No. 91/19 17.05.2019
Α. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (17.05.19) reports that the district “court” in occupied Nicosia acquitted yesterday journalists Sener Levent and Ali Osman in its decision on the “lawsuit” against the paper for publishing a caricature/ collage on 2 December 2017, which was considered an “insult” to Turkish President Erdogan and an “effort to harm” the relations between Turkey and the “TRNC”, the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Referring to a “decision of a historic importance that sealed the history of law and politics”, the paper notes that “judge” Cenkay Inan pointed out that “especially state officials and politicians should exhibit more tolerance on this issue”. The paper argues also that the decision is considered “a milestone” in the defense of the Turkish Cypriot community’s political will and freedom of expression and drove back the pressure, which Turkish former Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs, Recep Aktag had tried to exert on the Turkish Cypriots.
In statements after the decision, Levent noted that the Turkish Cypriots might be a subordinate administration to Turkey, but they “showed to the world the independence of our courts”. He expressed the view that this decision would have a great contribution to the struggle of the Turkish Cypriots.
Tacan Reynar, Afrika’s lawyer, said that “the journalists’ position in this country should not take the stand of the defendant”. He noted that there was nothing they could not achieve when they struggle side by side.
The chairman of the press workers trade union (BASIN-SEN), Ali Kismir described the decision an important step for the freedom of expression.
Writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (17.05.19), Cenk Mutluyakali reports that Turkey’s interferences in the occupied area of Cyprus were many and describes the decision “lifebuoy” in a process during which the Turkish Cypriots were worried again for their “democracy”. He also writes the following: “This place is like Turkey sometimes. Sometimes it is Cyprus. The moment the judge said ‘acquittal’, I said to myself ‘here is Cyprus, fortunately our judiciary is not under siege at present’ […]”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Manşet (17.05.19) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), has alleged that it was Turkey’s right and responsibility to protect its rights and the rights of the Turkish Cypriots during a period when the Greek Cypriots side was insistently continuing what he called “its dangerous stance”, in spite of the “warnings” that it should not carry out hydrocarbon explorations and drillings in areas which allegedly entered into Turkey’s continental shelf.
In a written statement issued yesterday, Denktas referred to recent statements made by UK officials regarding the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and alleged the following:
“[…] The UK should first look at the root of the problem. The root of the problem is Greek Cypriot administration’s ambition and irresponsibility. While our close geographic area is on fire because of the ‘energy resources’, while the world history is written with examples of wars happening because of the energy resources, it is UK’s duty as guarantor power to first of all warn the Greek Cypriot administration, which does not refrain from steps which throw our island into the fire.
Instead of using the energy resources which are around the island as a tool for increasing the prosperity of our island and creating a momentum in the negotiating process, the Greek Cypriot administration turned this wealth into policies which will throw our island into the fire. The Turkish Cypriots, providing support to the works carried out by motherland Turkey in the area in cooperation with the TRNC, know that guarantor Turkey is once more the only country which is by our side in the protection of our rights.
The modern Cyprus history is full of adventures which the Greek Cypriot leaderships attempted without taking us into consideration and every time resulted in disappointment. Wishing for the current Greek Cypriot leadership to have taken lessons from history, I want to reiterate our call on the international community not to support the Greek Cypriot side, which takes steps that throw Cyprus into the fire for the interests of global companies”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (17.05.19) reports that the general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Salih Sonustun, in a written statement yesterday said that the ongoing oil exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean had reached a dangerous point, threatening the stability in the region.
Sonustun stressed the need for measures to be taken in order to reduce the increasing tension in the region. He further called on both sides to act in a constructive manner and remain calm. “What is necessary to be done today, is for the Cyprus negotiation talks to restart from the point they left off, under the initiative of the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres”, Sonustun said, calling on the UN Secretary General to relaunch the negotiation process.
Pointing out that the hydrocarbon resources around the island belong to the people of Cyprus, Sonustun said that the revenues from these resources could be used for financing the solution of the Cyprus problem and also projects that could bring the two communities together.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (17.05.19) reports that the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar will hold today a meeting with the chairman of the People’s Party (HP) Kudret Ozersay in the framework of the efforts of forming a new “coalition government”.
In statements to the press, Tatar said that as a result of the first meeting they held with Ozersay they decided to meet again today in the afternoon. He also said that the efforts of forming a new “government” had just started and expressed the hope that these efforts would be fruitful.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (17.05.19) reports that Ahmet Erbas, Deputy with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in Kutahya, Turkey, delivering a speech at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), referred, inter alia, to the economic difficulties experienced in the “TRNC” and the “infrastructure problems” and stressed the need for the Turkish Republic and the AKP government to provide more support to the “TRNC”.
Alleging that besides the economic difficulties in the occupied area of Cyprus, the “TRNC” is living under isolation and embargoes, unfortunately with decisions taken and approved by the UN, Erbas, asked of the Turkish authorities to back the Turkish Cypriots.
Referring to the hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, Erbas accused the Greek Cypriots of creating a fait accompli in the region and claimed that they will never allow this to happen. “We will never allow to give up our political and equal rights deriving from the 1960 agreements”, Erbas alleged, adding further the following: “The Turkish Cypriot cause is a high importance political cause for us and it will continue to be. We should continue undertaking steps in order to ensure a prosperous structure for the Turkish Cypriots”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat (17.05.19) reports that a Search and Rescue Brigade of humanitarian assistance of the Turkish Forces and the “civil defense” of the breakaway regime are organizing a common exercise in Ankara under the name “Search and Rescue in natural disasters exercise”.
According to a statement of the “civil defense” the preparation for the exercise started on May 13.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (17.05.19) reports that 20 Syrian refugees who were recently arrested in an orange garden in occupied Avlona village in Morfou area are seeking asylum from the Republic of Cyprus.
According to a “court’s rule” the refugees will remain for 15 days in jail and then they will be sent back to their country. However, their lawyer Recep Saglam handed yesterday to the UN the refugees’ petition to be granted asylum by the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (17.05.19) reports that the body that was found 4 months ago nearby the illegal Tympou airport was confirmed to belong to 40-year Dam Thi Hop, a Vietnamese woman who was missing since October 15, 2017. A DNA test was run in Turkey about the case and the results reached the “police” yesterday, writes the paper.
Kibris also notes that the fact that 4 months were needed to determine the identity of the dead woman’s body, upset a lot of foreign workers in the breakaway regime.
According to Turkey’s state news agency Ankara Anatolia (16.05.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-wants-no-political-obstacle-to-eu-accession/1480006), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, addressing a joint news conference with his Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkevics in Latvia's capital Riga, said on Thursday that Turkey wants no more political obstacles on the road to EU membership, adding: "If it is about technical barriers, we are ready to meet them. But membership is based on the chapters. And all those chapters have opening and closing benchmarks and we are ready to meet the opening benchmarks and the closing benchmark. If Turkey doesn't meet the benchmarks, no chapter will be open or no chapter will be closed”.
Turkey applied for the EU membership in 1987 and accession talks began in 2005.
He went on to say that some member countries have been against Turkey since negotiations began with the EU. "Because they do not want to share power with Turkey."
Additionally, speaking on a deal with Russia to buy S-400 missile defence systems, Cavusoglu said Turkey needs to acquire such systems. For at least a decade, Turkey has tried to purchase such systems from its allies, including the U.S., he said, highlighting a remark by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg who has said any NATO ally can buy defence systems from any country.
Touching upon Turkey's EU accession, Rinkevics said Latvia considers Turkey as an important partner for the EU and NATO and the constructive dialogue between the EU and Turkey is needed.
Also, on S-400 missile defence systems, Rinkevics said the issue of purchasing S-400 has its own political and technical sides. Latvia should try to solve this issue. If there are any issues between the Allies, it should be resolved, he concluded. (…)
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (16.05.109, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-russia-s-400-deal-still-on-def-industries-head-3481237), Turkey remains committed to an agreement with Russia regarding the purchase of its S-400 missile defense batteries while negotiations are ongoing with Washington for the Patriot systems, the country’s defence industry chief said on Thursday.
"We [Turkey] are a serious country, our deal with Russia continues, we also negotiate with the U.S.," Turkish Defence Industries (SSB) President Ismail Demir told Anadolu Agency, speaking after a handover ceremony of mobile surveillance equipment in the capital Ankara.
Demir said the country's defence industries were on the same page as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who had previously said that Ankara does not intend to delay or suspend the purchase.
He added that the delivery of the S-400 missile system had already been discussed with Russian officials and delivery could take place in June -- earlier than initially planned.
Bilateral negotiations with the U.S. will continue, Demir said, without revealing further details. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.05.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-continues-efforts-on-joint-f-35-jet-project-143465) reports that Turkey's efforts are ongoing to build facilities to service jointly-developed F-35 fighter jets, the country's defence industries chief said on May 14.
İsmail Demir announced on Twitter that facilities for the installation and maintenance of various parts for the jointly-developed F-35 fighter jets will be located in the central province of Eskişehir. "As an F-35 project partner, we are continuing to fulfill all of our responsibilities and share of work," Demir said.
The facility will provide installation and test activities of the engines for the F-35 jests which will enter Turkey's inventory. Also, F-135 engine maintenance, repair, and testing services will be given for the European countries using F-35 jets.
Established within the scope of the Joint Strike Forces (JSF) project -- considered the biggest defence systems supply project in the world -- the facility will be the first such center established in the European region. (…) Construction of the facility was completed on April 23.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.05.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-head-dismisses-early-elections-143484), Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu vowed on May 16 not to push for early elections, saying that to ask for early elections is “opportunism”.
“We are not calling for early elections. We are a party that looks out for Turkey’s interests,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during an appearance on private broadcaster FOX TV. He also stressed that constantly talking about elections shifts the agenda from economy.
“When will we talk about economy? The business world is unable to see ahead of itself. Calling for early elections after winning one is called opportunism,” he said.
“We are not an opportunist party. When the time comes, we will go and vote,” he continued.
The CHP does not trust the Supreme Election Council (YSK), Kılıçdaroğlu said echoing his prior remarks questioning YSK’s decision to renew elections only for Istanbul mayor but not for the metropolis’ 39 districts.
The party leader also underlined that YSK’s detailed ruling has not been released yet, accusing the body of “taking orders from some people” to delay the announcement.
“You stamp four voting papers. The voters, ballots and the committee are the same. You count these and decide that there is a problem in the metropolitan municipality. A man can only give this decision if he sold his conscience and will to someone else,” he said.
“Nobody who believes in the superiority of law and conscience can say otherwise. Some people from some other places are justifying the decision,” he added.
“Are they able to say we cancelled Istanbul elections for this reason? The decision is not in accord with morals, conscience, and law. These should make some sense,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu once again accused the seven YSK members who voted in favor of the re-election of forming a “gang” and doing “illegal business.”
“You staged a coup on the law. Now, the residents of Istanbul will fix the law despite the seven judges,” he said. The party leader reassured voters that they need not worry because the CHP will “protect the ballots.”
According to Turkish daily Sabah (17.05.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2019/05/17/turkcell-installs-its-first-solar-power-plant-in-northern-cyprus), Turkey's leading mobile network operator Turkcell, which started energy investments with its subsidiary Enerjicell in 2016, has installed the group's first solar power plant in the “TRNC” [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus].
The “Northern Cyprus Turkcell Solar Power Plant”, with an installed power of 900 kilowatts peak (kWp), was completed in just four and a half months at an investment of TL 6 million, Turkcell said yesterday.
The opening ceremony was attended by a number of officials, including Turkey's illegal ambassador to the occupied part of Nicosia Ali Murat Başçer, Turkcell Chairman Ahmet Akça, Turkcell board member Atilla Koç, Turckell General Manager Murat Erkan, Turkcell Northern Cyprus Turkcell General Manager Harun Maden, “ministry of public works and transportation undersecretary” Kemal Bağzıbağlı, “mayor” of the occupied village Vadili Mehmet Adahan and many other officials.
“Northern Cyprus Turkcell's” was established on a 10-decare area.
A total 2,500 units of high-energy panels and nine power plant-type inverters were used. The plant, which will generate 1.51 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy to the network through medium voltage per year, is expected to prevent a release of 906,481 kilograms of carbon emission.
The power plant also aims to ease the demand burden on the “Cyprus Turkish Electricity Authority's (KIB-TEK)” network and help improve energy quality in the region.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, Turkcell Chairman Akça said, "As Turkcell, we call ourselves the world's first digital operator. We offer Turkcell digital services currently used in Northern Cyprus [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] to many countries around the world, such as Nepal, the Caribbean, Albania and Ukraine. We shared this achievement for the first time with you in Northern Cyprus. As Turkcell, we strive to do all of our work first in Northern Cyprus." (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency Ankara Anatolia (16.05.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-tatarstan-eye-1b-trade-volume/1480034), Turkey and Tatarstan can raise their bilateral trade to over $1 billion, Ruhsar Pekcan, the Turkish Trade Minister said Thursday.
Their bilateral trade was $920 million in 2012, which dropped to $314 million in 2018, the Minister told the Turkey-Tatarstan Business Forum, hosted by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in Istanbul.
Pekcan said Turkish companies have made a large amount of investment in Tatarstan. Turkey also supports Tatar companies to invest in Turkey, she added. "We require petrochemical investments, and we have project-based support," the Minister noted. She added: "Turkish contractors have $1.7 billion investment in Tatarstan and we want to see our contractors in more projects."
Rustam Minnihanov, the President of Tatarstan, stressed the two countries had taken significant steps for easing trade, investments and new projects.
Saying that Tatarstan was the most important industrial area of Russia, he added: "We are ready to cooperate with Turkey in energy, information technologies, construction, and tourism fields."
Within the scope of the business forum, several cooperation agreements were signed between the two countries.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION