No. 225/18 22.11.18
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (22.11.18) under the front page title: “Warships in the Eastern Mediterranean, eye for an eye”, writes that Turkey’s response against the ExxonMobil-Qatar Petroleum oil drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean which was launched on November 16 in parcel 10 of the “Greek Cypriot’s administration’s unilaterally declared Exclusive Economic Zone”, did not delay to come.
According to the paper, Turkish seismic vessel Barbaros accompanied by 4 warships entered the day before yesterday into parcel 4 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. The paper adds further that the Fatih vessel, Turkey’s first drilling vessel is at the moment off the coast of Alanya.
Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat newspaper (22.11.18) reports that Okyay Sadikoglu “chairman” of the "Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association" in the occupied area of Cyprus (“MUSIAD Cyprus”), attended the 17th MUSIAD EXPO fair which is taking place in Istanbul between November 21-24.
According to the paper, approximately 8 thousand foreign entrepreneurs from 40 firms and 124 countries are attending the fair. The occupation regime’s MUSIAD branch is attending the fair with its own stand which is 2 thousand meters square.
In statements to the paper, Sadikoglu said that within the framework of the fair he had the chance to meet and carry out “contacts” with entrepreneurs from several foreign countries.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (22.11.18) reports that the so-called minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu is attending also the fair. The paper adds that Ataoglu, together with Turkey’s Minister of Industy and Technology Mustafa Varank inaugurated the fair.
In a short statement after the inauguration ceremony, Ataoglu pointed to the importance of the participation of “north Cyprus” in all platforms, since, as he alleged, they constantly exert efforts for the “development of alternative tourist activities in the country”.
Ataoglu stressed further how important is their cooperation with MUSIAD, and said that they have invited foreign investors to visit to north Cyprus and make investments there.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (22.11.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade (KTTO) attend the Small and Medium Enterprises summit of the EU (KOBI) which take place in Graz town, Austria.
According to a written statement issued by the KTTO, the Chamber is represented by its chairman Turgay Deniz, Salih Celiker, member of the administration board of the Chamber and Lale Sener, “representative” of the occupation regime in Brussels.
More than 600 delegations from other countries are attending the summit, writes the paper.
Columnist Serhar Incirli, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (22.11.18), under the title “The Turkish Cypriots should always be at the street and scream for solution”, argued that the extreme nationalism is gaining serious power in Europe and wondered what is going on in Turkey. He further argued that the extreme nationalism in Turkey and in the region has not yet constituted a “danger for mankind”. He added that contrary, nationalism is being praised in Turkey, in Greece and in both sides in Cyprus.
Incirli writes: “However, if we could only see how the Cyprus issue has been initiated and why it has not been solved yet; we would have seen that the nationalism is the main reason… In Turkey, the extreme right wing, the ultra-nationalistic rhetoric is still gathering points (votes). Names, like Devlet Bahceli and Meral Aksener, in the race of nationalism, do not do politics other than getting more votes and attain more power instead of discussing European-contemporary politics.
So, what are going to give to the public, to the people, and to the humanity? Aksener will sell the tomatoes for 1TL! Aksener yesterday threw the slogan ‘Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish”, that we thought it was left in the 1956. While she was commenting on the natural gas dispute in the region, she used an extreme chauvinistic and war-calling rhetoric like ‘…If necessary, Ayse will go on holiday again’ (the coded phrase that launched Turkey’s invasion to Cyprus in 1974).”
Columnist Incirli believes that the first reason that Aksener made this statement is “getting votes” and populism. He further argued: “Aksener, CHP, MHP or AKP masses do not know the Cyprus problem… They all approach the issue from a populist perspective… I believe that the 98% of the Turkish voters’ rate believe that at least half of Cyprus is Turkey’s property title deeds. This is an assumption, it is a guess, but I believe it’s a realistic. When this is the case, the ‘openings’, such as ‘Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish, Ayse will go on holidays again’, can be ignored that the interests of USA, Italy, France, Qatar, Britain, Israel and even China may be harmed. No one comes out and explains this to the people. Either they explain or it suits them not to explain.
In the TRNC, the situation is not different. Such perception has been created in both communities; if Turkey remains on the island, they will hack the Greek Cypriots one day; if Turkey goes, the Greek Cypriots will chop us! How stupid; how easy! Or, on the contrary, a very wise attitude? I don’t know actually! In other words, I was watching the decree fight between Famagusta, Trikomo and Agios Sergios… The fight, in the legal sense, seems to be a rant fight on land belonging to Greek Cypriot individuals… everyone has been convinced that there will be no solution and the land belonging to the Greek Cypriots will remain definitely with us.”
Incirli continues writing that in this rant fight, their politicians who have involved in this fight, their “citizens” even Aksener with her statement “Ayse is going on holiday again” and her slogan “Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish” have a share on this fight. Then he referred to the stance of ELAM party in the Greek Cyprus side, Hrisi Avgi in Greece and even Kamenos’ statement on the Cyprus issue and wondered “if you are still talking for solution”.
Underlining “Is still a chance for solution”, Incirli writes: “There is only one thing for the Turkish Cypriots to do. Be constantly in the streets shouting continuously for solution… It is the point at which CTP (Republican Turkish Party), TDP (Social Democratic Party) and Akinci have given in. In case CTP, TDP and Akinci are not in the streets, with the claim that they are sweeping their houses, is like they have been surrendered the chance for solution to the persons that Turkey is trying to allocate separately the duties.”
Under the above title, columnist Mehmet Levent comments, in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (22.11.18), on Turkey’s reaction to the decision taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding Selahattin Demirtas, imprisoned former co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP). Recalling that according to the ECHR’s decision Turkey had violated human rights in Demirtas’ case and should immediately release him, Levent notes that “there is no need to say, of course, that such decisions are a matter of indifference for Turkey” and that Turkish officials “immediately started a show of indifference”. He also writes the following:
“[…] Until today they have received many reports from the European Parliament regarding Turkey by saying ‘they enter from the one ear and go out from the other, we will throw them into the trash’! What the EU organs did until today against this stance which does not fit into international law, diplomacy and ethics? They did absolutely nothing! Turkey threw them into the trash! And they watched! Neither the content of the reports was taken into consideration. Nor the court decisions were obeyed!
In ECHR’s decision on Demirtas, Turkey also shows that, in Erdogan’s personality, it does not give a damn for the EU and the EU organs! Look what his Excellency says. ‘The decisions taken by the ECHR does not bind us. We will take our counter steps and we will finish the issue’. After this, an official from the EU Commission gives an immediate reply to Erdogan. ‘The ECHR decisions bind all countries’. The man says ‘they are not binding’! Moreover, he refers to a counter move which will end this issue. And what are you doing except for saying ‘they bind all countries’? Absolutely nothing! Can you at least say ‘there is absolutely no meaning in continuing the accession negotiations with a country, which does not recognize the ECHR decisions; I am postponing for an indefinite period the accession negotiations which I am holding with you’? You did not say this until today! You still cannot say it! […]
If Erdogan fearlessly plays with ECHR’s and international law’s prestige by saying ‘the ECHR’s decisions do not bind us’ and you can do nothing else than saying that ‘the ECHR’s decisions bind all countries’, Turkey will continue throwing much more to the trash your decisions and reports!
Try to recall. He had said the same for pastor Brunson as well! He was boosting saying ‘absolutely no power can take him from my hands’! He got such a slap on the face by America that he did not know where it came from! […] In the end, America could easily take from his hand Brunson for whom he had said that ‘no one can take it from my hand’. The poor Turkish lira started to recover a little! What I would say is that Tayyip does not understand the language of ‘the ECHR’s decisions bind all countries’! You should talk to him in a language which he understands!”
Turkish Cypriot Afrika newspaper (22.11.18) reports that Huseyin Civelek, who is among the persons wanted for the attacks against the paper, made a phone call last night at Kibris TV channel during a live television program broadcast the channel, in which journalist Hasan Hasturer and Afrika’s lawyer Tacan Reynar participated.
Speaking during the show, Civelek stated: “I am one of the nine persons wanted by the police” for the attack against the paper on January 22, 2018.
Reporting further on the issue, Civelek said that the persons arrested regarding the issue were wrongly arrested. He also said that no attack was made against the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who visited Afrika’s offices a few days after the attack against the paper. Civelek also claimed that Akinci visited the place “playing hero” in a threating way.
Commenting on its first page on the issue, the paper wonders if Civelek will be arrested now by the “police”.
Afrika also reports that Hasturer wrote in his column on June 16, 2018 about Cevelik family which lives in bungalow on the beach after its house was demolished due to a “court’s decision” and have not any money even for coming to (the occupied part of) Lefkosia to protest against the issue. Hasturer wrote at the time that the family arrived to the occupied area of Cyprus from the Black Sea after 1974.
On its part, Afrika’s lawyer Reynar stated that one of the nine wanted persons accused for the attacks against the paper was relieved and called on the “police” to finish its research on the issue, which according to Reynar was left unfinished.
On his daily column in Kibris (22.11.18) Hasturer writes about Reynar noting that he did not refrain from answering the entire questions he asked him. Hasturer writes that Reynar was a “judge” when the case of Afrika came to him and had to resign.
“The first reason for his resignation was the fact that he was left alone in the face of multidimensional attacks while taking the cause of the attack on Africa.
There was no need for special efforts to understand what they said. The case was easy. Because there was evidence to prove the crime before the trial.
The case was difficult. Because, the actions were fired from Ankara. According to some, the case was more than a trial for defendants, a case against Ankara.
An effort was made for the case to be placed on the basis of the antagonism between Turkish and Cypriots.
The case had gained political dimension.
President Mustafa Akıncı's attitude towards the suggestions or requests coming from Ankara caused the dismantling of a few more parquets.
Tacan Reynar made his decision despite all the negative factors. […]
After he resigned, ıt was told that he would go abrod.
Reynar resigned, but did not left.
He stayed here.[…]”, Hasturer writes.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (22.11.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-slams-hungarian-jew-soros-while-warning-europe-over-terror-support-139071) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 22 accused Europe of supporting terrorism, while slamming "Hungarian Jew George Soros."
“Yesterday, the ECHR made a ruling against our country. Turkey allegedly violated the security and election rights in the trial of a former party leader who is in relations with the terrorist organization PKK. Have you seen any action from European Union bodies declaring that the same person has on his hands the blood of 50 people from the events of Oct. 6-8, 2014?” Erdoğan said, referring to the ECHR’s ruling on Nov. 20 on Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed former co-leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
On Nov. 20, the ECHR urged Turkey to swiftly process Demirtaş’s legal case, saying his pre-trial detention had gone on longer than could be justified. The ECHR also criticized Turkey for keeping Demirtaş detained during this year’s presidential elections.
Hours after the ECHR’s ruling, Erdoğan dismissed the ruling as not binding and, without elaborating, said Turkey would take steps against the decision.
Erdoğan has also slammed main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s recent remarks criticizing last week the detentions of human rights activists in connection to the 2013 Gezi Park protests.
“Yesterday, the leader of this party [Kılıçdaroğlu] asserted some nonsense that praised the Gezi Park protests, extolled the so-called vandal protestors and accused us with regards to this. I am repeating one more time, Gezi Park protests were a project just like the leader of the CHP is,” Erdoğan said.
"The person, who financed terrorists during the Gezi incidents, is currently in prison [Osman Kavala]. And who is behind him? The famous Hungarian Jew George Soros. This is a man who was assigned to divide nations and shatter them. He has so much money and he is spending it in these ways," he added.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (22.11.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-expects-solid-support-from-eu-against-terrorism-fm-3467090) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said: “It will benefit both sides to have close cooperation in every regard. It is our natural right to expect solid support from the EU”.
Speaking at the High-Level Political Dialogue Meeting in Turkey’s capital Ankara on Thursday, Cavuoglu argued that Ankara expects more support from EU member states in counterterrorism efforts and added: “Counterterrorism is important for both Turkey and the EU. Both Turkey and EU member states have been subjected to terror attacks. It will benefit both sides to have close cooperation in every regard. It is our natural right to expect solid support from the EU”.
High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, EU Neighborhood Policy Minister Johannes Hahn and Head of European Union Delegation in Turkey Ambassador Christian Berger participated in the meeting.
The Foreign Minister also said relations between Turkey and the EU as well as the accession process was discussed. "We highlighted the strategic importance of Turkey-EU ties. It is no use to make statements excluding Turkey in the EU accession process or denying its candidacy," Cavusoglu said.
“It is in the interest of both parties to update the customs union. There have recently been interruptions in the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance on the EU’s side. These interruptions will not ruin the Turkish economy, but it will negatively impact the image of the European Union,” he added.
Noting that visa-free travel was also discussed during the meeting, Cavusoglu said: “There were seven out of 72 criteria left for visa liberalization. This fell to six. We also discussed what could be done in today's meeting. Hopefully, we will pass on to visa-free travel soon”.
A transparent and credible investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has not yet been completed, Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign affairs chief, said. “Those responsible for the killing of Khashoggi should be held accountable,” she added.
Cavusoglu said the investigation was taking a long time and that the international community expects an international investigation.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (22.11.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/eu-affairs/2018/11/22/ankara-expects-more-support-from-eu-against-terror-fm-cavusoglu-says) reports that Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security, said that Selahattin Demirtaş, the jailed former co-chairman of the PKK-linked Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), would be released soon. The European Court of Human Rights ruled Tuesday that Demirtaş, who was arrested for terror crimes in Nov. 2016, should be released due to the violation of his rights over his extended pre-trial detention period.
Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (22.11.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-eu-have-more-agreements-than-disagreements-on-foreign-policy-analysis-139076) publishes the following article by Serkan Demirtaş:
“The alignment between Turkey and the European Union on key foreign policy issues like the Syrian civil war or Iran sanctions seems to highlight a new opportunity for the sparring partners in warming up ties, both Ankara and Brussels believe.
“Foreign policy is certainly an issue that has a positive connotation. What we are trying to do here is to use this positive connotation to warm up ties in other areas,” a senior EU official told the Hürriyet Daily News just a day before the Turkey-EU high level political dialogue meeting in the Turkish capital on Nov. 22.
EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn will hold talks with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Ankara to resume political dialogue after a break year of over a year. With Turkey’s accession process at a standstill, increasingly aligned positions of the two sides on foreign policy introduce a new start for both sides.
“It’s not a secret that we appreciate the work of Turkish diplomacy on Idlib to prevent another humanitarian catastrophe,” the EU official said.
Another area on which the positions of the two parties overlap is Jerusalem. Neither Turkey nor the EU accepted the unilateral action by the U.S. to move its Embassy to Jerusalem and to declare the city as the capital of Israel.
Turkey, as the term president of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), had proposed a ministerial meeting with the EU in a visit to Brussels in April. The issue will be raised at Thursday meetings, a Turkish official has confirmed to Hürriyet Daily News.
Apart from these said issues, the two sides will also have an update on the Middle East peace process, the situation in Gaza, recent developments in Libya, Iraq and so on.
According to a senior Turkish official, developments in the Balkan countries and the EU’s perspective of the continued enlargement towards the region will also be on the agenda.
“We are at the same point when it comes to the enlargement of the EU towards the Balkans. French President Emmanuel Macron’s characterization of Turkey’s position vis a vis the Balkans is weird and we will voice our stance on the Balkans once again,” the official stated.
In a statement earlier today, Macron had defended EU’s enlargement towards the Balkan region as he had previously said, “I don’t want a Balkans that turns toward Turkey or Russia.”
Although there is a certain level of alignment between Turkey and the EU on key foreign policy issues, an ongoing contention between the former and Greek Cyprus as well as Greece over the hydrocarbon reserves off the Cypriot island stands also has had a serious impact on the dialogue between Ankara and Brussels.
The EU does not have much of a chance other than supporting Cyprus and Greece as full member states as many EU Council decisions call on Turkey to respect the sovereignty of Cyprus and its Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and to de-escalate tension in the region.
Turkey on the other hand, calls on Greek Cyprus to respect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and let the latter join the hydrocarbon activities at the planning stage.”
Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.11.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/tanap-tap-p-lines-interconnect-at-turkey-greece-border/1317761) reports that the 1,850 kilometers-long Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) and the 878 kilometers-long Trans Adriatic Pipeline project (TAP) were interlinked at the Evros River located on the Turkey-Greece border, a statement from the TANAP company said Wednesday.
TANAP, the biggest section of the Southern Gas Corridor delivering Shah Deniz 2 gas from Azerbaijan to Turkey and onto Europe through TAP, brought its first gas to Turkey on July 1, 2018.
The 16 billion cubic meter capacity pipeline will deliver 6 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey per year while the remaining 10 billion cubic meters is destined for European markets via the TAP.
Both pipelines were welded on the Turkey-Greece border under the supervision of the project's management.
The TAP will transverse Greece, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea to reach Italy.
The pipeline is expected to be ready to deliver its first gas to the European markets by mid-2020.
Under the title “A meeting with Chief Public Prosecutor on the day of Demirtas’ decision”, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (22.11.18, http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/siyaset/1147872/Demirtas_karari_gununde_Saray_da_bassavci_ile_gorusme.html) reports that the meeting that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had with Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor Yuksel Kocaman on Tuesday night after ECHR’s decision on Demirtas drew the attention.
The paper reports that Yuksel posted in his social media account the photo with Erdogan, writing “Yesterday night with our President”.
There was no statement regarding the meeting which was made upon Erdogan’s request. It is not known either whether Demirtas’ case was discussed or not during the meeting. Kocaman was the Public Prosecutor in charge when Demirtas was under custody at Ankara Courthouse.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION