A. Turkish Cypriot Press
5. Cavusoglu: Turkey to provide $ 5 billion loan to Iraq
Illegal Bayrak (04.02.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=lute-continues-to-meet-with-both-leaders ) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met yesterday with the UN Secretary General’s envoy Jane Holl Lute who is in Cyprus to hold meetings with both leaders.
No statement was issued before or after the meeting.
Illegal Bayrak (02.02. 19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=mfa-statement-on-5th-med7-summit-declaration) broadcast that the so-called foreign ministry reacted against the joint declaration adopted at the Fifth Summit of the Southern European Union Countries (Med7), held in the Republic of Cyprus on 29 January 2019 with the participation of France, Italy, Spain, Malta, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus.
A statement issued by the “ministry” claimed that “the joint declaration was yet another proof that the Greek Cypriot Administration used its EU membership for its own interests”.
It also alleged that the joint declaration was “another example of the unfair and unconstructive attitude maintained by certain EU members, in the name of the so-called Union solidarity”.
“The joint declaration claims to express support to the efforts of the UN Secretary General’s Good Offices Mission but contrary to the latest observations regarding the mission put forward by the Secretary General, the declaration gives praise to efforts of the Greek Cypriot side towards a settlement which in reality does not exist. More importantly the declaration embraces the hard-line positions of the Greek Cypriot side which cannot be accepted by the Turkish Cypriot side” the statement read.
The so-called ministry also claimed that “ commendation in the declaration of the so-called efforts by the Greek Cypriots regarding the settlement process in Cyprus and the expression of support for their unilateral hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean clearly display the continuation of the Greek Cypriot Administration’s abuse of its EU membership.
It should not be forgotten that the main reason for the failure of the Cyprus Conference in 2017 was the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigent mentality, considering themselves as the sole owner of the Island and the Turkish Cypriots as a minority. The fact that in the joint declaration there is no mention of the legitimate rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the natural resources of the Island proves the persistence of this distorted mentality” the statement alleged. It concluded by alleging that “the joint declaration which ignores the existence of the Turkish Cypriot people and which is far from reflecting the political and historical facts is null and void for the TRNC”.
Illegal Bayrak (02.02. 19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-inspects-aplic-crossing-point) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı has held inspections at the Aplıki crossing point. Speaking during the visit he expressed his view that the opening of the crossing point will benefit greatly the people of the area.
He argued that the crossing point had opened after great difficulties despite being one of the first confidence building measures they had reached agreement on with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
Akıncı claimed that the opening of the crossing point had been delayed due to problems such as expropriation of land.
Sharing the latest figures regarding the use of the crossing point, Akıncı said: “So far, since the opening of Apliki on the 12th of November 2018, 2,543 Greek Cypriots have used the crossing point to cross over to the north while 2,614 Turkish Cypriots have used it to cross over to the south. 1,843 nationals from third countries have also used the crossing point”.
Expressing his belief that the figures will increase with the arrival of summer, Akıncı said: “It is my hope that both sides will further develop relations. I hope the economy will also benefit”.
Reporting on Akinci’s visit ti Deryneia crossing point, illegal Bayrak (02.02. 19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-visits-derinya-crossing-point) broadcast that Akıncı said that the aim of his visit was to inspect the Deryneia crossing point which had opened simultaneously with the Apliki crossing point.
Stating that this was the first time he had visited the crossing point since it opened up late last year, Akıncı said that the high number of people using the crossing point to cross from north to south and vice versa showshow much a crossing point was necessary for the area.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası(04.02.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), has reiterated that during his illegal visit to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus Turkish Foreign Mnister Mevlut Cavusoglu had stated that a federal solution could not be reached in Cyprus because of what he called the Greek Cypriot “intransigence” and that other solution forms, including the two states, should be at the negotiating table. Addressing members of the youth of his party at occupied Trikomo village, Tatar alleged:
“While Mr Cavusoglu’s words sprinkled water on our hearts, the Greek Cypriots and our opposition immediately started attacking Turkey with lies. Mr Talat could not resist and declared federation as the only port for taking shelter. Why? Because no other political material is left for them except for defending federation on the Cyprus issue. They know that federation will not happen, but because if they accept this they will remain totally without any policy, they are defending federation with lies. UBP’s youth should know these well. [Teacher’s trade union] KTOS attacks Turkey with false accusations calling it occupier country which implements ethnic cleansing on the Turkish Cypriots, which imposed surnames on us by force, which changed our place names by force, but there is absolutely no reaction by president Akinci, by prime minister Erhurman. Why?”
Meanwhile, according to Turkish Cypriot newspaper Güneş(02.02.19), in statements during a visit to occupied Famagusta, Tatar reiterated the view that the Turkish Cypriots would never abandon Turkey’s active and effective guarantees and claimed that no one would be able to cut the ties between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Commenting on a recent agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and France, Tatar alleged that the fact that the Greek Cypriots signed an agreement for granting a naval base and an airbase on the island was a new evidence for the fact that they were very far from a federal solution. “Their intentions are not good. This is why we put emphasis on the solution of two separate states”, he alleged.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası(04.02.19) reports that Oguzhan Hasipoglu, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), has alleged that the formula of two states should be on the table, in case the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem resumed. In a written statement, Hasipoglu, who had been member of the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team, referred to an agreement of two separate states in the EU by which the “unacceptable status quo will end”.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (02.02.19), the United Cyprus Party (BKP) said that the extension of UNFICYP’s mandate is positive and sound decision, adding that it is grateful that the efforts to prevent this failed.
In a written statement, the leader of BKP Izzet Izcan said that the UN Security Council confirmed that the federal solution based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal political equality is on the table. Noting that the secessionist policies of the status quo political parties with the encouragement of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu against the federation have gone bankrupt, Izcan added that the priority duty of the negotiations is to start as soon as possible within the framework of the Guterres document.
Noting that it was requested in the UN Security Council Resolution to implement the Confidence Building Measures (CBM) in order to strengthen the trust between the two communities and to facilitate life in Cyprus, Izcan called on the sides to act together without delay.
Meanwhile, the paper reports that the Leftist Movement (Sol Hareket) said that the approaches of ignoring the UN parameters and federation are a waste of time. Abdullah Korkmazhan, in a statement on behalf of the Movement, argued that the references of two separate states or a model based on the cooperation regarding the Cyprus problem have been registered once again with the last Resolution of the UN Security Council that they are living in a dream world.
Korkmazhan called on all those who made an attempt so the UNFICYP’s mandate not to be extended and especially the “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay to make self-criticism.
Under the title “It could not be so much in ward”, columnist Basaran Duzgun in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis(04.02.19) criticizes the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and especially “prime minister” Tufan Erhuman for being in Turkey’s ward. Duzgun reports the following on the issue:
“An academician who was a guest of a discussion program on television is asking: ‘Why Tufan Erhurman, who has three books on the issue of federalism, is not interfering in the debates for abandoning federation?’
It is correct. In the speech, which he delivered at the assembly towards Turkey’s Foreign Minister Cavusoglu’s stance that ‘other options outside federation exist’, Erhrurman said that ‘Cavusoglu sees federation also as an option’. I honestly found it strange. Why the chairman of the CTP, which related the source of its existence to a federal solution, [a chairman] who has carried out scientific studies on federalism, remains silent? Or why does he try to give the message that ‘we are in the same direction with Cavusoglu’ by drawing off a meaning which does not exist? And furthermore, why CTP deputies, who especially have much more knowledge and experience on the issue of federalism, are remaining silent exactly during this period? […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay (04.02.19), reports that the Turkish Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa seismic vessel has begun explorations on location in Cyprus’ offshore block 9 of the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“Barbaros sailed to the coastal area south of Cyprus for seismic exploration activities. It has been searching natural gas-petrol wells for a while now in the parcels that South Cyprus claims itself despite Greek harassments,” the paper claims.
Barbaros vessel is accompanied by Turkish war ships.
Columnist Mehmet Levent in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika(03.02.19) criticized the “police” of the breakaway regime and especially “prime minister” Tufan Erhuman for not permitting a delegation of the Trade Union Platform to convey a letter to the Turkish “embassy” in the occupied part of Nicosia addressed to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Levent reports, inter alia, the following on the issue:
“[…] The administrators of trade unions which are members of the Trade Union Platform organized an activity next to the TRNC assembly and the Turkish embassy the day before yesterday. The aim of the demonstration was to support Akinci because of the actions and statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu during his recent visit and give the Turkish ambassador a letter to convey to Cavusoglu criticizing him because of his actions and statements. However, this extremely democratic activity and demand by the Trade Union Platform was rejected and prevented by the so-called TRNC police! The police closed the road in front of the embassy! A barricade of at least 50 policemen was established in front of 10-15 trade unionists! Around 20 civilian policemen were waiting ready to interfere if necessary. And not only the trade unionists were not allowed to give the letter to the ambassador to convey it to Cavusoglu, but they were also not permitted to approach the embassy’s door! They were forced to stop 100 meters away from the door! In the end, it was decided that the letter, which stresses that the statements made by Cavusoglu during his recent visit to Cyprus were perceived as ‘pressure on the political will’, will be sent to Cavusoglu through mail and the activity which had been prevented by the police ended.
At the same time there was another activity. The demonstrators were the Turkish Peace Forces Veterans’ Association. What was their aim? To condemn [teachers’ and secondary school teachers’ trade unions] KTOS and KTOEOS, which they said that ‘were against Turkey’! The police, which forced the Trade Union Platform to stop 100 meters from the embassy’s door and prevented it, did not interfere with the Turkish Peace Forces Veterans’ Association which came to express support to Cavusoglu! They protected them and led them to the embassy’s door! And there, by waving their flags inside the embassy’s door, they condemned our teachers and those who think like them!
Now I am asking Mr Tufan who says ‘I do not allow any debates on our police’. Did you hear anything about the Trade Union Platform attacking the embassy and you prevented them? Did the trade unionists have any weapons? […] If there is a decision regarding a prohibition for holding activities in front of the embassy, why did you not implement this prohibition for the Turkish Peace Forces Veterans’ Association as well? Or has the order come from above?
Excuse me Mr Tufan. Actually I know the answer to these questions. Why have I asked them then? You said that ‘I do not allow a debate on my police’! Not for debating. For hearing them [the answers] from you only […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (04.02.19) reports that the lack of imams in the breakaway regime is increasing and reports that some “citizens” visited the paper’s headquarters to report that last Friday, they went to the mosque in occupied Trahoni village but they were not able to pray because there was not an imam in the mosque. The paper further reports that many mosques are in danger of closing because there are not imams to conduct the prayers.
Reporting on the same issue, Kibris (04.02.19) writes that there is not an imam in occupied Vasileia village as well and as a result imams from the neighboring occupied villages have to come to Vasileia when there is a funeral. In addition, the mosque of the village is in a very bad condition and in danger of collapsing.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (02.02.19) reports that there was an armed attack on Friday night against the company building - Gifa Holding - of the businessman Yusuf Kisa, who is also the owner of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Bakis. During the armed attack, Serkan Kisa, brother of Yusuf, was wounded.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-aims-to-enhance-friendship-with-greece-yildirim-140969) reports that Turkey's Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım said that Turkey aimed to “enhance friendship” and “reduce animosity” between Ankara and Athens.
Speaking to reporters in Istanbul after the commemoration of a population exchange between Greece and Turkey after World War I, Yıldırım said the two countries share a common history and culture despite on and off disputes in the Aegean Sea. His remarks come ahead of a two-day visit by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Feb. 5-6.
Yıldırım added that Tsipras would be hosted with “Turkish hospitality.”
Tsipras is expected to be the first Greek leader to visit a former Christian Orthodox seminary located on one of the Princes' Islands off the Istanbul coast.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-condemns-israel-shutting-down-hebron-observers-140952) reports that Turkey's President on Feb.2 received Palestinian members of the Israeli Parliament in Istanbul.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received the representatives in a closed door meeting lasting roughly 90 minutes at the Tarabya Presidential Campus (Huber Villa), presidential sources said.
