Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (13.06.19) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking yesterday during his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s group meeting in Ankara, referred, inter alia, to the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, alleging the following: “We would not allow any steps which ignore the rights and interests of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots to be taken in the Eastern Mediterranean. All alternatives on this issue will continue to be on the table. At the moment, Turkey has four ships for hydrocarbon drilling activities. We have never owned such ships during our history. We are carrying out our activities there in order to achieve security, together with Turkish Naval Forces. All those considering that they will make Turkey kneel down economically do not know the Turkish nation at all. We are a nation which was able to hide the distress we suffered and when necessary does not refrain to put in danger its soul and possession for the sake of its freedom. Those who attempted in the past to break this structure, did not achieveanything. I hope these messages which are clear will be well understood by our collocutors”, Erdogan argued.
Illegal Bayrak (13.06.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-tatar-hold-first-routine-meeting) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı and “prime minister” Ersin Tatar met today within the framework of routine meetings to discuss the latest domestic and foreign issues.
“Presidential undersecretary” Gürdal Hüdaoğlu and the “prime minister’s undersecretary Suat Yeldener were also present at the meeting which lasted for an hour.
Today’s meeting was the first since Tatar set up the new “coalition government” last week.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Tatar said that he had held a good meeting with Akıncı during which they discussed the latest developments in the country and the Cyprus problem.
He said that he had a good dialogue with Akinci despite their differences on the Cyprus problem. Tatar added that both of them aimed “to serve the Turkish Cypriot people”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkın Sesi (13.06.19) reports that so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar, alleged that there are “two equal people in Cyprus which is an island located in an important geographical location”.
Tatar also alleged that the Greek Cypriots are not the sole owner of the island, claiming the following: “Turkey, with a population of 80 million people is amongst the strongest countries in the Eastern Mediterranean. We should thus protect our place and position. We have signed agreements with Turkey and the drilling activities of Fatih and Yazul drill ships are very important for us”.
Tatar made the above statements yesterday during a meeting he had with delegations of trade unions from Turkey. “We will not allow anyone to cause discord to our unity and solidarity”, Tatar added, condemning the EU for the “unilateral accession of the Greek Cypriot side to the Union” and for the “efforts to exclude Turkey”. “The most important thing for us is Turkey’s active and effective guarantees”, Tatar further argued.
Also speaking during the meeting, Talip Geykan, chairman of the Turkish Education trade union, referred to the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and alleged that the international community should respect “Turkey’s sovereign rights”. “The Greek Cypriot side issued arrest warrant against Fatih drill ship crew. This is illegal and we consider it a challenge against Turkey and the TRNC. We consider this as a political manipulation. Turkey will not make any concessions to its sovereign rights in the region”, he argued.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (13.06.19) reports that the “compensation committee” paid yesterday the amount of 428,360 Sterling to Greek Cypriot Ioannis Kyriakides. According to the paper, this is one of the three pilot cases that will determine the future of the “committee” in front of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The “committee” had decided in 2017 to pay this amount to Kyriakides under the condition that his property will not be returned to him. Because the money was not paid to him for two years, Kyriakides applied to the ECHR which assigned the “committee” to pay the money to Kyriakides until June 18, 2019.
The paper writes that Kyriakides abide to the call issued to him by the “interior ministry” and went yesterday to the committee which gave him the said amount for his property which is located around the military area on the main road of Kythrea-Keryneia-Lefkosia.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs Postası (13.06.19) reports that the “state” started to take action for the opening of the “airport” in occupied Lefkonoiko without the participation of Turkish Cypriot businessman Asil Nadir who has not fulfilled any of the applications that he has undertook as regard the operation of the “airport”.
Citing sources, the paper writes that a part of “civil aviation” started to obtain system so that at least helicopters’ flight, private planes and educational planes to take place adding that the efforts towards this direction were intensive. The paper also notes that the efforts so that flights (Tr. Note: not commercial flights) to be conducted from “airport” in Lefkonoiko are taking place together with Turkish officials.
Another source told the paper that the “ministry of transportation” is in contacts with Turkish officials in order for the “airport” to be ready for the landing of military planes in case an emergency occurs during the developments in Eastern Mediterranean. The paper goes on to add that other sources report that there has been mobilization in Lefkonoiko since the beginning of the week and efforts are exerted so that the “airport” is prepared for VFR flights (Visual Flight Rules) and that assistance will be asked from Turkey for the equipment of the Control tower.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.06.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-already-bought-russian-s-400-systems-erdogan/1502662) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey has already bought the Russian S-400 missile defense systems, stressing that it is a done deal.
“I'm not saying Turkey will buy S-400 defense systems, it has already bought them; we’ve closed the deal,” Erdogan told his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s group meeting in the capital Ankara.
He noted that Ankara and Moscow had signed the deal with a pledge for a reasonable price and future joint production. “This [S-400] system will be delivered to our country next month,” Erdogan added.
Touching on Turkey’s procurement of F-35 fighter jets from the U.S., Erdogan said his country is not only a customer, but also co-producer of the jets.
“Ankara had paid $1 billion 250 million for the F-35 jets until today”, Erdogan underlined.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.06.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/-russias-stance-on-turkeys-s-400-purchase-unchanged-/1502793) reports that Russian Ambassador to Turkey Aleksei Yerkhov said on Wednesday that Russia's stance on Turkey's purchase of its S-400 missile defense system has not changed.
Yerkhov made the remarks at a reception in Ankara to mark Russian National Day.
Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal along with several foreign diplomats attended the event at the Russian Embassy.
"There is no change and there will be no change in the stance and position of the Russian Federation related to the S-400 [missile system]," Yerkhov told reporters.
Pointing to Russia's commitments to Turkey, Yerkhov stressed that it would fulfil its responsibilities.
(…)Turkey, however, emphasized that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.
Yerkhov also spoke about the abolition of visas between Russia and Turkey. "We are in constant contact with our Turkish colleagues about visas. But since the issue is a very detailed one, it would be too optimistic to think that it can be resolved in five minutes. I hope we will resolve it", he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.06.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/top-french-diplomat-due-in-turkey-for-bilateral-talks-144122) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his French counterpart Jean Yves Le Drian, will meet in the Turkish capital on June 13 to discuss a wide-range of issues including the Syrian war, the tension in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and Turkey’s troubled European Union agenda as well as bilateral political issues.
“During the meeting, bilateral relations between Turkey and France, current regional and international developments and Turkey’s EU accession process will be discussed,” read a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on June 13.
Ties between Ankara and Paris have recently been strained over disagreements on several bilateral and regional issues.
(…)The meeting will take place as both countries’ concerns over the situation in Idlib province of Syria increased because of intensified military operations by the Russia-backed Syrian army. Both men are expected to discuss the latest developments in the province and ways to stop the operations before they lead to a massive humanitarian tragedy.
Another important issue that would come to the table is a latest French proposal of installing a squadron of SAMP/T air defense systems on the Turkish territory in a bid to augment Turkey’s air defense.
Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar had confirmed the proposal and informed that Ankara was working on the proposal.
Also, Turkey’s troubled ties with the EU, particularly after the EU Commission’s yearly report suggested that the country is further distancing from Brussels, will be on the agenda of talks in Ankara.
The report suggested serious backsliding of democratic values and fundamental human rights and freedoms in Turkey, with calls on the Turkish government to reverse the situation through reforms.
The French Foreign Minister is expected to raise the detentions of two academics Tuna Altınel, a scholar at Lyon University, and Füsun Üstel at Galatasaray University for allegedly participating in a meeting on the Kurdish issue in France. In a statement he made this week, Le Drian said he would do his best to free the two academics.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (12.06/19-https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/east-med-to-be-within-range-of-turkeys-s-400-missiles-3483067) reported that the mounting tensions in the East Mediterranean have gained a new dimension after the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as the Republic of Cyprus was referred to, issued an arrest warrant for employees of the Turkish-flagged drilling vessel Fatih.
“The biggest threat targeting Turkey is highly likely to emerge from the East Mediterranean as foreign powers are trying to exclude Ankara from the energy equation in the region”, according to experts who spoke to Yeni Şafak daily.
As such, Turkey may consider positioning Russia’s S-400 missile batteries within a range that will completely encapsulate the East Mediterranean.
(…)Speaking exclusively to Yeni Şafak daily, the President of the Turkish Association for Energy Economics Professor Gürkan Kumbaroglu stated that the battlefield of the world’s new ‘Cold War’ is the Eastern Mediterranean. “The more pressing issue is the possibility of it turning into a ‘hot’ war,” he alleged, claiming further the following:
“In July, Greece will go to elections. Hence, Greece and southern Cyprus taking steps to alleviate tensions is highly unlikely”, Kumbaroglu argued.
“Turkey wants to see energy as an incentive for a political resolution on the island and peace in the wider Mediterranean basin rather than a catalyst for further tensions”, he added. Highlighting that further developments apart from the Greek elections will be observed in July, Kumbaroglu stated, “The delivery of the S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system, which is critical not only in terms of Turkey’s relations with the U.S. but also with Russia and NATO, is slated for July.”
“Under current conditions, we observe that the greatest security threat against Turkey is in the East Mediterranean. It is a region where ‘hot’ conflict can flare up any moment. We have ground and air forces deployed in the area. Furthermore, we are the guarantor of the Turks’ presence on the island.If the security risks in this significant area increase to such an extent, then Turkey may consider deploying one of the S-400 batteries to a point that would encapsulate the entire East Mediterranean region. Hence, we can easily say that regional developments will play a great role in the deployment of the S-400s,” Professor Kumbaroğlu concluded.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (12.05.16-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-turkish-defense-chiefs-to-discuss-s-400-row-144111) reported that Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on June 12 that the language used in a letter sent from Washington to Ankara regarding Turkey's removal from the F-35 fighter jet program does not suit the spirit of alliance.
U.S. acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan's letter to his counterpart had outlined how Turkey would be pulled out of the F-35 fighter jet program unless Ankara changes course from its plans to purchase a Russian missile defense system.
Akar, cited by the Defense Ministry in a statement, also said that Turkey is preparing a response to the letter and that it would be sent to the U.S. in the coming days. He added that he would hold a phone call with Shanahan today.
Shanahan said on June 11 he will discuss Washington's spat with Ankara over its purchase of Russia's S-400 missile defense system with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar on June 12.
He said that the two sides could update each other on developments during the scheduled phone call.
His remarks came ahead of his meeting with Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak at the Pentagon.
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