No. 201/18 18.10.18
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
Columnist Cenk Mutluyakali, general director of Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen (18.10.18), commends on the statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during his joint press conference in Ankara the day before yesterdaywith Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, and reports that Cavusoglu’s “rude wording lacked diplomatic curtesy”. Under the title “While a new window of opportunity opened”, Mutluyakali wonders what was the need for this wording, if the intention was not to “bury the hope” in the Cyprus problem, at a time when “the UN report described the Turkish Cypriots’ sensitivities so well and opened a new window of opportunity”.
The columnist writes, inter alia, the following:
“[…] This wording that lacks diplomatic curtesy does not improve life. This is only an ‘adjustment’ in the street language. Actually, everybody knows that the statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu are mostly a reference to Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci. All together we are pretending that ‘it is not like this’. ‘We are not obliged to give account to anyone on any issue’. What kind of arrogance is this! […]
There is also the following ‘rigmarole’. ‘Whatever we do, we do it in consultation with the authorities of the TRNC. This is like a joke! Most of the times, the authorities of the TRNC read from Anatolia news agency what will happen.
Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci had submitted a map on the table in Geneva. The UN locked it in a safe. You know, that map which was ‘without Morfou’! What Erdogan said the following day? ‘Kokkina will unite with Morfou, they will be left to the TRNC, open and closed Varosha will be left to south Cyprus [and] a line will be drawn…’ What happened with the consultation?
Just six months ago Cavusoglu had visited the island, met with Akinci and they agreed that ‘it would be better if we did not make a joint statement’. Because the one was talking about ‘federation’ and the other about ‘two states’. After Crans Montana who said that ‘the UN parameters are over for us’? Wasthere any consultation?
Turkey’s effort to behave in the manner of being the ‘owner’ of Cyprus hurts the people of Cyprus. This is absolutely not needed. And the most saddening aspect of it. While this show of power that lacks diplomatic curtesy is staged, the TRNC’s minister of foreign affairs stands there as the ‘approving authority’.
The essence of the issue is that what they call ‘consultation’ is the approach that ‘Turkey says something and the TRNC accepts it unconditionally’. Whenever things get outside [this approach], a crisis is experienced.
I do not oppose meetings between ‘Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus’ […]. Akinci was also in New York. If you met him as well, would the end of the world come?
At a time when the UN report described the Turkish Cypriots’ sensitivities so well. At a time while a new window of opportunity was opened. What was the need for this wording? If the intention is not to bury ‘hope’”
Columnist Cenk Mutluyakali, general director of Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen (18.10.18), reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has received an invitation by Turkey to visit Istanbul on 29 October in order to attend the opening ceremony of megacity’s new airport, the name of which is not announced yet. Mutluyakali points out that the invitation came at a point when the relations with Turkey are bad as regards the Cyprus negotiations.
Referring to another issue, the columnist notes that Akinci had sent a message to President Anastasiades through Elizabeth Spehar, Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, saying that he wanted to meet with him before 29 October and announce the final date for the opening of the crossing points in Deryneia and Apliki. Arguing that all obstacles for the opening of the above-mentioned crossing points were overcome, the columnist reports that another aim on the meeting between the leaders will be to ask questions regarding the federal solution on the island and discuss Jane Holl Lute’s report to the UN Security Council.
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (18.10.18) reports that the United Cyprus Party (BKP) evaluated in a written statement the report submitted by the UN’s Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the Security Council on the Cyprus problem and called on the two leaders in Cyprus to pay attention to the warnings of the Secretary-General and undertake positive steps towards the direction of reaching to a solution on the Cyprus problem the soonest possible.
Evaluating the calling of the Guterres report to the two leaders in Cyprus to withdraw from a process on the Cyprus problem which is not result-oriented and to focus on result-oriented talks, the statement describes this as a step towards the right direction.
Also, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (18.10.18) reports that Abdullah Korkmazhan, issuing a written statement on behalf of the “Left movement” in the occupied area of Cyprus, evaluated the Guterres report and said that the report underlines the necessity for an urgent comprehensive solution on the Cyprus problem and points out further that the current status quo is not viable. Korkmazhan further said that the report has expressed the fact that the two sides are not ready for the resumption of the negotiation talks and that the sides, 15 months after the Crans Montana summit, have failed to persuade the General-Secretary on the issue of the resumption of the talks.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.10.18) under the front-page title: “Apliki and Deryneia crossing points are ready for opening”, reports on statements by so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman after inspecting yesterday the works which are taking place in the area of Lefka for the opening of the Apliki-Lefka crossing point.
Erhurman alleged that the works for the opening of the both crossing points Apliki-Lefka and Deryneia were completed. Referring to the recent statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who has said: “We will be ready for the opening of these two crossing points right after the Greek Cypriot side announces that it is ready”, Erhurman alleged that they do not have any technical difficulties on the opening of the crossing points, pointing out that they are now expecting for the two leaders’ approval on the political level.
Pointing out to the importance of the opening of the Apliki-Lefka crossing point, since it will contribute to the “economy”, to the ties of the two “people” and will further attract tourists, Erhurman underlined that both communities will be benefited by this step.
Erhurman added further that their expectation is for the Apliki-Lefka crossing point and the Deryneia crossing point to open simultaneously.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (18.10.18) reports that so-called minister of public work and transportation Tolga Atakan, who accompanied Erhurman on his visit to Lefka, said that everything is ready for the opening of Apliki and Deryneia crossing points and added that they wait for the two leaders’ decision on this issue.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.10.18) reports that Afrika’s lawyer Tacan Reynar questioned for three hours yesterday Isa Sevindik, the “investigation inspector for the case against the paper”, after Afrika published a caricature which was considered offending for the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
Upon a request by Reynar, Sevindik read loud at the “court” the written complaint issued by the “ambassador of Turkey to Lefkosia” Deryan Kanbay against Afrika which was addressed to the “general director of police” Suleyman Manavoglu. In the letter Kanbay claimed that both Erdogan and the Turkish people felt discomforted after the caricature was published.
Following Kanbay’s complaint, the chairman of the Nationalist Democracy Party )MDP) Buray Buskuvutcu also issued a complaint to the “police”. The number of complaints against the paper is ten.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.10.18) reports that Ali Kismir, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Press Workers Union (BASIN-SEN), said that “it is unacceptable that the Turkish embassy in Nicosia to make complain about Afrika newspaper on behalf of the ‘Turkish Cypriot people’”.
In a written statement, Kismir noted that “the mission of the Embassies everywhere in the world is to represent their countries and their duties are clear”. He further said that this was done in order “to silence a broadcasting organization” and “to intimidate the opposition”.
Kismir stressed that “the episodes in front of the office of Afrika newspaper after publishing the caricature is the biggest disgrace to democracy of the country” and added that they, as Press Workers’ union, will follow closely the process.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.10.18) reports that the so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, within the framework of his contacts in Ankara, met with the new “ambassador” of Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus, Ali Murat Basceri. Ozersay further met with new diplomats who study at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Diplomat’s Academy.
During the meetings which took place at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ozersay briefed the so-called ambassador regarding his contacts in Turkey and underlined the importance of dialogue and the importance of exchanging views between Turkey and the “TRNC” on “interstate level” and on “people’s level”.
Under the above title, Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (18.10.18 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/new-developments-in-east-mediterranean-energy-3463784) publishes the following article.
“Many news outlets have reported that Cyprus and Egypt will soon sign an agreement to construct an underwater pipeline from the former's offshore Aphrodite gas field to the latter's facilities for liquefied natural gas (LNG). The project is politically supported by the European Union, which would be the target market for LNG shipments. The pipeline is estimated to cost between $800 million and $1 billion, but gas would not start flowing until 2022.
In February of this year, Eni and Total announced that they had found gas in the Calypso offshore block, a field now estimated to be about the size of the giant Zohr field in Egypt's offshore. Three days after that, Turkish military vessels stopped an Eni drill ship that was on its way to drill in Block 3 of Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), southeast from Famagusta, in a region where Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot maritime claims overlap.
The Aphrodite field is in Block 12, part of which is claimed by Turkey, but not the sector where the gas field is located. But Block 6, to the southwest of Limassol, also became a conflict point, because parts of those waters are claimed both by Cyprus and by Turkey itself.
Turkey does not recognize Cyprus's EEZ because Turkey is not a party to the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Treaty. Earlier this year, Egypt said it would confront Turkey if it does not respect the 2013 Cypriot-Egyptian agreement that delimited their respective EEZs in accordance with UNCLOS. That agreement gives Egypt access to a sector of the East Mediterranean that is indicated to be of interest in connection with the 2015 discovery of the Zohr gas field.
The tension comes after the collapse, in summer of last year, of the intercommunal talks on Cyprus, and in anticipation of the possibility of their resumption. […]
Meanwhile, Turkey intends to begin drilling soon, starting in its own waters, but probably in maritime areas of Cyprus's claimed EEZ later. For example, according to one report, if Exxon begins drilling in Block 10, then Turkey may begin drilling in Block 8. Paradoxically, this may make the intervention by Turkish military vessels, regarding third-party drilling as in the past, in fact less likely.
As if in compensation for that, the Turkish naval forces have recently proposed establishing a naval base in Cyprus, although the location has not publicly been identified. At almost the same time, Cyprus and France have made progress towards a framework agreement by which the French Navy could be hosted in Larnaca.
That development is more related to France's recently-increased military presence in the East Mediterranean, in connection with Syria. Nevertheless, it is not without implications for the military stakes over the gas fields in the region.
At the same time, the EastMed gas pipeline continues to make progress on the drawing-boards even if prospects about its eventual implementation remain doubtful. A trilateral meeting among the heads of state of Cyprus, Greece, and Israel continued the discussions of this project for a pipeline from the region that would eventually land gas not only in Greece but also in Italy.
Israel believes it has another 2 trillion cubic meters of natural gas awaiting discovery, more than twice the amount already proven in the remarkable Leviathan and Tamar discoveries. However, foreign firms are in general hesitant to explore Israeli possibilities out of fear of alienating Arab countries with which they have long-standing relations.
Such fears seem increasingly out of date at a time when an effective strategic entente exists among Israel and certain prominent Arab states, for example over the Syrian question. Indeed, although certain companies decline formally to even meet with Israel over energy development, others such as Exxon Mobil, Total, and Woodside Petroleum are now engaging in advanced talks.
Israel's offshore resources also likely include several billion barrels of oil. It will moreover put about 20 offshore blocks on auction this autumn, and has recently changed regulations, allowing export by foreign companies of greater quantities of the natural gas that they may produce.
Indeed Noble, which discovered the Tamar and Leviathan fields almost ten years ago, is one of two companies (Delek is the other) that will be supplying natural gas to Egypt, partly with an eye on the same underutilized LNG processing plants that look to be importing from Cyprus as well.”
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (18.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-clear-manbij-if-us-falis-to-do-so-erdogan-tells-pompeo-137991) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Turkey could easily clear the northern Syrian city of Manbij of the YPG if the United States failed to do so, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.
“Turkey is ready to “eliminate terrorists in Syria’s Manbij if the U.S. is facing difficulties,” Cavusoglu told reporters following his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ankara. Pompeo also heled a meeting with Erdoğan at the Eserboğa airport on Oct. 17.
“We have discussed the issue of (Jamal) Khashoggi and Manbij. It was a fruitful discussion. We have exchanged views on many issues including the fight against PKK,” Cavusoglu told reporters.
“We have consensus that there is no room for sanctions anymore in our bilateral relations,” he noted.
The US side also accepted that the agreement with Turkey to clear Manbij of the YPG had been delayed, the minister said.
Meanwhile, Pompeo urged Turkey to release a Turkish-U.S. citizen and former NASA scientist, among other detainees, days after Ankara turned over U.S. evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson. He raised the issue to Minister Cavusoglu, the U.S. State Department said in a statement.
“The Secretary also discussed with Foreign Minister Cavusoglu the continued wrongful detention of Dr. Serkan Gölge and other U.S. citizens as well as locally employed staff from U.S. Mission Turkey,” department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement on Oct. 17.
After talks with the Saudi leadership in Riyadh marked by expressions of mutual goodwill, Pompeo met President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara. Pompeo held 40 minutes of talks at the airport with Erdoğan and later with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Cavusoglu said after the meeting that the investigation had to be left to prosecutors. “Unfortunately, the search at the residence [of the Saudi Consul General] did not happen last night. Saudis claimed that his [Consul’s] family was inside,” said the Minister.
“We hope the police will enter the residence today [Oct. 17]. We have said before that Saudi Arabia must cooperate with us in every aspect without delay,” he said. The Minister, who said the search would also cover the Consul’s vehicles, said the Consul was free to travel home due to his diplomatic immunity and had not been deported.
Cavusoglu also criticized the way the Saudi Consul General “behaved” in a video in which he shows the Consulate around to foreign journalists a few days after the journalist disappeared, saying his behavior was “disrespectful” and his attitude was “wrong.”
“The Consul’s behavior and approach drew reactions after Khashoggi disappeared,” he said.
Interviewed by state-run Anadolu news agency, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu refused to be drawn into commenting on what may have happened inside the Consulate.
“I have my own opinions... I have strong op inions but that [the investigation] is the job of the judiciary,” he said.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (17.10.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/erdogan-says-turkey-expects-full-support-from-moldova-against-feto-terror-group-3463812), Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said that Turkey expects unhesitant support from Moldova in the fight against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). "In the joint fight against FETO, the Turkish people expect from their Moldovan friends to show the support needed without hesitation," Erdoğan said.
He also warned the Moldovans against FETÖ, saying that the terror group infiltrated state institutions and may do the same in their country, in a press conference with his Moldovan counterpart Igor Dodon.
Erdogan also said that one or both of the Turkish public lenders Halk Bank and Ziraat Bank will open a branch in Moldova soon followed by inspections of the lenders in the country.
Dodon, for his part, said that Turkey contributed to a "strong and stable" Moldova. "Turkey is an important example for the protection of our national interest and to create good relations," he added.
Dodon also said he made a pledge to Erdogan to secure the autonomy of “Gagauzia Region” in the Moldovan Constitution. The autonomous territory is home to a mostly Gagauz population -- an Orthodox Christian, Turkic community. (…)
Erdogan is accompanied by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Education Minister Ziya Selcuk, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan and Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu.
Stating that they thoroughly discussed during their talks the bilateral relations between Turkey and Moldova, President Erdoğan said that it is of great importance to Turkey that Moldova’s territorial integrity and sovereignty be protected, which is the only way to maintain the climate of peace and stability in the region.
On the same issue, Turkey’s Presidency official website (17.10.18, https://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/news/542/99187/-gagauzia-holds-a-special-place-in-our-relations-with-moldova-) reported that Erdogan, during a joint press conference with President Dodon of Moldova following their talks, said that they thoroughly discussed during their talks the bilateral relations between Turkey and Moldova, adding that it is of great importance to Turkey that Moldova’s territorial integrity and sovereignty be protected, which is the only way to maintain the climate of peace and stability in the region.
Erdogan further noted that Turkey will continue its support to the resolution of the Transnistrian conflict through peaceful means within the framework of these principles. He added: “Gagauzia, where the Gagauz Turks live, holds a special place in our relations with Moldova. I noted in our talks that we attach importance to the immediate implementation of the legal amendments that concern the Gagauz Turks.”
Underscoring that the strategic partnership declaration signed prior to the press conference by the two Presidents is not merely a piece of paper, Erdogan said: “In that way, our relations have been elevated to the next level, the level of strategic partnership”.
“With those signatures, the High Level Strategic Cooperation Mechanism, set to convene biennially, has been established between Turkey and Moldova,” Erdogan said.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs published in its website (18.10.18 http://www.mfa.gov.tr/no_-276_-sn-bakanimizin-arnavutluk-ziyareti-hk_en.en.mfa) that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit Albania on 18-19 October 2018 and Kosovo on 19-20 October 2018.
During the meetings, bilateral relations with Albania and Kosovo will be discussed in all dimensions, and views will be exchanged on regional and international developments.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION