Under the title “’June is the date when all sides will be ready’”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (12.01.19)reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that it had been identified that no development would happen regarding the Cyprus problem until the end of May, because of the local elections in Turkey in March and the European Parliament elections in May. In statements after meeting UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus, Elisabeth Spehar on Friday Akinci noted that June seemed to be the date when all sides would be ready and added: “I do not think that there is a meaning in throwing it beyond June”.
Akinci expressed the view that content was more important than time, adding that the negotiations could last for years if the content was not completed. He reiterated the allegation that the Turkish Cypriots wanted an early solution, but they did not want a process which would be open-ended, without a time limit and without a strategic agreement.
“In case the Greek Cypriot side’s mentality of not sharing power and prosperity does not change, a very troublesome process is awaiting us. We are in a process in which the Greek Cypriot side’s sincerity is tested”, he alleged accusing the Greek Cypriot side of trying to step back on agreed issues and of opposing the political equality, which is one fundamental element of the solution.
Asked to comment on self-styled foreign minister Ozersay’s statements during his visit to the UN, Akinci said that Ozersay stated that UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus’ (UNFICYP) mandate should change and that he did not hear Ozersay asking the withdrawal of UNFICYP from the island, as this is not the Turkish Cypriot side’s position. He alleged that the necessity of changing the mandate of UNFICYP existed due to the experiences of all these years. “I am not saying that UNFICYP should go, I do not think that I have this right, but the fact that this presence creates a field of relaxation for the Greek Cypriot side has not the slightest contribution to the solution”, he alleged.
Illegal Bayrak (12.01.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=fm-ozersay-speaks-at-roundtable-at-csis ) broadcast that the so-called foreign minister of the breakaway regime Kudret Özersay attended a roundtable meeting organised by the US’s leading think tanks, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as part of his contacts in Washington D.C.
Representatives of companies which were issued hydrocarbon exploration licenses by the Republic of Cyprus also attended the meeting during which the Ozersay “informed the participants on the Turkish Cypriot side’s position and proposals on the energy equation in the Eastern Mediterranean”.
Speaking to the BRT following the meeting, Özersay said that “the Turkish Cypriot side was adopting a creative and constructive approach on the issue”.
He claimed however that no one should expect the Turkish Cypriots to sit idly and remain bystanders whilst the Greek Cypriot side goes ahead with its own plans.
“We shall not allow the Greek Cypriot side to do whatever it wants” he added.
Özersay also gave interviews to Reuters and Bloomberg as part of his other contacts in the US capital, Washington D.C.
Illegal Bayrak (13.01.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=denktas-remembered-on-7th-anniversary-of-his-death _ broadcast that the late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Raif Denktaş was remembered yesterday on the 7th anniversary of his death.
Speaking during the ceremony, Mustafa Akıncı said that the decades long Cyprus Problem continued to affect everyone’s lives.
He said that as time passed, even though areas and issues affected by the Cyprus Problem changed, each newer generation was forced to wage a struggle against this problem.
Stating that the late Denktas during his years as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community “had waged a struggle against his Greek Cypriot interlocutors on the basis of his own views and beliefs”, Akıncı said even though some elements may have changed over time, the source of the problem remained the same.
“The late Greek Cypriot leader Glafkos Clerides in his book ‘My Deposition’ clearly pointed out the problem of mentality within the Greek Cypriot community. He said that the aim of the Greek Cypriots was to transform Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot state and to ensure that Turkish Cypriots remained a minority. The main concern of Turkish Cypriots on the other hand was to stave off these efforts and to preserve the bi-communal nature of things as engraved in the Zurich agreements. Clerides had also pointed out that by accepting federation as a basis of settlement, the non-solution continued today. Whereas, Clerides pointed out a federation is nothing more than a constitutional partnership of constituent states. These views were expressed 30 years ago. We are in 2019. Anastasiades’s most recent statements prove that Clerides’s observations are still very valid” he said.
Akıncı also claimed that the Greek Cypriot side’s reluctance to accept Turkish Cypriots as an equal community was a serious mentality problem.
“The resistance displayed by the Greek Cypriots against the political equality of Turkish Cypriots unfortunately shows that they still have not changed. The Turkish Cypriots are equal partners on this island and it’s not possible to abandon these rights. They will never bow down to such pressure. We will not allow this to happen” he added.
Akıncı concluded his speech by stating that the necessary struggle will be waged as long as the Cyprus Problem remained unresolved.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (13.01.19)reported that conscientious objector Halil Karapasaoglu has filed an “appeal” against the decision taken by the “military court”. According to a statement issued by the Conscientious Objection Initiative, in the “appeal” Karapasaoglu’s lawyer Oncel Polili noted that the “military court’s” decision did not take into consideration that with the decision of amending the “law” Karapasaoglu’s “offense” might be a “technical one”, that articles 5 and 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights might be violated and that the fair trial principle was violated because the decision did not reply to this allegation of the “defense”.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (14.01.19)reports that the 10-day-deadline for Karapasaoglu to pay the 2 thousand Turkish Lira fine imposed to him by the “military court” was completed today. Karapasaoglu will not pay the fine and will go to prison, the report adds.
In statements to the paper, Karapasaoglu said that he would not surrender. “If the police want, let them come and take me”, he added.
Citing information from sources close to the “police”, the paper writes that Karapasaoglu would be arrested after the “military court” sent them the “minutes”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (14.01.19) reports that the “initiative women of Mesaoria”, in a written statement, ask the “officials” in the “ministry of education” whether or not they will implement a campaign aiming to raise a religionist generation in Turkey by Turkey’s Ministry of National Education and an “association of youth and sports club”.
The campaign named “Come children to the mosques” was implemented in 25 provinces last year in Turkey and will be implemented in 81 provinces of Turkey this year. The program targets children between 6-13 years-old and aims to familiarize them with the mosques and to make them pray five times a day in the mosques during the holidays.
The “Initiative of Mesaoria women” argues that the “ministry of education” has not said anything on the creation of a children’ playground in the yard of a mosque in the occupied village of Lysi, on the “scandal” of transferring children to Dardanellia, on the religious orders around the schools, on the compulsory religious lessons in schools or on bringing teachers from Turkey to teach the religion lessons.
The paper wonders whether this campaign will be implemented in the occupied area of Cyprus, this year.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (13.01.19) reports that a new mosque was inaugurated on Saturday in the industrial zone of the occupied part of Nicosia. The “deputies” of the National Unity Party (UBP) Zorlu Tore and Sunat Atun, the “deputy” of the Revival Party (YDP) Bertan Zaroglu, as well as “officials of the Turkish embassy” in the occupied part of Nicosia, participated in the inauguration ceremony.
Mustafa Kucuk, on behalf of the “religious affairs presidency”, claimed that with the mosques they protect their homeland, adding that they are continuing their efforts in order for the number of mosques in “south Cyprus” [the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus] to be increased.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris (13.01.19) reports that the “deputy speaker” of the so-called assembly and “deputy” with the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Zorlu Tore, has stated that he wished to be “candidate” of his party at the forthcoming “presidential elections” to take place in the “TRNC” in 2020, alleging that due to his stance and positions in the “national cause, his candidacy is supported by the people”.
Claiming that he made this decision since he considers that the “people” need a “president of the TRNC” that would support their “national cause” and not a leader of the community, Tore stated that his biggest goal is to become the “president of the people”.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Tore argued further that it became clear and obvious after the long-lasting ongoing negotiation process that the federation is not possible as a basis for a solutionto the Cyprus problem. Tore added that he considers that the “two-state solution” is the only appropriate solution in Cyprus and argued that they should explain to the world in a better way their positions.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris (14.01.19) reports that according to Turkey’s Statistical Authority, the “trade volume” between Turkey and the “TRNC” by November 2018 has reached 1 billion 200 million dollars, which is the highest figure of the last 10 years. The trade volume during the same period of 2017 was 1 billon 49 million dollars.
According to the same figures, Turkey’s exports to the “TRNC” during the above mentioned period had reached 1,1 billion dollars while its imports were 65 million dollars.
Meanwhile, according to the same figure, the trade deficit in 2018 has increased by 15.83 points and reached 1 billion 070 million dollars while in 2017 it was 924 million dollars. Also, the coverage ratio between imports and exports in 2018 hit bottom with 5.74%.
Illegal Bayrak (14.01.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=vakantiebeurs-2019-tourism-fair ) broadcast that the self-styled minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoğlu evaluated the contacts he held as part of the Vakantiebeurs 2019 Tourism Fair which was held in Utrecht in the Netherlands.
According to a statement released by the “tourism and environment ministry”, Ataoğlu said that “a considerable number of tourists from the Netherlands have been visiting the TRNC, which they perceive as a safe destination, for the past 9 years, ignoring any political pressure not to do so”.
Noting that an average of 130 thousand people were visiting the Vakantiebeurs Tourism Fair every year, he said interest towards the “TRNC stand” was quite high every year and the fair was very fruitful.
Explaining that larger agencies through charter flights and small agencies through scheduled flights were bringing tourists to the breakaway regime, Ataoğlu said that the campaign to promote the “north” as a tourist destination in the Netherlands continued through both tourism exhibitions and the digital market.
Stating that alongside Turkish Airlines Corendon Airlines which entered the Dutch travel market in 2010 made great contributions to tourism in the breakaway regime, he said it was important for the tour operators who work with Corendon Airlines to market “north Cyprus”.
Noting that he had a meeting with the Director of Corendon Airlines Yıldıray Karaer, he said they will carry out an initiative in February to bring more Dutch tourists to the “TRNC”.
Stating that the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Ersoy visited them at the fair and that they evaluated the latest developments in the tourism sector, Ataoğlu said that Minister Ersoy always supported them and that they worked in cooperation and harmony.
Noting that he found the opportunity to come together with the owners of agencies and hotels from the “TRNC” at the fair, he stressed that they worked in cooperation with the tourism sector for the Dutch market
Under the title “Turkey will not be intimidated by US threats, Turkish officials say”, Turkish daily Sabah (14.01.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/01/14/turkey-will-not-be-intimidated-by-us-threats-turkish-officials-say) reports that Turkish officials criticized controversial statements made by U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday, saying that Turkey will not be intimidated by threats, while urging the latter to refrain from being allies with terrorists, reiterating once again that Turkey does not have any problems with the Kurds and is only against PKK terrorists and their extensions in Syria.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu responded to Trump's messages by saying that Turkey will not be intimidated by threats and will take necessary measures against the terrorist threat. He noted that Trump has been under tremendous pressure following the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and that his Twitter messages are a matter of domestic politics. "We have said this over and over again that Turkey will not be intimidated by threats", Çavuşoğlu said, adding that the U.S. should seek a solution rather than threaten Turkey.
Moreover, Çavuşoğlu noted that the idea about establishing a 30 km safe zone was proposed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before Trump.
"Mr @realDonaldTrump Terrorists can't be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the US to honour our strategic partnership and doesn't want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda," Kalın said in a tweet on Monday, adding that it is a "fatal mistake" to equate Syrian Kurds with PKK terrorists. "Turkey fights against terrorists, not Kurds. We will protect Kurds and other Syrians against all terrorist threats," Kalın added. Presidential spokesman reiterated that there was no difference between Daesh, PKK, PYD and YPG and Ankara would continue to fight them all.
Meanwhile, Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said Turkey has no problems with the Kurds and that its problem is with the PKK terrorist organization and its Syrian extensions. "Turkey is not the enemy but the protector of the Kurds," Altun claimed, adding that the country will continue to fight PYD/YPG terrorists in a determined manner.
Kalın's and Altun's comments on Twitter came shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington would "economically devastate" Turkey if Ankara decided to "hit" the PKK's Syrian offshoot People's Protection Units (YPG).
Turkish officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, repeatedly said Washington needed to separate terrorists from Syrian Kurds.
Earlier on Monday, Trump on Twitter said the U.S. was starting "long overdue" pull-out from Syria and Washington would strike from a nearby existing base if Daesh started to reform.
Trump also said Washington would "economically devastate" Turkey if Ankara decided to strike against the U.S.-backed YPG militants in the region. President Erdogan also warned the YPG to not provoke Ankara and proposed a 20-mile safe zone. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (14.01.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-deploys-tanks-at-border-with-syria-140488) reports that the Turkish military deployed tanks and armoured vehicles to the border province of Hatay on Jan. 13, as Turkey continues its preparations for a planned military operation in the east of River Euphrates in Syria against ISIL and the YPG, which it sees as the Syrian branch of the PKK.
According to Demirören News Agency, several tanks and armoured vehicles were dispatched from the eastern province of Erzurum to the border city of İskenderun by train. The vehicles were unloaded from trains at İskenderun train station and were loaded on to trucks en route to border troops stationed around Cilvegözü border gate under heavy security measures.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Yeni Safak (14.01.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/80000-soldiers-ready-to-take-part-in-biggest-cross-border-op-in-turkeys-modern-history-3471692), under the title “80,000 soldiers ready to take part in biggest cross-border op in Turkey’s modern history”, reports that close to 80,000 soldiers of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) are ready to take part in the biggest cross-border operation in the country’s modern history in Syria’s Manbij and east of the Euphrates regions since the successful Turkish deployment in Cyprus back in 1974 [Turkish invasion to Cyprus].
The operation east of the Euphrates River is set to be run from headquarters in the southern Turkish provinces of Şanlıurfa and Kilis on the border with Syria. (…)
The deployment will begin along a 500-kilometer-long front from ten different locations, 10 km deep into the border, with the aim of clearing an area of 30,000 km2 from terror organizations and put an end to the attempt to form a terror corridor established on Turkey’s southern borders.
The second phase of the attack will involve advancing ten additional kilometers from the border the reports says.
The TAF is said to have taken intellectual and security measures to counter any possible Gulf-backed tribal resistance in regions east of the Euphrates. (…)
Turkish Daily Sabaj (14.01.18 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/01/13/armed-un-peacekeepers-should-be-turned-into-civilian-mission-turkish-cypriot-fm-says) reports that the “foreign minister” of the breakaway regime Kudret Özersay, has called for turning the U.N. peacekeeping mission on the island into a civilian mission.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), Kudret Özersay, who held meetings with U.N. officials and diplomats in the U.S., said the military mission was no longer necessary, adding that the "changing circumstances" required a revision of the current peacekeeping forces on the Eastern Mediterranean island.
Özersay traveled to New York on Jan. 7 “to express the TRNC's views to the U.N. and members of the U.N. Security Council, where the issue is expected to be discussed by the end of January”, according to the paper.
Claiming that the presence of the roughly 800 U.N. forces on the island was costly, he alleged that its role as a deterrent against armed confrontation could be achieved by a civilian mission at half the current cost.
"We believe there is no need for an [military] operation that costs nearly $22-23 million in one year," he said, adding that $54 million is expected to be spent for the U.N. presence on the island in 2019.
Ozersay also said there is a general opinion at the U.N. that the functions, powers, and number of U.N. peacekeeping troops on the island need to be revised, even if their mandate is extended in February.
Touching upon the current dispute on hydrocarbon extraction in the Eastern Mediterranean, Özersay said that the issue could become an opportunity for dialogue between the two sides.
He said that in the absence of bilateral agreement on drilling rights, companies could lose resources and time, and that tensions could escalate in the region.
Suggesting that a partnership based on cooperation may be more feasible “between the north and the south of the island”, Özersay claimed the Greek Cypriots' reluctance to share power and wealth made a federal model "impossible."
"If you do not want to share governance and wealth you cannot make a federal partnership," he said, adding that cooperation in energy and fighting terrorism and organized crime could lead to interdependence between the two sides and "ultimately lead to a comprehensive solution to the dispute," he added.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.01.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-commemorates-founding-father-of-northern-cyprus/1363746) reports that
Turkey on Sunday commemorated the seventh since the death of the late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, who passed away in 2012.
"I remember the founding President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and pioneer of the Cyprus cause Rauf Denktas, at the seventh anniversary since his death, with respect and mercy," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also issued a statement saying: "We respectfully commemorate the late Rauf Raif Denktas, the founding president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, on the seventh anniversary of his passing away."
The ministry said Denktas had devoted his entire life to the Turkish Cypriots' "dignified struggle for survival and freedom, defended the cause of the Turkish Cypriot people for rights, equality and liberty, in unity of mind and spirit with the Turkish motherland."
Denktas will always "retain his exceptional place in our hearts and minds, as a leader who left his mark in history," it added.
"We will continue to fully support the resolute struggle of Turkish Cypriots, inspired by the late Denktas, to achieve a just and lasting solution on the Island," it concluded.
On his part, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu issued a statement saying that Denktas devoted his life for the Turkish Cypriots and that they remember him with respect.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (14.01.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-us-foreign-ministers-discuss-syria-on-phone-140463) reports that Turkey’s foreign minister and his U.S. counterpart spoke over the phone, Turkish diplomatic sources announced on Jan. 12.
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Mike Pompeo discussed the latest developments in Syria, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The phone call came during Pompeo’s nine-nation tour of the Middle East, which is aimed at reassuring allies following U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal decision from Syria.
“Today, we discussed the latest developments and the steps that should be taken [in Syria],” Çavuşoğlu said on Jan. 12 at an event in Turkey’s southern Antalya province.
Çavuşoğlu said Washington decided to withdraw its troops from Syria after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s firm stance against removing threat coming to Turkey from east of the Euphrates River in Syria.
He added that Turkey will not seek permission from anyone on its fight against terrorist organizations.
Last December, Trump announced plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, saying that American forces had defeated ISIL there.
Senior U.S. officials and lawmakers have called on Trump to not abandon the YPG as he pulls out of Syria. National Security Advisor John Bolton conditioned the exit on guarantees from Turkey not to attack the group -- angering Ankara.
Turkey has criticized the U.S. working with the YPG to fight ISIL, saying “using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.”
State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement that the two ministers agreed on the importance of continuing U.S.-Turkish consultations as part of the “deliberate and coordinated” withdrawal of American forces from Syria.
“Secretary Pompeo reiterated the United States’ commitment to addressing Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border,” said Palladino.
He added that Pompeo also stressed the importance that the U.S. places on the protection of forces, namely the YGP, which Ankara considers as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK and thereby as a terrorist organization.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (14.01.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-chair-we-do-not-have-trust-in-election-board-140469) reports that main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said that his party will not appeal Parliamentary Speaker Binali Yıldırım’s nomination as Istanbul mayor candidate to the Supreme Election Board (YSK), as they do not have “trust” in the election body.
“We do not trust YSK. How can we even apply to it? YSK has become pro-government. It does not make any decisions in accordance with the law. It cannot because it lacks the power. The power is at the [Presidential] palace,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters on Jan. 12 at the headquarters of his party, referring to Yıldırım’s comment that anyone having a problem with his nomination should “apply to the YSK.”
“What can be said to an institution that does not recognize law and international law? [Yıldırım] does not believe that he can win. If he did, he would have resigned [from his current post as parliamentary speaker] and said ‘I’ll win this city [Istanbul]’,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Asked about Yıldırım’s comment that “elections are not political activities,” Kılıçdaroğlu said: “I would like to leave this comment to [the Turkish satirical website of] Zaytung. What are elections other than being political activities for God’s sake?”
The CHP has been calling for Yıldırım’s resignation as parliamentary speaker, saying his nomination to run for mayor of Istanbul breaches the constitution as it obligates the speaker of the parliament to remain impartial.
The CHP leader also said that he had a problem with the YSK acting as the highest legal authority on electoral matters in the country, as there is no other institution to which one can apply in case of an objection.
“Let’s say an election is held in which two parties participated. And let’s say one party received 30 percent and the other received 70 percent of the votes. And the YSK decided that the party which received 30 percent of the votes has won the election. There is no place to appeal [regarding the YSK’s decision],” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
Kılıçdaroğlu also touched upon the criticisms his party received in the last general elections that they “did not protect [the security of] the ballot boxes sufficiently.”
“For the first time in the history of the republic, a political party [the CHP] provided 96 percent of the wet-ink signature reports. Where could we not provide? In [the southeastern province of] Şanlıurfa and in some parts of [the eastern province of] Erzurum, members of parties were not let in. Now, in this [March 31] election, there will be many more observers at the polls,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
“No other party, including the [ruling Justice and Development Party] AKP, has our digital infrastructure…We are working harder than the YSK, but we cannot escape criticism,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also stated that alliance talks with İYİ (Good) Party are still ongoing and a close contact with Saadet (Felicity) Party is still intact. “We will announce the [remaining] candidates as soon as possible after we determine them,” he said.
The CHP and İYİ Party have agreed to cooperate in several municipalities for the upcoming local elections. For example, İYİ Party previously announced it would support the CHP’s candidates in the country’s two largest provinces, Istanbul and Ankara.
The CHP has nominated Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayor of Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district, to run for Istanbul province, while announcing Mansur Yavaş, a former CHP mayoral candidate for the 2014 elections, to run for Ankara.
Regarding İmamoğolu’s recent visit to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Kılıçdaroğlu said that the visit is understandable.
“[İmamoğlu] announced that he will visit all former mayors of Istanbul. Erdoğan was a mayor too, so he paid a visit to him as well. No discrimination should be made,” he said.
According to Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (12.01.19, http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/dunya/1199050/FETO_suphelisi_213_kisi_gozaltina_alinmisti__Turkiye_ye_gonderdiler.html), a total of 213 persons, who were detained during investigation operations over suspected links to the movement of Fethullah Gulen (FETO) in the occupied area of Cyprus, were sent to Turkey.
Among the suspects were officers, non-commissioned officers and experts, who were serving in the “security forces” and in the Turkish occupation forces in the occupied area of Cyprus. The paper does not specify the dates of the operations.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (14.01.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-boost-planting-industrial-hemp-140470) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey will cultivate industrial hemp and the necessary talks were already held with the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry and the Environment and Urbanization Ministry regarding the works to be launched.
“I am calling out to my nation; let’s start the process to cultivate industrial hemp. We will see that industrial hemp has many different benefits in many different areas,” said Erdoğan on Jan. 13 while speaking at a meeting of BMC, a privately owned Turkish-Qatari armored vehicles manufacturer, in the northwestern province of Sakarya.
The cultivation of hemp is currently allowed in 19 regions in Turkey. Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli on Jan. 10 said that the government will issue permit to new places for hemp production.
Hemp is used as a raw material in thousands of industrial products but the infrastructure to make this a valuable market has not been developed in Turkey.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION