Turkish Cypriot Kıbrıs newspaper (16.11.18) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has argued that finding a just, lasting and viable solution in Cyprus would constitute an extremely valuable example for the entire area of the Eastern Mediterranean. In his message on the occasion of the unilateral declaration of independence of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Erdogan reiterated the allegation that, always and under any conditions, Turkey would continue being by the Turkish Cypriots’ side and exert efforts for ensuring their rights, security and prosperity.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (16.11.18) reports that Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay has alleged that finding hydrocarbons in the area had made Cyprus “attractive” and turned the area into an “attraction center”. Speaking yesterday during a visit to Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, Oktay alleged that Turkey would not accept any other solution model except for Turkish Cypriot “people’s” rights and a fair sharing. He claimed that they wished for a solution to the Cyprus problem under “reasonable conditions” and would not allow violation of any “right” of the “TRNC”.
The Turkish Vice President argued that no solution was found in Cyprus in spite of the Turkish Cypriot side’s good will and that the Greek Cypriot side did not show the same sincerity. He alleged that the Turkish side knew the stance of the Greek Cypriots, but with President Anastasiades’ recent statements, the international community has also heard it fist-hand. Oktay said that the existing situation could not continue and added that the UN noted in its report on Cyprus that the status quo was not sustainable and that new things should be said.
In his statements, Akinci expressed the belief that Turkey’s “solidarity” with the “TRNC” would continue in the most productive manner, both in the economy and the Cyprus problem. Referring to Oktay’s statements on the Cyprus problem, he alleged: “I hope that what you said on the Cyprus problem will constitute a warning for the administrators in the south. We want a fair, lasting solution. We exerted efforts. However, we did not find a response. The side which said ‘no’ in the referendum was rewarded, but we are forced to live under embargo. The Turkish Cypriot side has shown all its flexibility at the Crans Montana, as well, but again there was no response.
At the point we have come now, the Greek Cypriot side should accept some things. They are not the only owner in Cyprus. They should digest the fact that there is an entity at least as equal and rightful-owner as they are. If this happens, a way out will be found.
The UN parameters show the way out. […] Political equality is very essential, but in spite of this they propose minority rights to us. They ask for reduction of the common powers. They act with the mentality of the unitary state under the majority’s administration. They do not want us to have a say in the decisions. This cannot be accepted.
Everything will come to light with the contacts of the UN officials, who will come to the island within the forthcoming days. If there is a will, we could meet on the path of reason, the wealth will be shared. However, not sharing the wealth, actions of transferring the wealth through other channels, will not serve peace and stability in the area. […]
All third parties should encourage an environment of cooperation and peace and not encourage unilateral actions in Cyprus. […] The Greek Cypriot side obstinately and insistently wants to give us minority rights and unilaterally benefit from the natural wealth. In this case, two things are remaining. First: The TRNC, with its democracy and economy, will continue toward a better future in close cooperation with Turkey. Second: If there is not will for a partnership in the natural gas, the TRNC will take the necessary steps together with Turkey and will continue its efforts. This is their choice. […]”
Oktay responded to these statements by Akinci and reiterated the allegation that Turkey would not leave the “TRNC” alone to no one’s mercy on the hydrocarbon issue. “We will continue drilling activities and explorations in our area with the TRNC”, he claimed.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (16.11.18) reports that Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay met yesterday with self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman, who has alleged that the developments in the Cyprus problem could be summarized in the following sentence: “At the moment we cannot see a will for the sharing of powers, responsibilities interests and rights”. He claimed: “We have been always saying the following, which derives from the 1960 agreements: The Turkish Cypriot people are one of the two founding elements in the country. They are not an element which will [only] take their share from their rights”.
Erhurman alleged that the approach of creating a fund where money would be deposited from the income from the hydrocarbons as well as the approach expressed recently on the political equality issue is showing that the status quo was not understood correctly or there was no wish for this to happen. He claimed:
“The Greek Cypriot side should understand that if a solution will be reached, this solution will be materialized on the basis of joint administration, sharing and jointly using powers and responsibilities. We always emphasize on political equality. It is a sine qua non for us. It is not possible to materialize a solution model without it”.
Under the title: “Talat and Eroglu agree: ‘The conditions obliged us to establish a state’, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (16.11.18) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leaders Mehmet Ali Talat and Dervis Eroglu issued statements on the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the breakaway regime.
Talat, however, said that there was not an obvious benefit from the establishment of the “TRNC”. He also said that during the time he served as “prime minister” and as “president” he exerted a lot of efforts in order to eliminate the problems and the worries occurred from the establishment of the “TRNC”.
Eroglu, on his part, said that the establishment of the “TRNC”, was a “justified decision”, adding that today the “TRNC is the greatest power of the Turkish Cypriots”. He also said that during the period that the “TRNC” was to be declared, late Rauf Denktas told them that a voting could take place at the “assembly” on the issue saying the following: “Do not think that you can cast a negative vote and be able to remain at the assembly”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Bayrak (16.11.18 http://www.brtk.net/londrada-kurulus-yildonumu-resepsiyonu-duzenlendi/ ) broadcast that a reception for the anniversary of the establishment of the breakaway regime was organized at the Churchil Hyatt Regency Hotel in London.
“TRNC Representative in London”, Oya Tuncali and her husband Ihsan Tuncali, “minister of education” Cemal Ozyigit who is currently visiting London for “contacts”, the Ambassador of Turkey to London, Unit Yalcin, Lord Sharkey, Lord Maginnis, Lord Kilclooney, Lord Sheikh, Lady Butterworth, members of the “UK Parliament's TRNC Friendship Group”, Deputy with the Conservative Party Duncam Smith , members of diplomatic employees of various diplomatic missions, mayors and municipality councils members attended the ceremony.
According to Bayrak, around 500 guests participated in the reception.
In addition, Bayrak also broadcast that a reception was also held in Budapest hosted by the “TRNC Budapest representative” Selda Cimen.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (16.11.18) reports that a group of Turkish journalists held a meeting with a high US official who replied to questions regarding Turkey-US relations.
His name and the locations of the meeting are not mentioned in the report.
Replying to a question regarding the activities of US Energy firm ExxonMobil, in the offshores of Cyprus, the US official stated that ExxonMobil is an American firm, therefore has to both obey the US laws and the laws of the country in which it operates.
He also described as “a very difficult subject”, the energy issues of Cyprus and stated: “I believe that it will be helpful to evaluate the resources. The benefit of the resources belongs to Cyprus and this is important for us. The resources must be shared between the sides after a negotiation is made”, he stated.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (16.11.18) reports that women soldiers participated yesterday for the first time in the “official parade” which took place yesterday in the occupied part of Lefkosia, on the occasion of the “celebrations” of the “35th anniversary for the establishment of the TRNC”.
Also, according to the paper, “special forces of the police” wearing “woodland camouflage uniforms”, stood out in the “parade”, since they participated for the first time writes, the paper.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (16.11.18) reports that Mehdi Uysal, local chairman of the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP) in occupied Famagusta, has alleged that the opening of “border gates”, as he described the crossing points between the occupied area and the government-controlled area of Cyprus, is a “sign of discrimination”. In a written statement, he claims that they could not have a negative view for the opening of Deryneia and Apliki crossing points, but the opening of Deryneia crossing point was not their priority, because not all 15,000 inhabitants of occupied Famagusta could cross over to the government-controlled area, something which creates “discrimination” among the Turks of the “TRNC”.
Commenting on the issue, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (16.11.18) recalls that other associations established by Turkish settlers in the occupied area of Cyprus, such as the so-called Gaziantep cultural association, had also criticized the fact that they were not allowed to cross over to the government-controlled area of the Republic. Under the title “The recklessness of fascism and occupation”, the paper notes: “[…]While the population carried by Turkey to the TRNC is itself contrary to the human rights, the fact that they have now risen up and present themselves as victims because they cannot cross over, must be deriving from recklessness of fascism and occupation”.
Turkish daily Milliyet (15.11.18-http://www.milliyet.com.tr/turkiye-olarak-catismalarin-nasil-onlenebildigini-antalya-yerelhaber-3157730/) reported that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in statements yesterday in a ceremony at the Alladdin Keykubat University in Alanya, claimed that Turkey had shown with steps it had been taking especially in Idlib, how conflicts can be prevented. “We are in the centre of these initiatives”, Cavusoglu said, adding that “the natural wealth around Cyprus should be distributed equally to both peoples in the island”.
Referring to Cyprus, Cavusoglu added the following: “There are currently new developments regarding the hydrocarbon reserves. We have launched drilling offshore Alanya. And we will launch researches for the protection of the TRNC’s rights, after their call”, Cavusoglu said, adding: “Thus, what we want is the natural wealth around Cyprus to be distributed in an equal way to both peoples in the island. We do not say that they belong only to the Turkish Cypriots, but, we are taking all necessary steps against the unilateral involment of the Greek Cypriot side in this path. Why were all the worlds eyes fixed on the Eastern Mediteranean?. What will the effects of this be? Will the Eastern Mediteranean become a center of peace or a center of conflicts. We are closing following this development. The Cyprus problem is not the only problem in our region. We should solve also the Nagorno Karabakh problem. Also, what will happen in Georgia, Crimea and the eastern Ukraine?. There is also the problem of Moldavia. How will these problems be solved? There is a perception that these problems cannot be solved with the current mechanism. (...) We should reconsider how to form Turkey’s foreign policy”, Cavusoglu, inter alia, said.
Turkish Milliyet newspaper (15.11.18, http://www.milliyet.com.tr/kktc-nin-kurulusunun-35-yil-donumu-ankara-yerelhaber-3157898/) reports that Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Donmez has alleged that they would not allow any project which Turkey does not approve to become a fait accompli. In statements during a reception in Ankara on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Donmez claimed also that Turkey would protect until the end the breakaway regime’s rights and interests, which allegedly derive from international law.
“Turkey will continue supporting the just struggle of the Turkish Cypriots in every platform”, he alleged and claimed: “We do not find correct any approach which does not provide for a just and equitable solution. Those who set their eyes on the existence, security and legitimate rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots have been finding Turkey in front of them until today. From now on, the necessary reactions will also be made with determination for any kind of threat against the Turks of Cyprus. Let no one have doubts about this”.
Donmez said also that they would not close their eyes to the fact that the Turkish Cypriots are allegedly turned into “the victims” of the non-solution and claimed that they would not allow policies and initiatives which try to turn Turkish Cypriots into a minority.
Arguing that the Turkish Cypriots are an essential element of the island, he alleged that a solution in Cyprus would only be possible with the acceptance of the “Turkish Cypriot people’s political equality”. He also alleged the following:
“The stance of the Greek sector of south Cyprus until today was to ignore the Turks on the island. We have stressed that the natural resources of Cyprus do not belong to the Greek Cypriot people only and that they should be shared fairly. Turkey has many times warned the Greek administration of south Cyprus and defended TRNC’s rights until the end. It is definitely out of the question for us to give concessions from our legitimate rights over our continental shelf. Our activities in the area will continue. Turkish Petroleum is continuing its work with our ships in the areas licensed by the TRNC and in our continental shelf. Within this framework, our Fatih vessel started a drilling in our Alanya1 well in Antalya’s open sea on 30 October. And our Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa vessel is continuously carrying out its seismic activities. Turkey will continue protecting TRNC’s interests in every field and will never allow illegal actions. And the blocks, for which the Greek Cypriot sector has given a so-called license before a political solution to be found, are not valid for our country. We will declare illegal the activities in these fields. We will protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Turks of Cyprus and support them with actual steps. As the President of our Republic said, we are determined to lead to failure any kind of initiatives in which Turkey and the TRNC do not participate. Our fundamental understanding for the resources in the area is the win-win understanding. Our aim is to ensure peace and stability in the area with a lasting solution. Absolutely no initiative is expected to be long lasting and stable by excluding the TRNC and Turkey”.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in a message via his twitter account (15.11.18-https://twitter.com/mevlutcavusoglu?lang=el) on the “35th anniversary for the establishment of the TRNC”, wrote the following: “Turkey stands by the Turkish Cypriots on this happy day when the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed and will always continue to do so. Happy 35th anniversary, #TRNC!”.
Meanwhwile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.11.18- https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-to-continue-firm-stance-on-cyprus-syria-libya/1312080) reported that the Turkish Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım also marked the “foundation anniversary of the TRNC”. In his message, Yildirim said the following: "We will continue our support for the economic, social, cultural and political development of our Turkish Cypriot brothers”. He added: "We will never renounce our active right to guarantee, so that Turks in Cyprus can look to the future with confidence."
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.11.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-eu-step-up-for-dialogue-meetings-138910) reports that Turkey and the EU will resume bilateral dialogue meetings in the upcoming weeks and months, with the first high level one to take place next week with the participation of senior commission officials.
Ankara and Brussels will hold Turkey-EU High Level Political Dialogue meetings on November 22 and the Turkey-EU Association Committee on Nov. 28.
Turkey and the EU will hold other dialogue meetings on energy, transportation and economy in the upcoming months.
These meetings follow the Turkey-EU Political Dialogue meeting at the Political Directors Level that was held on Oct. 25 in Ankara, where Turkey’s accession process, Turkey-EU common agenda, financial cooperation, Facility for Refugees, cooperation in migration management, visa liberalization process, counter-terrorism, economy, trade, update of the Customs Union and energy as well as regional and international issues were discussed.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, and Johannes Hahn, the European Union commissioner for enlargement, will travel to Turkey for the first meeting.
“Turkey has resumed working on the remaining six benchmarks required in order to launch the visa liberalization process, which envisages visa-free travel for Turkish citizens”, said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Turkish daily Sabah (16.11.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/11/15/dollar-slips-21-pct-against-turkish-lira-upon-news-of-possible-gulen-extradition) reports that as the news broke late Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is looking to extradite Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader Fetullah Gülen to Turkey, the dollar slipped against the lira by 2.12%.
With the sudden decrease in the currency's value, the exchange rate fell to 5.3306.
Falling oil prices have also affected the Turkish lira in a positive way, and the euro has plummeted, trading at 6.06 lira.
The Trump administration has asked several federal agencies to find legal means to extradite Gülen to Turkey, NBC News reported earlier Thursday.
Administration officials asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to reopen Turkey's case on the self-exiled cleric and work toward extradition, the U.S. news outlet said, citing two U.S. officials and two other sources.
Gülen, who arrived in the United States in 1999, currently resides in a luxurious retreat in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. He was already facing criminal investigations related to his group since the coup attempt that took place in 2016. Turkey pressed the U.S. for his extradition after the coup attempt, sending hundreds of folders full of evidence implicating Gülen and FETÖ in the coup attempt. The United States, where the terrorist group runs a network of charter schools, is a favorite safe haven for fugitive FETÖ members. Turkey says the U.S. has turned the extradition matter into a political issue rather than handling the case as a legal matter.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.11.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-budget-posts-13-billion-deficit-in-jan-oct-138897) reports that Turkey’s central government budget balance recorded a deficit of 62.1 billion Turkish Lira ($13 billion) in the first 10 months of 2018 with a 77.7% yearly increase, data from the Treasury and Finance Ministry revealed on Nov. 15.
The country’s budget revenues totalled 609 billion lira ($126.9 billion) from January to October, up nearly 20% from the same period last year, the Ministry said in a statement.
During the sale period, budget expenditures rose 23.3% to 671.1 billion lira ($140 billion)—marking a 62.1 billion Turkish lira ($13 billion) deficit.
The budget balance, excluding interest payments, saw a surplus of 2.5 billion lira ($521 million) from January to October.
Official figures showed that tax revenues rose around 18% to reach nearly 507.9 billion lira (around $105.8 billion), while interest payments were 64.6 billion lira ($13.5 billion) in the same period.
In October, the budget balance also saw a deficit of 5.4 billion liras ($931 million) with a 64% year-on-year increase.
Turkey’s budget revenues totalled 62.1 billion lira ($10.7 billion) last month, up 17.6% on a yearly basis.
Budget expenditures in October were 67.5 billion lira ($11.6 billion), a rise of 20.2% annually.
Excluding interest payments, the central government budget balance saw a surplus of 197 million lira ($34 million) last month.
The average U.S. dollar/Turkish Lira exchange rate in October was 5.8, while one dollar traded for 4.8 liras on average in the first 10 months of 2018.
The New Economic Program envisages a 72.1 billion lira budget deficit in 2018, or 1.9% to the country’s GDP.
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