A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Cypriot Press
4. “EU to continue working with Turkey on migration issue”
Illegal Bayrak (26.02.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tore-attends-event-in-istanbul) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı said that President Nicos Anastasiades had presented to him in principle his positions regarding a decentralised federation.
Speaking to reporters upon his return to the “Presidential Palace” following his meeting with Anastasiades, Akıncı said that they had the opportunity to discuss in depth the issue of decentralisation.
He said that both sides maintained their positions on the issues of political equality and effective participation in decision making. He also said that the Greek Cypriot leader had talked about which of the competencies should remain with the central government but refrained from going into details which ones to be transferred to the constituent states.
“I wish to underline the fact that no matter how limited the competencies of the central government, there will be no doubt some and those powers will be exercised jointly. And this brings political equality and effective participation with it. I can say that the sides maintain their positions on this issue” Akıncı stated.
Touching upon the issues of confidence-building measures, Akinci said that no obstacles remained in the way of permanently integrating the electricity grids of the two sides.
He also announced that the problem with the issue of mobile phone interoperability had been resolved and that an agreement had been reached on the issue.
“Operators on both sides of the island will have to sign separate agreements with a centre, which could be based in Luxembourg or in Switzerland in order to implement the interoperability. Greek Cypriots in the north and the Turkish Cypriots in the south will be able to travel without losing touch with their homes. The relevant technical committee will continue their facilitation on the issue”, he added.
As part of other confidence-building measures, Akinci said that an agreement had been reached on clearing remaining minefields on the island. “We have reached an agreement whereby both sides will be clearing 9 minefields each. The details will be finalized by military officials” he said.
Akinci also announced that the Turkish Cypriot side as a goodwill gesture will be returning works of Greek Cypriot painters currently in storage in the north.
“Upon a recommendation from the Culture Committee and together with the government, we have produced a collective decision and relayed our decision to return these paintings to the artists. Anastasiades welcomed the idea and in return, he offered to return pre-1963 recordings of the Turkish Cypriot artists kept at CyBC archives to the Turkish Cypriot side. Each one of the issues we have reached is very important in increasing the quality of life for each community on the island” he said.
The majority of the Turkish Cypriot press today (27.02.19) covers the meeting held yesterday between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci in the buffer zone under banner-front-page titles.
Under the title “Beautiful move by the leaders”, Kıbrıs reports that during their first meeting after a long time, the two community leaders took humanitarian steps useful for both “peoples”.
Under the title “They agreed”, Afrika reports that progress has been made on confidence building measures (CBM) and that “after the Akinci-Anastasiades meeting, those who do not want a solution were saddened and those who want a solution were pleased”.
Under the title “‘There is no negotiation’ - there is a discussion’”, Yeni Düzen reports “the Cypriot leaders met” and “they made steps for rapprochement”.
Under the title “Agreement on electricity and the phones”, Halkın Sesi reports that “while there was no clear message on the issue of the beginning of the negotiations, steps for cooperation and confidence building were put forward”.
Under the title “There is no hope”, Diyalog reports that during his meeting with Akinci, President Anastasiades “discussed the issues of electricity and mobile phones returning to the period before four years” and that “he did not accept a negotiation on the issue of the solution to the problem”. In its subtitle, the paper alleges that President Anastasiades continued his “delaying tactics”.
Vatan: They agreed on the phones and electricity
Havadis: The climate changed
Güneş: The same fairytale
Detay: Re-coming, Re-unite, Hade-Re
Kıbrıs Postası: The mountain gave birth to “delayed CBM”
Nacak: The federation dream ended!
The issue is not the main front-page story in the newspapers Star Kıbrıs and Kıbrıslı,which cover the meeting under the front page titles “The leaders met, steps for CBMs were taken” and “Akinci: ‘Unofficial meeting’”. Finally, Hakikat refers to the issue in its inside pages under the title “The networks are being connected”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (27.02.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, “deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs”, in a post at his social media account, said that the consensus reached by the two leaders yesterday was important.
In his post, Ozersay also wrote: “All decisions taken at the meeting today, from electricity to telephone and mine clearing, will contribute to the creation of trust between the two sides through COOPERATION. This, as soon as possible, should also include cooperation on many other issues, such as the hydrocarbons and the return of offenders”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (27.02.19) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Socialist Democracy Party (TDP), evaluating the joint announcement after the meeting between President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, said that they welcome the confidence-building measures, which were announced to be implemented.
CTP said that the fact that mobile phones are agreed on a model that will ensure the interoperability of the whole island is extremely important in terms of convergence of the two communities and the increase of trust. CTP further announced that the decision to make the current temporary connection of the electricity networks on both sides permanent and uninterrupted will be very useful in terms of facilitating the meeting of the daily needs of the two communities. The CTP statement concluded by saying that they expect the implementation of similar confidence-building measures.
Under the title “Justice will clarify this issue”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (27.02.19) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot primary school teachers’ trade union (KTOS), has said that they were preparing to file lawsuits regarding the non-granting of the citizenship of the Republic of Cyprus to a child from a mixed marriage [of a Turkish Cypriot with a Turkish settler].
In statements to the paper, Elcil noted that the government of the Republic of Cyprus had chosen the way of reconciliation and ensured the withdrawal of some cases and alleged the following:
“Many cases cannot be solved through reconciliation. They include situations which are directly contrary to the human rights and have a political content. For this reason, within the forthcoming days we will definitely launch a lawsuit procedure. We are continuing our work on the issue, filing more than one lawsuits”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (27.02.19) reports that the “Yasemin” movement made an announcement as regards its candidates for the forthcoming EU Parliamentary elections to be held on May 26.
These are Sener Levent, Zeki Besiktepeli, Leyla Kiralp, Oz Karahan, Faize Ozdemirciler and Ibrahim Aziz.
Illegal Bayrak (27.02.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=blue-homeland-2019 ) broadcast that Turkey is holding the largest navy drill in its history with over 100 vessels on all three seas surrounding the country.
The four-day drill, dubbed “Blue Homeland 2019,” began today with the participation of 103 navy ships in the Black Sea, the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The flotilla included 13 frigates, 6 corvettes, 16 assault boats, and 7 submarines, 7 mine hunting vessels, 14 patrol boats, as well as other navy vessels.
The drill was planned six months in advance in line with NATO rules and regulations.
The drill is coordinated by the Naval War Centre Command and will last until the 8th of March.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (27.02.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-to-buy-s-400s-but-also-open-to-patriot-offer-3475479) reports that Turkey will not change course on buying the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, but the country could also accept a "good offer" on U.S. Patriot missiles, the country's President said Tuesday.
Changing course on Turkey's deal to purchase the S-400s is "definitely" out of the question, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told private channel NTV.
"Regarding the Patriot issue, if you [the U.S.] provide us good conditions, we are open to that as well. We have to work with alternatives," Erdogan stressed.
Criticizing EU countries for attending a summit hosted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Erdogan said EU leaders lecture Turkey about executions but then pose for pictures with a man who has executed 42 Egyptians since coming to power and nine young people only last week, referring to al-Sisi.
Underlining Turkey’s advocacy for the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria, Erdoğan said Turkey cannot leave a region that could threaten it to anyone, and Turkey would establish a presence in such a zone.
Speaking on the latest EU draft report that calls for suspending accession negotiations between Turkey and the European Union, Erdoğan said it is unacceptable. Turkey's EU accession process can lead the country to proceed on its own way, he added. He reiterated that Turkey would continue to adopt reforms for accession into the bloc.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (27.02.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkish-fm-says-russian-s-400-missiles-are-a-done-deal-3475470) reports that the purchase of the Russian S-400 missiles is a done deal, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Tuesday.
“It is a done deal. Turkey has never gone back on any of its promises. The statements made by anyone but us have no value,” Çavşoğlu said in Turkish capital Ankara.
Çavuşoğlu also commented on European leaders attending the Arab League summit held in Egypt, thus supporting the junta regime of President Sisi. Stating that Europe is two-faced and uses double-standards in its politics, Çavuşoğlu said: “Europe doesn’t have values, but only personal interests.”
Turkish Daily Hurriyet (27.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-intel-held-6-000-ops-in-2018-based-on-tips-report-141499) reports that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) held 6,000 operations based on tips given regarding FETÖ, PKK, YPG and ISIL through its website in 2018, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 26.
Citizens have clicked on MİT’s website over a million times in 2018 to give tipoffs, receive information and look for career opportunities within the organization, the agency said.
Some 3,262 inquiries were made to the organization, with citizens asking questions such as “How are working conditions at MİT?”, “Would you recruit me?” and “Are you conducting an investigation into me?”
As a result, members of FETÖ and YPG were detected and legal procedures concerning them were commenced while structures of the PKK and ISIL within Turkey and overseas received great blows.
The agency said that the number of tips received in 2018 by MİT decreased drastically compared to the previous year. But the reason for this was said to have stemmed from the recent weakening of outlawed organizations due to a stream of what it called successful operations.
Turkish Daily Hurrieyt Daily News (27.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/eu-to-continue-working-with-turkey-on-migration-issue-141491) reports that the EU will maintain its cooperation with Turkey in tackling both the regional and global migration issues, said the bloc's ambassador to Ankara on Feb. 26.
“We will continue working with Turkey on dealing the migration not only very specific to Syria issue, on the global issues as well,” Christian Berger told Anadolu Agency during his visit to the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.
“We fully appreciate the role Turkey is playing on migration and on receiving refugees particularly from Syria,” Berger said.
He added Turkey shows “a lot of generosity” by opening its borders to people who are fleeing the war-torn home country.
On the interregional conference in Istanbul on migration policy last week, the EU official said the main message of the bloc was the burden-sharing. “No country can carry the burden of migration on his own,” he said.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION