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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-27.11.18

 

No. 228/18                                                                                                        

Contents

Α. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci says that Lute had asked to visit Turkey on 5 or 6 December

2. Ozersay argued that a lasting stability in the region is possible through temporary arrangements without having to reach a final Cyprus settlement

3. Erhurman: “We are struggling not only for the solution of the Cyprus problem but also for the economic and social development of the TRNC”

4. Izcan calls on the two sides not to sabotage the Cyprus negotiation process

5. Columnists assess Cavusoglu’s statements to Politis newspaper

6. Measures by the “police” to ensure “public order” scare people

7. Tatar’s scheduled visit to Ankara has been postponed

8. The so-called council of ministers suspended the licenses of eight stone quarries in the occupied area of Cyprus

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan: “We will not give the opportunity to those who want to establish economic and political domination in the Mediterranean”

2. Turkey starts shallow water drilling in Mediterranean Sea

3. Turkey and Qatar prove to be true friends, says Erdogan

4. Cavusoglu says Turkey continues to aim to be a full member of the bloc

5. Erdogan names 20 mayoral nominees including Ankara and İzmir candidates

6. Turkey detains 585 people over Gülen links in past week

 

Α. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci says that Lute had asked to visit Turkey on 5 or 6 December

Illegal Bayrak (27.11.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-gives-interview-to-cnn-turk) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that the two sides in Cyprus must reach an agreement on the terms of reference in order for the negotiations to resume. In statements yesterday to CNN Türk television, Akinci noted that the UNSG in his latest report had clearly stated that another 50 years could not be wasted on negotiations and argued: “Different from previous reports, UNSG Antonio Guterres in his report stated that any new process could not be open-ended and had to be result-oriented”.

Noting that UNSG’s temporary Special Envoy, Jane Holl Lute had asked for an appointment from Turkey, Akinci said: “I have learned that Lute has asked for an appointment from the Turkish government for the first week of December, possible for the 5th or 6th. She has yet to ask us for an appointment. It is most likely she will be meeting with us after her visits to the guarantor states”.

According to Akinci, Lute aimed at completing the process of drafting the terms of reference by the end of this year.

Referring to President Anastasiades’ proposal for a decentralized federation, Akinci alleged that it was surprising to see what he called as a “switch in the Greek Cypriot side’s official position”. He claimed:

“For years we argued in favor of a federation, in which more powers resided with the constituent states. The Greek Cypriots had argued the opposite.  They had supported a federation with a stronger center and weaker constituent states. Now all of a sudden, Anastasiades came up with this. We are not closed to this idea. I have said this from day one. We are ready to discuss a process which will not be open-ended. I would like to underline this because the Greek Cypriots want the continuation of the status quo”.

Akinci also argued that he needed to be realistic as the Turkish Cypriot side would not accept a unitary state model nor did reaching a confederation seem to be achievable. He expressed the view that the UN parameters were not bad and should not be discarded. “I am not even able to travel to Azerbaijan as president”, he added.

Referring to the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, Akinci alleged that the Greek Cypriot side had opted for tension rather than cooperation and that this had prompted Turkey to justifiably take action.

Commenting on the recent unofficial meetings held by the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu with the President Anastasiades and the General Secretary of AKEL Andros Kyprianou, Akinci said that he had been informed of the meetings and that he was not bothered by them. “From what I understand these contacts will not resume”, he added.

Akinci also said that the Turkish Cypriot side should not fall at odds with the UN and argued: “The minute I tell the UN that these parameters are dead and no longer valid, they will hold the Turkish Cypriots responsible, putting the blame on our shoulders. I would not allow something like this to happen”.

2. Ozersay argued that a lasting stability in the region is possible through temporary arrangements without having to reach a final Cyprus settlement

According to illegal Bayrak television (27.11.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-attends-international-meeting-in-italy), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister, is continuing his contacts in Italy.

Speaking to the “TAK news agency” after attending an international conference organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation on the issue of hydrocarbons, Ozersay said that they were conveying the Turkish Cypriot side’s positions at various international platforms so that approaches which take into account the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people could be developed.

“By exchanging views with policy or decision makers or those who can influence the views of policy or decision makers on the issue of hydrocarbons, we are allowing everyone to understand our foreign policy”, he explained.

Underlining the need for the two sides in Cyprus to adopt a model of cooperation, Ozersay claimed: “A lasting stability in this region is possible through temporary arrangements and mutual dependency between the two sides without having to reach a lasting, just and comprehensive settlement”.

Ozersay further claimed that the two sides had been engaged in 50 years of talks on a theoretical and abstract future and argued: “We are unable to focus on today because of the time and energy we are spending on this. This is where the problem lies. Concrete steps from the bottom up and a relationship based on cooperation is inevitable”. He concluded by adding that the time had come to think about this more seriously.

 

3. Erhurman: “We are struggling not only for the solution of the Cyprus problem but also for the economic and social development of the TRNC”

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.11.18) reports that so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman, in statements yesterday in a ceremony which took place in a hotel in Istanbul where Turkish Cypriots who live in Istanbul were also present, stated that they should struggle in two directions simultaneously, not only for the solution of the Cyprus problem but also for the economic and social development of the “TRNC” and the Turkish Cypriots.

Stressing to importance of political equality for the solution of the Cyprus problem, Erhurman alleged that after President Nicos Anastasiades’ latest developments, it became more visible why there is a problem in the substance of the Cyprus problem. He further argued that in spite of the openings that Turkey made in Crans Montana, which had also caused a surprise, the sides returned from Crans Montana with no result.

Referring to President Anastasiades’ proposal on a “loose federation”, Erhurman said that a “loose federation” does not cause any distress to the Turkish Cypriots, since it is a model that provides more authorities to the “founding states”. Erhurman alleged also the following: “But after he explained why he is submitting this proposal, the issue became clearer. What he has said is the following: “It was a proposal which was made so as to come to the position of which the Turkish Cypriots would not have effective participation in the decision making organs of the founding states”. The meaning of this proposal in one sense was that it would provide to the Turkish Cypriots the rights that would have been provided to a minority. Our response to Anastasiades, not only coming from Turkey but also from the TRNC, the president of the TRNC, the foreign minister and the prime minister, was that this could not be accepted. Political equality and the effective participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the decision-making organs is a sine qua non for us. These issues are of vital importance to us”.

Pointing out that President Anastasiades is trying with his statements to explain that his proposal is related with the functionality of the state, Erhurman argued that in order for a state to be functional, none of the sides should be excluded from the decision-making.

Referring to the hydrocarbon issue, Erhurman said that if the natural wealth around Cyprus is distributed to the sides, then these natural resources could serve both sides, but if it is not distributed as he said, it would become the reason for tension.

Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (BRT-27.11.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=pm-erhurman-speaks-at-9th-bosphorus-summit 2/4) broadcast that so-called prime minister Erhurman, delivering a speech on the second day of the 9th Bosphorus Summit which is being held under a theme “Sustaining Peace and Development for All”, alleged that the “concept determined as the title of the summit is very inspirational as it is a concept chosen for reaching peace”.

Erhurman argued that peace in Cyprus could only be reached through sharing the island’s resources fairly.

Giving the developments on the Mexican border and Cyprus as examples, he alleged that it would not be possible to achieve a settlement unless everyone benefited from development.

“Peace will be reached if the wealth of the region is shared fairly. Failure to do so will only result in tensions” he added.

Also referring to the 1960 Cyprus Republic in his speech, Erhurman said that despite the fact that the 1960 Republic was a partnership; an understanding that everything on the island should be shared was never allowed to settle in.

He alleged also that the Turkish Cypriot side’s calls for sustainable peace fell on deaf ears. “Had the island be reunified with the 2004 referendum, the current hydrocarbon crisis would not have emerged and the island’s wealth would have been shared fairly today. However, despite the fact the Greek Cypriots rejected the plan, they became an EU member and the opportunity was lost”, Erhurman further said.

Claiming that despite all the negative developments which followed, the Turkish Cypriot side today continues to speak the language of peace, he further said: “This however does not mean we will abandon our rights”.

Erhurman pointed out that the hydrocarbons discovered off the coast of Cyprus belonged to everyone living on the island. “No one should have any doubts. The hydrocarbons discovered on the island belong to everyone. There were two founding partners in the 1960 Republic and that meant that Turkish Cypriots had an equal right and say on everything on this island. Unfortunately the Greek Cypriots acted unilaterally and ignored the rights of the Turkish Cypriots”, he said.

Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot side, despite all the injustices committed against it have been proposing alternatives on the issue of hydrocarbon exploration to the Greek Cypriots since 2010, Erhurman argued that the most outstanding of these proposals were to either suspend all activities until a settlement was reached or to create a joint committee to deal with the issue.

“Our goal was to regain the motivation we lost in 2004 but our proposals were ignored by the other side. They left us with no choice but to act together with Turkey to carry out our own hydrocarbon exploration”, Erhurman further claimed, accusing the Greek Cypriot side of issuing licenses for exploration and for ignoring the will of the Turkish Cypriot side in the process.

Describing the activities carried out by international oil companies as unlawful and illegitimate, Erhurman added: “We do not accept Anastasiades’ promises to transfer revenues to be generated from hydrocarbons to a fund to be used as and when a settlement is reached”. 

(AK)

4. Izcan calls on the two sides not to sabotage the Cyprus negotiation process

Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (27.11.18) under the title: “The sides should not sabotage the process”, reports on statements by the leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan who has stated that the initiative taken by the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, was continuing and added that his Special Envy Jane Holl Lute will be visiting Cyprus and the guarantor countries soon in order to ask for a common ground to be created for the resumption of the talks.

 Izcan went on calling the two sides not to sabotage the process by discussing new issues.

 In written statement, Izcan said that following President Nicos Anastasiades’ statements which contradicted with his own proposal on a decentralized federation, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoğlu’s statements that they were ready for a decentralized federation, a confederation and a two state solution were all against the framework of the Guterres document. “Such approaches do not serve for peace but the division on the island”, Izcan said.

 Commenting also on Cavusoglu’s remarks who claimed that the bi-zonal federation solution  is Akinci’s personal position and that “both the Turkish Cypriot government and the Turkish Cypriots as well have the right to speak”, Izcan supported that these remarks revealed that there is a serious crack between the sides. “President Akinci has taken the approval of the Turkish Cypriot community regarding the aim that is the federal united Cyprus and thus as the elective president of the community, acts in this sense and expresses the community’s’ position. Akinci represents the Turkish Cypriot community. The BKP will continue supporting the policy for a federal united Cyprus and will further continue protecting Turkish Cypriots’ existence and identity”, added Izcan.

 (AK)

 

5. Columnists assess Cavusoglu’s statements to Politis newspaper

Turkish Cypriot columnists assess today (27.11.18) the statements recently made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to Greek Cypriot newspaper Politis.

Hakan Gunduz, in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (27.11.18), recalls that Cavusoglu has openly said that he disagreed with Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, arguing that the views expressed by Akinci were “his personal ones” and he did not “fully represent” the Turkish Cypriots. The columnist recalls also that Cavusoglu claimed that the Turkish Cypriots were also represented by their “government” and “people”.

Gunduz notes that Cavusoglu’s statements were directed against the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, who was elected with 65% of the votes and points out the following: “[…] By saying that his views do not fully reflect the will of the community, they are personal, he did this against the will of the Turkish Cypriots. This is not surprising. This situation is the very ‘reality’ in our social and political life. It did not surprise those like us who say that the structure we have created has serious deficiencies for being a state. However, those who believe that ‘we are a fully independent, legitimate TRNC’ and defend this understanding until the end, should ask the question of ‘what does this mean’.

This declaration is the most important turning point of the recent years. It is a junction. In such a critical process this statement, which has been made by taking the risk, taking into consideration the possibility of causing many unfavorable situations from the tactical point of view, is candidate for conceiving very bitter political developments”. 

Furthermore, columnist Sami Ozuslu in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (27.11.18) writes the following in his article under the title “The Turkish Cypriots do not exist at the negotiating table”:

“[…] Especially the Turkish Cypriots have now been completely sidelined. ‘Motherland’ Turkey is trying to continue the process alone by ‘by-passing’ the Turkish Cypriots, ‘equal partners’ of the island. By changing modality and tactics, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu is doing things which develop the dialogue between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus, because the leader of the Turkish Cypriots and the majority of the political parties did not accept the ‘confederal’ model. First he met with President Anastasiades and afterwards with AKEL party leader Kyprianou. No one in the northern part of Cyprus knows what he discussed! And now he is directly giving messages to the Greek Cypriot community through the press, he is weighing the reactions and he is trying the influence. ‘I am the boss in Cyprus’, he says! When things are like this, why should the leaders of the Republic of Cyprus meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader? In brief, Cavusoglu succeeded: The Turkish Cypriots have totally stopped being a ‘subject’ in Cyprus. Or so they think!”

Finally, Gokhan Altiner in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (27.11.18) wonders “why Ankara has discredited Akinci” and argues that Ankara did not only discredited a leader elected by 62% of the votes, but also led to passiveness a politician who was elected by promising a federal solution to the Turkish Cypriots. He notes:

I evaluate this as an extremely needless and dangerous development. […] I think that there was no need for Ankara to do this at this stage. I have not understood why a country like Turkey, which attaches high importance to the state good manners, resorted to this way. […]”

(I/Ts.)    

6. Measures by the “police” to ensure “public order” scare people

Columnist Meltem Sonay in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (27.11.18) refers to measures taken recently by the “police” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus within the framework of an operation aiming to ensure “public order and security”. Sonay argues that everyone wanted the “police” to be more visible, but the images published in the press during the weekend forced everybody to “give in”.

She notes that heavily armed “policemen” had patrolled the streets and conducted body searches. She also publishes a picture showing a student from Nigeria, who had kneeled down and put his hands up in front of an armed “police officer”. Sonay says that the student had been afraid in the beginning and tried to run away. Trying to justify his behavior, the student said: “In my country the Boko haram war exists. I am afraid of guns. This is why I ran away”.

The columnist points out: “I think that I also would feel fear and not secure, if I saw in front of me persons heavily armed and camouflaged, while I was walking in the street. It is really very difficult to understand why the police chose such a frightening way for an ordinary ‘public order’ control.  It is definite that the images which came up in the end of the day, are not pictures of a country ‘which is not safe’”.

On the same issue, columnist Sener Levent in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (27.11.18) notes that the above-mentioned incident took place in occupied Famagusta and wonders whether the “martial law” existed in the occupied area of Cyprus. He says that the “citizens” who saw the heavily armed “police officers” recalled the images and controls they saw after the attempted military coup in Turkey. He notes:

“[…] They say that they are arresting illegals! First you have turned the country into an inn where everybody enters in an uncontrolled manner. You piled up population here to surpass the Greek Cypriot population. It seems to me that, in a sense, all this is done to scare the Greek Cypriots, who cross over to the north. There are anyway Greek Cypriots who are afraid of the Turkish army and for this reason they still have not passed to the north. After seeing these images, will they not be more afraid?”

(I/Ts.) 

7. Tatar’s scheduled visit to Ankara has been postponed

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.11.8) reports that the scheduled visit for tomorrow in Ankara, of the newly elected leader of the opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar, has been postponed.

According to a written statement issued by UBP, Tatar’s scheduled visit to Ankara for tomorrow at the invitation of Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, has been postponed due to Cavusoglu’s intensified program ahead of the developments and the tension in Russia-Ukraine.

(AK)

 

8. The so-called council of ministers suspended the licenses of eight stone quarries in the occupied area of Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.11.18) reports that the so-called council of ministers “decided” to suspend the licenses of 8 inactive stone quarries in the occupied area of Cyprus.

According to the paper, the “ministerial council decision” was published in the “official gazette” of the occupation regime.

After the “decision”, the number of the stone quarries in the occupied area of Cyprus has dropped from 54 to 46, writes the paper. Four out of the 8 stone quarries are located in the occupied village of Larnakas tis Lapythou, 2 in the occupied village of Filia and the remaining in Bellapais.

(AK)

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan: “We will not give the opportunity to those who want to establish economic and political domination in the Mediterranean”

Turkish private TV channel CNNTurk (27.11.18, https://www.cnnturk.com/turkiye/cumhurbaskani-erdogan-izmir-ve-ankaranin-belediye-baskan-adaylarini-acikladi) broadcast that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s parliamentarian group meeting today, said: “We are going through a period where important developments occur both in Turkey’s domestic and foreign politics.  The issue of our rights in the Mediterranean, the Aegean and in Cyprus are issues that Turkey has played up with sensitivity since the past. Due to the recent hydrocarbon exploration activities, the problems in this region have begun to be the subject of far greater conflicts of interests. The reckless behaviour of Greece, backed by some European states and of the Greek Cypriot side, which act along with them, has become a source of danger and a threat, first and foremost, to them. I am openly saying that their efforts to create the condition where our country will not be able to set foot in the Aegean are vain. We will let you know”.

Erdogan further said: “Those who are trembling in the flow of refugees, are quitting when the issue is becoming political and economic. At this moment, there are 4.5 million people sheltered in Turkey and on the other side; there are those who are buried in the waters of the Aegean and the Mediterranean. We, as Turkey, will never give up our own positions neither in the Eastern Mediterranean nor in other places.”

On the same issue, according to Turkey’s presidency (https://www.tccb.gov.tr/haberler/410/99808/-akdeniz-de-ekonomik-ve-siyasi-h-kimiyet-kurmak-isteyenlere-firsat-vermeyecegiz-), President Erdogan, at his AKP’s Parliamentary Group Meeting, also said “We will not allow those, who want to establish economic and political hegemony over areas in the Mediterranean, on which they have no rights, by taking advantage of the fact that some countries are dealing with their own domestic issues.”

Noting that those who quake in their boots in the face of the refugee influx, throw their weight around when it comes to oil, natural gas and political gain, President Erdogan said: “It is hypocritical that those, who do not fulfil their duties to humanity, push all rules and practices for their (own) economic interests. We are not buying these games which have been played against us over and over again in the past. We, as Turkey, will not make even the slightest concession from our own theses in the eastern Mediterranean or in any other area. And we will defend our nation’s and friend’s rights to the end.”

Pointing to the escalating tension in the Black Sea, President Erdoğan said: “It saddens us that the long-standing incidents between Russia and Ukraine, which appeared to have subsided for a while, have rekindled. As a country, which sees both Russia and Ukraine as close friends and wants to carry its deep cooperation with both countries to the future, we want the Black Sea to become a ‘sea of peace’ as soon as possible. Therefore, we reiterate our call to our Russian and Ukrainian friends to resolve their problems through dialogue.”

(DPs)

2. Turkey starts shallow water drilling in Mediterranean Sea

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.11.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-starts-shallow-water-drilling-in-mediterranean-sea-139217), Turkey started preparatory works on Nov. 26 for shallow water drilling in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Mersin in southern Turkey, Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez confirmed.

Speaking at the launch ceremony in Mersin, on the Mediterranean coast, Dönmez said the country would continue its drilling activities for the exploration of natural gas and oil sources in the region as part of Turkey’s aim to be energy independent. He also stated that based on the country’s current exploration licenses, Turkish engineers initially plan to open two shallow sea wells.

In the scope of this shallow well project that will run for two months, the first well will be drilled off the North Erdemli location, 119 nautical miles from land and at a depth of around 101 meters. He explained that Turkey also would like to diversify its energy portfolio with new projects in different energy fields. “Through these drilling activities, and based on these [diversification] strategies, not only will Turkey benefit from the outcomes, but also regional energy markets will fundamentally be affected,” he added.

On the same issue, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (27.11.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2018/11/27/turkey-expands-gas-exploration-with-second-offshore-drilling-in-mediterranean) reports that Donmez also stressed that Turkey's energy projects did not only serve the country but made significant contributions to the regional economy and politics. "Our main concern is to fully exercise our legal rights and economically exploit our own resources. Turkey is acting in line with its own energy strategy," Dönmez added.

The paper further reports: “The drilling platform will be transferred to Adana after two months of operations in Mersin and will start drilling for Kuzupınarı-1 well in the Mediterranean town. The drilling offshore of Adana will last four months at the well that will reach a depth of 4,100 meters.

Minister Dönmez said that Turkey has a crucial role in regional and international energy markets. The size of the Turkish economy, the rising energy demand, the country's geostrategic importance and its political stability renders it an indispensable energy partner.

He highlighted the efforts to decrease Turkey's dependence on imported energy and the necessity for the country to change the dynamics, stressing that these efforts in the Mediterranean with new wells point to the intensified efforts to transform Turkey's energy outlook and policy.

As Turkey prepares for the purchase of a second drillship in December, it continues to reinforce its claim in the hydrocarbon resources of the Mediterranean with full commitment to protecting its own rights and the sovereign rights of the Turkish Cypriots.” (…)

 

3. Turkey and Qatar prove to be true friends, says Erdogan

Under the title “Turkey, Qatar sign a number of agreements to cement ties during Emir Al Thani's visit”, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (27.11.18,  https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/11/26/turkey-qatar-sign-a-number-of-agreements-to-cement-ties-during-emir-al-thanis-visit) reports that within the framework of the distinct relations between Ankara and Doha, the 4th meeting of the Turkey-Qatar High Strategic Committee, chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, was held on Monday in Istanbul. Speaking at the meeting, President Erdoğan stressed the importance of Turkish-Qatari ties and expressed his satisfaction with the level of relations at a time when the two countries are celebrating their 45th year of bilateral ties. Erdoğan emphasized that Turkey and Qatar are each other's friends during "hard days".

(…)

"The Turkish nation has made intense efforts to frustrate the blockades and sanctions against the Qatari brothers. Qatar was among the countries that gave the strongest support to our country in the international arena after the July 15, 2016, treacherous coup attempt. In recent months, it has stood by us in the face of speculative initiatives targeting our economy. I would like to take this opportunity to express my special gratitude once again to our loyal friend Qatar and its people for their support and solidarity," Erdogan added.

Referring to the meeting with Qatari Emir Al Thani, Erdoğan stressed that the two sides have expressed their strong will to further deepen bilateral relations.

The meeting was considered important as the two countries are eager to accomplish various goals in many sectors. The meeting discussed the opportunities to further develop cooperation between the two countries in various fields, and exchange views on regional issues.

A number of agreements on transportation, trade and economy were signed between the two countries during the meeting. On many occasions, Ankara and Doha have demonstrated that they are partners that exchange material and moral support and have close coordination during hardships.

The fraternal ties between the two allies gained significant momentum, particularly after the start of the Gulf crisis and the failed coup attempt in the summer of 2016, during which Turkey and Qatar strongly supported each other.

(…)

4. Cavusoglu says Turkey continues to aim to be a full member of the bloc

According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.11.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/saudi-journalist-s-killers-did-not-act-alone-cavusoglu/1322273), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in an interview with Suddeutsche Zeitung, assessed Khashoggi’s killing and relations between Turkey and the European Union.

Asked about last week’s visit to Ankara by EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn, the bloc’s Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations and Neighbourhood Policy, Cavusoglu said it had been the "best and most productive" meeting with EU representatives in several years.

Citing recent protests in France over rising fuel taxes, Cavusoglu said the EU regarded the French government’s reaction to demonstrators as "unacceptable”. "However, Europeans in the past tried to school us during the Gezi incidents,” he added, referring to a nationwide wave of protests against the Turkish government in the summer of 2013.

He reiterated that Turkey continues to aim to be a full member of the bloc while noting that the EU did not hold up its side of the 2016 refugee deal with Ankara by failing to open negotiations regarding any of the five chapters for accession to which it had vowed.

Cavusoglu also highlighted the "fallacy" of the EU in seeking to school Turkey in judicial independence, citing the case of Can Dundar, a former editor-in-chief of a Turkish daily who was convicted of espionage. (…)

On a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordering the release of a Turkish opposition leader facing terror charges, Cavusoglu claimed there were "many EU countries that do not execute ECHR decisions". He added that Turkey would apply to the grand chamber of the ECHR to appeal against the ruling. (…)

 

5. Erdogan names 20 mayoral nominees including Ankara and İzmir candidates

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.11.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-president-erdogan-names-20-mayoral-nominees-including-ankara-and-izmir-candidates-139226), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced 20 more mayoral candidates ahead of the March 31 local elections, including nominees for Turkey’s capital Ankara and its third largest city, İzmir.

Speaking to the parliamentary group of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) he is leading, Erdoğan revealed on Nov. 27 the names of the candidates for the provinces of Ankara, İzmir, Afyonkarahisar, Balıkesir, Bingöl, Çanakkale, Çankırı, Çorum, Eskişehir, Hatay, Karaman, Konya, Mardin, Muş, Sakarya, Sivas, Tokat, Trabzon, Uşak, Yozgat.

AKP deputy chair Mehmet Özhaseki was nominated for the capital Ankara and Nihat Zeybekci, the deputy chair of the economy policies council of the Presidency, will run for İzmir. (…)

The local elections in 81 provinces and hundreds of districts in Turkey are scheduled to be held on March 31, 2019.

Erdoğan is expected to announce the remaining candidates of his party, including the mayoral nominee from Istanbul, following his official visit to South America.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli endorsed the AKP’s candidates to run for mayor of the three largest provinces of Turkey, Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir.

In this regard, the MHP will not nominate any candidate in these provinces. In return, the AKP will support MHP candidates where the nationalist party is popular, such as Adana, Mersin, Osmaniye, Manisa and Isparta provinces along with the Etimesgut and Alanya districts.

6. Turkey detains 585 people over Gülen links in past week

Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (26.11.18, https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/11/26/turkey-detains-585-people-over-gulen-links-in-past-week/) reports that Turkish police detained 585 people between Nov. 19 and Nov. 26 as part of its post-coup crackdown targeting followers of the Gülen movement, according to a statement by the Turkish Interior Ministry on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Aksaray Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Monday issued detention warrants for seven people who were dismissed from military schools over Gülen links. Five of them have been detained by police thus far. (…)

Meanwhile, according to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (27.11.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-arrests-23-pkk-terrorists-plotting-istanbul-attack-3467528), twenty-three members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), who were plotting an attack on Nov. 27 in Istanbul, were arrested in an operation conducted by Turkish security forces on Tuesday. (…)

Simultaneous raids of 28 addresses in 10 of Istanbul’s districts were conducted by the Istanbul Security Directorate’s counterterrorism squads. Digital material and documents related to the terror group were seized during the operation. (…)

 

.………………….

TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(DPs/EH)