According to illegal Bayrak television (28.05.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=turkey-briefs-its-ambassadors-on-hydrocarbons), the Turkish Foreign Ministry has briefed permanent representatives of EU member countries on Ankara’s political and legal position in the Eastern Mediterranean and the hydrocarbons issue.
Ambassador Çağatay Erciyes, who is the Director General for the Department of Bilateral Political Relations and Maritime Affairs, Aviation and Borders, met with the permanent representatives in Brussels.
Speaking during the meeting, Ambassador Erciyes claimed that Turkey’s hydrocarbon exploration and drilling activities were based on legitimate rights based on international law.
Claiming that previous statements made by the EU regarding Turkey’s activities were based on one-sided arguments, Erciyes argued: “The EU can call on Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of one of its members but it cannot force Turkey to accept claims of an EU member country regarding its territorial waters. This is not in accordance with international law”. Erciyes further said that the EU could not act as an international court forcing the views of a member country on Turkey.
Under the title “Priority to ‘economic development’”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs(28.05.19) reports that the new “coalition government’s” program between the National Unity Party (UBP) and the People’s Party (HP) was read yesterday at the “assembly” by self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar. Addressing the “assembly”, Tatar said that they have come into “office” during a “difficult period” and that economic development would be their first priority.
Referring to the natural gas issue, Tatar argued that Cyprus possesses a strategic position in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean and added that according to experts, Turkey would be a “very appropriate candidate” to become an energy transition centre in case a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem was found and a broad-based cooperation was reached in the area. “If we do not take the necessary measures against those who try to usurp our rights, the future generations will not forgive us”, he claimed adding that his “government” would try to have good relations with “motherland Turkey”.
According to Tatar, their primary target in the foreign policy would be to make their voice heard internationally and the protection of the Turkish Cypriots’ “legitimate rights and interests” in all fields, not only in the Cyprus problem.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, he alleged that the fifty-year long negotiating process showed that the federal solution model, which is based on sharing, has been exhausted and that federation was not a “realistic model” under the current circumstances. He reiterated the allegation that the Greek Cypriot side was not ready to share the island’s wealth and administration with the Turkish Cypriots. He also claimed that as long as what he called the Greek Cypriot mentality does not change the federal partnership based on sharing did not seem realistic in the near future and that there was no common ground between the sides. He further claimed that new “much more realistic ideas” which could be realizable should come to the table, including different models of partnership based on cooperation on the one hand and on the “existence of two states” in the EU on the other.
“Even though a permanent and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem could not be found, our government will support the cooperation between the institutions of the two sides in the economy, trade, tourism, human rights and other similar fields”, he argued claiming that they would exhibit a positive approach to confidence building measures which did not harm the fundamental positions of the Turkish Cypriot side.
Tatar said also that they would exert increased efforts for the lifting of what he called “unjust and inhuman isolation” of the Turkish Cypriots and that they would bring these issues to the attention of the UNSG and the members of the UN Security Council.
Tatar noted that they would continue shaping their policies knowing that de facto the presence of UNFICYP on the island was, allegedly, not the element which protects peace between the two sides and preserving the view that UN’s peace operation has allegedly become one of the main elements and even a symbol of the status quo. He said that they would intensify their efforts in the direction of turning UNFICYP into a non-military force and of making a park at the place of UNFICYP’s camp in occupied Famagusta.
Referring to the EU, Tatar said that the so-called “EU coordination centre” was transferred under the self-styled ministry of foreign affairs, something by which the lack of coordination between them would be overcome. Tatar also argued that they would exert efforts to carry their dialogue with the EU at the highest level, to effectively implement the Financial Aid Regulation, to broaden the scope of the Green Line Regulation and to implement the Direct Trade Regulation.
According to illegal Bayrak television (28.05.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=erdogan-oktay-congratulate-tatar), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay have sent letters congratulating “prime minister” Ersin Tatar on setting up the new “TRNC government”.
“Mr prime minister, I congratulate you personally and on behalf of the Turkish nation on the occasion of the formation of a new government in the TRNC [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] under your prime ministry,” Erdoğan wrote.
Noting that the “TRNC” had achieved important progress since its establishment and had become stronger after facing all kinds of difficulties and obstacles, the Turkish President said: “I believe the government formed under your prime ministry will bring the TRNC forward.”
Stressing that the prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots and the development of the “TRNC” were among their priorities, he said: “we will continue to work together with the TRNC for a more stable and prosperous structure.”
Erdoğan also stressed that the Republic of Turkey, as the motherland and a guarantor power, will continue as it has in the past to support the existence, security and rights of the “TRNC”.
The Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay in his letter also congratulated Tatar and added: “In addition to our efforts towards finding a just and permanent solution to the Cyprus problem which will safeguard the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots, I hope the current cooperation between our two countries for the further development of the TRNC in all fields will continue to grow during your government’s term in office. Turkey will continue to provide all kinds of support to raise the prosperity of the Turkish Cypriot people and the TRNC for a brighter future”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat (28.05.19) reports that self-styled minister of foreign affairs Kudret Ozersay speaking to Web TV, the papers on-line channel, stated that new models for conducting the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem should be found since, as he claimed, “the Greek Cypriots are not willing to have a federation with the Turkish Cypriots”.
“We have a second plan and this is to have alternatives”, he stated, adding that the Cyprus negotiations should not be continued from the point they were left.
He also said that the two sides should come together and must start discussing a partnership based on co-operation, instead of a partnership based on sharing.
Turkish Cypriot daily “Haberci” (28.05.19) writes that various Turkish Cypriot politicians commented on the election of Niyazi Kizilyurek in the European Parliament.
“Deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP) Oguzan Hasipoglu said that Kizilyurek does not represent the Turkish Cypriots, claiming that the 5,000 Turkish Cypriots, who crossed to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus to vote are only the 2,5% of the Turkish Cypriots voters. “This is not an important number”, he said, adding that is a fake feeling that with the election of a Turkish Cypriot in the EU Parliament the Turkish Cypriots’ voice is heard there.
The general secretary of the New Cyprus Party Murat Kanatli stated that Kizilyurek’s election is very important. Kanatli also expressed his satisfaction that ELAM did not elect any EU Deputy. He further said that the discussion as regards whether Kizilyurek represents the Turkish Cypriots at the EU Parliament or not, has no ground since, as he said, there is no national representation in the EU Parliament.
The chairman of the Revival Party (TR. Note: The party of the settlers) Erhan Arikli stated that his party showed no interest as regards Kizilyureks’s candidacy.
Finally, “Yeni Duzen” (28.05.19) writes that the general secretary of the Communal Democracy Party Cemal Ozyigit, stated that his party has always supported that 2 out of the 6 EU Parliament seats of the Republic of Cyprus belong to the Turkish Cypriots. He said that although Kizilyurek supports federation as a solution of the Cyprus problem, he still represents AKEL and not directly the Turkish Cypriots. “However, I see with satisfaction this representation”, he stated.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Diyalog(28.05.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, chairman of the People’s Party (HP) and self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that during the former four-party “coalition government” they could not appear trustworthy to Turkey from the economic point of view.
In statements to Diyalog TV in a joint interview with the other two “ministers” of his party in the former [and current] “government”, Ozersay said that this was the reason why they could not secure flow of money. “As government partner, we could never see a picture giving us confidence from the financial point of view”, he noted adding that “the train was derailed”.
Moreover, in her statements during the same program, Aysegul Baybars, self-styled interior minister, said that the “citizenship law”, which was debated a lot publicly, had been ready since October, but there was no response by their “coalition partners”.
Finally, Tolga Atakan, self-styled minister of public works and transport, noted that he had been thinking of resigning before, because no fund for making roads had been secured during the period of the four-party “coalition government”.
1. Erdogan: “They are laying the groundwork to turn a struggle based totally on economic interests in East Mediterranean into a security issue and a diplomatic crisis”
According to Turkey’s Presidency official website (26.01.19, https://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/news/542/105526/-the-issue-that-we-should-most-care-about-during-this-critical-period-is-to-firmly-preserve-our-unity-and-solidarity-), Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking during an iftar in Istanbul, said: “The issue that we, as a nation, should care about most during this critical period is to firmly preserve our unity, solidarity and brotherhood” and added that they will not allow such debates as the Istanbul mayoral election to be turned into tools of sabotage against the Turkish people’s unity and solidarity.
Erdogan further said: “Those who have not been able to bring Turkey to its knees through terrorist organizations, treacherous gangs and all sorts of traps and threats are now playing games through economy”. He went on to say: “Showing as an excuse the steps we take concerning our national security, they seek to undermine our economy with sanction threats. They are laying the groundwork to turn a struggle based totally on economic interests in East Mediterranean into a security issue and a diplomatic crisis. In fact, those who set these traps against us have their own political and economic troubles way graver than the ones inflicted on us. We will inshallah not give these circles, which are ready to drag the world into chaos and turn it into a bloodbath in an attempt to conceal their own situations, the chance they have been looking for.”
Turkish daily Star (27.05.19https://www.star.com.tr/dunya/kktc-basbakani-tatar-turkiye-kibris-uzerinden-kusatilmaya-calisiliyor-haber-1457188/) reports that so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar, in an exclusive interview to Dogan news agency (DHA) claimed that “Cyprus is a necessary castle for Turkey”.
Tatar made the above statement referring to the military agreements signed recently by the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as he referred to the Republic of Cyprus, pointing out the condition for Turkey to give up the country in case of a solution in the island. Tatar, went on to point out the “military capabilities provided by the Greek Cypriot administration to the USA at first and then to Israel, France and the UK”.
Concerning the natural gas crisis in the Middle East, Tatar alleged the following: “Cyprus is an important island for Turkey’s security and for the security of the Turkish Cypriots”. Recalling Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s words, Tatar claimed that they are watching closely the developments in the Middle East and added that “they would also watch out for Cyprus”.
Tatar accused also the Greek Cypriot side of trying to turn the Turkish Cypriots into a minority, and argued that it is for this reason that it is trying to be reinforced with military cooperation with foreign powers. He argued that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to have the USA by its side in order, as he claimed, to drive Turkey into the corner and at the end to force Turkey to withdraw from Cyprus and prevent Turkey from making openings to the Mediterranean. “We will never allow this to happen. We will undertake all necessary steps together with the cooperation of Turkey. (…). We came to the island in 1571. Our struggle continues since then. There are two states in Cyprus. And we should give way to the path for a two state solution in Cyprus. Whether in the EU or not. We will not be surrender to the Greek Cypriots who want the Turkish Cypriots to be minority”, Tatar claimed.
According to Turkish daily Sabah (28.05.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/defense/2019/05/28/defense-minister-denies-claims-deadline-set-by-us-to-reconsider-s-400-purchase), Turkey's defence Minister on Monday denied claims the U.S. gave Turkey a deadline to reconsider buying the S-400 air defence missile systems from Russia.
Speaking to local Habertürk channel, Hulusi Akar said Turkey has not been given any such deadline. About measures Turkey would take in case of possible sanctions from the U.S. over Ankara's procurement of S-400 missile defence system from Moscow, Akar refused to comment on "assumptions".
"We are carrying out activities in a way that will completely fulfil the responsibilities given to us," Akar said, adding that Turkey made full payment for F-35 fighter jets to Washington. (…)
Akar said four F-35 fighter jets have already been delivered to Turkey and their activities are ongoing at the base in the U.S. "Training of our four pilots is underway and hundreds of sergeants got maintenance training and returned [to Turkey]," he said, adding that 37 personnel were recently trained.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.05.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-election-board-announces-candidates-for-june-23-rerun-polls-143763), the Istanbul provincial election board announced on May 27 the list of candidates who will run for the renewed June 23 elections.
Besides the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu, who was declared winner of the March 31 elections before it got scrapped, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Binali Yıldırım, Felicity (Saadet) Party candidate Necdet Gökçınar and Vatan Party candidate Mustafa İlker Yücel, 17 independent candidates will run for the local polls.
Ballot slips with the names of these candidates started being printed as of May 27. Processes regarding the ballot boxes will be completed on May 29. Election propaganda and prohibitions will begin on June 13. (…)
According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (28.05.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/27/latest-polls-show-oppositions-imamoglu-leading-in-istanbul-election-re-run/), the latest polls for the re-run of the İstanbul mayoral election indicate that opposition alliance candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu is leading the race.
According to a pro-government MAK Consulting Firm survey conducted on 11,000 İstanbulites between May 15 and 20, 47% of respondents said they would support İmamoğlu, while some 45% favour the ruling party’s candidate, Binali Yıldırım. (…)
The poll showed that 49% of participants do not believe there were any irregularities in the March 31 election, while some 43% allege discrepancies.
Seventy-two percent of opposition supporters said they would vote for their candidate, whereas 80% of Yıldırım supporters said their preference stemmed from party ties or President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (…)
The A&G survey revealed that non-voters are a homogenous group; therefore, even if they decide to vote on June 23, their support will not change the result.
Also, İmamoğlu supporters seem more motivated than Yıldırım voters, according to the poll.
The survey indicated that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) loss of supporters in the March 31 election is not solely related to Kurdish voters and that Kurds in İstanbul, constituting some 12% of the electorate, will continue to be the kingmaker.
Meanwhile, Optimar polling company’s latest survey said İmamoğlu is leading the race by some 4%.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.05.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-arrest-warrants-out-for-100-in-feto-probe/1490716), Turkish prosecutors issued arrest warrants for over 100 people across the nation for their suspected links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, judicial sources said on Tuesday.
Istanbul prosecutors sought the arrest of 74 suspects -- 32 out of them are on active duty soldiers -- with warrants as part of a FETO probe into the infiltration of the terror group into the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), according to sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Colonels, lieutenant colonels, and commanders are among the soldiers sought by security sources, the sources said.
Separately, prosecutors in southern Adana province issued arrest warrants for 27 soldiers – including 20 personnel on active-duty, sources said. Police have conducted raids in 18 provinces to hunt suspects. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.05.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/over-1-000-irregular-migrants-detained-in-one-day-143777) reports that a total of 1,031 migrants were detained across Turkey on May 28, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
In the northwestern province of Edirne, which borders Greece and Bulgaria, gendarmerie forces rounded up 693 migrants, said the agency. Separately, gendarmerie forces detained 35 migrants, all of them Iraqi nationals, in the northwestern province of Kırklareli, according to the agency.
Moreover, the Turkish Coast Guard intercepted 25 migrants on a rubber boat off the coast of the Aegean province of Aydın.
Some 13 migrants were also detained in the northwestern Balıkesir province while they were preparing to sail for Greece.
Security forces launched an operation to capture an alleged human smuggler.
In addition, police detained 97 irregular migrants in a truck in the Aegean province of İzmir.
Police seized two rubber boats and detained three alleged human smugglers.
Some 128 migrants were also detained by gendarmerie forces in the eastern province of Van, bordering Iran.
In the southern Hatay province, border forces detained 40 migrants who had crossed irregularly from neighbouring Syria.
All of the migrants were later referred to provincial migration directorates.
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross to Europe, especially since 2011, the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Some 268,000 migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.
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