Under the title “Evaluation of the situation prior to the drilling”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis(24.01.19)reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will illegally visit the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus tomorrow Friday, 25 January.
According to a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Cavusoglu will meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, “government officials” and political party leaders. The statement notes that the development of “close cooperation” between Turkey and the occupation regime, the Cyprus problem and their “coordination” as regards the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean would be discussed during the visit.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (24.01.19) reports that Cavusoglu will be granted an “honorary doctorate degree” by the so-called “American University of Keryneia” during a ceremony which will take place tomorrow morning at 10.30 hours.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs(24.01.19)reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci visited yesterday occupied Pergamos village and Pyla, a mixed village which is located in the buffer zone. According to a statement issued by his “office”, Akinci met with the “mayor”, the heads and inhabitants of the villages.
Speaking at Pyla’s Turkish Cypriot coffee shop, Akinci said that they wished for the relations between the two heads of the village to be good. Referring to the Cyprus problem, he claimed that the solution that could be found was known and that the issue was to want this solution sincerely and behave with determination. He argued the following:
“We wish and desire the creation of a Cyprus in peace, based on political equality, which will be for both sides’ benefit and both sides could accept it. We can do this by showing respect to each other’s rights and the agreements we have reached in the past. The UN exerts efforts for this, it appointed Mrs Lute, she came three times, [and] she will come within the forthcoming days. The issue is to really want a solution with good will and behave with determination. […] A solution could be reached only if both sides do their bit. Support should be offered by Turkey, Greece, Britain, the UN and the EU. The most important thing of what I have said is that both communities, both sides should want and support the solution”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (24.01.19- http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=president-akinci-meets-with-pm-erhurman) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met today with so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman, as part of their routine weekly meetings to discuss domestic and foreign issues.
The meeting held at the so-called presidential palace and lasted less than an hour.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Erhurman said that they found the opportunity to discuss the latest developments on the Cyprus Issue as well as domestic issues.
He added that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s “visit to the TRNC tomorrow” had also been taken up.
On the Cyprus problem, Erhurman said that despite earlier predictions it had become apparent that no new developments will take place before the middle of this year.
“The Cyprus problem is currently in a dormant situation. With the upcoming local elections in Turkey and the European Parliament, no new developments are expected until June later this year. Of course there is also the issue of hydrocarbons and we could be experiencing problems on that issue. We need to coordinate this issue with Turkey which is what we will do when the Cavusoglu arrives tomorrow”, he said.
Referring to Akinci’s visit to Pyla yesterday, Erhurman stated that Akinci had found the opportunity during today’s meeting to convey issues regarding the mixed village which concerned the “government”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Nacak (24.01.19) reports that “minister of finance” Serdar Denktas stated that they have different views with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on the Cyprus problem.
Denktas, who was speaking at a program of illegal Bayrak, stated however that having different views with Akinci does not mean that they will show disrespect towards his “office”.
He also said that certain circles should not get excited thinking that the “government” will collapse due to disagreements over the Cyprus problem.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (24.01.19) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmer Ali Talat stated that discussions within the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) as regards the “presidential elections” should have started already adding that CTP must point a candidate soon.
Talat, speaking at ADA TV television, stated that it is not too early to talk about the “elections”, and added that since CTP is a traditional party, it should point its chairman as the party’s candidate, although this is not a precondition.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Talat said that the only way out is to tighten the UN parameters. The main target is federation, Talat said, blaming the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades for not being sincere. ”Although he had political power, he didn't prepare his people for the federation,“ he claimed.
Referring to Kızılyürek's EP candidacy, Talat said: “It is his choice. However, his election does not represent Turkish Cypriots in the European Parliament”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (24.01.19) reports that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) calls on all Cypriots to vote for the European Parliament elections.
In a written statement, YKP, reiterating the call it made in previous elections, said that everyone who has the right to elect and be elected should go and vote in the framework of ideological approach by looking at the ideological positions of the groups in the European Parliament and not on the basis of ethnicity.
YKP’s statement read: “The European Left Party’s main agenda for some time now has been the behavioural development in the elections of a common movement of people in order to expand the fields of human rights and freedom and to combat the rise of fascist, far rightist approaches in Europe, the neo-liberal impositions and the regression of labour rights.” The statement further read that there is a need to develop an attitude towards the rise of ELAM and other extreme right elements, especially in this election.
YKP said that the party will convene on Tuesday, 5 February, to evaluate the issue and the party assembly will produce the final decision regarding their position on the elections.
According to illegal Bayrak (24.01.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=trnc-promoted-in-germany), the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus was represented at the International exhibition for caravanning, motor and tourism held in Stuttgart, Germany.
The international exhibition for caravanning, motor and tourism is the biggest and longest holiday and tourism exhibition in the world.
The self-styled minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoğlu said that efforts were underway to increase the efficiency of promotion and marketing activities in tourism. He added that they were working hard with the support of the sector to ensure that 2019 will be a good year.
Noting that the representatives of the sector who attended the exhibition under the umbrella of the “tourism and environment ministry” found new cooperation opportunities with tourism professionals as well as found the opportunity to directly market their services, Ataoğlu stressed that although “North Cyprus” [the occupied area of Cyprus] was generally known as a mass tourism destination it started to come to the forefront in recent years with alternative tourism such as culture, health, and sports tourism.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.01.19- http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-russian-presidents-meet-in-moscow-140729) reported that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held their first face-to-face meeting of 2019 on January 23.
“Our joint fight against terrorist organizations in Syria's Idlib will continue,” Erdogan said in a joint news conference in Moscow.
"It is critically important that a vacuum during the U.S. withdrawal [from Syria], which can be exploited by terrorists, doesn't form," Erdogan went on to say.
“The U.S. will take measures on threatening regions, which is 30 km deep [in Syria]. We are on the same page with Russia on this topic,” he added.
Erdogan further said that Turkish Ministers and officials have held negotiations on safe zone in northern Syria, adding: “Sensitivity of the regions that threaten us is of great importance.”
Erdogan said also that more than 300,000 Syrians returned back to a 4,000 square kilometer area in northern Syria following the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations, adding: "This (safe zone) model that helps people return should also be applied in the region east of the Euphrates."
Before the joint press conference, the two leaders greeted each other warmly.
"Dear Mr. President, very glad to see you in Moscow. We continue our practice of regular meetings, consultations, exchange of views. I would like to note that this gives positive results," Putin said while greeting Erdogan.
He noted that in 10 months of 2018, the Russian-Turkish trade turnover increased more than all of the previous year.
He also said that the growth in the number of Russian tourists -- which increased by 30% last year, reaching a record figure of 6 million people -- shows how the citizens of their countries "perceive the change in the nature and quality of Russian-Turkish relations".
"Mr. President dear friend, this is largely your merit and your personal achievement because you devote a lot of time to it," he said.
Erdogan, for his part, stressed that developments on tourism help Turkish and Russian people socialize.
"Our commercial relations are also on the rise ... we have set a big goal between us -- to reach the $100 billion trade volume," Erdogan said.
On bilateral projects, Putin said that they "are being implemented, everything is going according to plan."
"And of course, we are actively cooperating on regional security issues in Syria," Putin said.
Putin also expressed his condolences to Erdogan over the death of 16 Turkish citizens, who were killed in a twin vessel fire in the Kerch Strait on Monday.
Erdogan in return conveyed condolences for the deceased Russian citizens in the incident. (…)
Putin also praised the development of Russian-Turkish cooperation in 2018 and said the trade turnover between the two countries shows further growth.
Putin also praised the Astana process in which Russia and Turkey work together with Iran. Putin called the process “most effective” with respect to Syrian settlement.
Putin said that another trilateral summit between Moscow, Ankara and Tehran on Syria will be held in Russia in the “nearest future”.
“Mr. President [Erdogan] and I have already agreed on an approximate date, and we will need to coordinate with our Iranian partners [in this regard],” he said.
Commenting on the prospects of the Syrian political process, Putin said Russia and Turkey have a position to achieve a solution to the Syrian crisis via political and diplomatic means.
He lamented that Germany, France and the U.K. tried to influence the decision of the UN Secretary General regarding the establishment of the Syrian constitutional committee.
Putin noted that the three countries sent to Antonio Guterres a letter in which they asked him to tell then UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura to not approve the list of candidates for the committee presented by Russia, Turkey and Iran.
“Let me remind you that Russian and Turkish diplomats, in close contact with their Iranian colleagues, have carried out serious work on the composition of this committee and have fulfilled all the agreements reached in Istanbul with the French and German sides,” he asserted.
“Alas, it was not possible to form a constitutional committee until the end of last year. However, our efforts have created a solid and balanced basis for a sustainable and viable political settlement process,” the Russian president said.
According to him, another direction where Turkey and Russia have planned to work together on the repatriation of Syrian refugees and post-conflict restoration.
Speaking about the situation in Syria’s Idlib, Putin said: “Turkish friends are doing a lot to eliminate the terrorist threat emanating from there [Idlib]”.
Putin termed the announcement of the U.S. troop withdrawal “a positive step,” saying it will help stabilize the situation in the country.
Referring to the construction of TurkStream and Akkuyu, Putin said that they are being implemented as planned.
“We hope to build the first unit of the Akkuyu on the centenary of the Turkish Republic,” Putin added.
Putin invited also Turkey to participate as a partner country of the International Industrial Exhibition, INNOPROM slated to be held in Yekaterinburg in July 2019.
He noted that around six million Russian tourists visited Turkey in 2018 and thanked the country for creating “a safe and comfortable environment for Russian citizens”.
According to Turkish news portal T24 (24.01.19, https://t24.com.tr/haber/bakan-cavusoglu-abd-nin-suriye-ozel-temsilcisi-james-jeffrey-in-bugun-turkiye-ye-gelecek,805386), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that US Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey will visit today Turkey to hold meetings on Syria and to discuss the proposed safe zone along Turkey’s border in northern Syria.
Referring to the meetings in Russia, Cavusoglu said: “We do not have any disagreement with the Russians, except on the political solution; whether Assad will remain in power or not. They are in favour of the continuation of Assad. Our conscience cannot say to a person who killed one million people to continue. We see Syria as our national security. Actually, we are looking at the issue from an objective point of view. Everyone has different interests. Russia wants to stay there. Apart from this, we act together on the political process”.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.01.19- https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-security-strategic-area-in-cooperation-with-malta/13724860 reported that Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay on Wednesday called defense and security sectors as “strategic areas” to enhance cooperation between Turkey and Malta.
Speaking at the Turkey-Malta Business Council Meeting in Istanbul, Fuat Oktay said that Turkey has realized significant developments in defense industry.
“In this context, the defense and security sectors in particular could be strategic areas that we can improve the cooperation between Turkey and Malta,” he said.
"We expect Turkish and Maltese business people to work in line with the target of boosting bilateral trade volume to $1 billion," Oktay added.
Describing Turkey an attraction center for Maltese investors, Oktay said: "Our young and highly educated population, settled business culture, advanced infrastructure and geographical location are among the advantages of Turkey."
He underscored that the two countries can cooperate in different sectors, including tourism, food, textile and furniture.
Praising Malta's breakthroughs in the service sector and its pioneering initiatives in the fields such as block chain, Oktay said that the Turkish government also wants to play an active role in them.
Oktay also stressed that investments from Malta to Turkey and vice versa should be diversified.
"Turkey’s EU accession process is also important for Malta as it is for Turkey. Thus, Maltese companies can have access to more products in the Turkish market for more reasonable prices," he stated.
Oktay said Turkey's government will continue to encourage Turkish business people to benefit from business and investment opportunities in Malta.
Also addressing the meeting, Malta's President Marie Louise Coleiro Preca said that the Maltese government will continue to back Turkey's membership negotiations with the EU.
She added that Malta supports the EU's enlargement policies calling those efforts valuable for a sustainable and prosperous Europe.
Stating that the two countries are not rival, Preca said that Turkey and Malta enjoy mutual cooperation. "We can carry this [cooperation] further together," Preca said, pointing out the similar geopolitical potential Turkey and Malta share.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (23.01.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-economy-softening-but-no-sign-of-contraction-now-finance-minister-says-140719) reported that Turkey’s Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said that Turkey’s economic growth has softened but government’s moves to cut tax and accelerate the transfer of billions of lira to the Treasury mean Ankara currently sees no recession or negative growth.
Albayrak predicted the slowdown would be less serious than economists believe. Growth will bounce back strongly and the government’s overall 2019 growth target of 2.3% was still in reach, he said.
“Currently we don’t see any recession, there is no minus growth,” Reuters quoted Albayrak as saying on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“The necessary actions that we have taken so far, starting from late October definitely has a significant effect,” Albayrak said. “When it comes to fiscal slippage it is not going to happen,” he added.
Turkey’s budget deficit stood at 72.6 billion Turkish liras ($14.8 billion) in 2018, meeting a year-end target under the country’s New Economic Program.
According to the New Economic Program, the budget deficit/GDP ratio target is 1.8% this year, 1.9% next year and 1.7% in 2021.
The Minister noted that the public debt to GDP ratio stands at 28%.
Albayrak also said that he had always insisted that interest rates were the Central Bank’s business, not his. “I don’t know what they are going to do [at their next policy meeting] in March. But I know whatever they do, they do on an analytically rigorous basis.”
Albayrak also played down a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump last week that Turkey could face economic devastation if it attacked the YPG in northeast Syria once U.S. troops pull out.
The YPG is deemed by Turkey as an offshoot of the illegal PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
“When you compare the effect of his remarks with the ones that we had last summer, it was significantly less,” Albayrak said. “The Turkish economy has immense opportunities to offer with its young and educated population”, he also underlined.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (23.01.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/former-chp-mayor-sarigul-to-run-independently-for-istanbuls-sisli-district-140721) reported that Mustafa Sarıgül, former Mayor of the Şişli district of Istanbul from the ranks of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has resigned from the CHP and said he would run independently for the same constituency in the upcoming local polls.
“I, who have never got tired of working and struggling, am tired of waiting and being kept waiting,” Sarıgül said in a written statement on Jan. 23. “I resign with sorrow from the CHP, of which I will always be proud of being a member.”
Sarıgül was the mayor of Şişli district for 15 years between 1999 and 2014 from the CHP. He was represented as the CHP’s candidate for Istanbul in 2014 but lost against the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate, Kadir Topbaş, despite garnering 41% of votes.
“I have not observed fidelity from the CHP despite all what I did for it. I am not in reaction against the CHP and its electorate but against its management,” he stressed. Sarıgül explained that his relations with the CHP date back to his youth years as he served as a loyal member to the party from its youth branch.
Sarıgül had announced his demand to run for Şişli from the CHP but had not received any response so far. Şişli, a CHP stronghold, is among many constituencies whose candidates have not been announced yet. “I have been preparing for Şişli for the last four years but no announcement has been made yet although there are only two months to go to the polls,” he added.
“Will Sarıgül run for Şişli? My answer is yes. I will outline my road map with the residents of Şişli from tomorrow. I am very determined,” he stressed.
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