No. 118/19 27.06.2019
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Illegal Bayrak (27.06.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=maras-initiative-taken-up-at-the-highest-level) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı met today with “prime minister” Ersin Tatar and the “deputy prime minister foreign minister” Kudret Özersay.
The “government’s initiative” on the closed city of Varosha was discussed during the first part of the meeting. Akıncı and Tatar discussed other matters concerning the state during the second part of the meeting.
In a press conference after the meeting, Akıncı stressed that the “office of the president could not be excluded from any discussions to be held on the issue of Varosha”.
“The President’s Office is not a post to be informed but a post that will produce such decisions,” he said.
Stating that the “government” had only taken a decision to conduct an inventory in Varosha, Akıncı said that there was currently “no government policy” on Varosha.
Pointing out that the issue of Varosha was an important component of the Cyprus problem whether it was taken up as part of a comprehensive solution or as a confidence-building measure, Akıncı said that the issue could not be taken up independently from the “president’s office”.
Akıncı also underlined the importance of cooperating with the UN and taking into account international law when forming a policy on Varosha.
He reminded that there have been similar inventories conducted on Varosha and that the latest inventory will be an important addition to the state’s archive.
Özersay told reporters after the meeting that he had held a positive meeting with Akinci on the issue of Varosha.
He said that he had shared with Akinci the details of the initiative and that they had evaluated the sensitive aspects of the issue.
“Özersay underlined the importance of dialogue between the various institutions of the state and said that consultations with the political actors in the country will continue”, according to Bayrak.
Tatar told reporters after the meeting that their meeting with Akinci had been constructive and positive.
“We discussed the inventory to be conducted in Varosha and how we will shape future developments”, Tatar also said adding that they will continue to consult with and inform Akinci on the developments regarding the closed city.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (27.06.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, met yesterday with former Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu and chairman of the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP), Erhan Arikli.
On a post in his social media account, Ozersay said that they had exchanged views on the issue of the occupied fenced-off city of Varosha. “We took their views for the inventory study which will be held and for the steps which could be taken after this”, he added.
In a statement issued by the YDP, Arikli argued that the occupied Varosha issue should not be “sacrificed” in the campaign for the “presidential elections” and that the inventory study should be completed quickly and pass to the second stage. “Varosha is a vital matter. It should be turned into a state policy rather than a governmental one. This is why the republic’s security council should convene and the issue be evaluated there”, he claimed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay (27.06.19) and the other Turkish Cypriot newspapers publish an announcement today signed by Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Benter, general director of EVKAF religious foundation’s administration, under the title “Closed Varosha is EVKAF property. EVKAF has to receive billions of euros”.
Benter explains what is meant by “foundation property” and by “usurpation” of this property. “During archive works, a study of all the foundation properties was carried out from 1571 until 1974”, he says noting that “2,443 records, 13,000 files and 8 million documents were studied”. “20 million data were extracted and all these studies were recorded in a computer environment”, he notes adding that 744GB of information exist including 424,000 documents and pictures in a digital environment.
“When anyone tells us about a plot of land in Varosha or elsewhere, by entering in the computer, we can see the processes from which this plot passed through the years”, he says and alleges: “Originally, everybody agrees that entire closed Varosha belongs to the foundations of Abdullah Pasa, Lala Mustafa Pasa and Bilal Aga. Where does the disagreement come from? We say that the properties, which during the British administration were removed from being foundation properties and were transferred to the Greeks and the Church had been transferred in a manner contrary to the law. Those who have the opposite view say that these procedures are not contrary to the law”.
Afterwards he refers to a case filed by the inhabitants of Tersefanou village in 1955 for a property called the “Tersefanou Farm”, arguing that the Court then had decided in favor of EVKAF and that this decision constituted a precedent.
According to Benter, in 1960, after instructions by the then Vice President of the Republic of Cyprus Dr Fazil Kucuk, lawsuits were filed against the Republic for EVKAF’s properties, but the lawsuits were annulled because of the 1963 incidents.
Benter alleges also that the British administration had admitted that it had paid low rent for EVKAF properties and later paid the Turkish administration 1,5 million sterling pounds for repairing these buildings. “The above-mentioned signed text is mentioned as ‘Appendix U’ in the 1960 agreement and in this text it is said as what this money had been given” he argues.
Referring to what EVKAF wants, he alleges: “The institution, which has the biggest property in Cyprus, in years had been weakened so that it could not pay the salaries of its employees and repair its properties, because of the usurped properties and the loss of rents. The compensations for the usurped EVKAF properties since the beginning of the 1900’s should be paid and the properties should be returned. We refer to income and loss of property worth billions of euros”.
Illegal Bayrak (27.06.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=parliamentary-delegation-in-strasbourg-3) broadcast that the National Unity Party (UBP) “deputy” Hamza Ersan Saner and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) “deputy” Armağan Candan are attending PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) session and committee meetings of the PACE in Strasbourg.
Within the framework of their contacts, Saner and Candan held a special meeting with the President of PACE Liliane Maury Pasquir.
Speaking during the meeting, the Saner said that “all aspects of the Cyprus problem had been discussed during negotiations held under the UN parameters for the last 55 years”.
He alleged that “Turkish Cypriots have been forced to live in isolation due to open-ended negotiations that have been continuing on and off for the past 55 years”.
Saner underlined the need to restart negotiations subject to a timetable.
“If not the two sides should assess where they stand and determine their positions accordingly,” he said.
“He also expressed their expectations from the PACE to respect the democracy and human rights of the Turkish Cypriots and to adopt an impartial and just approach”, according to Bayrak.
Candan on his part noted that there have been no negotiations for some time.
He alleged that the Greek Cypriot side was having difficulties in accepting political equality and sharing power with Turkish Cypriots which were affecting the process negatively.
Stressing that the Turkish Cypriots were European and were able to attend and address the plenary sessions and committee meetings of the PACE, he said they were “ready to work with the PACE President to improve the status of the Turkish Cypriots”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (27.06.19) reports that the “deputy speaker of the assembly” Zorlu Tore will attend an international symposium that will take place in Skopje, North Macedonia.
The symposium under the title: “V. International science Symposium”, is starting tomorrow and is organized under the auspices of the Speaker of the Turkish Assembly Mustafa Sentop.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (27.06.19) reports that Teberruken Ulucay, self-styled speaker of the “assembly” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that they should not refrain from struggling to make the voice of the Turkish Cypriots heard abroad. In statements to a radio program yesterday, Ulucay expressed the view that the representation of the Turkish Cypriots abroad was very important and alleged that they would continue explaining that the Turkish Cypriots had the right to take their place in the world like the Greek Cypriots.
He recalled that the Turkish Cypriots participate in the Organization for Islamic Cooperation as observers and covered a great distance since 2004. He noted that the above-mentioned organization was very important for the improvement of the economy of the Turkish Cypriot “people”, adding that they should work very well to take a positive result on this issue.
Referring to the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Ulucay said that the discovery of natural gas around the island could contribute to the island’s economy and the solution of the Cyprus problem. However, he alleged, “the Greek Cypriots did not reply to the calls on the issue of establishing a joint committee on the hydrocarbons”.
Turkish daily Sabah (27.06.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/business/2019/06/27/turkey-turkish-cypriots-agree-on-cooperation-for-coastal-security ) reports that Turkey and the breakaway regime will cooperate on “coastal security, including the detection of oil exploration activities carried out by third countries without permission”.
The decision to approve the “Protocol on Support and Cooperation on Coastal Security” between the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the breakaway regime signed in the occupied part of Nicosia on February 7 has been published in the Official Gazette. Thus, Turkey and the breakaway regime “will develop support and cooperation in the fields of operations, intelligence, logistics, technical, personnel, training, supervision and combat electronic and information systems in coastal security based on mutual understanding and cooperation”.
In this context, Turkey and the breakaway regime “will cooperate on the detection of unauthorized seismic research and drilling activities to explore and extract oil by third countries in their own maritime zones, as well as activities to lay cables and pipes in the sea bottom, and hydrographic and oceanographic exploration. They will also guarantee all kinds of mutual aid and coordination to control the activities allowed to the third countries”.
In addition, in accordance with international norms, the two “countries will cooperate to monitor foreign air and marine vehicles that violate national legislation and international law, to dispose and discharge toxic substances that harm living creatures, to fight against armed robbery, maritime bandits and international terrorism, to carry out search and rescue activities and to combat all forms of smuggling”.
The Turkish Presidency (26.06.19 https://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/news/542/105797/-we-will-underline-during-the-osaka-summit-that-a-determined-stance-must-be-displayed-in-the-fight-against-terror-) published statements by the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who held a press conference before departing for Japan to participate in the G20 Summit.
Pointing to the “rights” of Turkey and the breakaway regime while answering a question concerning the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdoğan said that all people living in the island of Cyprus have equal rights on whatever is found in the seas around it. Drawing attention to the ongoing exploration works therein, Erdoğan said that “Turkey’s principle is based on win-win strategy, and that, however, the other party should act in a fair manner”.
Erdoğan further stated that the G20 attaches importance to countering terrorism financing and said: “In this context, we will underline once again during the Osaka Summit that a principled, coherent and determined stance must be displayed in the fight against terror.”
Noting that the decisions taken during G20 summits are closely followed by the entire world, President Erdoğan stated that the global economic outlook will be evaluated in Osaka with a view to determining the steps to be taken for the elimination of the main risks in the world economy. Protectionist trade policies adopted by some countries in recent years bring about major conflicts, President Erdoğan warned, adding that Turkey will re-emphasize during the summit the need for free trade and the fight against protectionism.
Noting that Turkey will raise the refugee issue during the G20 Summit, President Erdoğan said: “Because Turkey has paid the greatest price in the world on the issue of refugees. In this regard, we will once again bring to the attention of our counterparts our views on boosting international cooperation and burden-sharing.”
Noting that the G20 attaches importance to countering terrorism financing, President Erdoğan said: “In this context, we will underline once again during the Osaka Summit that a principled, coherent and determined stance must be displayed in the fight against terror.”
Stating that he will pay an official visit to Japan on June 30-July 2 following the summit, President Erdoğan said that he will hold meetings with Japanese leaders, including Emperor Naruhito and Prime Minister Abe during his visit. Drawing attention to the substantial improvement witnessed in bilateral relations following the formation of strategic partnership in 2013 between the two countries, President Erdoğan noted that opportunities for Japanese companies to increase their investments in Turkey will also be discussed during a meeting with Japanese businesspeople as part of the visit.
Stating that he will pay a visit to China on July 2 following the G20 Summit, President Erdoğan said: “We approach our relations with China in an understanding of comprehensive strategic partnership and with the principle of One China. In this spirit, we will discuss with President Xi, with whom we will meet in Beijing, the Turkey-China relations as well as regional and international relations.”
Underlining that Turkey and China are the key countries on the Silk Road, President Erdoğan said: “China is one of our biggest trade partners. We aim to develop our economic relations in a way that will benefit both sides. We are going through a process which virtually redefines the dynamics of global economy. We believe maintaining a strong dialogue with China would be useful for the stability of the international order and the multilateral trade system. And I believe my visits will greatly contribute to strengthening our relations with Japan and the People’s Republic of China.”
Taking questions from reporters following his remarks, President Erdoğan, in answer to a question on the purchase of S-400s from Russia and claims that the US will impose sanctions following the purchase, stated that both Turkey and the US are NATO members, and said: “I do not know whether the NATO members have started to impose sanctions on each other, but our relations with the US continue on the basis of strategic partnership. I have not got such an impression during the talks I have so far held with Mr. Trump. However, some people in lower levels voice such things and talk about them.” President Erdoğan further noted that he will bring forward the issue during the tête-à-tête he will hold with President Trump on the margins of the G20 Summit.
Responding to a question regarding a potential safe zone at the Syrian border, President Erdoğan said that he will also raise this issue during his meetings with US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Also touching upon the situation in Manbij, President Erdoğan underscored that as Turkey, they expect the promises made regarding the town to be kept and the occupiers to rapidly withdraw to the east of the Euphrates. The President went on to say that what matters the most at the time being is the incidents occurring in Idlib, and stressed that the regime acts mercilessly in Idlib.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (27.06.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/erdogan-says-trump-may-visit-in-july-report-3484254) reports that U.S. President Donald Trump may visit Turkey in July, Turkey's President Tayip Erdogan said in an interview in Japan where he will attend the G20 summit and is expected to meet with his American counterpart.
Asked if he thinks he can persuade Trump not to impose sanctions on Turkey, Erdogan told Nikkei newspaper on Thursday: "I believe my meeting with U.S. President Trump during the G-20 summit will be important for eliminating the deadlock in our bilateral relations and strengthening our cooperation. "Besides, a visit by Mr. Trump to Turkey in July is being talked about."
Erdogan reiterated that Ankara would not back down from its purchase of the Russian system and said he had not heard anything from Trump regarding sanctions. "We have already paid them $1.25 billion for the F-35 project. If they do make such a wrong move, we will take it to the international arbitration court because we will want them to pay us back the money we have spent so far," he told the newspaper.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.06.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-us-top-defense-officials-discuss-f-35-syria/1516438) reports that Turkish and U.S. Defence Chiefs exchanged views on Syria and the F-35 fighter jet project on Wednesday, according to statement from Turkey’s National Defense Ministry.
The statement said Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper met in the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The officials addressed other issues regarding the bilateral security and defense cooperation during the meeting as well, according to the statement.
The meeting also underscored that it is important to continue the dialogue between the two countries.
Akar also met his Greek counterpart Evangelos Apostolakis in the NATO headquarters, according to statement from the Turkish Defense Ministry. During the meeting, the Turkish Defense Minister said Ankara will make no compromise on national rights and interests, and stressed the importance of avoiding provocative behaviors in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.
He also met with U.K.’s Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the head of NATO Military Committee Stuart Peach.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (27.06.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/s-400-purchase-indispensable-part-of-statehood-mhp-leader-144489) reports that purchasing the Russian S-400 air defense system is not only a matter of national security, but an existential one for Turkey, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said.
“It is now a matter of existence for the [Turkish] state,” Bahçeli said, speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting in the capital Ankara on June 26. “Whether the U.S. likes it or not, the purchase of the S-400 has become an existence issue,” he said.
Bahçeli criticized the U.S., which has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey over the procurement of the Russian system, saying, “It is an insult that the U.S. threatens our country.”
“Turkey is at a crossroads. Either we submit to these threats, lose our honor, or get the S-400s and deploy them to the designated homeland.”
“Thus, this issue is more than one about an air defense system,” he said, claiming the U.S. had aimed for the “disintegration” of Turkey. “The acquisition of the S-400s has indeed become a matter of existence,” he added. Turkey must avoid concessions, Bahçeli said.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.06.19) reports that all preliminary measures for the delivery of Russian S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey are complete, the head of Russia's arms export company Rosoboronexport said on June 26.
Russia received payment for the air defense missiles, manufactured the hardware and completed the training of the Turkish military personnel who would operate them, Alexander Mikheev said in an interview with Russian news agency Interfax.
He confirmed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's announcement on June 25 that delivery would begin in July.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION