Under the title “Akinci is pleased with the Report!”, Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (17.10.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, evaluating yesterday the UN Secretary General`s report, expressed his satisfaction that the report reflected his view that if a possible negotiation process was to resume, it could only be successful only if it is not open-ended, it is a result-oriented with a strategic approach.
In his written announcement, Akinci referred to the re-appointment of Ms Lute by the Secretary General as an important aspect, expressing his satisfaction that his views regarding the modality were reflected in the report. Claiming that this important development in order to gain meaning should be discussed within the framework of the same sensitivity of understanding regarding the terms of reference, Akinci added that this is connected to the necessity to act with a strategic understanding and well-structured, focus on the result without being open-ended.
Referring to these previous meetings both with the UNSG and his temporary consultant to Cyprus, Akinci said that on all occasions he had voiced his views regarding the Cyprus talks and how they should proceed. He further argued: “The UN Secretary General in his report notes that the status quo in Cyprus is not sustainable and there is a need for permanent solution on the island. In addition to this he underlined the fact that a process that does not bring any outcome has been left in the past and that the only way the efforts towards finding a solution can be successful is if these efforts are result oriented and foreseen in the near future”.
Referring to the future visit to be carried out by Ms Lute, Akinci claimed that as the side that has always sought a solution and displayed a constructive stance on the Cyprus issue, they will continue to contribute towards the solution process on the island.
Noting that he will meet soon with President Anastasiades and commenting on the debate regarding “loose federation” and “central government with less power”, Akinci said: “If Anastasiades has some new views regarding the future of the island, then I will gladly listen to these views at the meeting which will be held very soon. However, it should be kept in mind that the solution to be found, regardless what it is called, if it would be a federal partnership state, and the effective participation of the sides in the powers which will be used jointly is inevitable. It is clear that the solution will be found by two founding states and the political equality will be one of the most important principles”.
Akinci concluded by saying that in the meeting with President Anastasiades, he hopes to discuss and determine the dates for the opening of the crossing points of Deryneia and Apliki. He claimed: “I want to remind that we, as the Turkish Cypriot side, are ready to open both crossing points”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen (17.10.18) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said that no one can endure a new failure in the Cyprus problem and for this reason, before the beginning of the negotiations, the Turkish side does not exclude any alternative, including the federal solution. In statements during a joint press conference yesterday in Ankara with Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Cavusolglu said that during their two-hour meeting they evaluated the relations between Turkey and the “TRNC”, as he called the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the island. He alleged: “We have evaluated especially the situation regarding the negotiations since Crans Montana and also what we should do on the issue of extracting the natural gas and oil reserves, which are around Cyprus and what will be done against the unilateral steps which have been taken or are being taken”.
Referring to the trilateral meetings held by the Republic of Cyprus with “some countries”, Cavusoglu said that he discussed with Ozersay how the interests of the Turkish Cypriot “people” and Turkey could be protected against these contacts.
Cavusoglu described as “important” the fact that no solution or state model is imposed in the UNSG’s report on Cyprus and reiterated the allegation that the Greek Cypriot side has not shown a good will for finding a solution in Cyprus. He further claimed:
“[…] Starting again negotiations for the sake of negotiations is meaningless now. No one can endure a new failure. For this reason we do not exclude any alternative before the beginning of the negotiations, including the federal solution. We should meet beforehand with the sides and agree on what we will be negotiating and the framework of these negotiations. And the negotiations need to be fruitful. We are in close cooperation with the TRNC in this process. Before any step which we will take, our friends come to Turkey or we go to the island. We discuss and consult with Mr president, the prime minister, deputy prime minister Kudret Ozersay and all parties which are in the government or the opposition. We take our steps within this framework. […]”
Referring to the hydrocarbons in Eastern Mediterranean, Cavusoglu alleged that they will respond to all “unilateral steps” and that during their meeting yesterday they discussed their timing on this issue. He claimed: “Everybody should know this: We say that both peoples have rights on the reserves around Cyprus. And from now on we will not hesitate to take any steps for the protection of the interests of the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey against unilateral steps. […]”
In his statements, Ozersay expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Turkey is by the “TRNC’s” side on every issue and added that in Turkey he has carried out consultations on the Cyprus problem, the future of Cyprus and the hydrocarbons in Eastern Mediterranean.
Referring to the UNSG’s report on Cyprus, Ozersay argued that it includes realistic evaluations and added: “The esteemed UNSG stressed the need and the importance of the sides to agree through a dialogue between them first on the issue of what they will be negotiating and how they will be negotiating. Therefore, the sides should have a joint vision for the future, a joint target. In any case, this is what we have been always stressing. In our view the fact that the UNSG underlined this and noted that some conditions exist, instead of saying sit and start negotiations from the point they have left off, is a realistic approach. […]”
Responding to a question, Cavusoglu said that before a new negotiating process begins, they will meet with all sides and determine what and how they will negotiate. Recalling that they had held a meeting with the Republic of Cyprus’ guarantor powers in New York, Cavusoglu argued: “Actually we meet, talk and greet each other with the Greek Cypriot side unofficially either in EU meetings or in UN meetings, but this does not mean that we recognized the Greek Cypriot side. In Crans Montana I held a face to face meeting with Anastasiades. Before that I had met with AKEL General Secretary. He is also a friend with whom I have worked together in the Council of Europe. Upon our invitation, he came to Turkey and we talked. You should know the following: As Turkey, as a country which is not obliged to give no one an account on any issue, the Cyprus issue is our joint cause. We consult with the administration of the TRNC for every step we take and everything we say. […] We hold these contacts when the esteemed president, the prime minister, the deputy prime minister and the chairmen of the other parties say to us that this kind of contacts are useful. That is, we take no step separately from the TRNC’s administration. […]”
Cavusoglu described as “intentional” the news published in the press regarding his meetings with officials of the Republic of Cyprus.
Replying on the same issue, Ozersay argued that if the Turkish Cypriot side was not an interlocutor, he would not have been in Ankara and Cavusoglu would not have visited the occupied area to hold contacts with Turkish Cypriot “officials”. “If the Turkish Cypriot side was not an interlocutor, the meeting in New York at the UNSG’s level would not have taken place”, he added and claimed: “It is obvious that especially the door of unofficial dialogue is the only necessary element for solving any problem. Therefore, creating such a debate and discussing on it causes damage and it is not beneficial from the point of view of the relations between Turkey and the TRNC”.
According to Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (17.10.18, http://www.brtk.net/ozersay-derdimiz-sularin-isinmasi-degil-sogumasidir/), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that the Turkish side has never taken and will never take a step for heating up the waters in Eastern Mediterranean. In statements to CNN-Turk television, Ozersay claimed that the Republic of Cyprus allows various countries, including the US, to use the naval and airbases in the government-controlled area of the island. He said that they closely follow the developments with Turkey and take some measures.
Ozersay alleged that as long as the Greek Cypriot side, as he described the Republic of Cyprus, continues taking “unilateral steps” in Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish Cypriot side will continue taking some measures which will balance these Greek Cypriot steps.
“Nothing can be more natural than this. These are closely followed and evaluated with [Turkey’s] Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu and we are taking our measures. All these however are not things which could be announced publicly”, he argued and claimed that “our proposal especially on energy and similar issues was for cooperation and in the worst possibility for deterrence”.
Noting that the Republic of Cyprus will most probably carry out a drilling in parcel 10 before the end of this year, Ozersay said that if this happens, the Turkish Cypriot side will also hold a drilling in the same area within the framework of the so-called license it had given to Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO). He alleged:
“The TRNC will carry out this drilling through the company. What we do is not different than what they are doing. What we do is taking steps and being de facto on the field. What we do is going after our rights […] At the moment we are showing a stance aiming at protecting the rights and interests of both the TRNC and Turkey and we will continue this”.
Referring to the UNSG’s report on Cyprus, Ozersay alleged that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to create the impression that security and guarantees have been cut off by the other issues, in spite of the fact that six chapters exist in the Cyprus problem. He claimed that in the negotiations there is a problem especially on the issue of sharing the administration and the wealth.
Commenting on the “loose federation idea”, he alleged that by expressing this idea the Greek Cypriots are actually telling the Turkish Cypriots that they are not ready to share the administration with them within the framework of political equality. He argued that it is not possible for the Turkish Cypriots to accept such an approach.
According to Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (16.10.18, http://www.brtk.net/ozersay-dogal-zenginlikler-isbirligi-icinde-kullanilmali/), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that a reference to the natural gas in Eastern Mediterranean is made in UNSG’s report on Cyprus and that the sincerity of the international community on the issue of cooperation in the area will be seen in the following period.
Addressing the opening ceremony of a symposium under the title “Law and Politics in Eastern Mediterranean” in Ankara, Ozersay claimed that they wish for the natural wealth to be used in cooperation in a manner which will create full interdependence.
He alleged the following:
“[…] The ideal thing would be for this to happen within the framework of the overall solution. However, if a comprehensive solution is not reached after 50 years or if it delays, the sides should obtain it [the natural wealth] without waiting for the solution. The thing which will abolish instability which will reduce the danger of conflict in the area is a full economic cooperation and interdependence. And a dialogue and a vision is undoubtedly needed for this. I believe that within the forthcoming period we will be able to achieve this all together and especially with Turkey”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (17.10.18, http://www.brtk.net/ozersay-tbmm-disisleri-komisyonunu-bilgilendiriyor/), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister, who continues his contacts in Ankara, briefed the Foreign Affairs Committee of Turkish Grand National Assembly about the “TRNC” and the regional developments.
Volkan Bozkir, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, speaking at the open session, said that there have been developments recently on the Cyprus issues and that the UNSG’s report has been published. Bozkir pointed to the importance of being briefed by Ozersay almost immediately regarding the developments on the Cyprus issue.
Noting that he was honoured to be present in the Parliament, which reflects the will of the Turkish people, Ozersay said: “It is important for us that the Cyprus issue is being discussed in the first meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee. I thank you for the invitation.” Noting that the members of the Committee will have meetings in very different platforms in the upcoming period, Ozersay claimed: “The Turkish Cypriot people are unfairly isolated by the world, and unfortunately in some of these platforms our voice is prevented to be heard. It will be extremely important to prevent this and to know that our demands, thoughts, sensitivities will reach some of these places through you. In this context, I believe that our today’s meeting and our evaluations will be important.”
Ozersay further argued: “We want to look to the future as TRNC with confidence and so far we have always revealed a political will towards a solution. We have always shown a peaceful attitude. In the coming period, we do not want to be imprisoned in continuously repeated vicious circles, which are becoming banal with some creative ideas. We want to look to a more stable future with more confidence. I would like to emphasize once again that we will continue to shape our foreign policy together with Turkey, which has been always next to us, as a strategic ally and the relations between Turkey and the TRNC, as it has been until today, will continue after this to be as a serious ally relationship.”
After the short statement to the press, the briefing meeting at the Foreign Affairs Committee was held.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (17.10.18) writes that so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, who is currently in Ankara, met with the Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar.
He also met with Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalın.
In addition, according to Ankara Anatolia news agency, (17.10.18) Ozersay met with Deputy Prime Minister Fuat Oktay. The meeting was not open to the press.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (17.10.18) reports that the hearings regarding the “lawsuit” filed against the paper’s publisher Sener Levent and editor-in-chief Ali Osman Tabak for publishing a caricature, which had allegedly insulted Turkish President Erdogan, started yesterday at occupied part of Nicosia’s “district court”.
“Police inspector” Isa Sevindik told the “court” that after the publication of the caricature on 8 December 2017, the “embassy” of Turkey in the occupied part of Nicosia filed a complaint that the Turkish President and the Turkish people were offended. The paper’s lawyer Tacan Reynar filed an objection when Sevindik attempted to submit this complaint as evidence. In his column, Sener Levent recalls that the caricature showed an ancient Greek statue peeing on Erdogan’s head.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.18) under the title: “The party’s members say that Tatar will win in the second round of the elections” publishes the results of the second part of a survey conducted by COMAR research company on behalf of Kibris Media Group, regarding the National Unity Party (UBP) forthcoming general congress which is scheduled to take place on October 27 and 28.
The survey was conducted with the telephone interview method.
Asked to reply to the question, “According to your opinion, which candidates will go to the second round of the elections?”, the participants in the survey replied as follows:
-I have no opinion: 21.4%
-Ersin Tatar-Huseyin Ozgurgun: 19%
- Sunat Atun-Huseyin Ozgurgun: 5.2%
-Sunat Atun-Ersin Tatar: 11.9%
-Faiz Sucuoglu-Huseyin Ozgurgun: 11.9%
-Faiz Sucuoglu-Sunat Atun: 9.5%
-Faiz Sucuohlu-Ersin Tatar: 21%.
The paper adds further that the great majority of the the National Unity Party( UBP) members, asked to reply to the question: “Which do you believe will be the winner if there will be a second round at the elections”, said that they consider that Ersin Tatar will be the winner. They further expressed the view that the two candidates to go to the second round will be Ersin Tatar and Faiz Sucuoglu. Also, according to the survey, in the case that Tatar goes to the second round of the elections either with Ozgurgun or Atun, he will be again the winner of the elections.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.10.18) reports that the mayor of the municipality of the occupied part of Lefkosia Mehmet Harmanci met yesterday with a delegation from Jerusalem, consisting of journalists, researchers, chairmen of several NGO’s and academicians.
The delegation, headed by Dr. Dahlia Scheindlin was briefed by Harmanci regarding the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and the negotiation process and the steps which are necessary to be taken for the capital of Lefkosia in the case of a solution.
The municipality of the occupied part of Lefkosia, in a written statement, explained that the delegation of experts coming from Jerusalem and Palestine, are visiting the “TRNC” as part of a research they carry out about Lefkosia as a divided city.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (17.10.18), during an excavation by archaeologists of the “department of antiquities and museums of the ministry of tourism and environment” in the occupied village of Akanthou, an ancient tomb of 1050-750 BC belonging to the Geometric period, was unearthed and many important historic antiquities and artefacts were found inside the tomb.
The paper reports that a total of 27 ancient artefacts were removed from the tomb.
Fuat Azimli, “director of the antiquities department”, said that the important findings were obtained during the excavation works, adding that those artefacts are of the most beautiful examples of the art of the geometric period used for ritual purposes. He concluded by saying that the artefacts will be displayed in museums after being maintained in a conservation laboratory.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-vows-op-in-east-syria-if-us-does-not-take-steps-on-ypg-137945) reports that Turkey has reiterated that it will not tolerate the delay of the removal of YPG troops from the Manbij province of Syria if the United States does not fulfill a bilateral agreement to this end, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, a day before U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to visit the Turkish capital following the release of a U.S. pastor.
“We cannot say a 90-day timeline on [the YPG withdrawal from] Manbij has been implemented. It has not. We know what we will do if it is not implemented. If necessary steps are not taken in the eastern Euphrates and if the process is delayed, we will take all the necessary steps at the highest level against the YPG/PYD, more precisely against the PKK,” Erdoğan said in his weekly address to his Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Oct. 16.
Erdoğan referred to an agreement with the U.S. that was brokered between the two foreign Μinisters on June 4, which stipulates the removal of YPG militants from Manbij in a 90-day timeline. The U.S. however, has never confirmed the deal introduced an exact timing for the removal of YPG troops from the city.
Erdoğan’s strong words against the U.S. came just a day before Pompeo is set to pay a visit to the Turkish capital to primarily discuss the ongoing investigation on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“They are not fleeing the region for no reason. The steps we have taken are to protect them. They are not different from what we did in Idlib, in Afrin or in Jarablus, in the entire terror corridor. Turkey had taken all these steps in full determinacy and will continue to do so,” Erdoğan said.
Turkish daily Sabah (17.10.18 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/10/16/president-erdogan-meets-with-us-secretary-of-state-pompeo-in-ankara) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ankara, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said, with their talks expected to focus on the disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) President Hakan Fidan and Presidency Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın were also present at the meeting. Çavuşoğlu will also hold a separate meeting with his U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, the Ministry said.
Pompeo arrived in Ankara on Wednesday from a visit to Riyadh where he met with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the case of missing journalist Khashoggi.
The initial statement Wednesday by the Foreign Ministry said Pompeo and Çavuşoğlu would discuss bilateral and regional issues including Syria.
Pompeo will also welcome the decision to release Pastor Andrew Brunson with his Turkish counterpart, Spokesperson Heather Nauert said, adding that he will also discuss the Khashoggi case and reiterate the U.S. offer to assist Turkey in its investigation.
A Turkish official reportedly said late Tuesday that Washington Post journalist and Riyadh critic Khashoggi was drugged, murdered and his body was cut into pieces after he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said Wednesday that Turkish authorities were waiting for joint agreement to search Saudi consul's residence.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/saudi-journalist-khashoggi-decapitated-after-fingers-cut-off-reports-137960) reports that the residence of the Saudi Consul is cordoned off by Turkish police in Istanbul, on Oct. 16, 2018, the day after Turkish police and prosecutors searched the Saudi Embassy after Riyadh gave the green-light amid global uproar over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi since Oct. 2.
Daily Yeni Şafak reported Oct. 17 that Saudi Arabia Consul Mohammad Utaybi’s voice could be heard in one of the recordings of Khashoggi’s “interrogation.”
After Utaybi told the interrogators to “do it somewhere else outside or I will be in trouble,” he was told to “shut up if you want to live when you are back in Arabia.”
Utaybi returned to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 16 before Turkish police searched his residence in Istanbul.
Qatar-based Al Jazeera reported the dissection of Khashoggi’s body inside the Consulate took seven minutes. It was conducted by Saudi forensics expert Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy, who was reportedly heard in the recordings while advising the interrogators to “listen to music” while he dissected the body.
According to Turkish police, al-Tubaigy was one of the 15 Saudis who had arrived in Istanbul on two planes and entered the Consulate while Khashoggi was inside. The group, which left Turkey on the same day, also included Saudi intelligence officers and Royal Guards.
The New York Times confirmed the identities of nine people in the group on Oct. 16, adding that at least four of them were previously part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s entourage on foreign trips.
A team of Turkish police spent more than nine hours in the consulate on Oct. 15 and Oct. 16 and the Associated Press reported that they found “certain evidence” about the killing of the prominent Saudi dissident.
Turkish officials would not comment on the disposal method for the body, pending investigation and a planned search of the Consul’s residence.
In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.10.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/jamal-khashoggi/turkey-to-solve-saudi-journalist-case-ruling-party/1283689) reports that
Turkey will do everything to solve the missing Saudi journalist's case, ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman Omer Celik said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters after the party's central executive board meeting, he said: “Turkey will do everything to solve missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s case and share the outcome with the entire world.”
When asked about reports that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and his body was chopped into pieces, Celik said: “We will clear all the questions but now Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office is in charge of the investigation and let’s wait how it concludes the case.”
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-court-issues-red-notice-for-journalists-dundar-tanir-137942) reports that the 27th High Criminal Court in Istanbul on Oct. 16 issued a red notice for journalists Can Dündar and İlhan Tanır on espionage charges, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Since both Dündar, daily Cumhuriyet’s former editor-in-chief, and Tanır failed to appear before the court on Oct. 16 for their hearing, a public prosecutor requested the issuance of an international red notice for the fugitives, the agency said. Dündar has been living in Germany since June 2016, whereas Tanır, a Cumhuriyet journalist, is based in Washington D.C.
Upon the prosecutor’s request, the court ruled the issuance of a red notice on the grounds that statements could not be taken from the defendants and adjourned the hearing.
In May 2016, the 14th High Criminal Court in Istanbul had convicted Dündar following the publication of images purporting to show arms being transported to Syria in trucks belonging to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT).
Dündar was arrested late November 2015 and held in prison until Feb. 26, 2016 when Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that his rights had been violated and ordered his release.
Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals ruled on March 9 that Dündar should be convicted and handed a sentence of 15 to 20 years in jail on charges of “espionage.”
Turkish daily Sabah (17.10.18 https://www.dailysabah.com/eu-affairs/2018/10/17/anti-turkey-weber-succeeding-juncker-as-eu-chief-would-be-disaster-ak-party-spox-says) reports that German conservative Manfred Weber, known for his anti-Turkey stance, succeeding Jean-Claude Juncker to run the Brussels administration would be a disaster for the European Union, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) spokesman Ömer Çelik said Tuesday after the party's Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting in Ankara.
Weber, 46, who leads the pan-EU conservative group in the European Parliament, announced last month that he would seek nomination as the European People's Party's lead candidate in the May 2019 elections with the aim of then taking over as President of the European Commission.
Responding to Weber's comments regarding Turkey's EU membership, Çelik said "We know that person, it is clear that he wants to replace Juncker. They [Weber] are making a mistake, they think they can rise to the top in some institutions by showing hostility towards Turkey. The only thing he talks about is opposing Turkey, he thinks he can replace Juncker with it."
Weber had called for EU membership talks with Turkey to be scrapped, saying it "made no sense."
"It would be a disaster for the EU if such mentalities came into such [leadership] positions. The far-right is the Daesh of Europe, Islamophobes and anti-Semites are Europe's Daesh," Çelik added, warning that Islamophobia and an anti-Erdoğan stance was poisoning Europe.
Reiterating that such hateful discourses could never harm Turkey, Çelik reminded that Turkey has been a strong European democracy for a century, and has always been a powerful European state.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION