Recent News

Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-24-26.11.18

 

No. 227/18                                                                                                      

 Contents

Α. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci argues that a joint economic cooperation on the natural gas resources may be the key to unlock peace in the region

2. Ozersay: “We will not allow the creation of a fait accompli”

3. Ozersay due to Italy for an international conference

4. Tatar says the UBP fully supports the Turkish Foreign Minister’s policy for discussing the alternatives on the Cyprus problem

5. Εrhurman and Deniz are attending the 9th Bosphorus Summit

6. Ozyigit has been re-elected as chairman of TDP

7. Ozyigit: “Universities in the TRNC created for political reasons”

8. Celler met with the Turkish Minister of Labor

9. Kıbrıs: The protest against the opening of crossing points resulted in a fiasco

10. Turkish Cypriots prefer to travel from Larnaca and Pafos airports

11. Trade within the framework of the Green Line Regulation decreased by 5,42%

12. Baybars on the “population” in the occupied area of Cyprus

13. The transfer of water to the occupied part of Cyprus reportedly  created an ecological disaster in Anamur district

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Dönmez announced that Turkey would start drilling off the coast of Mersin today

2. AKP unveils 40 mayoral candidates; MHP to support AKPs candidates in Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir

3. Turkey conveys ‘discomfort’ to planned US observation points in Syria

4. Arrests for suspected PKK/KCK links and more arrest warrants for 51 FETÖ-linked soldiers in Turkey

 

Α. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci argues that a joint economic cooperation on the natural gas resources may be the key to unlock peace in the region

According to illegal Bayrak television (26.11.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=9th-bosphorus-summit-2), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, during his address at the 9th Bosphorus Summit which he was attending as guest of the International Cooperation Platform, said that “Sustaining Peace and Development for All” which is the framework of the main theme of the summit are two basic vital needs of the world and added that all people, communities and countries want to live in prosperity and security.

Noting that in order for conflict and instability to be prevented a sustainable economy development is needed for all, Akinci said that in order to build a world where the future generation can live in peace and prosperity, all human rights must be respected.

Explaining that instability in an area that is already problematic negatively affects its bordering regions Akinci noted: “Especially our region is in need of stability, an understanding of broad cooperation and a need for peace”.

Referring to the fact that recently hydrocarbon resources have been discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Akinci argued that if the resources are used and considered wisely then this will be an important opportunity for all. Only if a vision that foresees the joint evaluation of the natural resources will lead to the profit from the discovery”, he added.

Akinci further argued that if joint economic cooperation takes place, one where nobody loses then this economic partnership may be the key that unlocks peace in the region.

Claiming that today the two “peoples” on the island are face to face with a great historical responsibility, Akinci argued that not only are they responsible for the future generation but for the whole region and the world as well. “These natural resources belong to the two peoples on the island and must be used for the prosperity of the two peoples” Akinci claimed and called on the Greek Cypriot leader to give up on the wrong stance he has adopted up until today.

Akinci further claimed: “He must give up on his unilateral efforts as these resources belong to the two peoples and do not only belong to him” and added that joint richness should be conducted through common shared wisdoms.

2. Ozersay: “We will not allow the creation of a fait accompli”

Under the title “We will not allow a fait accompli”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Hakikat (26.11.18) publishes exclusive statements by Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, who claimed that “various areas” existed in Cyprus, which were administrated by “various authorities”. Alleging that the occupied northern part of the island was administrated by the “TRNC”, the buffer zone by the UN, the “Greek Cypriot side” by the “Greek Cypriot administration” [Translator’s note: This is how he described the government controlled-area of the Republic of Cyprus] and the British Bases by the British government, Ozersay said that various activities were organized in the buffer zone by the Greek Cypriots and “others” and alleged:

“[…] They go to conduct a religious ceremony in a church in the buffer zone in the Deryneia area. Various activities are held by Greek Cypriots in the buffer zone. We as Turkish Cypriot side have not asked to hold any activity in the buffer zone. There is a mosque in Deneia area. It has been restored by the cultural heritage committee. Moreover, it was burned by Greek Cypriots after its restoration. The Turkish Cypriots wanted to pray. […] We contacted the UN and they showed a positive approach. UN officials came. Our vehicle went there. Before the activity we were told by the UN officials that ‘this activity will not be held’. It is not fair to ensure the most appropriate conditions for the Greek Cypriots to hold activities but to tell us that ‘you should cross over to the Greek Cypriot side and enter from there’. We have handed over an aide memoire to the UN on this issue. […]

Last week Greek Cypriot farmers tried to plant areas which the Greek Cypriots were not cultivating in the past. In the current situation, we will not allow the creation of a unilateral fait accompli. The same is valid for the areas of maritime jurisdiction. Both the Greek Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense admit the same thing by saying that we are handling the issue in an organized manner. We as ministry of foreign affairs are not only spectators to the negotiating process. There are tens of other issues which we observe. […]”

Asked to comment on the fact that some “ministers” and “state officials” used the airports in the government - controlled area of the island to travel abroad, Ozersay said that it was natural for the citizens to travel freely from the “south” or the “north” when they did it as individuals, but it would not be correct for “state officials” to use the airports in the government-controlled area for “official visits”. Ozersay noted that he had not obtained a passport or identity card of the Republic of Cyprus and therefore he did not travel through the airports in the government-controlled area. “[…] And I do not intend to do this. It would not be right to have this identity in my pocket when I sit in front of them in the negotiations and say that ‘you are not the Republic of Cyprus’. […]”, he claimed and alleged that in case a solution was reached all “TRNC citizens” would remain on the island.

(I/Ts.)

 

3. Ozersay due to Italy for an international conference

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (26.11.18) reports that so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay departed today from the occupied area of Cyprus for Milano, Italy, in order to attend an “international conference” entitled: “Risks and Opportunities in the Eastern Mediterranean”.

According to the paper, during the conference, Ozersay would deliver a speech entitle: “Maritime Law, Fair distribution of natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean: Possible effects on Turkey and Cyprus”.

In a short statement, Ozersay explained that the conference would be organized by Konrad-Adenauer Foundation. He further added that experts on energy issues and natural gas from Germany, Russia, Israel, Italy, Turkey, “south Cyprus”, as he described the Republic of Cyprus and Greece, would be attending the conference.

(AK)  

4. Tatar says the UBP fully supports the Turkish Foreign Minister’s policy for discussing the alternatives on the Cyprus problem

According to illegal Bayrak television (26.11.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tatar-on-cyprus-issue), Ersin Tatar, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), has said that they fully supported the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s view to discuss different alternatives with everyone for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

In a written statement, Tatar said they supported “the taking up of other solution models other than a federation and how the two peoples will benefit from the hydrocarbons by all concerned sides before entering a negotiations process on the Cyprus issue.”

“If the continuation of peace, reaching a solution in Cyprus, the further development of Turkey-Greece relations with the solution of the Cyprus problem, and the positive effect of this to the region are important, then all alternatives should be considered” Tatar argued and added “the UBP fully supports the Turkish Foreign Minister’s policy for discussing the alternatives”.

In this regard, the UBP is ready to have contacts with the “Greek Cypriot administration” (as he refers to the Cyprus government), Greek Cypriot political parties, Greek government and the Greek political parties.”

Stating that they attached importance on the Turkish Foreign Minister’s reference to different alternatives during an interview with a Greek Cypriot newspaper, Tatar argued that following what had been experienced in Crans Montana they fully supported the discussion of other views such as confederation and a two state solution under the roof of the European Union.

 

5. Εrhurman and Deniz are attending the 9th Bosphorus Summit

According to illegal Bayrak television (24.11.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=9th-bosphorus-summit), self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman are attending the 9th Bosphorus Summit as guest of the International Cooperation Platform.

The theme of this year’s summit is “Sustaining Peace and Development for All” and is being held in Istanbul between 26-28 November 2018 under the auspices of the Presidency of the Turkish Republic,

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the FYROM President Gjeorge Ivanov will be delivering opening speeches at the summit on Monday.

Erhürman will be delivering the opening speech on the second day of the summit at the panel titled “the International Gas Trade and its Demands”.

The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) Turgay Deniz will also be speaking at the panel on “Trade with local currency from the perspective of bankers and exporters”.

Akinci will be returning to the occupied area of Cyprus on Monday night, while Erhürman will be returning from Istanbul on Tuesday night.

6. Ozyigit has been re-elected as chairman of TDP

Turkish Cypriot daily Detay (26.11.18) reports that Cemal Ozyigit has been re-elected as the leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), during the general congress of the party which took place yesterday.

According to the paper, Ozyigit was the only candidate for the party’s leadership and thus no election took place during the party’s congress.

According to the paper, after the general congress of the party, the party's central committee and the members of the disciplinary council of the party were also determined.

Delivering a speech during the congress, Ozyigit said that their expectation was that the Cyprus negotiation talks would resume the soonest possible. He went on saying that as TDP, they weredetermined to contribute by all means to the efforts for reaching a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution based on political equality. “I would like, however, to underline that the efforts exerted recently aiming to exclude the Turkish Cypriots not only from the negotiation process but also from the fair distribution of the natural wealth on the island, are considered as unacceptable approaches”, Ozyigit also said.

(AK)

7. Ozyigit: “Universities in the TRNC created for political reasons”

Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (24.11.18) reports that the “minister of education” Ozyigit stated that the  illegal universities that operate in the “TRNC” were created for political reasons.

Ozyigit was speaking during the discussion of  the “education ministry budget” which is 924, 087,300 Turkish Lira.

He also added that after he became a “minister” licenses for the establishment of new “universities were only given after detailed investigation.

(CS)

8. Celler met with the Turkish Minister of Labor

Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (26.11.18) reports that “minister of social security and labor” Zeki Celer met with the Turkish Minister of Labor Zehra Zumrut Selcuk on the sideline of the “3rd International Women and Justice Conference” held in Istanbul.

According to the paper Celer invited Selcuk to visit the “TRNC”. Selcuk stated that she was planning to visit the occupied part of Cyprus in December.

(CS)

 9. Kıbrıs: The protest against the opening of crossing points resulted in a fiasco

Under the title “The Deryneia activity resulted in a fiasco”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (26.11.18) reports that a group of around 20 Greek Cypriots held a protest yesterday at the Deryneia crossing point between 18.00 and 19.00 against the opening of the barricades. The paper writes that the protestors were members of nationalist ELAM party and of the family of Solomos Solomou, who had been murdered by Turks in the area of 8 August 1996.

It is reported that the protesters did not disturb Turkish Cypriot vehicles and that they were only suggesting to the Greek Cypriot vehicles not to cross over to the occupied area. Noting that these suggestions had no result, the paper draws attention to the fact that the protest had been programmed to last for three hours, but lasted only one hour because of the low participation.

(I/Ts.)    

10. Turkish Cypriots prefer to travel from Larnaca and Pafos airports

Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.11.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriots living in the UK prefer to travel from Larnaca and Pafos airports instead of the occupied airport of Tymbou due to the excessive price increase in the flight tickets.

According to the paper, there is a significant increase in the number of the Turkish Cypriots who choose to travel through the airports in the government controlled area of Cyprus than the occupied airport of Tymbou (Ercan). While the number of Turkish Cypriots, who travel to the occupied area of Cyprus from UK using the airport and ports of the breakaway regime, has decreased by 17.77% during the period January-October 2018, the number of those who travel to the occupied area of Cyprus using the airports of Larnaca and Pafos have increased by 4.208% during the same period, the paper reports. 

The paper also reports that the number of Turkish Cypriots living in the UK , who are holders of a UK passport, have entered the occupied area of Cyprus through the crossing points, is 41,874 for the period of January-October 2018; they were 40,155 in the same period last year.

(DPs)

 

11. Trade within the framework of the Green Line Regulation decreased by 5,42%

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (26.11.18) reports that the trade within the framework of the “Green Line Regulation” decreased in 2018 comparing to 2017 and notes that this decrease reached 5,42% in the first six months of this year. According to calculations carried out by the paper, based on data obtained by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, products worth 3,847 euro had been sold from the occupied to the government-controlled area of the island in August 2004, when the above-mentioned regulation entered into effect. The total worth of the products sold during the 13 years and 11 months since then reached 60 million 771 thousand 150 euro. If the electricity sold within the period July 2011 – March 2012, within the same framework, was added to this amount, the Turkish Cypriot community’s income would reach 89 million 626 thousand 478 euro.

The income of the Turkish Cypriots from the products they sold in the first quarter of 2018 within the framework of this regulation was 1 million 192 thousand 494 euro. This income decreased by 4,94% in the second quarter of the year by falling to 1 million 133 thousand 673 euro. The total income during the first six months of 2018 (2 million 326 thousand 168 euro) was by 133 thousand 383 euro or 5,42% less than the income in the same period of 2017, when it had been 2 million 459 thousand 552 euro. 

The average monthly sales in 2018 were 387 thousand 694 euro, which is the second highest average of the last eight years.

(I/Ts.)

12. Baybars on the “population” in the occupied area of Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (26.11.18) reports that so-called minister of interior Aysegul Bayrbars, in an exclusive interview to the paper, was asked to comment whether it was on the “government’s agenda” to conduct a new population census and whether she was aware of the “number of people” in the occupied area of Cyprus.

Referring to data provided by the “state planning organization” (“DPO”), Baybars alleged that according to a “population census” carried out by the “DPO” in 2011, the population in the occupied area of Cyprus was 372 thousand, without including tourists and soldiers.

(AK)

13. The transfer of water to the occupied part of Cyprus reportedly  created an ecological disaster in Anamur district

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.11.18) reports that civil society organizations and the persons who live in the area of the Mersin, Anamur district protested against the ecological pollution created after the building of the dam  that transfers water to the occupied area of Cyprus.

According to the paper, due the dam the water that used to flow to Dragon river was  drastically limited and as a result the fish of the river died and dirt was created in the area, opening the road to many illnesses.

The Mersin Environmental Association called for the water gathered in the dam, and as a result transferred to the “TRNC” to be returned to Dragon river.

(CS)

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Dönmez announced that Turkey would start drilling off the coast of Mersin today

According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (26.11.18,  https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2018/11/26/2nd-drillship-to-enter-turkeys-waters-in-december), Turkey's second drillship will enter the country's waters in December and start drilling activities in the Black Sea, according to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez.

Dönmez also announced that Turkey would start drilling off the coast of Mersin today and added:"Everything is ready. We will continue our search there. We increased the search number on land. On land, in the sea, we will find whatever there is."

Turkey's first drillship, Fatih, named after Istanbul's conqueror Fatih Sultan Mehmet, made its way to the Mediterranean in late October to start drilling the Alanya-1 well, offshore of Alanya, near the Mediterranean town of Antalya.

Indicating that Turkey initiated a serious move to drill for oil and gas, Dönmez said: "Last year, Turkey bought its own drillship for the first time. In the past weeks, Fatih started drilling off the coast of Antalya. Now its brother with the same technical features is coming. It will enter our waters in December. This ship can drill about two times a year. Our seismic work in the Mediterranean has been continuing for seven to eight years now. We analysed that work to locate the most hydrocarbon reserves; you have to go through a lot of details."

He explained that the Fatih drillship has a work program of five months and added: "We will finish drilling there in three to four weeks. We will be 5,500 to 6,000 meters below sea level. It's a very technological ship. There are five or six ships in the world with the same features. We have one of them, and the second ship has similar features, and we are preparing its work program. It will continue to drill most probably in the Black Sea."

 

2. AKP unveils 40 mayoral candidates; MHP to support AKPs candidates in Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.11.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-ruling-party-unveils-40-mayoral-candidates-139160), Turkish President and leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced 40 mayoral candidates that will compete in the upcoming local elections on Nov. 24.

“God willing, we will come out of the 15th challenge of our democracy and development journey also victorious,” Erdoğan said at the meeting held at the Haliç Congress Center in Istanbul. “The momentum Turkey has gathered is important but the future targets are more important. We want to make our country one of the largest 10 economies by 2023,” he added.

He also thanked leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli, for having supported AKP’s candidates in the three largest provinces of Turkey. “We also reaffirm our commitment to the People’s Alliance which is one of the most important mainstays of the survival struggle,” Erdogan said.

The candidates for Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir will be announced on Tuesday.

On the same issue, the HDN (24.11.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/mhp-not-to-nominate-candidates-in-istanbul-ankara-izmir-139153) reported that opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has decided not to nominate metropolitan mayoral candidates in Turkey’s three biggest provinces, in a bid to support the People’s Alliance formed with the ruling Justice and Development Party.

MHP leader Devlet Bahceli announced the party’s decision in a speech he made in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya on Nov. 24. “No matter whom the Justice and Development Party nominate in the three biggest provinces we will provide full support. There has been no bargain, collusion, give-and-take process in [expressing] our will,” Bahceli said. “We have our own nominees in every other place,” he added.

