According to illegal Bayrak television (02.03.18) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has stated that the statements made by the Greek Cypriot leader, as he called President Nicos Anastasiades following his re-election earlier this year, must be analysed properly.
Speaking on a program last night televised from the “presidential palace”, Akinci alleged that the negotiations had reached a 5-party conference as a result of the Turkish Cypriot side’s efforts.
Accusing that the “Greek Cypriot leadership” of not wanting to share any powers or authorities, Akıncı alleged that “the Greek Cypriot leader, as soon as the process in Crans Montana ended announced that he had withdrawn all his proposals from the table”, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side in response had taken back the map it had presented.
Reminding that he had officially started negotiations with the Greek Cypriot leader on the 15th of May 2015 and had held a social meeting with Anastasiades before that, Akıncı claimed that President Anastasiades had promised at that meeting that he would refrain from any hydrocarbon activities.
“This is what truly lies behind his (Anastasiades) latest statement that the talks cannot begin”, Akinci alleged, adding that any step taken by the Greek Cypriot side on the hydrocarbons issue will be met by counter steps from the Turkish Cypriot side. “The Turkish Cypriots have rights too. That is why we have issued the Turkish Petroleum a license” he argued.
Alleging that it was up to Anastasiades whether or not he wanted to resume the talks, Akinci claimed that the “Greek Cypriot leader had revealed his stance”.
He added also that the UN Secretary General was expecting the two sides to come together and to make a joint statement. “It’s not enough to say the same thing. It’s important that you mean the same thing” he said.
“At the point reached, the UN Secretary General will appoint and send someone within the framework of his good offices mission. We shall be asking that person to ask Mr. Anastasiades where he stands” Akıncı further stated.
He went on claiming that things would have been quite different if the Greek Cypriots would have been able to come to terms with the idea of establishing a partnership for the future and acted with a different vision.
Asked to comment about what is going to happen in the process next, Akinci replied as follows: “I want everyone to see a solution and peace. This island has experienced pain and tears. We want to benefit from the fruits of a settlement”.
Akinci claimed that he and his team had done all that could be done. “I look back to see what else we could have done and I can’t find anything. We as the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey had made the necessary concessions”, he claimed.
In response to another question as to whether there were any plans to meet with President Anastasiades, Akıncı said that there are currently no such plans.
Asked to comment on the so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay’s meeting with the Italian ENI oil company, Akinci alleged that Ozersay had briefed and consulted with both him and the “prime minister” before carrying out the visit.
“We must not undermine such strenuous efforts but must support them” he said.
Pointing out to the need for a joint Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot committee to be established to deal with the natural gas issue, Akinci alleged that such a committee would be a confidence building measure.” “I do not understand the Greek Cypriot side’s objection on the matter”, he added. .
Asked whether he will be running for a second term, Akinci stated that it was too early to say anything as there are still two years until the elections. “Much can change in those two years if the Greek Cypriot side change its mentality” he added.
According to illegal Bayrak television (02.03.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-received-us-ambassador-2), Turkish Cypriot leader met this morning with the US Ambassador to Cyprus Kathleen Doherty.
The latest developments on the Cyprus issue were discussed during the meeting held at Akinci’s office.
Also present at the meeting was Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu and his special advisor on diplomacy and EU affairs Erhan Ercin.
No statement was issued before or after the meeting.
Later, (http://www.brtk.net/cumhurbaskani-akinci-lacroix-ile-gorustu/) Akinci met with Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, who is currently in Cyprus for contacts.
During the meeting, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of Mission, Elizabeth Spehar, self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, Burcu and Ercin were also present.
Lacroix, who made a brief statement after one hour meeting, said that the meeting with Akinci was good. Noting that he is in Cyprus to visit the UN peace forces in Cyprus, Lacroix also said that he is focused on the tasks of the Peace Forces and in the meeting with Akinci.
Stating that he also conveyed to Akinci his satisfaction for the cooperation of the Turkish Cypriot side with the UN Peace Forces, Lacroix said that the close cooperation with both sides has great importance for the UN Peace Forces.
Lacroix further said that the UN Peace Forces are a part of the peace role in the island, to prevent the tension, to create a better atmosphere and to work for stability in the island.
Responding on a question, Lacroix said that the Ledra Palace hotel will continue to be used by the UN.
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (02.03.18) reports that Sener Elcil, reacting harshly to the recent statements of Recep Akdag, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus affairs, said that responsible for all the negativities is Turkey.
In a written statement on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTOS), Elcil said that all the activities carried out in the “TRNC” are managed by Turkey’s authorities, and with the privileges granted to financial circles closed to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have seized all sectors in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Elcil further said that the political regime, which was formed during the procedure of the assimilation and integration of the occupied area of Cyprus, has been completely controlled by Turkey through the economic dependency.
Noting that Akdag has insulted the Turkish Cypriots by saying that Turkey gave them 3,5 billion TL, Elcil argued that Akdag’s presentation was not correct. Elcil added that due to the colonial mentality which connects economically Turkey with the “TRNC”, the annually imports from Turkey is 1.5 billion dollars (5.7 billion TL) and due to the high inflation because of the use of TL, the annual loss of the last seven years reached 80%.
Elcil also asked Akdag to brief them on some issues, like how much revenue has been transferred from Cyprus to Turkey, due to the implementations in many sectors in the occupied area of Cyprus. He further explained that despite the population which is moved here (occupied area of Cyprus), Turkey’s embargoes and a large part of their revenue goes to Turkey, the 83% of their budget is safeguarded from local revenues.
Elcil concluded by saying that despite the fact that Turkey is responsible for all the negativities, he returns to Akdag all the distorted statements regarding the Turkish Cypriots, who want them to be beggars and inefficient.
According to columnist Sami Ozuslu in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (02.03.18), it seems that “very interesting developments” will be caused from the initiative undertaken by the Turkish Cypriot trade unions in the field of education regarding the difficulties which children from mixed marriages [between Turks and Turkish Cypriots] are facing in securing the passport of the Republic of Cyprus. He argues that this initiative might force the Republic of Cyprus to take some steps like Turkey did in 2003 with the opening of the crossing points as a result of Greek Cypriot refugee Titina Loizidou case.
The columnist alleges that there are many examples which show that the Republic of Cyprus has double standards on the issue and that, in spite of the impression that the majority of the “victimized” persons are children from marriages in which one of the spouses comes from Turkey, there are also different cases in which the Migration Department of the Republic of Cyprus allegedly delays. “There are files which are studied for 5, 10. 15 years”, claims Ozuslu alleging that the aim is to avoid applying to justice. “The trade unions’ initiative will spoil this game”, he argues adding though that the issue has another aspect. He adds the following:
“[…] The Turkish Cypriot right-wing parties and mainly the UBP have played in such a loutish, irresponsible manner with the population of the Turkish Cypriots and the citizens’ structure that in spite of all its injustice, heartlessness and inconsistency, I cannot dogmatize the stance of the Greek Cypriot leadership and say ‘they are completely wrong’. If you continuously registered population and acted with the intention to reach a population of one million, the Greek Cypriot community would beware, be frightened of this. In the end this happened. One of the worst things which the UBP committed against this community, this island is to jauntily grant citizenships and to accumulate population. Leave aside the Greek Cypriots, everyone who lives in the northern part of Cyprus is annoyed from this mentality of integration. […] Behold, this is the policy of which became victims thousands of people who got married and built a nest with Turkish Cypriots and their children. […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (02.03.18) reports that Ersin Tatar, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP) and “deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on economy, finance, budget and plan”, said that the 18 billion TL debt announced by Serdar Denktas, “minister of finance”, is Turkey’s aid since 1960, adding that this debt has been inked since then so there will be a Cyprus settlement to be discussed with the Greek Cypriot side and the UN.
In a written statement, Tatar evaluated the “2018 budget” and said that “what we need to focus on is the actual domestic debt which is 5.2 billion TL”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (02.03.18) reports that so-called minister of tourism of the occupation regime, Fikri Ataoglu, speaking yesterday during the meeting of the “parliamentary committee for the budget of the ministry of tourism, environment and culture”, announced that they are in preparations and are planning to launch “cruise lines” between occupied Keryneia-Alanya (Translator’s note: Alanya is a seaside resort and district of Antalya Province in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, from the city of Antalya) and also a “cruise line” between the occupied port of Famagusta and Israel. He also alleged that as soon as they realize these lines, there will be 16-18 “cruise lines” in four months.
Meanwhile, the paper writes that “the budget of the ministry of tourism” “was approved” yesterday and it “envisages to be 145 million 333 thousand 100 TL”.
Turkish daily Afrika newspaper (02.03.18) in an exclusive report writes that a new mosque has been constructed in the occupied village of Lyssi.
According to the paper, in statements on the issue, the “mayor” of the occupied Lyssi village Ahmet Latif claimed that within the framework of the new culture and sports investments in the village, a playground has been constructed inside the courtyard of the mosque.
The paper wondered how and for what reason it was decided for a playground to be constructed inside the yard of the mosques while at the same time it wonders whether the opinion of teachers and educators was asked.
The paper underlines further that the fact that such a step was taken by a “mayor” coming from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), causes worries and it is considered as an assault over the secularism of the “country”. The paper calls the “mayor” of the occupied Lyssi village to make statements on the issue.
Turkish daily Sabah (02.03.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/business/2018/03/02/turkey-pledges-5m-for-anti-terror-force-in-sahel-region-erdogan-say) reports that Turkey promised to increased trade with Senegal after pledging $5 million to the Sahel region's battle against terrorism and trafficking, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Thursday.
Erdogan arrived in Senegal from Mauritania on Thursday, as his four-nation African tour continued.
“President Erdogan has suggested that the level of trade should reach $250 million in two years" Senegal's President Macky Sall told a joint news conference with Erdogan.
"I think today we are seeing a new impetus in our relations," Erdogan responded.
Since coming to power in 2003, Erdogan has worked to boost Turkey's links with Africa, an effort displayed through the number of new Turkish embassies which have sprung up across the continent and by the new routes which have opened up for Turkish Airlines.
Erdogan also used his visit to Senegal to call for reform of the United Nations Security Council. "Five nations (permanent veto-wielding members Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S.) can't be allowed to decide the destiny of the world," he said.
"Turkey, Senegal, Mauritania should be Members of the Council."
Erdogan, who started his African tour in Algeria, will end it with a short stop in Mali on Friday.
Erdogan also highlighted that Turkey will continue its cooperation with Senegal in the fight against the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
"Our cooperation with Senegal in combating FETÖ will continue. Closing down FETÖ-linked schools is extremely important," Erdogan said, calling Senegal an "exemplary" nation in Africa.
"Senegal is a valuable friend and strategic partner for us. Senegal has once again proven on July 15 that it is Turkey's foul-weather friend," he said.
Erdogan said that 29 projects worth $775 million were launched by Turkish companies in Senegal, some of which are still underway.
“The projects include a market hall, a furniture factory and a rail system”, he said.
The Senegalese President said they were willing to continue efforts in further enhancing relations with Turkey. "Senegal will continue to work with Turkey in international matters and counter-terrorism cooperation," Sall said.
"I am calling on Turkish businesspeople to share their experiences and increase their cooperation," Sall said.
"So far, 28 different agreements have been signed between the two countries. We need more cooperation with Turkey for self-sufficiency in Senegal's agricultural area."
"Turks can invest in the field of mining, construction, tourism, health and energy in cooperation with Senegalese businesspeople," he added.
The Senegalese President said they stand on the same side as Turkey on the Palestinian issue.
The leaders vowed to enhance cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, energy, tourism and transportation.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(AK / AM)