1. Agreement for hydrocarbon researches by TPAO was renewed for six more years
2. Turkey renewed the NAVTEX in Block 3
3. Izcan: Problems cannot be overcome with threats
4. Nami: “The tension affects negatively the economies of the two sides in Cyprus”
5. Benter: “Only one donum of land in the fenced off town of Varosha” belongs to EVKAF”
6. The occupation regime’s budget is expected to be approved next week
7. Columnist slams Ozersay for exploiting an attack against a Turkish Cypriot vehicle
8. CTP Youth Organization became member of IUSY
9. EUROHODIP’s general assembly and “Gastronomy competition” to be hosted by the illegal Final University
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.02.18) reports that the so-called council of ministers renewed for six more years the “agreement” for conducting researches for hydrocarbon in the waters of Cyprus by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).
This was among other “decisions” taken by the “council of ministers” which included the approval of the so-called budget.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.02.18) reports that the NAVTEX in the sea area of Block 3 of the Cypriot EEZ has been renewed by Turkey.
The old NAVTEX was ending on February 22nd and the new one will be valid until March 10, the paper writes.
Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (21.02.18) reports that the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan stated that the problems in Cyprus cannot be overcome with pressures and threats and added that substantial negotiation in the framework of the Guterres document must start the soonest possible.
Izcan, who issued a written statement also described as non- realistic the statements made by the Turkish Cypriot side as regards the hydrocarbon activities that “we will not allow the Greek Cypriot side to take our part without a solution”. He also said that this kind of statements could cause “serial conflicts in the future”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (21.02.18) under the title: “We want to improve trade ties with the south”, reports that so-called minister of economy and energy Ozdil Nami, held yesterday a meeting with the new administration board of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and its chairman Turgay Deniz.
Evaluating the negative atmosphere and the tension created due to the natural gas and hydrocarbon issue, Nami claimed that this situation will affect negatively not only the economies of the two sides in Cyprus but also their tourism sector. “We consider that this situation may cause some problems. But if we behave with mutual respect and if we produce policies which each side respects the rights and interests of the other side, we can overpass these difficulties. We have the will for doing this. I hope that they will also have the will. In this framework, we will continue improving our ties in trade as well”, Nami said.
“We want to improve our trade ties with south Cyprus provided that there will be the necessary mutual will and desire. We always extend a hand of friendship to them”, Nami further claimed. Nami also argued that if the Greek Cypriots have the same goodwill, then they could lift all obstacles, they could broaden the framework of the Green Line Regulation and deepen the area of their activities”, added Nami.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.02.18) reports that Prof. Dr Ibrahim Benter, general director of the Vakif (foundations) administration, said that the fenced off town of Varosha belonged to Lala Mustafa Vakif, Abdullah Pasa Vakif and to Haci Bilal Aga Vakfi, but during the British Colonial period and the period of the Republic of Cyprus was registered to persons, adding that today only one donum belongs to Vakif administration from the total 4,638 donums land of the fenced off town of Varosha.
Speaking on a panel at the “Girne American University” with the title “The Vakif properties in Varosha”, Benter described the removal of properties from EVKAF (Vakif administration) as “contrary to the human rights and unethical”. He argued that the EVKAF properties constituted the 90% of the island, but during the British Colony period and the years between 1960-1974, the properties were removed from the EVKAF administration.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (21.02.18) reports that the so-called council of ministers “approved yesterday the TRNC’s 2018 budget” which is envisaged to be 5 billion 815 million TL. The “budget” will be sent to the so-called assembly for “approval”. The “budget discussions” will be launched this week.
Meanwhile, in statements on the issue, the “speaker” of the so-called assembly Teberruken Ulucay explained that this Friday the “parliamentary assembly for the budget” will convene, on Monday the “budget 2018 draft bill” will be submitted to the “assembly” and on Wednesday the “budget discussions” will be launched.
Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (21.02.18), columnist Mehmet Levent slams Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, for the statement that the attack held recently against a Turkish Cypriot vehicle in the government-controlled area of the Republic justified the security concerns of the Turkish Cypriots. Under the title “Did you say security concern Mr Ozersay?” the columnist writes, inter alia, the following:
“Thousands of vehicles pass everyday through the barricades. Even though very rarely and very sporadic, one of these thousands vehicles is attacked by some irresponsible racist and fascist Greek Cypriots. Our nationalists throw themselves upon the incident […] For days, this does not fall from the agenda, from the headlines of the nationalist press. They swear at the Greek Cypriot side. They write and say continuously that agreement and peace cannot be made with the Greek Cypriots.
The ministry of foreign affairs of the TRNC, which has absolutely no foreign affair and those [affairs] which it very rarely has are totally controlled by Turkey, has only one duty! And this is to instantly reply to statements accusing the Turkish side made by Greek Cypriot officials on the Cyprus problem, [and] if there is rarely a Turkish Cypriot vehicle which is attacked by fascist and racist Greek Cypriots, to turn this into an opportunity and put forward the justice of our security concerns against the Greek Cypriots! In the past Tahsin Ertugruloglu was doing this job. Because he was the foreign affairs minister of the TRNC, which has absolutely no foreign affair! Now Kudret Ozersay is doing this job. And honestly, he does not make us long for Tahsin Ertugruloglu at all! Besides, when he was handing over his duty, Mr Tahsin had said words full of praise which implied that his job will not be left undone.
What is Mr Kudret saying? The sporadic attacks, which rarely happen in the south, show the justice of the security concerns of the Turkish Cypriots, he says. Very well, is absolutely no security concern created in the Turkish Cypriots by the robberies, thefts, rapes, frauds, swindling incidents, kidnappings, beatings, mutilations and murders, which happen every day in the north? An attack of lynching a newspaper is held in front of the police’s eyes. […] Do all these not create a security concern in the Turkish Cypriots? Then, why everyone has covered with iron grills the doors and the windows of his house and work place? […] Why the private security companies and systems, which once did not exist at all, have become a sector shining so much in our days? Why even father Denktas, who had been the leader of the community, reacted against all these and advised that ‘everyone should buy a dog for his house’?
The attacks against vehicles, which rarely happen in the south, are unacceptable of course. And the perpetrators should definitely be arrested, tried and punished. However, as long as for the security concern experienced every day in the north you do not show the one ounce of the sensitivity of the security concern you show against these incidents, you do not deserve convincingness and reliability Mr minister of ‘foreign affairs’. […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (21.02.18) reports that the Youth Organization of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) became member of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY).
According to the paper, the 33rd council of IUSY took place in Montenegro between 15-18 of February and the CTP Youth Organization was represented by Hasan Kobat, member of the international relations committee of CTP youth.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (21.02.18) reports that the illegal Final university will host the general assembly of the International Association supporting hospitality and tourism education (EURHODIP) and “Gastronomy Competitions for 2018”.
According to the paper, the event will take place on May 13-15. More information can be found at the website of the association, http://www.eurhodip.com/en/.
In statements to the paper on the issue, the “chairman of the board of trustees” of the illegal Final University, Dimag Caginer evaluated the organization of the event and claimed that “the fact that EURHODIP general assembly and the “gastronomy competitions will take place in an unrecognized country” will be very beneficial for the “TRNC”. He further said that representatives from 180 countries will be attending the event.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (21.02.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/erdogan-pro-regime-groups-in-afrin-issue-closed-3115145), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said that the issue of pro-regime terror groups in Syria's Afrin was "closed for now".
Pro-regime groups earlier on Tuesday, who tried to enter Syria’s Afrin to support YPG/PKK-Daesh against Turkey’s ongoing operation in the region, withdrew before reaching the city following a series of warning shots.
Speaking at a joint press conference alongside his “Macedonian” [FYROM] counterpart Gjorge Ivanov in Ankara, Erdogan said there was a movement towards Afrin by Shia militias which were interrupted after they were shelled. "But then they were forced to go back after artillery shooting, this file is closed for now," he added.
"Yesterday, we have already agreed on these issues in talks with [Vladimir] Putin and [Hassan] Rouhani,” Erdogan said. “Unfortunately, you know, these kinds of terrorist organizations have [sometimes] taken wrong steps with the decisions on their own."
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.02.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-pro-regime-groups-in-afrin-issue-closed-127660) reports that Erdogan supported “Macedonia’s” [FYROM] stance in its row with Greece about the country’s name. “We have made our stance clear by being the first country to recognize Macedonia with its constitutional name and national identity and by appointing an ambassador,” he said.
Ivanov thanked Erdogan for Turkey’s “principled stance” over the name issue. Healso voiced support for democratically elected Turkish authorities in the face of any kind of terrorism. “We are aware of all the steps taken by the Turkish Republic. We realize the harm that you [Turkey] have suffered from FETÖ and other terror groups. We are against all kinds of terrorism,” Ivanov added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.02.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-government-to-impose-harshest-penalties-new-measures-for-child-abusers-127637) reported that new administrative measures and legal regulations that target child abusers, together with the “harshest penalties,” will be implemented soon, the Turkish government has stated.
Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s parliamentary group meeting in the capital Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Feb. 20 that six Ministers were working on the issue and will submit their proposals on the issue soon.
Raising awareness about child abuse was also discussed at length during the Feb. 19-dated cabinet meeting, he added.
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül also said on Feb. 20 that legal steps were being taken against the increase in child abuse, and the government was considering introducing chemical castration for child sex offenders, by putting in place the relevant regulations in a couple of days. “We wish to enact the measure of reducing and suppressing the sexual drive with chemicals during the punishment execution period, as per a court decision, within a few days,” Gül said.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu also commented on the issue on Feb. 20 during his party’s weekly parliamentary group meeting, similarly calling for the heaviest punishment for child abuse cases.
Meanwhile, HDN (20.02.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-made-a-mistake-by-not-criminalizing-adultery-to-join-eu-erdogan-127642), under the title “Turkey made a mistake by not criminalizing adultery to join EU: Erdogan”, reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the government was wrong to shelve an attempt to criminalize adultery and extra-marital sex (zina) in 2004, an issue that caused a major row between Turkey and the EU during accession talks at the time.
“This society holds a different status in terms of its moral values,” Erdoğan said at the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) weekly parliamentary group meeting in Ankara on Feb. 20.
“This is self-criticism. I must say that in the EU process we made a mistake ... We should now evaluate making regulations about adultery and perhaps consider it together with the issue of harassment and others,” he added. “This is an issue where Turkey is different from most Western countries,” Erdoğan said.
The president also went on to signal that the death penalty could once again be brought to the agenda. “Of course, the death penalty is not currently legal. But the issue of the death penalty is especially important for us due to its relationship to terror. Changes in the constitution about this could come up,” he said.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(DPs / AM)