moments when Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and murdered were recorded in the Apple Watch's memory," daily Sabah said, adding that the watch had synched with his mobile phone which he had handed to his fiancee waiting outside the consulate.
Meanwhile, a delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey for a joint investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance.
Sabah, which cited "reliable sources in a special intelligence department" for its report, said Khashoggi was believed to have turned on the recording feature on the phone before entering the consulate.
In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-expects-saudi-cooperation-in-khashoggi-case-fm-cavusoglu-137850) also reports that speaking with reporters at the Turkish embassy residence in London, Çavuşoğlu said there is a consensus on forming a joint working group with Saudi officials over the case of Khashoggi.
“We launched an investigation after Khashoggi’s disappearance,” said Çavuşoğlu, adding: “This investigation is getting deeper.”
He said the consensus on forming a joint working group on the case with Saudi officials was reached after they requested one, but added “this does not mean that we will stop” Turkey’s own investigation.
Çavuşoğlu stressed that the findings of the investigation can be shared with this joint working group as Khashoggi is a Saudi national but “Saudi Arabia should be cooperating” by giving Turkish prosecutors and experts access to the consulate.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.10.18) reported that Turkey attracted nearly $7 billion in direct investment in the first eight months of 2018, the head of the country’s presidential investment office has said.
This figure was almost the same with the last year’s January-August period, Arda Ermut told state-run Anadolu Agency on Oct. 12.
He noted that Turkey is expected to attract over $11 billion direct investment by the end of the current year, which is more than the 2017’s figures.
“When looking at economic issues […] it is important that figures did not drop compared to the last year,” he said, adding: “But we think that Turkey’s investment potential was much higher.” The year 2019 will be a positive one with regards to investments due to structural measures, Ermut said.
“Turkey will continue to attract the attention of international investors,” he said.
In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-to-ease-foreign-investors-citizenship-process/1280680) also reported that Turkey will open service offices to ease citizenship or long-term residence permit procedures for foreign investors, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Saturday.
Last month, the country has reduced required limits for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship in order to encourage investment.
"Service offices will be opened in Istanbul and Ankara to follow and finalize citizenship or long-term residency permit processes for foreign visitors who met the conditions in a single location," the ministry said in a written statement.
Foreigners, who want to be a citizen of Turkey, need to make a $500,000 investment, buy real estate worth $250,000 or generate jobs for at least 50 people.
The ministry said offices, which will open on Oct. 22, will check conditions, support investors and provide consultancy and follow applications.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION