Α. Turkish Cypriot Press
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (26.02.19) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has alleged that only if the mentality of the Greek Cypriots changed a “new negotiating process” could start in Cyprus. In statements yesterday at the UN headquarters in Geneva during the opening of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council, Cavusoglu claimed that the Greek Cypriots could not yet “digest” the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots, who allegedly continued to suffer under “unfair and inhuman embargoes”. He further argued that the Greek Cypriots’ understanding of a solution was the de facto integration of the Turkish Cypriots as an ethnic minority to “their current state”, as he described the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Güneş (26.02.19) reports that in view of the meeting which Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci was expected to hold with President Anastasiades today in the buffer zone, Ersin Tatar, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), has “warned” Akinci not to give “concessions” on issues of vital importance for the Turkish Cypriots and mainly Turkey’s active and effective guarantees and the political equality. In statements made yesterday, Tatar argued that Akinci would meet President Anastasiades today as if “the stance of the Greek Cypriot leader and what he says was not clear”.
Tatar alleged that President Anastasiades and his close colleagues had clearly said that the Turkish Cypriots would not be granted the right of the effective participation in the decision making in the administration and that they could say yes to a system in which only the Greek Cypriots would have a say in the central government and the Turkish Cypriots would be given some autonomy.
Tatar also claimed: “The Greek Cypriot leadership clearly stresses that it would not accept an agreement which includes Turkey’s active and effective guarantees. They allege that a second form of the Guterres document exists having the date of 4 July and they embrace it because it lifts Turkey’s unilateral interference right. In this situation, for protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, the wishes of the Greek Cypriot leadership can definitely not be accepted and no reference could be made to negotiating process. […] It is out of the question for us to accept concessions to the Greek Cypriots on the territory, property and the guarantees in return of the acceptance of our political equality by them. […]”
Tatar referred also to a visit paid recently to occupied Famagusta by Niyazi Kizilyurek, a Turkish Cypriot professor and candidate with left wing AKEL party in the forthcoming European Parliament elections. Kizilyurek was accompanied by “deputies” of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) during this visit. Tatar criticized CTP’s chairman Tufan Erhurman for remaining silent to this fact and called Kizilyurek “a candidate who became organ of those usurping the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people”. “You harm the TRNC and the people”, he alleged referring to the CTP.
Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (25.02.19, http://www.brtk.net/serdar-denktas-daha-neyi-konusacagiz/) broadcast that Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP) and self-styled finance minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that today’s meeting between Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci and President Anastasiades should not have taken place. In statements to Bayrak yesterday, Denktas claimed the following on the issue:
“The president asked for a meeting which should not take place and he is conducting it. In our view, the beginning of a new process will be a new waste of time. The bi-communal, bi-zonal federation has been discussed for over a century. The Annan Plan has been rejected. It was also rejected at Crans Montana by the Greek Cypriots. What we will discuss further? What have we not been able to understand for so long and we are going to understand it now? […] This meeting will produce no result”.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/first-results-from-drilling-in-mediterranean-expected-soon-turkish-minister-141473) reports that Energy and National Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez stated that Turkey is about to obtain results from drilling activities for resources carried out by the Fatih vessel in the Mediterranean Sea soon.
“Within one to two weeks, we will reach 5,500 meters of depth, so that we will have the information on whether or not there is natural gas in the area,” he said.
Sönmez added that a second vessel has arrived in the shipyard where it will receive some maintaining work. “Our drilling activities will continue with two vessels,” he added.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (26.02.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/russian-ambassador-hails-bilateral-ties-with-turkey-3475384) reports that the Russian Αmbassador to Ankara on Monday said that bilateral ties had significantly improved in recent years.
"The bilateral relations of Turkey and Russia are about to reach its peak, our relations are on the rise," said Aleksey Yerhov, following a meeting with the governor of central Eskisehir province.
Underlining that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin frequently gathered and held fruitful meetings, he added that both presidents had set a fine example to improve cooperation and collaboration.
Governor Ozdemir Cakacak said that Turkey-Russia relations dated back to centuries and both countries had deep cooperation both on the regional and international level.
He noted that this was visible in resolving the Syrian crisis, setting up the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant and TurkStream gas pipeline in Turkey, and the purchase of Russian S-400 missile system.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.02.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-fm-holds-bilateral-meetings-in-geneva/1402588) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday held meetings with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and with his counterparts from several countries in Geneva.
Cavusoglu is in Geneva to attend the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council that began on Monday.
In his meeting with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, Cavusoglu wished her a successful tenure.
In a Twitter post, Cavusoglu said the UN praises Turkey’s principled and transparent stance on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
He also met Angolan Foreign Minister Manuel Domingos Augusto, Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek and State Minister for Human Rights of Morocco Mustapha Ramid.
In another Twitter post, Cavusoglu said he appreciated the closure of schools linked to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in Morocco at his meeting with Ramid.
Cavusoglu will address the opening session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Turkey has an observer status in the council.
In addition, Turkish daily Yeni Safak (26.02.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-expects-china-to-uphold-human-rights-protect-uyghurs-3475396) reports that Turkey expects China to protect the cultural identities of Uyghurs and other Muslims, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said Monday.
"We encourage Chinese authorities and expect that universal human rights, including freedom of religion, are respected and full protection of the cultural identities of the Uighurs and other Muslims is ensured," Çavuşoğlu said at the 40th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Switzerland’s Geneva.
Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group that make up 45% of the population of Xinjiang, accuse China of carrying out repressive policies that restrain their religious, commercial and cultural activities.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/mayors-seen-as-having-links-with-pkk-will-be-dismissed-erdogan-141479) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that the government will appoint trustees to the local municipalities they see as providing support to the outlawed PKK.
“If you happen to send the opportunities provided by the state to Qandil, we will once again, immediately and without waiting any further, appoint our trustees. And we will not continue the way with you,” Erdoğan said at a rally in the Central Anatolian province of Yozgat on Feb. 25, referring to the mountains in Iraq where the PKK headquarters are.
The government had previously replaced elected mayors with trustees on grounds that they allegedly aided and abetted PKK’s activities. The appointments were made predominantly in eastern and southeastern provinces’ municipalities run by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
Following the government’s move, the HDP had said that they will “put all efforts” to win back the municipalities in the March 31 local elections. “We’ll put an effort to get back the municipalities to which trustees were appointed through the public’s will and their votes at the ballot box,” HDP spokesperson Saruhan Oluç had said last year.
The government says the HDP has links to the outlawed PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union. The HDP denies accusations of links to the PKK and says it is being unjustly targeted by the government.
“What does he [HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli] say? ‘We’ll win in Kurdistan. And we will have the AKP and MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] lose in the West.’ Look at this immoral man. When did such a region called Kurdistan occur in Turkey? We’ll not let the country be divided by you. You will not be able to divide our country. You will get the answer in the best way on March 31,” Erdoğan said, referring to Temelli’s remarks in early February.
Erdoğan claimed that PKK militants disguised as members of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party are “planning to be registered as poll officials in many places” in a bid to intervene in the election results. “People will give their votes to the CHP, to a party whose name is ‘İYİ’ but is in itself disoriented. But as a result, the PKK will rule the roost in these places,” he said.
Erdoğan also touched on the alliance between the CHP and İYİ Party, claiming it would change Turkey’s boundaries in line with what terror organizations want, the economy would be bound to the IMF, and foreign policy would be in the hands of foreigners’ interests were it to come to power.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-government-should-be-held-responsible-for-economic-crisis-chp-leader-says-141477) reports that Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader has accused the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of running unsuccessful economic policies, adding that the country possesses a potential to overcome problems.
“They have been seeking to find out who will bear the responsibility of the crisis. Foreign powers, the CHP, the shopkeepers, they said! They even pointed to the terrorists. But actually it is those people who have been ruling the country for 17 years who should be held responsible for the economic crisis,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said at a party meeting in Istanbul on Feb. 25.
“We are now in the middle of the crisis. The crisis has hit the real sector very recently. Unemployment will increase,” he added in his speech on the Turkish economy.
The depreciation of the Turkish Lira peaked in August 2018, bringing the decrease in the currency’s value to about 30 percent in 2018. The inflation rate hit the highest level in 15 years with 25.2 percent in October 2018. Although the consumer price index eased to 20.4 percent in January, the surge in food prices has continued, prompting the government to start a program to sell vegetables at discount via some municipalities.
The CHP leader urged the government to ensure the “rule of law” as a first measure to calm the markets.
“We have to strengthen participatory democracy. It is the main condition to have a say in the world. There is no country in the world which has made progress and developed without a developed democracy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
He also called on the government to give priority to “production” over imports and borrowing in order to create a “social state.”
Kılıçdaroğlu went on to say that all parties in parliament should collaborate for legislations that would ensure European Union standards in the country.
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