Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (29.01.19) reports that Mevlut Cavusoglu’s recent “visit” in the occupied area of Cyprus and his statements over the federation solution in Cyprus increased the tension yesterday in the so-called assembly among the so-called deputies.
Speaking in the “assembly”, the chairman of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar, claimed that 35 out of the 50 “deputies” in the “assembly” opposed to a federal solution in Cyprus, and thus, as he said, this issue should be discussed again. Tatar wondered also whether Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci has the authority to re-launch negotiations, in light of this development. Tatar alleged also that this issue should be discussed and be evaluated again by the “assembly” and called on Akinci to brief the “assembly”. He then stressed the need for the Turkish Cypriots to discuss new alternative ideas.
On behalf of the Turkish settlers’ party, the Revival Party (YDP), Erhan Arikli described Cavusoglu’s visit in the occupied area of Cyprus and his messages as very important. Pointing out to Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci’s written statement right after Cavusoglu’s departure from the “TRNC”, where he underlines the reference made about “a one-man regime”, Arikli alleged that if Akinci issued the above statement, he made it with some delay.
Arikli claimed further that Akinci’s statement destroyed the “high tension climate” which was created in the “TRNC” during Cavusoglu’s visit and argued that Akinci’s statement took place due to Cavusoglu’s meeting with Ozersay. Arikli called on Akinci not to exclude the “assembly” and to arrange a briefing in the “assembly” the soonest possible.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and so-called minister of education, Cemal Ozyigit, recalled that the 11th February Join Declaration has been prepared together with Turkey and supported that there is no other official position on the Cyprus problem than the existing one. “There could be some different opinions in the assembly about this issue, but still, the president was not elected by the assembly, but by the Turkish Cypriot people”, said Ozyigit. Ozyigit added further that Akinci does not disregard the “assembly” and said that it would be useful for Akinci to brief the “assembly”. Stating that he is in favor of a federal solution in Cyprus, Ozyigit said that a federal solution model is a realistic solution model. He added, however, that if the society as a whole express a different view on this issue, his party would respect this.
In his turn, the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman, said that if after the European Parliament elections, the UN Secretary General`s special envoy for Cyprus Jane Holl Lute brings a formula and there is resumption of the negotiations with the agreement of all related parties including the guarantor countries, then the framework is known. Erhurman alleged further that Cavusoglu’s stance did not show that he excludes federation.
Also speaking, the chairman of the People’s Party (HP) and so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, alleged that during his contacts abroad, he conveyed the Turkish Cypriot side’s positions, he put forward and explained the “governments’” positions and view and added that he agrees with Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci on the issue of UNFICYP in Cyprus, the natural gas issue, the issue of the “backsliding” by Anastasiades and the statements made by Lute regarding a timetable. He further added that it is not right to create tension with Turkey or communicate with Turkey via media.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Gunes (29.01.19) reports that the chairman of the opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar alleged that the statements made by Turkey’s Prime Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during his illegal visit in the “TRNC” were an important milestone. Issuing a written statement yesterday, Tatar claimed that “the time has come for the TRNC’s assembly to take a new decision on the Cyprus problem”.
Tatar reiterated further that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci should brief the “assembly” in light of the new developments after Crans Montana and called on Akinci to inform the UN that the two-state solution and confederation model in Cyprus should be discussed at the negotiating table.
Tatar also argued that Akinci reacted to Cavusoglu’s statement that ‘the Cyprus problem is a national cause and that it should not be sacrificed for the sake of the political ideology or political ambitions of anyone”, since, he considered, according to Tatar, that those statements were directed to him. “Mr Cavusoglu replied to Akinci towards this issue”, Tatar said, adding further the following:
“Turkey clearly says that federation did not succeed and will not, so bring new solution models to the negotiating table and we will support them. However, Mr Akinci is not at the same point yet. Akinci understands that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to share the power with us but still considers that federal solution is possible to happen. Why? Is it because he trusts AKEL? Anastasiades will continue to be the President of the Greek Cypriot administration for the next 4 years. It is very important that Turkey and the 65% of the deputies in the assembly agree that it is not possible to achieve a federal solution in Cyprus”, Tatar alleged.
Tatar continued by accusing Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci for not taking into account neither the “assembly” nor the opposition parties and not even the “foreign minister” himself.
Under the title “Cavusoglu is a colony minister”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika(29.01.19) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Trade Union (KTOS), has said that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had crossed the line with the statements he made during his recent illegal visit to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
In a written statement issued yesterday, Elcil notes that Cavusoglu has “actually shown that they want the entire island of Cyprus” and spoke like “a colony minister”, who thinks that he has the right to speak on all issues, including politics, education, the political will of the Turkish Cypriots and Cyprus’ natural resources.
Elcil argued that Cavusoglu insulted the Turkish Cypriots by referring to “one man’s rule” and reminded them of the “Cyprus is ours” policy.
Elcil said that if there was a country which could be given as an example of “one man’s rule”, this country was Turkey.
Under the title “Taunting”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen(29.01.19)refers to a “conflict” between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci by publishing statements made by both of them during the past few days, reportedly aiming at replying to each other. According to the paper, the statements replying to each other were the following:
Cavusoglu: “We are seeing ambivalent stances, statements, we are seeing tricks. What are we going to negotiate for? Is it for federation again?”
Akinci: “The model of federation has not stopped being an alternative today. In my view, it even continues to be the most realistic mutually acceptable model”.
Cavusoglu: “The preparations for the elections are coming forward in the statements.The Cyprus cause should not be made material for the elections”.
Akinci: “In absolutely no period of my life my place in the protocol had been more important than my place in my people’s heart”.
Cavusoglu: “Let no one try to direct alone the Cyprus cause”.
Akinci: “I do not even feel the need to remind that we do not have one man’s rule here”.
Cavusoglu: “Some persons in northern Cyprus are dictating that ‘according to my ideology, federation is best’”.
Akinci: “It is as if there are many alternatives for a solution in Cyprus and they are not realized because of my insistence on federation”.
Cavusoglu: “What Akinci said at the press conference is important. The fact that he said that ‘we are ready to discuss all options’ is important”.
Akinci: “It is not possible for the other options to be realized without the TRNC’s recognition as an independent state”.
Cavusoglu: “Cyprus is such a great cause that it could not be sacrificed for some persons’ political ideology or ambitions”.
Akinci: “Of course, no one could impose alone a solution model in Cyprus. However, this rule is valid for everyone”.
Commenting on the same issue, columnist Mehmet Levent in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika(29.01.19) reports that Cavusoglu was not telling the truth when he said, replying to a question during his illegal visit to the island, that no problem existed between himself and Akinci. “The fact that this was not true came up very clearly during the statements and the meetings made by Cavusoglu in various places during his visit”, notes Levent, adding that the fact that Akinci was targeted in almost all statements made by Cavusoglu left no doubt that “a serious problem” existed between them.
“Cavusoglu is actually also lying when he says that ‘we are ready to discuss all options”, reports the columnist because since Crans Montana Turkey is “obsessed with” the fact that the solution based on federation ceased to exist and if the negotiations would continue, they should be conducted for “two separate states”. He concludes:
“[…] After this point, it is possible to say that the Tayyip regime has definitely discarded Akinci! It is a reality known by everyone now that Ankara prepares for the presidency Kudret Ozersay, who protects the sensitivities and interests of the Tayyip regime and not the sensitivities and interests of the Turkish Cypriot community. His [Ozersay’s] face to face meeting at a dinner with Cavusoglu is a step forward taken to this end! Ozersay does not say that federation is best, as does Akinci! He says that the best is the division and the two separate states! It is obvious that this presidential election will be a historic exam for the Turkish Cypriots’ existence”.
According to illegal Bayrak (29.01.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ulucay-speaks-on-ep-elections), the self-styled speaker of the assembly Teberrüken Uluçay claimed that Turkish Cypriots could only be represented within the European Parliament by a deputy elected in the “TRNC”.
Speaking on a program on BRT yesterday, Ulucay argued that the issue of the Turkish Cypriot candidates running in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections was taken up at a meeting with “debuties” who represent the “assembly” at institutions held abroad.
Stating that they will be informing the relevant EU institutions until the EU elections are held, Uluçay claimed: “We held a referendum in 2004. We voted yes at that referendum. Six Greek Cypriot MPs from the so-called Republic of Cyprus are currently occupying all the seats allocated for Cyprus within the European Parliament. Two of these seats belong to Turkish Cypriots. There are new MEPs who are unaware of this situation and so we shall be informing them. We have prepared our letters and we shall be continuing to take this initiative until the elections are held in May”.
Reminding that there are currently two “deputies” who represent the “TRNC” at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe as observers, Ulucay said that they will be sending a delegation to the European Parliament next week.
Stating that any Turkish Cypriot was free to run for a seat in the European Parliament either as part of ballot lists of Greek Cypriot political parties or as an independent candidate, Uluçay said that such candidacies were not binding for the “TRNC”.
He argued that Turkish Cypriots could only be represented within the European Parliament by someone elected in the “TRNC”. “We will continue our efforts within this framework” he added.
Uluçay also said that “they were working in close coordination with the Turkish Parliament and that the TRNC’s efforts to reach a federal settlement will continue”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (29.01.19) reports that the journalist Sener Levent announced his independent candidacy for the elections of the European Parliament that will be held in May. He noted that within next week he would announce the formation that Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and perhaps Maronites would also take part in the ballot paper.
Levent explained that he would run for the EP elections as an independent candidate, but if any party wants to support his own ballot, he said that he would welcome it.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (29.01.19) reports that Zorlu Tore, “vice president of the assembly” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus met with Ismail Cengiz and a delegation from the “East Turkistan government in exile”. According to a press release by the “assembly”, during the meeting, the Chinese oppression as well as the freedom and independence of Uyghur Turks was discussed.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (29.01.19) reports that Aktac Atai, general secretary of the Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP), was appointed as the “symbolic representative of the TRNC” to the “East Turkistan government in exile” by Ismail Cengiz, the “prime minister of East Turkistan government in exile”.
Turkish private channel CNNTurk (29.01.19, https://www.cnnturk.com/turkiye/son-dakika-hulusi-akar-tsk-tum-hazirligini-yapti) reports that Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, speaking during a visit to a during a visit to a military facility in Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir, reiterated that Turkey will not approve any agreement which excludes Turkey from the Aegean, the East Mediterranean and Cyprus whether it is economic, military, or defence issues concerning security.
Akar argued that Turkey was a leading actor in the region and could not be excluded from developments in the area. Noting that their efforts for their rights and interests in the seas, named as “blue motherland” are continuing uninterrupted, Akar added: “While we are doing this, we are trying with all our sincerity to be in good neighbourly relations with all our neighbours, especially Greece”. Claiming however that some events were distorted due to some political factors and wrong calculations, Akar said: “Unfortunately, some provocations are being made. Everyone must know that none of these provocations will yield the desired results, and that the Republic of Turkey will never say ‘yes’ to any fait accompli and to any solution in the Aegean, in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Cyprus if Turkey is not part of it, whether it be on issues related to the economic, military or security and defence. We are quite determined on these issues. On the other hand, we are also very respectful of international law and the bilateral agreements. Our interlocutors should know very well that we will not compromise our rights in any way.”
Meanwhile, according to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (29.01.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-take-action-in-syria-when-time-comes-minister-140852), Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on January 29 vowed to start a new military operation inside Syria when necessary.
“When the time comes, the necessary actions will be taken both in Manbij and east of the Euphrates,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Akar as saying during a visit to a military facility in Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir.
“The only target of the Turkish Armed Forces is terrorists,” Akar added, referring to preparations for a military operation against the YPG in northern Syria. (…)
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (29.01.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-will-take-action-in-syria-when-the-time-comes-defmin-3473184), all Turkey’s preparations for an upcoming military operation in Syria are complete, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Tuesday. “The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) have completed all their preparations within the scope of their duties. Everything is ready. “When the time comes, all the necessary actions in Manbij and east of the Euphrates River in Syria will be taken,” Akar said. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah (29.01.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2019/01/28/turkey-to-clear-out-remnants-of-daesh-terrorists-soon-president-erdogan-says), Turkey will soon launch an operation east of the Euphrates to clear out remnants of Daesh terrorists, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday.
Speaking at a meeting of the Red Crescent, Erdoğan said that Turkey will destroy the remaining Daesh elements in Syria, which were specifically trained to target the country. "Turkey is not only for the eradication of the terrorist organization but is also making great efforts to mitigate the effects of the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict in Syria," the President said.
He criticized western countries once again for supporting the PKK's Syrian offshoot People's Protection Units (YPG) to fight Daesh. "They provided arms to another terrorist organization to fight Daesh," he said, in reference to the YPG.
Erdoğan noted that Turkey continues to keep in touch with military forces in the field, especially with the U.S. and Russia to ensure peace, stability and security east of Euphrates. "We have had very positive consultations with both sides," he added.
Erdoğan claimed that Muslim countries have been unable to effectively cope with crises in their own region, including the attacks on the legal status of Jerusalem, the Syrian crisis and the conflict in Yemen.
According to Turkish daily Sabah (29.01.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/elections/2019/01/28/hdp-says-it-wont-run-candidates-for-istanbul-ankara-5-other-municipalities), the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) announced Monday that it will not nominate mayoral candidates for seven major municipalities, including Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara, in Turkey's March 31 local elections.
HDP spokesman Saruhan Oluç also said the party would not nominate candidates for Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Adana and Mersin. "We are not doing this on behalf of this or that party. We are doing this for the struggle for democracy," Oluç said. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah (29.01.19, https://www.sabah.com.tr/gundem/2019/01/29/kirli-ittifak), under the title “Dirty Alliance”, writes that a reportedly secret alliance, which was carried out by HDP and CHP (Republican People’s Party), came to light with HDP’s decision not to nominate candidates in three metropolitan cities, but also with CHP’s preference to candidates who were known for their closeness with HDP in districts of Izmir and Istanbul.
According to Turkish news portal (29.01.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/01/29/turkish-government-begins-shutting-down-private-prep-schools/Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter), Turkey’s Education Ministry has announced that private prep schools will be closed down as of the 2019-2020 academic year, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported on Monday.
In a statement on its website the Ministry said private prep schools, which are known as dersanes in Turkey, should not enrol new students or hold exams to give scholarships to new students as of next year in order to prevent students and parents from suffering any harm.
The Ministry said free courses would be offered to students at schools and public training centres.
The government first announced its plan to close down dersanes in November 2013, which was interpreted by many as a blow to free enterprise and the beginning of a war the Turkish government launched on the Gülen movement, which used to run thousands of dersanes in Turkey.
Over the course of the next five years, the government has engaged in a full-fledged crackdown on the movement, closing down all of its organizations in Turkey and accusing it of masterminding a failed coup in July 2016.
The movement, now labelled as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government, strongly denies any involvement in the failed coup and any terrorist activity.
Many Turkish parents send their students to prep schools because they feel getting extra educational support is a must-given the poor record of education in Turkey’s state-run schools and the fact that students have to compete with millions for entry to quality schools and universities.
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