No. 232/18 01-03.12.18
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkin Sesi (03.12.18) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated that his country was ready to protect its own and the Turkish Cypriots’ “rights and interests”.
Speaking at a press conference on the side-lines of the G20 Summit, Erdogan alleged that they would continue taking the necessary measures as long as what he called “the aggressive policies of the Greek Cypriot sector”, which “ignore the rights of the Turks of Cyprus” continued. He also claimed:
“We will never allow for the rights of TRNC, which is one of the fundamental owners of the hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, to be usurped with a fait accompli”, he claimed adding that strengthening recently his country’s existence in the area was “the reflection of our uncompromised stance on this point”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kibris (03.12.18) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that if a partnership would be established in Cyprus, the alternatives were known. Speaking to illegal TAK news agency, Ozersay claimed:
“If a partnership through negotiations will be established in Cyprus, this will either be a federal partnership based on sharing or, if they are not ready for sharing, it will be a partnership based on cooperation, that is, a partnership on a different basis outside the federal one. We are facing a serious difficulty not because the federal partnership is a bad model, but because its sociological elements are lacking”.
He further claimed that instead of entering into a negotiating process the inefficiency of which could be foreseen in advance, the creation of a basis which would make negotiations successful or negotiating on a basis appropriate for the existing conditions would be a more correct method. Ozersay alleged also the following:
“In brief, if there will be a negotiating process in the direction of the establishment of a partnership and if there is a wish for this to be successful, the alternatives are known. Either there will be a change in the Greek Cypriot side in the direction of sharing the power and wealth and with this a non open-ended negotiation for a federation will be held, or a negotiation which again will not be open-ended for a model outside the federation that needs no sharing of power and wealth within a partnership, a solution model which will be based more on cooperation. I do not see a change in the Greek Cypriot side in the direction of sharing. As long as the Greek Cypriot side’s mentality, which rejects sharing, does not change, insisting on negotiations on a federal basis will again lead us to continuation of the status quo and new disappointments. […]”
Illegal Bayrak (01. 12. 18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-speaks-to-trt-world ) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci claimed the cause of the failure to solve the Cyprus Problem was not the UN parameters but the Greek Cypriots’ reluctance to share power and wealth with Turkish Cypriots.
Speaking in an interview to TRT World, Akinci said that in the event a result oriented and timetabled negotiations process was to start, this new process would be limited to several months.
He said that it would be an unrealistic approach to say that there were many solution alternatives to speak about.
“To play for time by speaking about what is not possible only serves to continue the status quo which is against Turkish Cypriots” he said.
Akinci also stated that he remained committed to the UN parameters and the 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration signed between his predecessor and the current Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
He repeated his view that “the problem was not the UN parameters but the Greek Cypriot leadership’s mentality which was opposed to the idea of sharing power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots”.
Saying that the Greek Cypriot leader had recently brought up the idea of a loose or decentralized federation where more power or authorities resided with the constituent states, Akinci said: “I am not opposed to this idea as long as Turkish Cypriots are not excluded from εffective decision making on matters that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. We are ready to discuss this idea on the condition that the negotiations do not continue for another 50 years”.
Akinci also said that it was “high time the Greek Cypriots demonstrated the same political will and determination that the Turkish Cypriots have shown in the 2004 Annan Plan referendum and in Crans Montana”.
Stating that both the Turkish Cypriot side and the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu “are fed up of the Greek Cypriot leadership’s delaying tactics”, Akinci said: “Mr. Cavusoglu wants to learn what the Greek Cypriot leader really wants. We learned that Anastasiades had shared some ideas with Mr. Cavusoglu in Crans Montana which had a tendency leaning towards a two state solution. I asked Mr. Anastasiades about this during our meeting on the 16th of April. He first refrained from giving me a straight answer. I asked him once again whether or not a two state solution is on the agenda. I would like to know as the person negotiating with you. His reply was ‘no…no there is no such thing on the agenda’”.
The Turkish Cypriot leader also said that things will be clarified once the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute meets with both sides.
“Lute’s work on drafting up the terms of reference has begun. All parties involved including Mr. Anastasiades will be facing the facts” he added.
Saying that for the first time a UN report had openly stated that the time for open-ended talks was over and that any new process to take place had to be result oriented, Akinci said that “this was the outcome of the approach adopted by the Turkish Cypriot side at Crans Montana”.
“Ms Lute will concentrate on two things. The first will be the content and the second which will include the time element will be the modality. Because we do not have another 50 years to waste” he said.
Akinci also stated that he remained committed to reaching a settlement that safeguarded the security, equality and freedom of both sides.
“If this was only up to me I would solve this immediately. But reaching a settlement is not only up to me. What we are seeking is not just any solution but a settlement that will be to the benefit of all parties included and which safeguards the political equality and security of both sides” he said.
Also touching upon the issue of hydrocarbons, Akinci said that he had proposed for the establishment of a joint committee regarding the natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Unfortunately despite acknowledging that we too have rights over these resources, the Greek Cypriot side turned down this offer and set out to act on their own” he added.
Illegal Bayrak (02.12.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ulucay-speaks-on-cyprus-problem-to-aa) reports that the “speaker of the assembly” Teberruken Ulucay has expressed the view that no one living on the island will be able to benefit from Cyprus’s economic wealth unless the Cyprus Problem is solved in the short term.
Speaking to the Anadolu News Agency, Ulucay said that “both Turkey and the TRNC have been engaged in negotiations and talks for the past 50 years with the aim of achieving a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation on the basis of political equality”.
He stated that the fact that any resources discovered within the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone must be shared equally by both the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots was documented by the United Nations.
Claiming that the Greek Cypriots had backed out from reaching an agreement in Crans Montana by using their presidential elections as an excuse, Ulucay said: “Whereas the sides had reached agreement on 99% of the issues, the remaining matters were to be solved within the framework of a procedure. If we fail to settle the Cyprus Problem in the short term or at least bring the issue to a certain point then no one living on this island will be able to benefit from the economic wealth. All administrations on the island should fulfil their responsibilities towards the people and must make use of the window of opportunities that stand before us. We are envisaging a conference that will be result oriented and subject to a time limit ”.
In addition Kibris (03.12.18) reports that a delegation of the “assembly” headed by Ulucay held a meeting with a delegation assembly from Pakistan on the sidelines of the 11 Plenary Session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, which took place in Istanbul.
According to a statement issued by the “assembly”, during the meeting the Pakistani delegation was briefed on the recent developments of the Cyprus problem and the natural gas issue.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (03.12.18) reports that the Democrat Party (DP) has expressed the view that the “legal status” of the Maronites, who wish to return to their occupied villages, should be the same as the enclaved Maronites in occupied Kormakitis village. In a written statement as regards the possible return of the Maronites to their occupied villages, the DP argues that the necessary “legal arrangements” should be made in order for the decision taken by the “council of ministers” on 10 September 1974 to be adjusted to the present and put an end to the “blue identity card” practice.
The DP expresses also the view that the area in occupied Agia Marina village which is outside the military installations, should not be considered as a military zone and the properties which remain outside the military zone to be returned to the Maronites and the Turkish Cypriots, if such properties exist. The party argues also that infrastructure works should begin, the mosque and the church should simultaneously open for daily use and a road between the occupied villages of Agia Marina and Skylloura should be built.
Moreover, the DP notes that the committee established by the regime for communicating with the Maronites should be called for duty, contact the committee elected by the Maronites who had expressed the wish to return to their occupied villages and not accept as interlocutors the elected representatives of the Maronites in the government-controlled area of the island.
Under the title: “Akinci to break this game”, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (03.12.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Primary Teachers’ Trade Union (KTOS) called on the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci “to do his duty against the actions of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu which are leaving the Turkish Cypriot community outside of the Cyprus talks”.
According to a statement issued by KTOS, Cavusoglu showed his real intentions “without hesitating to by-pass Akinci who represents the Turkish Cypriot community at the negotiations”.
“Akinci should come out, drop this mask and stop the initiatives that will lead the Turkish Cypriots permanently out of International Law”, the KTOS’ statement stresses and further underlines the following: “[…] The policy that this mentality follows is one of time consuming which is presented in the whole island. […] Cavusoglu, who is dressed like the angel of peace should know that the Turkish Cypriot community is not a ship and is also fed up with cheap politics”.
Under the title “A foreign interest in real estate”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (02.12.18) carried a report on real estate in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
According to the paper, “1759 foreigners, with a decision of the council of ministers, have become property owners within ten months under the ‘law on the acquisition of real estate and long-term rent (by foreigners)’. In the same period, the amendments, which had been requested in the permits of 157 foreigners, who had the necessary permits for the purchase of immovable property, were approved by the council of ministers”. The paper has examined the decisions regarding the immovable property permits from February to November 26 this year.
Meanwhile, the owner of the “H&B property estate” and board member of the “real estate agents union”, Huseyin Sadeghi said that there has been recently a tendency from the Scandinavian countries. He added that the Iranian market continues, but the British market is “little if any”.
The paper publishes the distribution of permits by months:
February: 178 permits, 13 amendments
March: 237 permits, 8 amendments
April: 203 permits, 32 amendments
May: 309 permits,20 amendments
June: 222 permits, 17 amendments
July: 160 permits, 26 amendments
August: 86 permits, 10 amendments
September: 164 permits, 5 amendments
October: 106 permits, 12 amendments
November: 126 permits, 14 amendments
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (03.12.18) reports that Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP) and self-styled minister of finance, in a speech at his party’s meeting, spoke about the congress of his party in 2019, the economic developments in the occupied area of Cyprus and the Cyprus talks.
Referring to the DP congress in 2019, which may be held by the end of March or beginning of April, Denktas announced that he would be a candidate for the party leadership.
Commenting on the Cyprus talks, Denktas noted: “We have been talking for 50 years; we need to look for new ways”. Furthermore, he claimed that it is unacceptable during the Cyprus talks, which have been going on for 50 years, to accuse first Rauf Denktas, later Talat and Eroglu and now Akinci of not wanting a solution, as well as to show Turkey as the side which does not want a solution. Serdar Denktas also argued that despite the fact that Turkey has presented in the negotiating table a document in Genève the Greek Cypriot side rejected it and abandoned the Conference.
He claimed that the period of doing anything mutual with the Greek Cypriot side is over, adding that now is the time to consider if they can open a new window of opportunity for Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots through mutual steps and whether they can further develop or not the trade between the two sides through these steps.
Speaking on foreign policy, Denktas reiterated that the “coalition government” did not have a common view on the Cyprus issue, adding that the statements made by the “government partners” regarding the Cyprus problem were the views of their own political parties.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (03.12.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-trump-discuss-clearing-manbij-of-ypg-139372) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and United States President Donald Trump have discussed an ongoing bilateral agreement that stipulates clearing the Manbij province of Syria of the YPG militants along with other troubled aspects of the ties in a face-to-face meeting on the margins of the G20 summit in Argentina.
“Our relations with the U.S. are based on strategic partnership. As two strategic partners, we had the opportunity to elaborate the developments in northern Syria, east of Euphrates, Manbij. We also had the chance to talk on Idlib but our main agenda is Manbij. We have discussed how we can clear Manbij of these organizations while we reiterated our view on the PYD/YPG,” Erdogan told a press conference late Dec 1 in Buenos Aires.
Erdogan held a 50-minute long in-person meeting with Trump, on the margins of the G20 Summit, amid bilateral efforts to put things back on track, after the release of a U.S. Pastor whose two-year detention had caused severe impacts on Ankara-Washington bonds.
Turkey and the U.S. agreed on a road map in early June for the withdrawal of the YPG militants from Manbij to the east of Euphrates River but its implementation has been delayed. Turkey has long been criticizing the U.S. cooperation with the YPG on the pretext of continued fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Turkey considers the PYD/YPG as the Syrian branch of the PKK and therefore as terrorist.
Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s frustration over the choice of the U.S. in partnering with a terror organization to eliminate another terrorist group, saying “As Turkey, we witness this double standard on the terrorist actions both in our country and our neighbor Syria.”
"Terrorists, who act within Turkey, kill civilians and mess with terrorism, roam freely in Western countries under the name of political refugees and can even collect tribute," the president said, referring to the supporters of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETO).
“The supporters of FETO, who initiated the coup attempt and killed 251 of our people, are being protected by certain countries, notwithstanding all the mounting evidence we have presented," he said, expressing his hope that the U.S. will change its attitude and extradite Fethullah Gulen, the mastermind of the July 2016 failed coup attempt.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (03.12.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-court-dismisses-plea-for-release-of-demirtas-after-echr-ruling-139359) reports that a Turkish court on Nov. 30 rejected a request from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the release of Selahattin Demirtas, the former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) who has been in prison for over two years on terrorism charges.
The Ankara court dismissed the petition by defence lawyers of Demirtas, ignoring the Nov. 20 ruling by the Strasbourg-based ECHR.
The ECHR had ruled Demirtas’ imprisonment had been aimed at "stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate", calling for his release from the pre-trial detention.
The HDP said in a statement that the Ankara court’s latest decision was taken for "political reasons" and under "pressure from President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and the executive".
"This is clearly a violation of the constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights," its co-leaders Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli said in a statement.
Demirtas, 45, is charged with a string of offences, including terrorist propaganda for the illegal PKK, for which he faces up to 142 years in prison if convicted. He denies the charges.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had said the Turkish government was planning to object to the ECHR ruling and will take it to a higher chamber of Europe's top court.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION