Recent News

Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-20-22.07.18

No. 203/18                                                                                                         20-22.10.18

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci says that the Deryneia and Apliki crossing points will open in the middle of November

2. Burcu issues statement

3. Erdogan: Greek Cypriot side explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean are doomed to fail

4. Nami-Dönmez hold a press conference

5. Özersay-Mavroyiannis meet

6. Ozersay: “Morfou is exploited politically”

7. Samani speaks on negotiations process

8. Arikli: “Those who attack Cavusoglu are Turkey’s enemies”

9. Confiscation against Havadis is seen as an effort to silence the press

10. Denktas on “loose federation” and the economic crisis

11. “International CEO Forum 2018” in occupied Kyrenia

B. Turkish Press

1. Ozersay: Only aim of Turkish Cypriots is to protect their rights

2. Erdoğan, Trump hold phone conversation on Khashoggi

3. Erdoğan vows broadening rights, freedoms

4. Giant refinery opens in Turkey’s İzmir for $6.3 bln investment

 

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci says that the Deryneia and Apliki crossing points will open in the middle of November       

Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs newspaper (22.10.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that during the meeting he will hold on 26 October with President Anastasiades they will discuss the future of the island and determine a date for the opening of the Deryneia and Apliki crossing points. Addressing a festival in occupied Ampelikou village, Akinci argued the following as regards his meeting with President Anastasiades:

I believe that we will determine a date with Anastasiades, which will not be very far away, and if we need to be more specific, around the middle of November, regarding the opening of the gates. I wish for this to seriously contribute not only to Lefka, but the villages bound to its region. […]”

Referring to the Cyprus negotiations, Akinci argued that “the entire world knows now that we have not the luxury of wasting any more time at the junction which we have come”.

Noting that his view that open-ended negotiations’ period has ended was included in the UNSG’s report even in an indirect manner, Akinci claimed: “Therefore, there could be result oriented processes which will not be open-ended and will be completed within a reasonable period of time. ‘The period of open-ended processes which are not result oriented belongs to the past’. This is what the report says. We have exhibited a decisive stance within a framework which is in harmony with this mentality and without abandoning the understanding for a solution, without throwing the agreements reached until today into the garbage. Of course, we will continue this decisive stance from now on as well”.

Referring to the same statements, illegal Bayrak television (22.10.18, http://www.brtk.net/akinciderinya-ve-aplic-kapilari-onumuzdeki-ay-acilabilir/)  reports on its website that Akinci touched upon the “loose federation” and said that he will listen “with an open mind” to what President Anastasiades has to say. He noted that the Turkish side has all along supported “a structure of two states” and that “the powers of the founding states should be at an adequate level”.  He argued:

If a partnership state will be established in Cyprus, the common powers should be commonly used, that is in other words, the decisions should be taken with the participation of both sides. If these are respected, there is nothing which could not be agreed”.

(I/Ts.)              

2. Burcu issues statement

Illegal Bayrak (20.10.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=baris-burcu-issues-statement) broadcast that Barıs Burcu, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, evaluated the latest developments that have taken place on the Cyprus problem.

In his statement Burcu  said that the Cyprus report presented by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was compatible to a great extend with the views put forward at the negotiating table by the Turkish Cypriot side under the leadership of Akıncı.

He said that Akinci’s managing the Cyprus negotiations process with his sincere, determined and consistent stance had been effective.

Also making a statement regarding a loose federation, Burcu said that the Turkish Cypriot side had no intention of displaying a fundamentalist or hard line stance against discussions taking place on new or creative ideas.

He said that up until now the Turkish Cypriot side has always said that they are open to discussions regarding further developing the agreements that have been reached at the negotiations.

“New ideas should not be aimed at removing the federation formula that all sides have agreed on and accepted as its founding principles. Discussions should aim at further developing and strengthen these ideas” said Burcu.

Referring to the issue of new border crossings opening on the island, Burcu said that Akinci  had put forward a strong political will for two new crossing points to be opened between the two sides and had worked so that the crossing points could be prepared.

Saying  that the Turkish Cypriot side had prepared the border crossings to be opened, he  said that Akıncı would be coming together with President Nicos Anastasiadis on the 26th of October and they hoped that after discussions on the Deryneia and Aplki gates have been completed they will be able to announce the opening date for the gates.

“Akıncı also hopes to talk to Mr. Anastasiadis about his concept of a loose federation” said Burcu.

“During the talks up until now discussions regarding the power of a possible federal structure were determined and all other powers apart from this were given to the constituent states” he said and added that in the federal powers that were decided, the participation of the Turkish Cypriots was a fundamental principle.

 “This is what we cannot digest. This is an undisputable truth. In the decisions that were made, the Turkish Cypriot people had political equality and active participation in the decision making process. Something apart from this situation cannot be accepted” said Burcu.

 

3. Erdogan: Greek Cypriot side explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean are doomed to fail

Illergal Bayrak (22.10.18http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=hydrocarbon-resources) Turkish President Tayyip  Erdogan made a statement regarding the natural resources surrounding the Eastern Mediterranean and referring to the actions of the Republic of Cyprus stated the following:

“We are saddened by their unilateral hydrocarbon explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean that are doomed to fail.”

Erdoğan said that Turkey continues to respond firmly to “impositions” in the Eastern Mediterranean.

He said that Turkey will continue to respond to these sorts of imposition both in the field and diplomatically.

“Everyone will see and understand in the end that these attempts that continue to disregard our country and our brotherhood will end in failure” said the Turkish President.

 

4. Nami-Dönmez hold a press conference

Illegal Bayrak (20.10.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=nami-donmez-hold-press-conference) broadcast that Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez has announced that the Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa Seismic Research vessel will continue with its “duties” in the Mediterranean.

In a joint press conference with the “minister of economy and energy” Özdil Nami who was in İzmir, the Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez  criticised the  what he called “unilateral efforts being carried out by the Greek Cypriots administration on the island’s natural resources” by saying that it is possible to accept these efforts as an agreement had not been reached yet sharing the island’s natural resources.

Saying  that for years a variety of collaboration have been carried out between the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkey”, the Turkish Minister said that projects that would protect the island’s security of supply were gaining momentum.

On his part  Nami said  that Turkey would always support and protect the interest of the “TRNC”.

Explaining that close cooperation between Turkey and the “TRNC” would continue in the energy field,  Nami said: “Steps are also being taken to protect the interests of the Turkish Cypriot people offshore the island as well”.

“We have always extended our hand of friendship but the Greek Cypriot side has always preferred to take unilateral steps. Therefore we will continue to take steps to protect our interests” said Nami.

 

5. Özersay-Mavroyiannis meet

Illegal Bayrak (20.10.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-mavroyannis-meet) broadcast that “deputy prime minister foreign minister” Kudret Özersay held an unofficial meeting with the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis in Limassol.

In a statement he made via his social media account, Özersay said that he had met with the Greek Cypriot negotiator in New York and this time met with him in Limassol to discuss different issues and exchange views.

“In Cyprus for the past 50 years we have been negotiating what is going to happen in the future and carrying out theoretical discussions and therefore we have not been able to live in the now. We have been passing on the opportunities to understand one another. I give great importance to carrying out direct dialogue without proving anything to the United Nations or any other international actors” said Özersay via his social media statement.

 

6. Ozersay: “Morfou is exploited politically”

Illegal Bayrak (22.10.18) broadcast that  “foreign minister” Kudret Özersay claimed that  “Morfou  has been politically exploited both in the south and the north within the context of the Cyprus problem”.

Özersay’s words came during a meeting organised by his Peoples’ Party in occupied Morfou.

Also present at the meeting was the HP Secretary General Yenal Senin, the “minister of public works and communication” Tolga Atakan, the “minister of interior” Ayşegül Baybars , “deputies” from the party as well as other party officials.

Speaking during the meeting, Özersay said that political parties had used Morfou for political reasons.

“My view on the issue is that the more we discuss whether or not Morfou will be given away as a concession the further we drag ourselves down. We don’t need to discuss this issue for another 50 years and waste our lives. To discuss such an issue in the absence of a negotiations process will only harm us and encourage uncertainty. Opportunity should not be given for this issue to be exploited politically” he said.

Also touching upon the negotiations, the HP leader said that the issue of maps was one of the sub-chapters in the talks.

“It would be wrong and inappropriate to discuss maps, particularly when both sides withdrew from the table the maps they had presented in the last negotiation process which had collapsed. If we insist on this issue no progress can be achieved” he said.

Özersay added that it would be wrong to use this issue for propaganda purposes.

“What needs to be done is to further develop and strengthen Morfou” he argued.

7. Samani speaks on negotiations process

Illegal Bayrak (22.10.18) broadcast that Meltem Onurkan Samani, the “special advisor for history and political affairs” of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci  has said that Akıncı’s determined and sincere stance towards reaching a settlement was the reason for the end of the approach for open-ended and fruitless negotiations processes.

Speaking on BRT, Samani said that “the 5 party conference which had convened as a result of Akıncı’s efforts had forced the Greek Cypriot side to truly face the facts of the settlement which was being negotiated at the table”.

“This was made official with the Secretary General’s latest report. For the first time in the history of the negotiations process, a UN report stated that an open-ended process was no longer supported” she said.

Stating that Akinci  will be seeking clarification from President  Anastasiades about his latest ideas and proposals, Samani said: “I don’t think there will be any problems if he (Anastasiades) has ideas that could be useful, especially if he is saying that some powers or authorities should reside with the constituent states. However if this approach is aimed at removing the Turkish Cypriots from the process of the active participation in the decision making process in the new partnership state, then it is out of the question for us to accept this.

She also said that the upcoming meeting between the two leaders will reveal the true intentions of the Greek Cypriot side.

“If the Greek Cypriot leader intends to start a new open ended process, to resume unilateral hydrocarbon exploration and to continue the status quo, then all will be revealed at the leaders upcoming meeting.”

 

8. Arikli: “Those who attack Cavusoglu are Turkey’s enemies”

Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (22.10.18) reports that Erhan Arikli, leader of the Revival Party (YDP), argued that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is subjected to a systematic attack in the “TRNC”, adding that those who attack him are Turkey’s enemies and some people who support them are “TRNC’s officials”.

In a written statement, Arikli said that since the establishment of YDP, they have been saying that the thesis of federation has been a dead end and that the time for a plan B has come. He further argued: “Now, Turkey says new things, the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades says new things, even the UN Secretary-General in his report said that new things should be said. But some circles, who say that they are speaking on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people, still insist singing the old songs. In that case, this people will leave them in the past and continues on its way.  These people cannot tolerate meaningless negotiations for another 50 years. I thank personally and on behalf of my party Mr Cavusoglu, who has expressed this clearly and made it Turkey’s official thesis”.

(DPs)

 

9. Confiscation against Havadis is seen as an effort to silence the press       

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen newspaper (20.10.18) reported that “executive officers” visited Havadis newspaper’s offices on Friday and confiscated the paper’s belongings, because it did not pay compensation to Kıbrıs newspaper’s former administrator Bilge Nevzat, as the “court” had ordered. The “officers” confiscated the paper’s furnishings and attempted to take its computers as well.   

Havadis had published statements about Nevzat made in Turkey by Neriman Nadir, the spouse of Kıbrıs newspaper’s owner Asil Nadir. Nevzat had filed a “lawsuit” against Havadis in March 2015. The paper appealed against the “decision” providing for payment of compensation to Nevzat. The confiscation took place before the “decision” as regards Havadis “appeal” to be taken.

The chairmen of Turkish Cypriot journalists’ union and press employees’ trade union, Sami Ozuslu and Ali Kismir respectively stated that they will use any kind of “legal and organizational power” against the silencing of the press and the violation of the freedom of the press.

In a joint written statement, Ozuslu and Kismir expressed their concern about “the planned attacks” carried out against the press by various circles recently. They described the confiscation against Havadis as a “frightening incident” and argued that the attempt to confiscate the paper’s computers violates “article 29” of their “constitution”, which provides for protection of the instruments of the press.