Bahçeli also vowed continuing support to the People’s Alliance and transition to the presidential system of government following the referendum in 2017.

Meanwhile, pro-government Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (26.11.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/elections/2018/11/26/mhp-bolsters-ak-partys-chances-of-winning-in-three-biggest-cities-at-municipal-elections) reports that following MHP's decision, the AK Party seems to have substantially increased its chances of winning the three provinces, when previous local election results are taken into consideration.

In the capital Ankara, which the AK Party has been winning for the past three elections, the party had received 44.80% of the vote, while the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) received 43.78%, and the MHP 7.77% in the 2014 municipal elections.

Combining the vote percentages of the AK Party and the MHP, the AK Party can reach a strong support base, above 50% of votes, which would mean a clear victory once again.

In the country's culture and commercial capital, Istanbul, the AK Party has also been winning with clear victory. The ruling party had received 47.92% of votes in the last elections in 2014, while the CHP garnered 40.08%, and the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) got 4.83%. The MHP's vote percentage was 3.97%.

In Istanbul as well, the MHP's support to the AK Party would likely mean a consolidation of centre-right and nationalist votes, again increasing the possibility of another victory in the country's most populous province.

Turkey's third most populous province, western İzmir province, has been a CHP stronghold and a challenge for the centre-right parties to win. Yet, AK Party's alliance with the MHP may mean a boost in hopes and results for the AK Party candidate in İzmir for the upcoming elections in March. (…)

 

3. Turkey conveys ‘discomfort’ to planned US observation points in Syria

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.11.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-conveys-discomfort-to-planned-us-observation-points-in-syria-139157), Turkey has repeatedly conveyed its “discomfort” to the U.S. officials over their planned observation points in northern Syria, Turkish Defence Minister said on Nov. 24.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency following a ceremony to mark Turkey’s Teachers Day, Hulusi Akar said he spoke with Gen. Joseph Dunford, the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Nov. 18 during the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada about the planned U.S. observation points on the Syrian border.

“We have stated that the observation points to be established by the U.S. troops on the Syrian border will have a very negative impact […] and in the course of our discussions we expressed that it could lead to a perception that ‘U.S. soldiers are somehow protecting terrorist YPG members and shield them’,” he added.

Akar said that those practices would make the already complex situation in the region “much more complex” and added that there is no need for that.  (…) He reiterated: “We expect that our U.S. allies cut their relations with the terrorist YPG, who are no different from the PKK, as soon as possible”.

Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.11.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkish-russian-defense-ministers-discuss-idlib/1321011) reports that Turkish and Russian Defence Ministers discussed the latest situation in Syria’s northwestern Idlib over the phone, the Turkish Defence Ministry said on Sunday.

In a written statement, the Ministry said that Akar and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu exchanged views on recent provocations “deemed to damage” the Sochi agreement.

 

4. Arrests for suspected PKK/KCK links and more arrest warrants for 51 FETÖ-linked soldiers in Turkey

According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (26.11.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/twenty-arrested-for-suspected-pkk-kck-links-in-turkey-3467376), at least 20 people including former officials of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) were arrested in Turkey's western Izmir province for their suspected links to PKK/KCK terror group, security sources said Monday.

The arrests came after Izmir and Menemen Public Prosecutor’s Offices issued arrest warrants for 28 people, who were allegedly spreading the terror group’s propaganda, said sources who asked not to be named, due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The HDP’s former provincial co-chair M.G. and former Menemen district head M.A. were among the arrested suspects, the sources said. A police hunt for other suspects is underway.

Meanwhile, the paper (26.11.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-issues-rrest-warrants-for-51-feto-linked-soldiers-3467406) also reports that Turkish prosecutors on Monday issued arrest warrants for 51 suspects over their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the group behind the July 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.

The Chief Public Prosecutors Office in capital Ankara launched an investigation into the presence of FETÖ in Land Forces Command. The office issued warrants for 48 suspects, including 43 active-duty soldiers, and three senior figures called “civil imams” -- who were public servants -- of the terror group as part of the probe.

The soldiers - including a lieutenant colonel, five majors and seven captains at land forces - were charged for communicating on pay phones with the civil imams of FETÖ. (…)

.………………….

TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(DPs/EH)