Erdoğan underlined that Turkey will not “turn its back” on the Palestinian cause or people, adding that Ankara will share "all means available" for ending the occupation and establishing peace.
He went on to thank the Knesset members for their service of representing the Palestinian will in Israel's legislative body against Tel Aviv's “oppression” in Gaza as well as its "Jewish State" law and "baseless rhetoric" against Turkey.
The Turkish President further encouraged the group to work in unity and solidarity, saying that the controversial law defining Israel as a Jewish state is in open disregard of Palestinian citizen rights.
Turkish daily Sabah (04.02.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/02/03/erdogan-to-meet-russias-putin-irans-rouhani-in-sochi-on-feb-14 ) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that he will hold a summit with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi on Feb. 14.
Russia's RIA news agency cited the Kremlin as saying Sunday that Putin would meet Erdoğan and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in Sochi on Feb. 14.
The summit is expected to address the situation in Syria, where Russia and Turkey have been trying to create a de-escalation zone.
Erdoğan and Putin held their first meeting of 2019 on Jan. 23 in Moscow.
Erdoğan on Sunday gave a live interview with Turkish broadcaster TRT. In the interview, Erdoğan discussed Turkey's strategies against terrorists east of the Euphrates in Syria.
"In Turkey's policy in northern Syria, Syria's territorial integrity and political unity are essential at this point. We are not in favor of the disintegration of the Syrian people," he said, adding that some 300,000 Syrian refugees have been able to return home from Turkey. Turkey currently hosts some 3.6 million Syrian refugees, according to estimates.
Noting that steps have been taken with Russia regarding patrols around the northern Syrian town of Manbij, Erdoğan announced that a Turkish delegation had returned from Russia for talks on Syria which had resulted in "positive developments."
"I hope this positive development will lead to the exit of these (terrorist) organizations leaving this place as soon as possible and its rightful owners will come and settle in their lands," he said.
Erdoğan also discussed United States' involvement in Syria, saying: "(Donald) Trump has promised that the U.S. will leave Syria soon. I hope he keeps his promise. Likewise, we do not want to live under threat."
"Control over the planned buffer zone in northern Syria must be surrendered to Turkey. Then we will be able to provide security and everything (necessary for the region)," Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan also discussed the stability of the Turkish economy, stating that investment would continue. He pointed to the Turkish stock market, which hit a peak over 100 points, as an indicator that Turkey is a "place to go" for investment.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opposition-dbp-member-jailed-for-terrorism-140951) reports that a Turkish court sentenced opposition Democratic Regions Party (DBP) co-chair Sebahat Tuncel and ousted Diyarbakir Mayor Gültan Kışanak to more than 14 years in prison apiece on terrorism charges, according to judicial sources.
A High Criminal Court in the eastern Malatya province found Kışanak and Tuncel guilty of terrorist organization membership and spreading terrorist propaganda, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.
The DBP is the regional-level sister party of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
Turkey’s government accuses the HDP of being linked to the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.02.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-to-provide-5b-loan-to-iraq-fm/1382387) reports that Turkey will provide around $5 billion in loans for the reconstruction of Iraq, the Foreign Minister said on Sunday.
“We made the biggest commitment to Iraq,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a meeting organized by the Beyoglu Municipality in Istanbul.
“We will provide $5 billion credit,” Cavusoglu said, adding that Turkish business people will utilize this loan for their projects in Iraq. “We have already begun coordination of these works for the reconstruction of Iraq,” Cavusoglu added.
The top diplomat added that he is set to visit both, the Iraqi capital Baghdad and Erbil, the administrative capital of Kurdish regional government. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Iraq after the local elections in Turkey slated for March 31.
In 2017, Iraq was Turkey’s fourth largest export partner, according to the Foreign Ministry. “Turkey’s bilateral trade volume with Iraq declined from 2014 to 2016 due to security problems in Iraq. In 2017, this trend has been reversed and the bilateral trade volume has increased,” the Ministry said, adding that Turkey expected the trade volume to reach over $12 billion in the upcoming years.
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