Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıslı (23.05.19) reports that Numan Kurtulmus, Vice Chairman of the ruling in Turkey Justice and Development Party (AKP), has claimed that the Eastern Mediterranean is at the verge of war. Addressing a fast breaking dinner organized by Yildiz Saray Foundation in Turkey, Kurtulmus argued that efforts were exerted for redesigning the Middle East through what he described as “terror” organizations such as YPG-PYD-DEAŞ. He argued:
“[…] Warships from all over the world exist in the Eastern Mediterranean. The waters there have warmed up again. Even the expression that ‘they warmed up’ is not enough, the waters have started boiling. We have come to the verge of a new war held over the oil and natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean. […] The US is trying to impose on the countries of the area a plan called the plan of the century to totally do away with Palestine. […]”
According to illegal Bayrak television (23.05.19- http://www.brtk.net/oktaykibrisli-turklerin-haklarini-kendi-menfaatlerimizi-koruyacagiz/) Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay, delivering a speech during an iftar dinner which took place in the Turkish Embassy in Romania, referred, inter alia, to the Greek Cypriot side’s “unilateral hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean”, alleging that they threaten the security and stability in the region.
“Turkey will continue protecting and supporting the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots and its own rights in the Eastern Mediterranean”, Oktay alleged.
Referring to Turkey’s EU bid, Oktay said that Turkey’s full accession to the EU remains a strategic target for them.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (23.05.19) reports that the “protocol” of the new “coalition government” between the National Unity Party (UBP) and the People’s Party (HP) was signed and read out in the “assembly” yesterday. The “program” of the new “government” will be read out on Monday 27 May, notes the paper, adding that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci approved the list with the names of the new “ministers”.
According to the paper, the names of the “ministers” coming from UBP have suddenly changed with a decision taken the night before yesterday, as a result of which names that were considered as having a place in the “cabinet” remained outside of the list. Such names were Sunat Atun, Resmiye Eroglu Canaltay and Izlem Gurcag, who have reportedly felt resentment. Because of this resentment, Gurcag and Kutlu Evren did not attend the “assembly” when the “government protocol” was read.
Furthermore, under the title “Veto from Ankara to Canaltay”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkın Sesi (23.05.19) reports that Atun, Gurcag and Canaltay have experienced a “shock”, because of the fact that they were not included in the “cabinet”. The paper writes that ‘intensive pressure” has been exerted on Ersin Tatar in order for the “balances” within the party not to be spoiled. The fact that Resmiye Eroglu Canaltay, daughter of former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, was not given a “ministry” derives from a reaction by government officials in Ankara against her father, who had been exerting pressure for his daughter’s appointment as “minister of tourism”.
The paper also writes that Melih Ozhakki, member of HP’s party council and Umut Oksuz, member of occupied Nicosia municipal council with HP, announced yesterday their resignation from the party, because of its “coalition” with UBP.
Finally, writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (23.05.19), Basaran Duzgun reports that on Tuesday night after the meeting of UBP competent organs for approving the “coalition” with HP, Ersin Tatar visited the so-called embassy of Turkey in the occupied part of Nicosia. Noting that he did not know whether Tatar went alone or he had been called by someone, Duzgun says that this is not very important, because Tatar has repeatedly stated that he would work in full harmony with Turkey.
The columnist admits also that his assessment that the new “council of ministers” would be designed by what he calls “Eroglu’s clique” was proven to be wrong. He notes that he was also mistaken in his judgement as regards the effectiveness of the “operation” against Sunat Atun during the past week when some journalists had referred to Atun’s relations with Fethullah Gulen’s (FETO) organization.
Under the title “Arikli: It is Turkey’s interference”, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (23.05.19) reports that Erhan Arikli, leader of the Revival Party (YDP), commenting on the new “coalition government” of UBP-HP (National Unity Party – People’s Party), said that all have known that this is Turkey’s interference.
Participating in a television programme at Turkish Cypriot private channel Genc TV, Arikli said: “What was going to happen was very obvious from before, the groundwork was prepared. After all, Ankara did not want the four-party coalition, ‘even the deaf Sultan knew this’ (translator’s note: it is the relevant expression, ‘everyone and their grandmother knew about this) and then Ankara gave the green light to this two-party government”.
Noting that Ankara had been intervening directly in politics in Cyprus in the past, Arikli added: “We all know that this was Turkey’s interference. Several times Ozersay had met with Cavusoglu, Ersin Tatar’s visit to Ankara, and from there to Istanbul… Everyone has understood from this that Ankara wanted these two parties to form a government. This is not a very negative thing”. Arikli further argued: “They have been playing a theatre for the last week. Everyone has understood this from Ersin Tatar’s statements that Turkey’s influence was also implicated in this process.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberci (23.05.19) reports that the leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan, speaking yesterday in a press conference, referred to the forthcoming European Parliament elections and said that the BKP will support AKEL in the elections since it is a party which includes Turkish Cypriot Niazi Kizilyurek as candidate.
Izcan explained that the party’s central committee decided to back AKEL in the EP elections since it is a member of the Party of the European Left. Izcan went on to call on the Turkish Cypriots to vote in the EP elections, stressing the need to vote in favor of AKEL. The first reason for this, said Izcan, is because in AKEL’s candidate list there are candidates who back united Cyprus. He further said that if Turkish Cypriots go to the polls and cast their vote, this would be an answer to those who oppose the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (23.05.19) reports that two more member of the “police” in the occupied areas of Cyprus were dismissed from their “duties” the other day for allegedly having links with FETO organization.
According to the paper, within the framework of the investigation procedure which is taking place in the occupied area of Cyprus for links with FETO inside the circles of the “TRNC’s police organization”, two police officers, Mustafa Cavdar and Ali Ciftci were dismissed from their posts.
Turkish Cypriot daily Sabah (22.05.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/05/22/far-right-agenda-poses-great-danger-to-europe-ak-party-spokesman-celik-says) reported that the Spokesman of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Omer Celik said on Wednesday that the far-right -- acting like a united group with a common agenda -- is posing great danger to Europe.
“The agenda of European far-right groups starts with enmity toward President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and spreads to Islam and Turkey”, Celik told reporters in capital Ankara, referring to European Parliament elections to be held later this week.
Speaking about the ongoing tensions over the drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, he said Ankara will respond to all provocations in the area as well as protect the rights and interests of Turkey and Turkish Cypriot.
Celik also touched upon the ongoing conflict between the U.S. and Iran, stressing that the issue creates "over-capacity" tensions for the region.
The issue had already increased the ongoing tensions in Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, Celik underlined, adding that this is also "extremely dangerous".
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-sees-improvement-in-s-400-f-35-talks-with-us-143608) reported that Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said late on May 21 that Turkey fulfills its obligations of the F-35 program,
“We, as the Republic of Turkey, fulfill our responsibilities in a serious and sincere manner,” Akar told a group of journalists.
Akar said that while he sees progress in talks with the United States over the creation of a possible safe zone in Syria and the purchase of Patriot systems, Ankara also is preparing for potential U.S. sanctions.
(…) Akar also said that his French counterpart Florence Parly had proposed deploying French Samp-T air defense batteries in Turkey. “The proposal came during his visit to France with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan”, he said, adding that a deal could be reached in the coming period as a symbol of “Turkish-French goodwill.” He added that such a deal would be realized upon Erdoğan’s approval.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/imamoglu-launches-campaign-for-istanbul-mayoral-rerun-143632) reported that Ekrem İmamoglu, the main opposition’s candidate for the municipal elections in İstanbul that will be rerun on June 23, has launched his campaign, promising to end waste and make better use of the city’s resources.
İmamoglu from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) had claimed victory in the mayor’s race for Turkey’s largest city and economic hub during the March 31 elections, but his mayoral certificate was revoked by the Supreme Election Council (YSK) on May 6.
İmamoglu kicked off his new mayoral campaign at a meeting yesterday where he blamed the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for having wasted the resources of the city. “We will end this wasteful system, which only benefits a tiny minority,” he said.
The metropolitan municipality’s debt between 2014 and 2019 increased 4.5 times from 6 billion Turkish Liras to 27.5 billion liras, according to the Court of Accounts (Sayıştay), said İmamoğlu. Meanwhile, the municipality’s budget deficit grew twentyfold in five years from 216 million to 4 billion liras.
“Eighty million liras were spend for the website of the municipality,” said İmamoglu, arguing all of the country’s municipalities’ websites could be set up with this amount of money. He also claimed 266 million liras were earmarked for projects and ideas that never materialized.
“Isn’t it a big waste, money spilled in the air; isn’t it a big sin?” he asked a jam-packed audience of his supporters as well as party officials.
“We will definitely change this waste and plunder system,” said İmamoglu, adding that during the course of the 18 days when he worked as Mayor, he succeeded to “say stop” to the “waste system.”
“We changed the course of the water and started to channel the resources towards the citizens,” he said.
For instance, during his short tenure, he introduced a proposal to decrease water prices under which each citizen living in İstanbul will save 540 liras annually.
According to the Turkish minutes portal (22.05.19-https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/22/jailed-pkk-leaders-lawyers-travel-to-imrali-as-visitation-ban-is-lifted/) two lawyers representing Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan travelled on Wednesday to İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara to meet with the jailed PKK leader as Turkish authorities recently lifted a visitation ban on him.
Lawyers Rezan Sarıca and Newroz Uysal travelled to the Gemlik district of Bursa in the early hours of Wednesday from where they went to İmralı Island, where Öcalan has been jailed since 1999.
Lawyers representing Öcalan had visited him on May 2 for the first time since 2011.
On May 16, Turkish Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gül announced that the ban preventing Öcalan from meeting with his lawyers was lifted.
“Decisions regarding the visitation ban have been lifted and visits [to Öcalan] have been made possible,” said Gül.
The lawyers’ visit to İmralı Island Prison came at a time when hundreds of Kurdish inmates were on a hunger strike to break what they said was the “isolation” imposed on the PKK leader.
Öcalan was last visited in January of this year by his younger brother, Mehmet, a farmer from Şanlıurfa province. It was the first visit by a family member since September 2016.
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