(I/Ts.)

 

10. Denktas on “loose federation” and the economic crisis

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (22.10.18) reports that Serdar Denktas, self-styled minister of finance, speaking at his party event at occupied village Elia, referred also to the proposal of President Anastasiades on “loose federation”. He noted that they have been defending this for years now and claimed: “You should know that there is no intention for solution in the Greek Cypriot side. (…) they want to save time by resuming a negotiation process. No need to play such a game.”

Referring also to the economic crisis and the difficult times that they are all going through, Denktas said that the “public sector” will receive  a 22.5% increase in salaries in January next year.

Noting that everyone was experiencing the consequence of the economic crisis, he added that “the treasury was feeling the impact of the crisis considerably”.

Explaining that he had told trade union representatives during a meeting held recently that they would not be able to reflect the rise in the cost of living for October, November and December in the salaries, Denktas said they are preparing the “state budget” accordingly. He added: “However still, we will be raising the salaries of the public sector, pensioners and those who receive social welfare benefits by 22.5% as of January”.

Stating that they are trying to get over this difficult time through their own means, he criticized the approach of civil society organizations and the trade unions. He further argued: “There is a big reaction from the trade unions and the civil society organizations. That’s why I’ve recently said that they were the biggest supporters of the status quo and my assessment was not wrong. They want the continuation of the current situation. There are some among them who argue that I should ask for more money from Turkey when I tell them that we cannot give more, our funds are limited. When we ask for more, then they tell us that they don’t want Turkey’s money or influence. Unfortunately there are such organizations. I treat everyone equally and I meet with all of them. I believe our future is bright. We will see better days”.

(DPs)

 

11. “International CEO Forum 2018” in occupied Kyrenia

Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (22.10.18) reports that the “International CEO Forum 2018”, will be held under the auspices of the World Federation of DFIs (Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific) and the “TRNC Development bank” in the occupied Kyrenia, between October23-25, 2018.

According to the paper, the theme of this year’s conference is “DFIs and the Green Economy”. More than a hundred CEO and Directors from 40 countries will take part in the Forum.

(DPs)

 

 

B. Turkish Press

 

1. Ozersay: Only aim of Turkish Cypriots is to protect their rights

Turkish Daily Sabah (22.10.18) publishes the following interview of the “foreign minister Kudret Özersay.

The interview is as follows:

“Kudret Özersay asserted the importance of evaluating the root cause of the dispute over Cyprus, which has continued for decades without a solution.

Turkish Cypriots never sought to escalate tensions and conflict but only tried to protect their rights, which is why they should not be expected to be mere spectators during the resolution process, Özersay said.

Turkish Cypriots are only trying to protect their rights, Kudret Özersay […] said, referring to conflict resolution process within the Mediterranean island of Cyprus that has been continuing for decades now.

Speaking to Daily Sabah, Özersay asserted that the Turkish Cypriots never sought to escalate tensions and conflict but no one should expect them to be a mere spectator while the Greek Cypriots realize defense and military cooperation with countries such as the U.S., Egypt and Israel. He added that the Turkish Cypriots are taking their own countermeasures with the aim of deterring other countries from trying to take advantage of them.

"Now, they're trying to make the U.S. side with them via military cooperation. What we have issues with is that they're claiming Turkey is a threat to them in the Eastern Mediterranean due to the dispute in maritime jurisdiction. They allege that they're trying to thwart this so-called threat," Özersay said.

Deeming these claims as baseless, he affirmed that Turkish Cypriots are only trying to protect their rights and will not allow any kind of fait accompli. In terms of maritime jurisdiction and the natural gas reserves found in the Eastern Mediterranean, Özersay said that international powers acknowledge that these resources also belong to Turkish Cypriots.

Regarding the disputed sea territories, Özersay explained that they have a slightly different approach than Turkey.

Affirming that Turkish Cypriots are willing to cooperate with Greek Cypriots over disputed territories, he stated that Turkey does not allow any action to be taken in territories it has claims to.

"Turkey won't allow vessels that are there for excavations; Turkey either won't allow them access or force them to leave. This is done by deterring these vessels. In this respect, our policies are similar with a few minor divergences. These policies shouldn't be confused with each other. There are territories on the south of the island where Turkey doesn't have stake. We'll hold excavations there as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus together with Turkish Petroleum," he added.

Last week, the Turkish Navy stopped a Greek frigate from harassing a Turkish research ship in the Eastern Mediterranean. The seismic and drilling vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa was carrying out research activity, as had been previously announced, on the Turkish continental shelf of the Güzelyurt Research Coast off the Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to their sources around the area.

Earlier this month, Ankara voiced criticism against the move of the Greek Cypriot administration in the Eastern Mediterranean, inviting energy giants to bid for a license to explore in the area designated as Block 7, one of the blocks located in the unilaterally declared Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Turkish Foreign Ministry stated previously that the move disregarded the inalienable natural resource rights of Turkish Cypriots, the co-owners of the island.

[…]

Speaking on the current state of affairs between the TRNC and Greek Cypriot administration, Özersay expressed that negotiations have been interrupted. He touched upon the United Nations report which underscores certain conditions for the reiteration of negotiations, deeming it realistic but lacking in certain aspects.

"The report states that both parties should discuss whether they have a common ideas and vision regarding the future of Cyprus. Similarly, the U.N. says both administrations should agree on the definition of a rapprochement before initiating negotiations. I believe this is a realistic approach. Moreover, the report suggests that both parties should also determine how the negotiations will go on. In short, it should be mutually agreed what is being negotiated and how it will be negotiated. However, the report lacks in terms of the root cause of the disaccord; there is an ethnic disaccord we can talk about," he said.

Stressing on the importance of addressing the root cause, Özersay stated that it should be researched thoroughly and indicated that the U.N report did not have any evaluations about the said root cause. He stated that the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tasked his representative to uncover the root cause of the issue and whether a common vision exists between the two parties in Cyprus.

In this respect, he indicated that the root cause was not included in the report for various reasons such as not to discuss the issue at the U.N. Security Council, not to take a risk or the secretary-general not willing to risk his own reputation on this matter.

Özersay underscored that they have been negotiating with the Greek Cypriot administration to form a federal structure for almost 50 years.

"Federal partnership means having equal access to administration, political power and wealth. This requires both a constitution and a federal understanding which is ready to share. In 2004, during Annan's term, the U.N. prepared a report which was not ratified by the Security Council. Nevertheless, this doesn't make what the report states incorrect. In the secretary-general's report, it's stated that the Greek Cypriots aren't ready to share the administration and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots after the referendum. For this reason, if we're to discuss federal partnership and focus on federal partnership in negotiations, we need the Greek Cypriots to shift their mindset toward a more participative state, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also stated," he said.

Özersay also talked about the loose federation proposition by the Greek Cypriots. According to him, this proposition foresees a smaller government in terms of authority while clearly indicating that the Turkish Cypriots will have the lesser role in administration and wealth as the Greek Cypriots are not ready to share power equally.

 

"They expect us to make concessions in terms of political equality, active participation, decision making and representation. In return, they want to share the authority in a different way. This approach is something we're accustomed to for almost 50 years; they're talking about federal partnership while clearly expressing that they don't want to share the authority with the loose federation proposition," he said.

Özersay asserted that a different and creative kind of a federation model could be discussed if the political and sociological basis for it was there. Deeming the loose federation proposition as an uncreative approach, Özersay signified that its implementation would perpetuate the vicious circle even though it may acknowledge the root cause and the Greek Cypriots unwillingness to share the power.

He urged that this matter should be discussed with sincerity while adding that both parties should agree on the methodology, schedule and consequences of the negotiations.

"Regardless of a paradigm shift, the Greek Cypriots should ask themselves whether they are ready to share the administration and wealth with us, which is an indispensable component of federal partnership," he said.

Özersay stressed that the Greek Cypriot administration has been ruling the island like a unitary state without any concession or compromise, with certain exceptions, due to its EU membership after 2004.

"For this reason, the negotiations for federal partnership are mostly rendered hypothetical and conjectural. This is the situation. I don't believe the Greek Cypriots have internalized the idea that, despite the difference in their populations, Turkish Cypriots are their equals politically," he continued.

Asserting that the Turkish Cypriots never sought to escalate tensions and conflict, Özersay stated that no one should expect them to be a mere spectator while the Greek Cypriots realize defense and military cooperation with countries such as the U.S., Egypt and Israel. He signified that the Turkish Cypriots are taking their own countermeasures with the aim to deter.

"I have met with Turkey's minister of defense three times within a month or two. I can say that these meetings were productive; we have a similar understanding. Greek Cypriots are allowing other countries to use their military bases in the region. Through this, they are trying to make France and Italy side with them. They have tried the same with Russia in the past by buying S-300s and deploying them in Cyprus. Now, they're trying to make the U.S. side with them via military cooperation. What we have issues with is that they're claiming Turkey is a threat to them in the Eastern Mediterranean due to the dispute in maritime jurisdiction. They allege that they're trying to thwart this so-called threat."

Deeming these claims as baseless, he affirmed that Turkish Cypriots are only trying to protect their rights and will not allow any kind of fait accompli. In terms of maritime jurisdiction and the natural gas reserve found in the Eastern Mediterranean, Özersay asserted international powers acknowledge that these resources also belong to Turkish Cypriots.

"Let's say we have a glass of water there. After saying that this glass of water belongs to the two of us, you're deciding whether this water should stay in the glass or in a plastic cup, whether this water would be consumed cold or hot, or how much of it will be consumed and preserved without asking. It's contradictory. If these natural resources belong to the two of us, together we need to agree on the administrative processes, how it should be extracted and which international powers will extract them. Yet, you decide which company should extract it by itself, decide the share of the company, through which route should the resource be transferred and with an FLNG [floating liquefied natural gas] platform or a pipeline. This is a matter which concerns the political, economic and strategic future of Cyprus. If you're so willing to resolve the Cyprus issue, you shouldn't decide on all these matters by yourself."

Özersay stated that Turkish Cypriots are open to negotiations on these matters and ready to cooperate, if the Greek Cypriots are open and ready as well.

"However, if you're not ready, we will make our own deals. We reached an agreement with Turkey regarding the delimitation of continental shelf as you've done with other countries. We have licensed Turkish Petroleum as you've licensed Total, Eni and ExxonMobil. We're realizing seismic explorations just like you. Now, you're saying that you will excavate, so will we. This is valid for all territories belonging to the Turkish Cypriots," he asserted.

Regarding disputed sea territories, Özersay affirmed that Turkish Cypriots are willing to cooperate with Greek Cypriots disputed territories and also he stated that Turkey does not allow any action to be taken in territories it has claims to.

"Turkey won't allow vessels that are there for excavations; Turkey either won't allow them access or forces them to leave. This is done by deterring these vessels. In this respect, our policies are similar with a few minor divergences. These policies shouldn't be confused with each other. There are territories on the south of the island where Turkey doesn't have stake. We'll hold excavations there as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus together with Turkish Petroleum," he added.

Özersay stressed that the TRNC's foreign policy is closely tied with the Cyprus issue while it is not limited to it.

"I'm 45 years old; since my birth, I'm entangled in this issue. This issue is older than me. For instance, I've been in negotiations with three U.N. secretary-generals, four Greek Cypriot leaders and three TRNC presidents. In terms of our legitimate rights and interests, we've an overlapping foreign policy with Turkey; we always signify this fact. However, there's more to our foreign policy. Firstly, we want to eliminate Turkish Cypriots' international isolation. Secondly, we want to increase TRNC's international visibility by joining all possible platforms to express Turkish Cypriots' expectations, outlooks, sensibilities and demands along with participating in issues the world faces. This is what our foreign policy seeks. For instance, we want to contribute to the counterterrorism efforts and cooperate in finding refugees shelter, help them safely reach secure destinations. We're cooperating with U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees for some refugees who left Syria," he said.

Asserting that not being recognized by other countries is not an excuse to shy away from global issues such as the refugee crisis, Özersay expressed the TRNC's willingness to contribute and cooperate. He affirmed that they do not allow criminals who have committed a crime in another country to settle in the TRNC.

"If a criminal who has committed a crime in their own country escapes and tries to relocate in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, we won't allow it. The TRNC isn't a 'safe haven' for criminals; we are always ready to cooperate in these matters. These countries may not have extradition agreements with us as they don't recognize our sovereignty; however, both the police and intelligence services have become more open to cooperate with us recently. In return, we're proving that we're a trustworthy partner by extraditing people who have committed crimes and are sought by Interpol," he said.

Talking about the TRNC's relations with Turkey, he stated that the two parties are close and direct.

"I visit Ankara as TRNC's Foreign Minister. Similarly, Mr. Çavuşoğlu visits Lefkoşa. We come together with him in New York from time to time. I also meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. I have recently met with the vice president along with Dr. İbrahim Kalın. Therefore, it's our priority to have direct and active relations at the highest level with Turkey instead of complaining about issues on the media to send a message," he said.

Regarding the deadlock in Cyprus that has been ongoing for 50 years, Özersay stressed that rapprochement is possible if all parties agree on a resolution. He asserted that they are against the usage of force for the resolution of the issue.

"We have been putting effort to find an extensive resolution. We'll surely have a positive outlook on the matter; however, what we should do is to seek cooperation with all parties, including Greek Cypriots, in a peaceful manner. We have to have a modern and civil approach. Yet, first we have to create a TRNC which serves its people in the best way possible, making them feel good to be a part of it. I believe when the TRNC becomes a better state in terms of economy and administration, this negative atmosphere will disperse even if the desired rapprochement fails. Societal morale could only be consolidated with a well-functioning state," he said.

Özersay also signified the importance of the TRNC's visibility in the international community. He expressed that he has met with the U.N. secretary-general along with foreign diplomats during his visit to New York.

"We're an observer of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). I've made a speech at their meeting. We're an observer of the Economic Cooperation Organization. We're there to express who we are, what we want and what our position is in global issues. We're the modern, open-minded Turkish Cypriots. Explaining our position through TRNC institutions, being in contact and cooperation with everyone is our ideal foreign policy," he continued.

Lastly, Özersay asserted that Turkish Cypriots have reasonable demands such as securing the future of the island. In this respect, he stated that Republic of Turkey is the TRNC's most important strategic partner and stalwart ally.”

2. Erdoğan, Trump hold phone conversation on Khashoggi

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (22.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-trump-hold-phone-conversation-on-khashoggi-138130) reports that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the U.S. President Donald Trump have held a phone conversation on slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey's presidential press office said early Oct. 22.

According to a statement by the presidential press office, Erdoğan and Trump agreed on the Khashoggi case need to be cleared up with all aspects.

President Erdoğan earlier on Oct. 21 said that he will make a statement on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Oct. 23 during his party's group meeting at the parliament.

Erdoğan on Oct. 21 vowed to reveal within days the "naked truth" over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as Riyadh said it did not know the whereabouts of his body and that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had been unaware of any operation to murder him.

The Turkish leader’s statement came the day after Saudi authorities conceded Khashoggi had been killed inside their diplomatic compound in Istanbul.

"We are looking for justice here and this will be revealed in all its naked truth, not through some ordinary steps but in all its naked truth," Erdoğan told a rally in Istanbul.

The sources also said that two leaders' phone conversation included pastor Andrew Brunson, cooperation in fight against terrorism and the roadmap on Syria's Manbij.

 

3. Erdoğan vows broadening rights, freedoms

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (22.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-vows-broadening-rights-freedoms-138114) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed continued efforts to expand rights and freedoms and to improve democracy in the country amid Turkey’s efforts to mend ties with the European Union and European countries.

“We will continue to work on expanding rights and freedoms, as well as improving democracy, although some people have made a habit of distorting the reality,” Erdoğan said at an opening ceremony for the Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA) headquarters in Istanbul on Oct. 21.

Under his leadership over the last 16 years, the AKP government has never intervened with people’s lifestyles and has not narrowed the freedoms of any ethnic or religious group, Erdoğan said. “Those who are disturbed by Turkey’s last 16 years are the ones who have lost their privileged status,” he said.

 

Erdoğan’s remarks came as Turkey has recently engaged in a new diplomatic campaign to mend ties with the EU by pledging new promises in regards to boosting democracy. Turkey had convened the Reform Action Group last month after a three-year break and signaled its readiness to revive stalled accession talks. The EU, however, wants to see concrete actions in the fields of freedom of expression and rule of law along with political statements.

“Terror organizations and their supporters are also the ones who have lost their grounds in the last 16 years,” he said, stressing that Turkey was on the eve of a new era.

Erdoğan condemns ethnic discrimination in Diyarbakır visitErdoğan condemns ethnic discrimination in Diyarbakır visit

“The name of this era is the Era of Resurrection. It is when the idea of a great Turkey will again be put in practice. This is of course also related with our geography but it is never about expansionism,” Erdoğan said.

Turkey’s main objective is to defend a global system where all the oppressed and sufferers will live in comfort, peace and safety in the world, the president said, highlighting this as Turkey’s main principle with regard to the ongoing turmoil in Syria as well.

“Look at what the head of the main opposition said in the United Kingdom yesterday [Oct. 20]. ‘We will send all Syrians back to their country when we come to power.’ Does this person have anything related to humanity? Only an inhumane person would say this,” he said.

In an address to the Oxford Union over the weekend, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called on all countries to cooperate in bringing peace to Syria.

“Syria and its roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, need to be reconstructed. All this must be done and the EU has to lend support to this end. Only after that we will send Syrians back to their home. We are not going to send them in the middle of a war but to a country where they can live humanly. Developed countries and Turkey have a responsibility for the reconstruction of Syria. We have embraced and sheltered four million Syrians who had not been accepted by any European nation,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

 

4. Giant refinery opens in Turkey’s İzmir for $6.3 bln investment

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (22.10.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/giant-refinery-opens-in-turkeys-izmir-for-6-3-bln-investment-138078) reports that the first new oil refinery to be built in Turkey in 30 years has opened in the Aegean city of İzmir by Azeri oil company SOCAR in a ceremony attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

The $6.3 billion Star Refinery will help cut Turkey’s dependence on imported refined oil products. It will also boost Turkish refining capacity by 30 %.

“In opening Star Refinery, Turkey and Azerbaijan will take brotherly strategic ties to the next level,” Erdoğan said during his speech, adding that this refinery was “the largest greenfield investment in Turkey of the last 30 years.”

“This refinery will enable Turkey to make $1.5 billion savings on an annual basis,” he noted, adding that more than 1,100 jobs would be created at the refinery.

Aliyev said bilateral relations between the countries have been at the highest level, adding that this was quite normal for people who have been together for centuries.

He also noted Turkey and Azerbaijan showed a strong political will in drawing an energy and transportation map of Eurasia.

“Our signatures take place under these maps, which require big investments,” Aliyev said, signaling new investments together with Turkey.

The refinery, which started construction in 2011, is located near the campus of one of Turkey’s top-ranking industrial enterprises, a container port and the country’s leading petrochemical company PETKİM, owned by SOCAR.

Turkey’s total refining capacity will go up by 33 % to reach 40 million tons per year after Star Refinery becomes fully operational, according to officials.

The plant on Turkey’s Aegean coast would have the capacity to process about 10 million tons per year (200,000 barrels per day) of crude.

The plant is expected to produce 1.6 million tons of naphtha and 420,000 tons of xylenes. It will also produce about 4.8 million tons of diesel, alongside jet fuel, petroleum coke, reformate, sulphur and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Turkey produces a surplus of gasoline but relies on imports of diesel, with consumption of the fuel growing by about 7 % a year and is expected to reach 25 million tons in 2019.

Tüpraş, Turkey’s only refining firm, has four plants across the country with combined processing capacity of 28 million tons (560,000 bpd).

 

………………….

TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(CS/AM)