Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (07.01.19)reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has stated that he had met yesterday in New York with Jean Pierre Lacroix, United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, and that he would try to influence the decision to be taken by third parties with various meetings, which he would hold with UN officials and representatives of UN Security Council member states.
He said the following in statements after the meeting with Lacroix that lasted for about 40 minutes: “Diplomacy is a process. It is possible to take results with new and creative ideas, which will be put forward with various meetings, not just with one meeting. With this thought, we will represent the Turks of Cyprus like they deserve it and try to influence the decisions in all international platforms in which we have the chance to do so. We do not see the foreign policy as something which could be carried out by sitting in Nicosia”.
Ozersay said also that during the meeting he had put onto the table the issue of moving UNFICYP’s military camp outside the occupied city of Famagusta, that they would soon receive an official reply by the UN on the issue and that they would determine their way of action according to this reply.
Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak (08.01.19, http://www.brtk.net/ozersay-birlesmis-milletler-bir-karar-asamasinda/), Ozersay met also with UN Under-Secretary Rosemarie Di Carlo and the UK’s Permanent Representative at the UN Johnathan Allen.
In statements to Bayrak after his meetings, Ozersay alleged that UNFICYP’s task directive and reason of existence needed to be reexamined due to the “radical changes” that happened since 1964, when the force had been sent to the island. “That is, the conditions of the 1960’s do not exist now”, he argued claiming that for this reason and taking into consideration other developments in the world, “it is inevitable” to change the status of the UNFICYP, which has allegedly become “a symbol of the status quo”. Noting that it has not been decided yet how this change would be, Ozersay added:
“We, as Turkish Cypriot side, are trying to shape the decision to be produced on this issue with various initiatives which we are carrying out in New York, instead of sitting and watching. Various actors are developing a policy in the UN in the direction of their own interests. This situation is valid from the point of view of the Peace Force’s future as well. We will continue undertaking initiatives and diplomatically struggling in all international platforms where this is possible without ignoring all these issues”.
Referring to the issue of UNFICYP’s military camp in occupied Famagusta, he said that, after the UN officials told him that they would soon reply to the demand submitted by the breakaway regime in September for moving the camp from the city, he had replied that they were ready to show another place to the UN for moving the camp and that whatever the UN’s answer would be, the issue was not open for negotiations. “We want a step to be taken on this issue. This camp has a different status than the places and the activities in the buffer zone. No one can ignore this”, he claimed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (08.01.19) reports that the “conscientious objection draft law”, which was prepared by the “councils of ministers in the name of the government”, was presented at the “assembly” yesterday.
The “deputies” of the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Revival Party (YDP), who do not agree with the “law”, did not participate in the “assembly’s” discussion for the issue and the quorum was not safeguarded. However, the paper notes that this did not prevent the process to start since this is a human rights related issue.
Yeni Duzen writes that the following steps must be followed in the procedure: The ““councils of ministers” must present the “draft law” in the assembly. Then the “law” is published at the “official gazette” for a period of 20 days so that the “people” to be informed. Then it should be sent to the “committee of legal issues” of the “assembly” and after that to the “general assembly” which will examine the “law”. In case the “law” is approved by the “assembly” it will be send to Akinci for approval. Akinci will have a period of 15 days to “sign the law”. The final step is for the new “law” to be published at the “official gazette”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat newspaper (08.01.19) reports that the chairman of the Revival Party of settler’s in the occupied area of Cyprus (YDP) Erhan Arikli, in exclusive statements to the paper, condemned the so-called coalition government for trying to demolish the so-called Turkish Cypriot security forces (“GKK”) with its “efforts” to “submit a “draft law”, aiming to solve the issue of the conscientious objection in the breakaway regime to the so-called assembly.
Accusing the so-called four party coalition “government” of being unable to solve all problems experienced in the “country”, Arikli claimed that it is time for “early elections” to take place.
Moreover, commenting on the former head of the “religious affairs department” Ahmet Yonluer, who joined the YDP, Arikli argued that besides Yonluer, a large group has joined the party recently. “Since we are not a separatist party, 47 out of the 60 persons who joined the party are of Cypriot origin. I am extremely happy for this. The YDP right now has 5,000 members. And hopefully, by March our members will reach 7,500?”, Arikli alleged, supporting that his party is becoming bigger every passing day and it is the party of hope.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (08.01.19) reports that according to the statistics of the “tourism planning department”, in the first eleven months of 2018, there were 9 million 438 thousand 369 crossings between the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus and the occupation regime.
According to the figures, during the above mentioned period, there were 4 million 49 thousand 172 crossings from the “south” to the “north” and 4 million 718 thousand 307 crossing from the “north” to the “south”, comparing with the same period of the previous years, that the crossings were 4 million 46 thousand 842 and 4 million 49 thousand 172 respectively.
The number of the Greek Cypriots who crossed over to the “TRNC” during the first 11 months of 2018 has reached 1 million 630 thousand 561, comparing with the same period of 2017, that was 991 thousand 164. Also, the number of “citizens of the TRNC” who crossed over to the Republic of Cyprus during the same period of 2018 has reached 1 million 616 thousand 233 and 1 million 610 thousand 949 out of them returned back.
The crossing of tourists from the “south” to the “north” has reached 1 million 630 thousand 561 and the number of tourists who crossed from the “north” to the “south” has reached 1 million 626 thousand 915. A 71% increase has been observed on the crossings of Bulgarian origin tourists, during the above mentioned period, comparing with the same period of 2017. Also, 48% increase has been observed on the crossing of tourists from Greece. On the contrary, a 61.7% decrease has been observed on the crossing of Israeli tourists from the “south” to the “north”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (08.01.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot businessman Bulut Akacan, chairman of Akacan Holdings, was arrested after he was involved in a fight with two other Turkish Cypriot businessmen.
According to the paper, Akacan and two of his bodyguards attacked Erhan Basay and Zeki Asimoglu in occupied Keryneia. One of Akacan’s bodyguard, Vasif Gurbanov, severely beaten Basay, who was admitted to the hospital in a very bad condition. Basay “filed charges” against Akacan, who was later “arrested” by the so-called police.
Reporting on the same issue, Afrika (08.01.19) reports that Gurbanov, who is an Azeri former boxer, severely beaten Asimoglu as well. Asimoglu is now in intensive care.
The reason of the fight is an amount of money that Basay seems to own to Akacan Holdings.
Afrika knows that Akacan, is the son-in-law of the very well-known Turkish Cypriot businessman Vakkas Altinbas and was also a candidate with the National Unity Party (UBP) but failed to be “elected”.
Turkish Yeni Şafak(08.01.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/ekonomi/tam-yol-ileri-3429758)reports that Turkey has broadened the field of its explorations for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ankara issued a NAVTEX announcing that it would be carrying out seismic explorations in an area in the south of Kastellorizo and east of Rhodes with Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha seismic explorations vessel, accompanied by Tanux-1 and Apollo Moon vessels. The paper notes that the explorations started in the Turkish continental shelf, “which is an issue of Greece’s invasion policy”, and in a big part of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone. After this NAVTEX ends, Barbaros will reportedly return to the open sea of occupied Morfou, following evaluations to be conducted in view of the results of the above explorations.
“Together with this, Barbaros is planned to expand its explorations in the Turkish continental shelf to the entire Eastern Mediterranean […]”, writes the paper recalling that in parallel to Barbaros’ explorations, the Fatih platform is carrying out drillings in the sea of Alania (Alania1 well) and that Deep Sea Metro 1, Turkey’s second drilling platform, will be carrying out drillings in the Mediterranean instead of the Black Sea. Deep Sea Metro 1 is expected in the area within the next few days and will start drillings in a new area which will be determined, notes the paper.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.01.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-security-delegation-in-turkey-to-talk-syria-feto/1358144), a top U.S. national security delegation arrived in Ankara on Monday to discuss recent developments, particularly Syria and the FETO terrorist group. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and his delegation arrived in Ankara on Monday afternoon following a trip to Israel. The delegation includes Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey, recently appointed and a former Ambassador to Turkey. The delegation is expected to meet with Turkish officials and discuss the coordination of regional security between Turkey and the U.S. following the decision to withdraw American troops from Syria.
"Looking forward to visiting Israel and Turkey in January," Bolton tweeted last week. "We will discuss our continued work confronting security challenges facing allies and partners in the region, including the next phase of the fight against ISIS [Daesh], as the U.S. begins to bring troops home from Syria." (…)
Talks with Turkish officials are expected to focus on combating the FETO and PKK terror groups, the roadmap for Manbij, Syria, the U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria, the sale of U.S. Patriot defence systems to Turkey, and economic ties. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Yeni Safak (08.01.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/bolton-arrives-in-turkey-with-new-color-coded-sykes-picot-map-of-syria-to-protect-pkk-3471098), under the title “Bolton arrives in Turkey with new color-coded ‘Sykes-Picot’ map of Syria to protect PKK”, reports that U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton has arrived in Ankara with a color-coded map of Syria, dubbed as a new “Sykes-Picot”, put together by new U.S. Special Representative James Jeffery, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
The color-coded map is said to have regions highlighted as zones where Turkish soldiers are “prohibited” from entering, in order to “share control” with “Kurds” in northern Syria.
“Mr. Jeffrey and his State Department team have created a color-coded map of north-eastern Syria in an attempt to negotiate a power-sharing plan that could avert a costly Turkish-Kurdish fight in the area,” the article stated. (…)
On the same issue, Turkish daily Sabah (08.01.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/01/08/presidential-spokesman-kalin-trump-aide-bolton-discuss-us-syria-pullout) reports that Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın on Tuesday held a meeting on Syria with White House National Security Adviser John Bolton at the Presidential Complex in Ankara.
Bolton and Kalın had a productive discussion regarding the United States' decision to withdraw from Syria, spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council Garrett Marquis said after the meeting.
Marquis added in a statement that the two sides had identified further issues for dialogue and that the U.S. looks forward to ongoing military-to-military consultations.
U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria and the special envoy for the anti-Daesh coalition, also attended the meeting that lasted a little over two hours.
The U.S. delegation is scheduled to hold talks with National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar later on Tuesday. Dunford is also expected to meet with his Turkish counterpart Yaşar Güler.
Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (08.01.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/01/07/turkey-has-a-plan-to-restore-peace-in-syria-erdogan-says-in-nyt-article) reports that Turkey has a plan to restore peace in Syria and has "no argument" with Syrian Kurds, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in an article published in The New York Times late Monday. President Donald Trump made the right call to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, Erdoğan added.
"The United States withdrawal, however, must be planned carefully and performed in cooperation with the right partners to protect the interests of the United States, the international community and the Syrian people," Erdoğan said.
"Turkey, which has NATO's second largest standing army, is the only country with the power and commitment to perform that task," Erdogan argued regarding Turkey's upcoming battle against the Daesh terrorist group.
"In 2016, Turkey became the first country to deploy ground combat troops to fight the so-called Islamic State in Syria. Our military incursion severed the group's access to NATO's borders and impeded their ability to carry out terror attacks in Turkey and Europe," he wrote.
Criticizing the coalition operations in Raqqa and Mosul, Erdoğan said that they relied heavily on airstrikes and with "little or no regard for civilian casualties". (…)
Regarding the PKK's Syrian affiliate the People's Protection Units (YPG), Erdoğan said that Turkey has no problems with the Kurds, but rather with terrorists like the YPG. (…)
Regarding the efforts to completely destroy Daesh terrorist group, Erdoğan said that Turkey expects international support in its bid to finish off the group. "Turkey intends to cooperate and coordinate our actions with our friends and allies. We have been closely involved in the Geneva and Astana processes, and are the sole stakeholder that can work simultaneously with the United States and Russia," he said, adding: "Turkey is volunteering to shoulder this heavy burden at a critical time in history. We are counting on the international community to stand with us".
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.01.149, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkeys-fight-not-against-kurds-but-terrorists/1358193), Turkey's fight in the region is not against the Kurds but against the PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists, Turkey’s National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar argued on Monday, pushing back a U.S. misconception.
"The fight of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is not against our Kurdish brothers with whom we have shared the same geography and the same bread for centuries. Our struggle in the region is against the PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists that threaten all ethnic and religious groups, particularly our Kurdish, Arab, and Turkmen brothers," Akar told Anadolu Agency.
Akar's remarks came a day after U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said the U.S. will not withdraw troops from northeastern Syria unless the Turkish government guarantees it won’t attack “Kurdish fighters”, referring to YPG/PKK terrorist group.
The terrorist PKK/YPG can never be the representatives of the Kurdish people, stressed Akar. "This terrorist group both poses a threat to regional security and stability, and prevents Syrian refugees, particularly Kurds, from returning to their territories," he added. (…)
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.01.149, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-s-vice-president-meets-eu-humanitarian-official/1358406), Turkey’s Vice President on Monday received the European Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management in the capital Ankara, according to presidential sources.
The closed-door meeting between Fuat Oktay and the EU’s Commissioner Christos Stylianides and an accompanying delegation was held at the presidential complex, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The two discussed Turkey's EU membership process as well as the global migration problem, in particular the Syrians in Turkey and EU fund allocated for the Syrians in Turkey.
Oktay and Stylianides also discussed humanitarian aid and crisis management and agreed to hold a joint earthquake exercise in Istanbul in the coming period. (…)
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.01.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-listen-to-us-concerns-over-s-400s-140337), in an article of journalist Serkan Demirtas, reports that the United States will send a technical team to Turkey in the coming weeks to express specific concerns over the latter’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence systems particularly in regards to the flight safety of the U.S.’s F-35 aircraft, the head of the Turkish defence industry body has said, in a development that followed the U.S.’s Patriot missile system offer to the Turkish government.
“We have constantly been hearing about the potential harms and problems over the stealth fighter qualification of the F-35s in the event of its deployment to a place close to the S-400s. And we have always informed our counterparts about measures we have been taking. But although these have been raised for more than a year, we have never had a team visiting us to clarify what the technical risks are,” İsmail Demir, the head of the Defence Industry Presidency, told journalists at a meeting in Ankara on Jan. 7. (…)
The U.S. has long been urging Turkey to cancel its plans to purchase the $2.5 billion worth Russian-made S-400 anti-ballistic missile system because it would harm the flight safety of the fifth generation F-35 aircraft, dubbed the stealth fighter. It is concerned that Turkey’s combination of S-400 batteries and F-35 fighters would give Russia a chance to closely study the U.S. aircraft and take measures in order to defeat it. A report issued by the Pentagon in November 2018 had suggested Turkey’s removal from the F-35 production program if Turkey does not cancel its plans for the S-400s.
Aware of all these concerns, Demir reiterated that Turkey will use the Russian system as stand-alone equipment without integrating it with other weaponry or radar systems. “The system we will use will have its own radar, own threat-detection and own tracking system. We are thinking of an architecture that won’t be integrated with other systems,” Demir stated.
He also touched on the agreement with Russia on Turkey’s introduction of its own software and identification of the friend or foe system to the S-400s, adding that the capabilities of these systems were sufficient in Turkey’s needs in terms of both its radar and tracking systems. “Russians do understand this, because it’s about the sovereignty of a country.”
It’s important that the U.S. decision to dispatch a technical team on the S-400s follows an offer by the U.S. for the sale of the $3.5 billion Patriot air defence systems to Turkey. The offer was conveyed to Ankara during a visit by a team composed of civilian and military officials last week after the State Department had notified Congress that the administration was ready to negotiate with Turkey on the sale of the sophisticated air defence system.
“Our decision to purchase the S-400s does not mean that all our needs [in terms of protecting the air space] are fully met,” Demir said, recalling that Turkey had to choose Russian systems in order to cover its airspace against imminent missile threats. “Turkey is a big country and it’s a fact that we need more [air defence] systems,” he said, adding they will evaluate the U.S. offer on Patriots based on this reality.
Turkey needs four air defence systems and two of them will be provided through the S-400s, Demir said.
Following last week’s state-to-state talks, further negotiations on the details and technicalities of the U.S. offer on Patriots will be held at the level of companies, Demir said, recalling that Turkey has “strict red lines” when purchasing defence equipment. (…)
On Turkey’s request of technology transfer, Demir stressed that commercial talks have not started yet but all the details will be on the table once the companies launch negotiations.
Demir also informed that Turkey’s talks with the French-Italian consortium Eurosam and its own works for developing a national long-range anti-ballistic systems which can be integrated with NATO systems are also underway. (…)
“In our planning, we have a running timetable that stipulates the deployment of our F-35s to Turkey in the fall of 2019. On the one hand, deliveries will continue and, on the other hand, the training [of the pilots] will continue in the U.S.,” he said.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (08.01.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/01/08/60-military-officers-detained-in-operations-against-feto), police have detained 60 out of 100 suspects with arrest warrants yesterday in an operation on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). All of the wanted suspects except one - a retired colonel - were active-duty soldiers, and operations were underway to capture the remaining suspects in Ankara and 40 other cities when Daily Sabah went to print.
The suspects were wanted by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, which is investigating military infiltrators of the terrorist group blamed for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 251 people. They were members of the land forces of the Turkish army and were identified through their phone calls via payphones. FETÖ, known for its intelligence agency grade tactics to avoid detection, uses payphones to contact its infiltrators in the army, earlier investigations revealed. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet (08.01.19, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/yerel-haberler/bolu/merkez/9-il-ve-kktcde-feto-operasyonu-13-gozalti-41076312) reports that during simultaneous operations in nine districts in Bolu, Turkey and in the occupied area of Cyprus, 13 persons were attained, including active duty imams.
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