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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-01-03.06.19

No. 102/19                                                                                          1-3.06.2019



A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Tatar and Ozersay due in Istanbul to meet with Erdogan, Oktay, Cavusoglu and Albayrak

2. Akıncı: “Federation the only realistic model”

3. “Vote of confidence” for Tatar’s so-called government

4. Ulucay attended the OIC summit in Saudi Arabia and met with Cavusoglu

5. Three day Eid al-Fitre holiday begins tomorrow

B. Turkish Press

1. Second drillship Yavuz to begin operations next month in Eastern Mediterranean

2. “Turkey mulls steps in east Med against Cyprus’ moves”

3. “Turkey slams illegal Israeli settlement in E Jerusalem”

4. Spain's Patriots may stay in Turkey for 6 more months


A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Tatar and Ozersay due in Istanbul to meet with Erdogan, Oktay, Cavusoglu and Albayrak

According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.06.19), self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar and self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister Kudret Ozersay flew today to Istanbul for a one-day working visit. Accompanied by “minister of finance” Olgun Amcaolgu, Tatar and Ozersay will meet today with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay.

In a statement to Turkish Cypriot news agency “TAK”, Ozersay said that “after the coalition government received a vote of confidence, it will have a working meeting with the Turkish officials” and added: “At the meeting, the Cyprus issue as well the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and particularly economic and financial issues will be discussed”.

Meanwhile, Tatar and Ozersay are also accompanied by the “deputy chief of the foreign ministry” Sunat Altug and the “director of protocol” Cem Topcu. The delegation will return to the occupied area of Cyprus tonight.

Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (03.06.19), on its front page, commenting on today’s visit to Istanbul, writes: “The government that Turkey wanted, has been established, received a vote of confidence and today it flies to Istanbul…”

Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (03.06.19), under the title “Istanbul Summit”, reports that today’s meeting has a special meaning because it considers the “first official contact of the new government” and the “Tatar’s first trip abroad as prime minister”.

On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis (03.06.19) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has interrupted his schedule in Ankara and moved to Istanbul due to the planned visit of the “TRNC delegation”. In addition to this, Turkey’s Finance Minister Berat Albayrak will also attend the meetings.

Yeni Bakis (03.06.19, reports that the meeting with Erdogan will be today at 15.30.


2. Akıncı: “Federation the only realistic model”

Illegal Bayrak (03.06.19 broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı stated  that the most realistic solution model in Cyprus is a federal settlement.

In his televised Ramadan Bayram address on BRT, Akinci  said that despite the failure of all efforts to reach a solution in Cyprus it was important not to fall into despair.

 “As you all know our efforts to reach a settlement in Crans Montana failed. The Greek Cypriot leadership’s stance was the cause of this failure. Over the last two years, we have witnessed the Greek Cypriot leadership’s wavering stance on the Cyprus Problem. The Greek Cypriot side clouded the political atmosphere by attempting to bring alternative  solution models to the table. As if this was not enough, they adopted a stance which rejected the basic parameters of our political equality”,  Akıncı said.

He said that it was only natural under the current circumstances to fall into a state of hopelessness and to believe that a partnership with Greek Cypriots will not be possible.

However, Akıncı added that to pursue a two-state solution in Cyprus would be nothing more than deceiving the public.

“I have said time and time again, the Greek Cypriots will be the last ones to accept a sovereign and independent Turkish Cypriot state. Even though this idea may sound nice, taking into account the current conjuncture, it is not a goal that is attainable in the near future,” he added.

To argue that the option of a federal solution has been exhausted and the time has come to discuss a two-state solution under the EU umbrella as a realistic option is nothing more than a dream, said Akıncı.

“More importantly it would be not telling the truth to the public”, he added. Akıncı said that his mandate as “president” was to deal with facts and not dreams.

He alleged that “the Greek Cypriot leadership’s rejection of the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots was a serious challenge in the way of a federal settlement”.

Akıncı explained that pursuing other solution models would have serious and negative consequences to the Turkish Cypriots.

“Nevertheless, we [Turkish Cypriot side] must not abandon our righteous and just position. It is clear what will happen the second we pursue a goal that falls outside the framework of UN parameters. […]  I have no intention of allowing this to happen as long as I serve in this post,” he said.

 Also touching upon the issue of confidence-building measures (CBMs), Akıncı said that despite the negative developments regarding the negotiations, promising developments were taking place on the implementation of CBMs.

He said that not only had two new crossing points opened in Derynia  and Apliki on November 12, 2018, the electricity grids of the two sides were also connected.

“We are expecting the CBMs on mobile phone interoperability to come into effect  in the near future. GSM operators on both sides have signed separate agreements with Swiss based mobile phone operator Comfone. It is my hope and expectation that technical work will be completed very soon,” he added.

He  also said that progress was being achieved on the demining CBM and exchange of artworks and recordings belonging to Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

Regarding the recent European Parliament (EP) elections and the election of Niyazi Kizilürek as an MEP, Akıncı said that the results of the elections showed a drop in seats of the left and centre right.

“This means that the balances within the EP are shifting. It is important to follow these developments closely and to make the right assessments,” he said.

On the election of Niyazi Kızılyürek, Akıncı said that his election was a first for Cyprus.

“Nevertheless it is my view that the importance of his election should neither be downplayed nor exaggerated,” he said.

Akıncı pointed out that Kızılyürek’s election was unique which did not change the realities on the island or the Cyprus Problem.

“Mr Kızılyürek is an academic who has been living in South Cyprus for years who is fluent in both of the island’s languages and has connections on both sides. This is why his election is unique and cannot be subject to any generalisations.  As I mentioned before we are pursuing our rights as a community. Two of the six seats in the European Parliament belong to Turkish Cypriots and our struggle in that direction will continue,” he said.

He  also explained that Kızılyürek’s election did not mean that the Turkish Cypriot side had gained one of the two seats allocated for Turkish Cypriots within the European Parliament. “Mr Kızılyürek has neither made such a claim and has clearly stated that he took part in these elections as a European citizen,” Akıncı stressed.

On the issue of the new coalition government, Akinci  expressed the view that “he will continue his dialogue with the next government as he did with the previous government as the impartial and independent nature of his post as president”.

He pointed out that the economic and social problems in the “country” had piled and that the new government needed to urgently address and solve these problems.

He  warned that the status quo on the island will continue unless the two sides take urgent steps towards reaching a federal settlement and sharing the island’s natural resources.

He said that if this happens, the status quo could soon evolve into something dangerous, particularly because of the hydrocarbons issue.

“This, of course, is not something we desire. But to prevent this from happening we need to take steps in favour of peace and a settlement,” he said.

3. “Vote of confidence” for Tatar’s so-called government

Illegal Bayrak (01.06.19 broadcast that the National Unity Party – People’s Party “coalition government” received a “vote of confidence” at  the so-called  assembly.  The UBP-HP party is “the 41st Turkish Cypriot government”.

According to Bayrak, 41 “deputies” took part in the voting process, 28 “deputies” voted in favour of the new government, while 13 voted against and 9 “deputies”  did not attend the session.

“Prime minister” Ersin Tatar addressed the “assembly” following the vote and thanked all who attended and said that this is a good display of democracy.

Tatar stated that “as their government program entailed they are here to work on the Cyprus issue, economic and cultural issues and basically serve the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.

4. Ulucay attended the OIC summit in Saudi Arabia and met with Cavusoglu

Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (02.06.19) reported that the “speaker” of the so-called assembly Teberruken Ulucay attended the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which took place in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

According to a statement issued by the so-called assembly, Ulucay who attended the 14th Islamic summit of the OIC, represented the occupation regime under the observation status. Ulucay attended the opening ceremony of the summit with other state and government officials of different countries. He had also had the opportunity to meet with the King of Saudi Arabia, Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Also, Ulucay took part in the family photo of the OIC summit.

Evaluating the summit, Ulucay pointed out the importance by “attending the summit under the observation status”, alleging that this summit and different other foras, the voice of the Turkish Cypriots is heard. He further added that within the framework of the summit he had the opportunity to  meet with the leaders of other delegations and discuss the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, the “issue of the lifting of the isolation and embargoes especially in the sport field” and also the hydrocarbon issue in the Eastern Mediterranean.  On the hydrocarbon issue, Ulucay stressed the need for this issue to be turned into an opportunity for cooperation between the two sides and not an issue of conflict.

Meanwhile, the same paper reports that Ulucay, in the sidelines of the summit, met also with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu with whom they exchanged views on the Cyprus problem and the hydrocarbon issue. Turkey’s Ambassador to Riyadh, Erdogan Kok and other Ambassadors were also present during the meeting. 


5. Three day Eid al-Fitre holiday begins tomorrow

Illegal Bayrak (03.06.19 reports that  Turkish Cypriots and the Muslim world, will be celebrating the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr starting tomorrow until Thursday, the 6 of June.

The “Department of Religious Affairs” will be organising a trip to the Hala Sultan Mosque in the Republic of Cyprus on 6 of June, the last day of the Bayram holiday.


B. Turkish Press

1. Second drillship Yavuz to begin operations next month in Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish Cypriot daily Sabah (03.06.19 reports that the second drilling vessel Yavuz will be dispatched to Eastern Mediterranean in July to launch operations in the region along with its twin vessel Fatih.

Turkey's efforts to protect its sovereign rights in the Eastern Mediterranean continue without interruption as the country is preparing to dispatch its second drilling vessel Yavuz to the region. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez elaborated on Turkey's latest activities in the Eastern Mediterranean at an iftar (fast-breaking) dinner that was organized by Turkish Petroleum. The minister emphasized that Turkey's first drilling vessel will continue operations in the region as planned at the Finike-1 site. The vessel is carrying out drilling at a depth of 2,338 meters and the well drilling will last for 100 days in total, the minister explained. The second drilling vessel Yavuz, the Fatih's twin in terms of technical qualities, is also scheduled for well drilling next month.

"We have completed 80% of our upgrade activities of Yavuz by using domestic technology. The drillship will be ready to start drilling wells in the Eastern Mediterranean in July. Our two vessels, Fatih and Yavuz, will carry our flag in the Eastern Mediterranean."

The sixth generation drillship Yavuz was bought by Turkish Petroleum for $262.5 million and has a length of 229 meters and weighs 21,283 gross tons. Yavuz came to a shipyard in Yalova in early March.

The minister also stated that “the seismic vessel Oruç Reis is carrying out survey operations in the Sea of Marmara and the Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa is continuing to collect seismic data in Nicosia-2, one of the licensed blocks of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)”.

The energy minister stressed that Turkey will adamantly continue to protect its own sovereign rights “and the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the region”.

"We aim to use the hydrocarbon resources in our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for the benefit of our people."

Energy Minister Dönmez explained that the Turkish Petroleum broke a 17-year record in domestic oil production by exceeding 43,500 barrels per day in 2018.

"So far this year, the daily oil production is recorded at 45,800 barrels per day… The oil reserves discovered in Siirt and Diyarbakır are estimated around 22.52 million barrels," Dönmez said.

"These discoveries will make a $700 million contribution to the Turkish economy," he added.

The minister noted that the land explorations of Turkish Petroleum revealed a gas reserve adequate to meet the energy demand of 300,000 households for 10 years.

The hydraulic fracking operations continue successfully in the Mermer-1 well in Diyarbakır, which demonstrates the technological capability of Turkish Petroleum and the company's operational capability.

"We use the hydraulic fracking method in Gözalan and Batı Bostanpınar sites in the Diyarbakır and Çeşmekolu wells in Thrace," Dönmez said. He also announced that additional fracking operations will kick off this year.

"Turkish Petroleum will begin fracking operations in Çalışkan, Derin Kastel, Doluçanak sites in the Batman, Karakuş and Batı Gökçe wells in Adıyaman, Güney Karaçalı, Batı Değirmenköy, Batı mesutlu fields."

The minister explained that Turkish Petroleum produces oil in 1,220 wells and natural gas in 113 wells across Turkey. The private sector companies also produce oil in 252 wells and natural gas in more than 110 wells.

The aggregate oil production of public and private companies was recorded at 4.8 million barrels in the first quarter. The natural gas production posted a 33% rise, hitting 134.5 million cubic meters in the said period.

2. “Turkey mulls steps in east Med against Cyprus’ moves”  

Under the above title, Sekan Demirtas writes the following in Hurrieyt Daily News (03.06.19 ):

“Two immediate steps Turkey has to take in order to protect its legitimate rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea are declaring its own exclusive economic zones (EEZ) without delay and signing a maritime demarcation agreement with Libya, a senior military official and an expert on maritime law has suggested, informing that these moves would increase its EEZ up to 189,000 kilometers square against Greece and the Republic of Cyprus’ attempts to keep it around four times smaller.

“The purpose of Greece and the Southern Cyprus Greek Administration (Tr. Note: As he called the Republic of Cyprus)  is to limit Turkey’s EEZ to around the Gulf of Antalya. Turkey, as a littoral state with the longest shore in the eastern Mediterranean, should never abandon its rights and the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC],” Rear Admiral Cihat Yaycı said at a panel held at Ankara University last week. Yaycı, who is an expert on maritime law, expressed his views in his capacity as a scholar.

Turkey is the only country that has not declared EEZ in the eastern Mediterranean and has not signed any maritime demarcation agreement with any littoral country except for the TRNC, Yaycı recalled.

Greek Cyprus,(Tr. Note: As he called the Republic of Cyprus)   however, declared its own EEZ in 2004, signed agreements with all littoral countries since the early 2000s, and created 13 blocks off the island to take benefit from newly found hydrocarbon reserves.

The tension in the area has recently escalated as the Greek Cypriot administration Administration (Tr. Note: As he called the Republic of Cyprus)    issued new licenses to international gas companies in disputed areas at the expense of drawing Turkey’s reaction.

Turkey has responded to the move by launching its own drilling activities in the western part of the island under the protection of the Turkish naval forces. The European Union and the United States stood with Greek Cyprus in this tension, with calls to Turkey for a halt of its activities in the said region.

“There are two immediate steps Turkey has to take: The declaration of its own EEZ and signing a maritime demarcation agreement with Libya,” he stressed. Turkey has long been drawing its maritime zones in the region by using vertical lines, and that was corresponding to demarcation agreements only with the Turkish Cypriot state and Egypt.

“However,” recalls Yaycı, “Turkey’s geographically inclined location stipulates its right to draw diagonal lines to determine its maritime zones and to sign demarcation agreements with Libya, Israel and Lebanon.”

That would narrow Greek Cyprus’ EEZ to the advantage of Israel and grant an additional area to Turkey. However, the problem in this scenario is the fact that Turkey’s relationship with both Egypt and Israel are very troubled and that there is no stable government in Libya to take this initiative.

There is even the worst scenario for Turkey. The already messy situation in the eastern Mediterranean would even get complicated if Greece signs maritime demarcation agreements with Egypt and Greek Cyprus. Greece has the intention to have the shores of its islands in the region from Crete to Meis (Kastelorizo in Greek) as a single and attached shoreline so that it could expand its maritime zone through agreements with Egypt and Greek Cyprus.

It’s no doubt that Turkey has been very late in taking effective steps in countering Greek Cyprus’ moves to expand its maritime zones in the region. Plus, its current ties with the littoral countries as well as with the U.S. and the EU do not suggest an ideal situation for making its voice heard.

A recent naval deployment and mobility in these waters should be interpreted as part of Turkey’s defense diplomacy to let the international actors understand that it will not remain idle when its rights are ignored. However, Turkey is also aware that its actions to this end must be supported through political, economic and legal moves.”

3. “Turkey slams illegal Israeli settlement in E Jerusalem”

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.06.19 reports that  "Israel's continuation of its illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories even during the holy month of Ramadan is the latest example of its inhumane approach," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said Israel continued to hijack the rights of the Palestinian people by approving the construction of over 800 additional settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem, which we recognize as the capital of the State of Palestine.

It stressed that Israel disregards fundamental human rights and international law with its actions.

"It is now time to put an end to Israel's decisions which aim to erode the status of Jerusalem and to destroy the vision for a two-state solution," the ministry added.

"In Palestine, we will never accept history to be rewritten, justice to be exchanged in return for economic interest and dignity and legitimacy to be ignored. We will always continue supporting our Palestinian brothers and sisters and the just cause of Palestine," it said.

4. Spain's Patriots may stay in Turkey for 6 more months

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.06.19 reports that Madrid is in a process of deciding the extension of Patriot air defense missiles in Turkey's southern Adana province for the next six months, Spanish ambassador in Ankara said.

“Battery of Patriot missiles were deployed in Incirlik Airbase [in Adana province] at the request of Turkey through NATO. We are in the process of deciding extension for the next six months,” Juan Gonzalez-Barba told Anadolu Agency.

Spain's Patriot air defense missiles were deployed in Adana in 2015. The missiles were deployed as part of Turkey's request for NATO assistance.

Gonzalez-Barba said that a total of 25 Spanish soldiers are currently operating in the NATO Command in Turkey's western city of İzmir.

He added Navantia -- a Spanish state-owned engineering and technology company -- was responsible for designing and constructing TCG Anadolu aircraft carrier.