A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (06.02.19) reports that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met yesterday with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, where they discussed cooperation on the issues of Cyprus, Aegean and energy.
In a joint press conference following their meeting, which lasted two hours and 15 minutes, Erdogan, referring to the Cyprus problem said that the parties should evaluate very well the ongoing consultation process. He added: “A joint vision and roadmap should be set before starting a new negotiation process. It must be clear beforehand what will be negotiated and how it will be negotiated. To Turkey, the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots is the key parameter. This necessity must be taken into consideration regardless of what solution model will be used.”
Tsipras, for his part, on the Cyprus issue, said: “I said a just and permanent solution should be found on the Cyprus issue. The federal Republic of Cyprus should be a regular member of the EU. Of course, it is not useful to repeat some mistakes of the past. I proposed a preliminary discussion, especially on the issue of security”, adding that he stressed the importance of respect of international law in the Eastern Mediterranean and the need to create a bridge for cooperation for their relations on the energy issue.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (06.02.19) reports that Suleyman Soylu, the Interoor Minister of Turkey is paying al illegal visit to the breakaway regime tomorrow.
During his visit he will sign with the “minister of interior” Aysegul Baybars a “co-operation protocol on the prevention of crimes and the detection of undesirable persons during their entrance to the country”.
During the visit, the issue of equipment and co-operation regrading an online investigation system when persons enter the “country” will be discussed aiming to fight crimes and criminals, especially cybercrimes.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (06.02.19) reports that the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar, alleged that “they should increase their cooperation with motherland Turkey in order to develop further their economy” and accused the so-called government of not exerting efforts to do so.
Speaking during a gathering of his party in occupied Agios Amvrosios village, Tatar reiterated his known position that it is not possible to reach a federal solution in Cyprus with the Greek Cypriots. “In such circumstances, other alternative solution models, such as a velvet divorce, two states solution under the umbrella of the EU and confederation should be discussed”, Tatar argued.
Claiming that the Greek Cypriots do not want the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots, Tatar alleged further that the Greek Cypriots wants Turkey’s withdrawal from Turkey so that the security of the Turkish Cypriots will be put at risk.
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay (06.02.19) reports that Asim Akansoy, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), evaluating the latest developments on the Cyprus issue at a CTP meeting, referred to the meetings of the Turkish Foreign Minister with the political parties during his last visit to the occupied area of Cyprus and added that a consensus was reached in general in the Turkish side.
Noting that they, as the Turkish side, have announced that the political equality will never be negotiated and from there, the process will be result-oriented and they will sit at the negotiating table to finish it, Akansoy added that they do not accept the unilateral initiatives of the Greek Cypriot side on the natural gas issue and that Turkish Cypriots’ views should have been included. He claimed that Turkey’s rights should have been respected.
Akansoy further said that the right to connect with the world would be obtained through the federal Cyprus, claiming: “We believe that the natural gas should reach Europe via Turkey for economic reasons. Because we know that both the Cyprus problem and the natural gas problem would be solved with all the sides to be winners. We don’t want new tensions.”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (06.02.19) reports that so-called minister of agriculture Erkut Sahali will represent the occupation regime in the “AGROEXPO 2019 International Agriculture and Stockbreeding Fair” which is to take place in Turkey tomorrow.
According to information acquired by the “ministry”, the fair will open tomorrow, February 7, with the organization of the 14th AGROEXPOR Forum in Izmir. Agriculture Ministers from more than 20 countries will be attending the fair, writes the paper.
Sahalli is expected to depart for Izmir today and return back to the occupied areas of Cyprus on Friday, February 8. Sahalli will be accompanied by other “ministry officials”
Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat (06.02.19) reports that Erhan Arikli, the chairman of the Revival Party (YDP- the party of the settlers) stated that YDP has 5,300 registered members.
Arikli, who was speaking during a press conference yesterday, in which he strongly criticized the “government’s” performance, also said that until March 31, the registered members of his party will have reached 7,500.
He further said that according to some opinion polls the power of YDP is 17%.
Illegal Bayrak television (o6.02.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=parliamentary-delegation-in-brussels-4 ) broadcast that a delegation of the so-called parliament consisting of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) “deputy” Fikri Toros, the People’s Party (HP) “deputy” Erek Çağatay and the National Unity Party (UBP) “deputy” Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu is visiting Brussels.
The delegation will meet with the Legal Affairs and Election Committee of the European Parliament and will present a letter “regarding the fate of the two seats reserved for theTurkish Cypriots within the European Parliament”.
Toros on his social media account said: “We, as the European Parliament delegation are in Brussels. Our lobbying activities aimed at the rights and benefits of the Turkish Cypriot people will increasingly continue.”
According to illegal Bayrak television (06.02.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ktbb-delegation-in-serbia) the “Turkish Cypriot municipalities union| (“KTBB”) is attending a local administrations meeting in Serbia.
According to information acquired by the “union”, the “KTBB delegation” will attend the monitoring committee meeting of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the European Council in Serbian capital, Belgrade tomorrow.
The “KTBB delegation” consists of the president of the KTBB mayor” of occupied Morfou, Mahmut Özçınar, the “mayor” of occupied Gioneli Ahmet Benli and the “international delegation secretary of the KTBB” Huseyin Kole.
The “KTBB delegation” will return to the occupied areas of Cyprus on Friday, the 8th of February after completing its “contacts” in Belgrade.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.02.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/erdogan-issues-with-greece-can-be-solved-equitably/1384551) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that all issues with Greece can be resolved “on an equitable basis and in a peaceful way”.
“Our expectation from Greece is that it doesn’t become a safe haven where FETO, PKK, DHKP-C terrorists take refuge,” Erdogan said during a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Ankara.
Erdogan once again reiterated Turkey’s expectations “on the extradition of FETO coup plotters by Greece”.
Stating that they had the chance to discuss bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues during the meeting, Erdogan added: “As Turkey, we desire to improve bilateral relations in every field with our neighbor Greece.”
He noted, however, that trade and economic relations between the two countries were not at a desired level.
“We hold our trade volume at a level of €3.5 billion today, but it isn’t the desired level between Turkey and Greece,” he said.
Erdogan said the pair discussed the completion of some bilateral projects, including passenger and goods ferries between Izmir and Thessaloniki, a high-speed rail link between Istanbul and Thessaloniki and the construction of a river bridge between Kipoi in Greece and Turkey’s Ipsala.
“We have set it as an aim to realize the High-Level Cooperation Council’s fifth meeting as soon as possible,” Erdogan said, adding that the mentioned steps could increase the trade volume in a short period of time.
Noting that any issue could be resolved through dialogue between Turkey and friendly countries, Erdogan said: “Our cognates living in Greece and Greek-origin citizens living in Turkey are not a means for dissolution, but for cooperation.”
He added that Turkey has shown every effort to further improve the condition of Greek-origin citizens and expected the same gesture from Greece.
Erdogan stressed that the fight against irregular migration is another issue between Turkey and Greece and reminded that more than $35 billion has been spent to help nearly 4 million refugees living in container and tent cities in Turkey.
“We exert efforts to stop deaths on the Aegean Sea. Our security forces work day and night in any case to prevent sorrow and deaths,” he added.
Touching on a refugee deal signed between Turkey and the EU in March 2016, Erdogan said the EU did not enforce visa liberalization and the immigrant agreement and urged the bloc to be loyal to its promises.
Erdogan said the deal played a deterrent role for new waves of migrants.
“We did and will fulfill obligations, including the readmission agreement. However, we see that the EU can’t apply the agreement properly,” he added.
The 2016 deal aimed to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of more than 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey.
It also allowed for the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area.
Greece’s Tsipras said their dialogue with Turkey is “sincere” and “special” and stressed that they managed to build a positive agenda in Greek-Turkish relations.
Tsipras stated that they decided to take further steps for the future together with Erdogan and said Greece “will not be doomed” to regional problems and tries to find solutions through dialogue with Turkey.
“We agreed with Turkey to boost cooperation on security issues,” he added.
Tsipras said Turkey and Greece agreed to decrease tensions in the Aegean Sea and to take confidence-building steps.
“I am glad to have open communication channels with President Erdogan. We can thus take more constructive steps.
“We don’t have an agreement to sign today. There may be agreements for our next visit.”
Erdogan pointed out that some agreements would be signed during the fifth high-level meeting that will be held in Thessaloniki, as it will be attended by entrepreneurs.
Speaking also on the extradition of “FETO coup plotters” by Greece, Tsipras said Greece as a state of law has to respect the decision taken by the judiciary.
“Of course, Greece does not like to accept coup plotters. At this stage, Greece and Turkey need to strengthen their cooperation on security”, Tsipras added. “Greeks condemned the coup attempt and supported democracy. Greece certainly does not intend to support the elements and coup plotters posing a danger in terms of stability and democracy”, he said.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/imf-chapter-will-not-be-reopened-says-erdogan-141029) reports that the era of Turkey taking out loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is long since gone, the Turkish president has said.
“Turkey closed its IMF chapter in May 2013 and, God willing, it will not be reopened,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday told the parliamentary group of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Erdoğan slammed claims by the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) that Turkey would seek to negotiate with the IMF after the local elections set for March 31.
“It is clear who has gone to the IMF. Those that have the CHP mentality; they have gone to the IMF,” he said. Some six years ago Turkey paid off the entirety of its debt to the international lending institution.
Last week, the country’s Treasury and Finance Ministry also ruled out any deal with the Fund.
“It is very clear that the motive for bringing up the IMF is a certain misinformation operation which lacks any consistency,” an operation mounted despite Turkey’s favorable indebtedness ratios, debt rollover ratios, and financial discipline performance,” the ministry added.
Stressing that the Turkish economy is solid, the ministry said Turkey is continuing its stabilizing period successfully with no need for external support.
During his speech at the parliamentary group meeting, Erdoğan also hailed Turkey’s economic performance, noting that the per capita income has jumped to $11,000 from $3,500.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/assad-regime-illegitimate-far-from-promising-future-turkish-presidential-spokesman-141011) reports that the Assad regime in neighboring Syria is illegitimate and far from promising any future for the country, Turkey's presidential spokesman said.
Following a Cabinet meeting in the presidential complex in Ankara, İbrahim Kalın said, "Turkish intelligence departments may sometimes have contacts with various regime elements in al-Hasakah and Qamishli, including Damascus [government], in the framework of Turkey's security and the overall safety of Turkish operations in Syria."
But, he added: "This does not mean that Turkey recognizes the legitimacy of the [Syrian] regime."
Kalın said Turkey would not allow any terror threats from east of the Euphrates River in Syria and also stressed the importance of the roadmap for stability in Manbij, northern Syria.
"Immediate implementation of the Manbij roadmap without any delay is significant for U.S.-Turkey ties, regional safety, and the process in Syria," Kalın said, adding that Turkey and Russia also agreed on the roadmap as agreed with the U.S.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (06.02.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-us-working-group-meets-in-washington-3473858) reports that the Turkey-U.S. Joint Working Group held its final meeting in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, chaired by Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal and U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.
A diplomatic source who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the meeting was held at the State Department. It tackled bilateral relations between Ankara and Washington and regional affairs.
In a statement, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said the two officials "reaffirmed the strategic importance of the U.S.-Turkish relationship and committed to addressing shared concerns as allies".
The meeting was originally planned for Jan. 8 but was postponed due to a visit by National Security Advisor John Bolton to Ankara.
"Following a plenary meeting, senior U.S. and Turkish officials met in working group formats to discuss bilateral cooperation on Syria; counterterrorism; defense matters; and judicial and consular issues," said the statement.
It also said both sides expressed their determination to continue to work together to achieve further progress in all these areas.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.02.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-97-soldiers-arrested-in-anti-feto-operation/1384314) reports that nearly 100 Turkish soldiers -- some former, some active-duty -- were arrested across Turkey Tuesday as part of an anti-Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) probe, according to security sources.
On Tuesday, Turkish prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 97 Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) personnel across the country for their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said 38 suspects from the Turkish military were arrested so far in Bursa, 14 in Izmir, 16 in Konya, 23 in Kocaeli, and six in Zonguldak.
Arrest warrants were issued for the suspects as part of a probe into the terror group’s infiltration of the Turkish Armed Forces.
FETO, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gulen, orchestrated the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016 which left 251 people martyred and around 2,200 others wounded.
Turkey's government accuses the FETO terror network of staging the coup attempt as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
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