A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Under the title “A surprizing meeting before Lute’s visit”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkın Sesi(12.03.19) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met yesterday with Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, a few hours before meeting with Jane Holl Lute, UNSG’s special adviser on Cyprus. According to the paper, during the Cavusoglu-Ozersay meeting, views were exchanged on the issues which Cavusoglu would discuss with Lute.
Ozersay told the paper that they had the opportunity to discuss important foreign policy issues and in parallel to the issues regarding the future of the Cyprus problem, they discussed the developments on the natural gas. He also said that they agreed on opening a “consulate” of the breakaway regime in Antalya, but they postponed the opening ceremony due to the death of former “prime minister” Irsen Kucuk.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs (12.03.19) covers the Cavusoglu-Ozersay meeting under the title “They discussed the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean”.
Under the title “A surprizing meeting in Antalya”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Hakikat (12.03.19) reports that Cavusoglu and Ozersay met in Antalya and that after the meeting Ozersay said on his social media account that they discussed “the recent steps of defence and military nature made by the Greek Cypriot side in the Eastern Mediterranean that could influence the peace in the area negatively and its activities on the natural gas issue”. He noted that they coordinated the steps which they would take and exchanged views regarding Cavusoglu’s meeting with Lute.
Illegal Bayrak (12.03.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cyprus-issue-49) broadcast that Barış Burcu, the spokesperson of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, said that “the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades was criticized by his own community, because of his attempts to retract from basic UN parameters on political equality, his manoeuvres to diverge from the goal of a federal settlement and his persistence acting alone on the hydrocarbon issue” .
Speaking on a television program yesterday, Burcu also criticized a decision taken by the Cypriot parliament regarding the hydrocarbon funds and said: “The decision has nothing to do with seeking the Turkish Cypriot people’s participation, right to say or approval.”
Stressing that the political equality was one of the basic parameters and was non-negotiable for the Turkish Cypriot side, Burcu said that “although there was much progress achieved on this issue Anastasiades was now trying to take steps back on what he had accepted earlier”.
Burcu also added that the circles who were now claiming that a federal solution was dead, were deliberately trying to confuse the people.
He said that the joint declaration signed by former Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on the 11 of February 2014 noted that a solution will be based on a federation.
Referring to statements that these were all traps, Burcu asked: “If so why did Eroğlu sign the joint declaration? Either he signed without believing in what he signed or he makes such statements today to gather support for himself. Insincerity and making a fool of our people and the world is wrong”, Burcu stated.
Illegal Bayrak (09.03.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=premier-gives-interview) broadcast that “prime minister” Tufan Erhürman said that Turkish Cypriots’ political equality will not be a subject for discussion and added that an open ended negotiations process is also not possible.
“Our stance is clear; we are in favour of a result oriented process” said Erhürman.
He made the statement during an interview he gave to the Anadolu Agency and America’s Voice.
Durinh gis first interview since “coming to office”, he answered questions regarding the Cyprus problem and gave information regarding his contacts in London.
Touching upon the Cyprus problem he said that “as the government, they did not accept the Cyprus negotiations process starting from the very beginning and added that they were ready for result oriented talks that are carried out within a time frame”.
“We don’t support open ended talks, our stance is clear we support result oriented talks” said Erhürman.
Supporting that they will not allow the Turkish Cypriots to become imprisoned in uncertain talks, Erhurman said: “The government would continue with its sincere and result oriented efforts on the Cyprus problem but due to the negotiations process, the desired level had not been reached and therefore they are currently focusing on social and economic development of the country”.
“We are working hard on these issues and my contacts in London have been based on this” said Erhürman.
Noting that during his visit with Turkish Cypriots living in London he had called on them to further strengthen their ties with their homeland and invest in the country, Prime Minister Erhürman expressed the belief that if they do strengthen their ties then the desired development in the “TRNC” can be achieved.
Illegal Bayrak (09.03.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-and-moore-meet) broadcast that Turksih Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı met with the British Foreign Ministry’s Director General for Political Affairs Richard Moore.
The two men discussed the latest developments taking place on the Cyprus problem.
According to a statement released by the “presidency”, Akıncı informed the British envoy that political equality is essential for the Turkish Cypriots.
Akıncı also informed Moore that “the unilateral steps being taken by the Greek Cypriot side on the natural resources surrounding the island were negatively affecting stability and peace in the region”.
Akıncı had once again met with Richard Moore when he was serving as the British Ambassador to Ankara in 2016.
Under the title “Tatar: Kizilyurek’s candidature will weaken the TRNC”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis(12.03.19) reports that speaking yesterday at the so-called assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), referred to the candidature of Turkish Cypriot professor Niyazi Kizilyurek with left-wing AKEL party in the forthcoming European Parliament (EP) elections. Tatar criticized the fact that Kizilyurek makes propaganda in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus together with other AKEL candidates and alleged:
“In our view this is a trick. There is the issue of the Greek Cypriot side usurping two of our seats. […] It is an issue which will weaken the TRNC. Why does president Mustafa Akinci appear together with Niyazi Kizilyurek, [why] he seems like he supports AKEL? Why the CTP walks around with the candidates, including Kizilyurek, door to door, making election propaganda?”
Referring to the issue, Serdar Denktas, self-styled finance minister, said that they could not accept the fact that Kizilyurek walks around in the occupied area of Cyprus to collect votes. He alleged: “I tried not to give importance to this and remained silent. There is a registered reality and this is that two separate democracies exist in Cyprus and this should not be forgotten […] Every step taken by the Greek Cypriot side aims at turning the Turkish Cypriots against each other”.
On his part, Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the Social Democracy party (TDP) and self-styled minister of education, said that his party’s view on the candidature of Niyazi Kizilyurek is clear and added: “Our expectation is for electing and sending [to the EP] two candidates within our own community”.
Finally, Tufan Erhurman, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and self-styled prime minister of the regime, said that they had absolutely no doubt that a person who will be representing the Turkish Cypriot “people” living in the “TRNC” should be elected in the EP elections and added that if Niyazi Kizilyurek was elected he would not represent the Turkish Cypriot “people”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (12.03.19) reports that the Centre for Migration, Identity and Rights’ Studies (CMIRS) has recently conducted an opinion poll on various issues concerning the Turkish Cypriot community. Asked “which is the nearest solution form to you”, the participants in the survey replied:
- “Federation is the only way, the talks should start immediately”: 34,07%
- “While going towards federation, to clean our own house now”: 16,73%
- “To clean our own house and the recognition of the TRNC”: 24,6%
- “To connect to Turkey”: 8,27%
- “To preserve the current situation”: 10,08%
- “To start talks for other alternatives other than federation”: 7,06%
Asked “which would your first choice be among the following names in case they were candidates in the presidential elections”, the participants in the survey replied:
- Mustafa Akinci: 31,92%
- Ersin Tatar: 20,61%
- Tufan Erhurman: 16,36%
- Kudret Ozersay: 11,11%
- Serdar Denktas: 5,45%
- Erhan Arikli: 4,85%
- Undecided: 9,7%
Asked which party they see most positively (on a scale of 0 to 10 points), the score of the parties was the following:
National Unity Party (UBP): 4,24
Republican Turkish Party (CTP): 3,57
Democratic Party (DP): 2,40
People’s Party (HP): 2,37
Social Democracy Party (TDP): 2,31
New Cyprus Party (YKP): 1,96
Communal Liberation Party – New Forces (TKP-YG): 1,88
United Cyprus Party (BKP): 1,86
Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP): 1,73
Revival Party (YDP): 1,67
Asked to rate the success of various “institutions” on a scale of 0 to 3 points, the participants in the survey replied:
The “president of the republic”: 1,30
The “prime minister”: 1,22
The “government”: 1,04
The “assembly”: 1,00
The “central bank”: 1,19
The trade unions: 0,94
The “opposition” parties: 0,96
The media: 1,20
The “judiciary”: 1,44
The “police”: 1,65
Meanwhile, Kibris (11.03.19) published the first part of the results of the survey. According to these results, 35,85% of the participants said they “definitely feel secure” in the occupied area, 26,45% that they feel “very secure”, 21,84% that they “do not feel very secure” and 15,83% that they “do not feel secure at all”.
Asked to what extent carrying a gun is needed for self-protection, 6,83% said that “it is definitely necessary”, 18,97% that “it is very necessary”, 35,54% that “it is not very necessary” and 40,96% that “it is not necessary at all”. Asked whether they carry a gun, 8,14% replied positively and 81,86% negatively.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (12.03.19) reports that the “ministry of public works and transportation announced that there were 32 thousand 325 total transit flights in January – February 2018, while in the same period in 2019 the transit flights were 36 thousand 94. Based on this comparison, there was an 11% growth in transit flights”.
The paper also reports: “Although we are an unrecognized country, the air traffic that we control is growing. The daily air traffic in Ercan airport [occupied airport of Tymbou] is around 70-100 flight with and 650-800 flights in the air space.”
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (12.03.19) reports that the trade Union Platform has said that the main reason for the unproductiveness [in the “public” sector] is the fact that the population reached 800 thousand in a “state” structure constructed for 300 thousand persons. Therefore the granting of “citizenship” should stop and the relevant “laws” should be adjusted, noted yesterday the Platform in a written statement read out outside the “assembly” during a protest against the so-called public servants’ “law”.
The Platform asked for the dialogue on the above-mentioned “law” to open for [the participation of] all the trade unions and noted that the discussed “draft-law” was not a reform. They also asked for their relations with Turkey to become relations between equals.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry issueδ a statement (12.03.19 http://www.mfa.gov.tr/sayin-bakanimizin-kktc-basbakan-yardimcisi-ile-gorusmesi.en.mfa ) on the meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu with the “deputy prime minister and foreign minister” Kudret Özersay.
According to the statement, the two men met on 11 March 2019 in Antalya. At the meeting, recent developments on the Cyprus problem and “bilateral relations” were evaluated.
According to the statement, Çavuşoğlu also met with Jane Holl Lute, the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy and he emphasized that “all options are on the table for a permanent solution in Cyprus; yet, in any case, political equality of the Turkish Cypriots is a must”.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (12.03.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/russian-turkish-ministerial-meeting-postponed-3476423) reports that a meeting of the Russian and Turkish foreign ministers planned to take place in Turkey on Tuesday has been rescheduled for next week.
Turkey’s Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov are now expected to meet next Monday, March 18 in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya to co-chair the Russian-Turkish joint strategic planning group, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced.
The ministry blamed the delay on difficulties in Lavrov’s schedule. The event will pave the way for the April 14 summit of the High-Level Cooperation Council in Moscow.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily news (12.03.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-foreign-ministry-summons-belgian-ambassador-141818) reports that Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Belgian Ambassador to Ankara Michel Malherbe on March 11 over a Belgian judicial decision it said had blocked the prosecution of people with alleged links to the illegal PKK, a ministry official said.
The ministry last week described the decision by the Belgian Chamber of Indictment as unacceptable and said Belgium was expected “to act in line with [its] counter-terrorism responsibilities”.
In a statement on March 8, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: “Despite evidence submitted by the Federal Prosecutor of Belgium on the PKK’s terrorist nature, this decision, as it stands, provides the terrorist organization with a very dangerous area of exploitation.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said it was possible to appeal the decision in the Belgium Court of Appeals. “Turkey will continue its legal fight determinedly,” he added.
“We expect our ally Belgium to act in line with counter-terrorism responsibilities and take the necessary steps in the fight against the PKK terrorist organization in an effective manner,” he said.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily news (10.03.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-purchasing-s-400-not-related-to-nato-f-35-141779) reports that Turkey’s purchase of S-400 missile defense system from Russia has “nothing to do” with NATO, F-35 fighter jets or security of the U.S., President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.
“Everyone knows that this issue has nothing to do with neither NATO and F-35 project nor the security of the U.S.,” Erdoğan told a meeting of Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA) in the southeastern Diyarbakır province.
Erdoğan said Turkey is facing pressure against buying S-400 air defense system, adding: “The issue is not about S-400. It is because Turkey takes action with its own will regarding the regional developments, particularly Syria.”
“It is clear why Turkey is buying this air defense system and how it will use it,” he added.
Erdoğan also said that this issue will be solved through logic and common sense.
After protracted efforts to purchase air defense systems from the U.S. with no success, Ankara decided in 2017 to buy Russian S-400 air defense systems.
The move was criticized by the Pentagon, which warned that purchasing the S-400 would hurt Turkish-U.S. relations and Turkey’s role in NATO.
Ankara is also planning to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. pending congressional approval, and its pilots are currently training on the weapons platform at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
Turkish firms also supply the F-35 program with key components, including airframe structures and assemblies, and the center fuselages.
Turkish Minute news portal (11.03.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/03/11/2-german-journalists-denied-press-card-renewal-forced-to-leave-turkey/ reports that two German news correspondents were forced to leave Turkey on Sunday after the Turkish government refused to renew their press credentials, a move condemned by Berlin as “unacceptable.”
Jorg Brase, İstanbul bureau chief for German public television ZDF, and Thomas Seibert, a writer for the Tagesspiegel newspaper, had their applications for press cards rejected by the Turkish government for unknown reasons.
They were told they had to leave Turkey within 10 days.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Saturday tweeted that it was “unacceptable” that German journalists could not “do their job freely” in Turkey. He told Tagesspiegel it was “incompatible with our understanding of press freedom.”
At an İstanbul news conference held before they left Turkey, Brase and Seibert accused Ankara of trying to “silence” international media. “The Turkish government managed to more or less silence national media, and now they are trying to do it with the international media,” Brase said. “What we will definitely do is … keep on reporting on Turkish issues, but we will do it from outside Turkey, unfortunately.” Seibert said he had been accredited as a correspondent in Turkey since 1997.
Turkish Minute news portal (11.03.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/03/11/erdogan-threatens-opposition-leader-with-jail-time/ reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened Meral Akşener, chairman of the opposition İyi (Good) Party, saying she would pay a price like others have for allegedly slandering him.
“You cannot prove that Erdoğan called his people terrorists,” Erdoğan said referring to himself in third person at a rally in the run-up to March 31 local elections after the two politicians argued over Erdoğan’s remarks accusing the opposition of supporting terrorists.
Erdoğan openly threatened Akşener in Elazığ province in reference to jailed Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtaş. “You will pay for [your remarks]. Your ally is paying the price. Some people are serving time in prison now. You could share the same fate,” Erdoğan said, targeting Akşener.
In response to the president’s threat of imprisonment, Akşener tweeted that she would not be intimidated and refused to be silenced against injustice.
President Erdoğan on Thursday filed a legal complaint against Akşener for allegedly insulting him.
Erdoğan filed the complaint due to Akşener’s remarks at a rally in Denizli in the run-up to local elections. According to Erdoğan lawyer Hüseyin Aydın, Akşener said in Denizli on Wednesday that Erdoğan called the people of the province “terrorists” for their political choices.
In his remarks Erdoğan had claimed that an alliance of opposition parties includes the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which he called the political representative of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Erdoğan’s lawyer claimed that the president warned the people against this relationship and urged them to be sensitive to it.
Erdoğan’s lawyer asked for a “case in the name of the public” against Akşener for insulting the president.
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