Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (11.07.19) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu has alleged that if the European Union (EU) continued taking “wrong steps” on the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus issues in the name of solidarity, the solution of the problems would not be possible. “If constructive approaches for solving the problem exist, we are here anyway, we are exhibiting flexibility, provided that the Turkish Cypriot people’s rights are safeguarded”, he claimed in statements yesterday in Ankara after a meeting with an Iraqi delegation.
Cavusoglu recalled that former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu had submitted a proposal in 2011 on the hydrocarbons issue providing for the establishment of a joint committee under the UN, adding that drillings and other activities should have continued within the framework of the work of this joint committee. He said that this proposal was still on the table until today and that it had never been withdrawn. “While we have shared our view with everyone, no institution, the EU, the UN or the guarantor countries which are closely interested in Cyprus and the EU took any step on this issue”, he alleged.
Referring to the Republic of Cyprus’ efforts in the direction of the EU taking measures against Turkey because of its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean contrary to international law, Cavusoglu alleged that the EU’s steps would not be useful and claimed:
“[…] We are showing flexibility, provided that the Turkish Cypriot people’s rights are safeguarded. A mechanism may be established, a committee may be established. This may be through the EU. It may be through the UN. It may be through the two sides. We are here for everything. Everybody admits that the Turkish Cypriot people have rights here. The Greek Cypriots also admit this. When I asked Anastasiades, he said ‘yes, the Turkish Cypriot people also have rights’. When I asked him ‘very well, then, why do you not safeguard them’, he says ‘I cannot do it now’. When are you going to do it? Is it when you will start selling? When the natural gas is extracted, when its sales start, will you be here? Therefore, we should agree on this issue in the beginning”.
Cavusoglu alleged that no one except for the guarantor powers in Cyprus had the right to speak here and added that the EU was not a guarantor. “Therefore, if they are going to speak, they should do so in a balanced manner. They should take no one’s side”, he claimed and argued: “We have always kept the EU as observer in the solution of the Cyprus problem. Sometimes we kept it in the room next door. At the Crans Montana we included it in the same room. […] They are exhibiting a stance totally in favor of the Greek Cypriots in the name of solidarity. The EU standards should be taken as basis in solidarity […] We do not think that this solidarity is right. Solidarity is good when it defends what is right and those who are right […]”.
Expressing the view that the EU should seek a midway for finding a solution to the issue by evaluating the Turkish proposal instead of making statements which satisfy the Greek Cypriots, Cavusoglu said that he had discussed the issue with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini and reiterated:
“We are showing every kind of flexibility for a formula which will safeguard the TRNC’s and the Turkish Cypriot people’s rights. If they do not approach this, if they continue favouring the Greek Cypriot side by taking a side in the name of solidarity, they will be committing a mistake. Then we want to say the following: Turkey is determined to protect the TRNC’s and the Turkish Cypriot people’s rights until the end. We will continue taking similar steps from now on. Either these resources will be shared in a fair manner or as Turkey we will continue defending our rights and the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people”.
Asked whether Turkey was examining the issue of declaring an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Cavusoglu replied that the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence were working on the issue and established a joint committee, which would submit the results of its work to President Erdogan. “After this, the decisions will be taken”, he said.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (11.07.19) reports that Cavusoglu said that Turkey would intensify its works in the areas for which it had been “licenced” in the Eastern Mediterranean and alleged: “It is Turkey’s sovereign right. No one has the right to comment. Only Turkey decides what it wants to do in its continental shelf. We are taking steps according to international law. EverybodyshouldrespectTurkey’srights. Wewillcontinueourdrillings. After our Fatih vessel, Yavuz also went to the area and it will start its drillings in this area. The countries which are not guarantors have no right to speak. If they speak they are obliged to be impartial”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (11.07.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=fuat-oktay-becomes-coordinator-for-cyprus-affairs), Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay has been tasked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with carrying out coordination affairs with the “TRNC” [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus].
Erdoğan had signed off a presidential decree approving the creation of a Coordination Office of Cyprus Affairs on July 6. The aim of this new office will be to contribute to the planning and coordination of financial and technical assistance provided by Turkey.
The consent of the coordinating body will also be sought for any agreement between Turkish public institutions and the Turkish Cypriots. The body will monitor and evaluate the economic programmes signed by Turkey and the “North” while a technical committee will be involved in the procedures.
Moreover, the decree sets provisions for setting up temporary working groups of experts who would monitor and assess the application of the financial programmes agreed between Turkey and the “TRNC”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (11.07.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-met-with-spehar), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, speaking briefly following the meeting with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar on Wednesday, said that Spehar held meetings with the two leaders today, adding that these meetings were part of routine contacts during the United Nations Security Council deliberations on [UNFICYP] report. “In this regard, we have evaluated the current situation and exchanged views on the Cyprus problem,” Akıncı noted.
Akinci said that he had also sent a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres about the current situation regarding the Cyprus talks.
Criticizing the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, he argued: “You know that the Greek Cypriot leader often sends letters to the UN Secretary General, which are then released for public opinion. We do it if there is a reason and if it is necessary, we do not send letters every day, every hour, however taking into account the situation we are in now, we felt the need to contact the Secretary General.” He added that he would make the contents of the letter public once the UN Secretary-General receives it.
Akıncı further said that he had also raised the issue of the attack on a tourist bus with the Special Representative and that he asked her to tell the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and the Greek Cypriot authorities to take proper measures in light of the incident. He added that it was not possible to accept an attack on a Turkish Cypriot bus in Larnaca at a time when steps were being taken to reinstate confidence between the communities on the island. “On one side, while striving to produce ideas to increase trust between the two communities, the incidents contrary to our efforts are issues we monitor diligently and with sensitivity,” Akıncı added.
Speaking after her meeting with Akinci, Spehar said it was a “very good meeting” and reminded that she had met earlier in the day with Anastasiades.
Spehar said she holds these meetings with the leaders routinely before heading to New York. “I was also able to talk to Mr Akıncı about the discussions that I had with Mr Anastasiades in terms of what we might be working on in the future,” she told reporters.
In response to a question on the possibility of a five-party meeting, Spehar said: “Everything is being discussed” but refrained from giving any details.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (11.07.19, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n290844-tatar-cumhurbaskani-ile-gorustu-dogal-gaz-konusunda-ortak-ko), with the above title, reports that self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar, in statements to the press following his weekly routine meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, said that as they did before, they will propose again the creation of a joint committee of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots on natural gas so that both may benefit from the natural wealth. He then reminded that after the Fatih drilling vessel, the Yavuz drilling vessel has arrived off the coast of Cyprus in connection with the agreement signed between Turkey and the “TRNC” [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus] regarding the ongoing drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Noting that Akinci has also conveyed to him a copy of the letter that he sent to UN Secretary General Guterres, Tatar added that Akinci informs the UN Secretary General on the latest developments in Cyprus.
Stating that he informed Akinci on the economic protocol that will be signed between Turkey and the “TRNC”, Tatar added that the signing stage has been reached and that he conveyed to Akinci what can be signed in the coming weeks.
On the same issue, illegal BRT television (11.07.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-and-tatar-hold-routine-meeting) also broadcast that Tatar, after the meeting, said that his discussions with Akinci had focused on the letter sent to UNSG Guterres, Turkey’s drilling activities, the economic protocol signed with Turkey and problems experienced with asylum seekers.
Tatar said that the 51 Syrian asylum seekers, who had been detained at occupied Tymbou airport for several weeks had been sent to Turkey on Wednesday. He reminded that a “visa requirement had now been introduced for Syrian nationals wishing to enter the TRNC”.
“As a result of this new practice, airline companies and ferry services now have a legal obligation to transport back those who do not have the required paper work. I briefed the president on this issue,” he added.
According to illegal Bayrak television (11.07.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-says-washingtons-statement-important), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister, said on Wednesday that the latest statements by Washington underlining the need for energy resource development in the Eastern Mediterranean to foster cooperation, dialogue and provide a foundation for durable energy security and economic prosperity, was important. “This view overlaps with the Turkish Cypriot side’s stance regarding a solution to the hydrocarbon issue. I would like to reiterate the Turkish Cypriot side’s readiness to cooperate and establish dialogue with both the Greek Cypriot side and all involved parties on the issue of hydrocarbons,” he added.
Reminding that the Turkish Cypriot side has been making proposals for years to the Greek Cypriot side for cooperation and dialogue on the issue of hydrocarbon resources, Ozersay claimed: “It is my conviction that the Greek Cypriot side will pay attention to the US’s call on the issue. We invite the Greek Cypriot side to adopt a stance in favour of cooperating and establishing a dialogue in order to achieve sustainable energy security and economic prosperity”.
Ozersay also alleged that contrary to the US’s statement, it was the Greek Cypriot side which was taking provocative steps by insisting on continuing its unilateral activities regarding the region’s natural resources and refusing to discuss this issue with other stakeholders.
Washington had voiced concern on Tuesday over Turkey’s gas exploration activities in the Mediterranean Sea, calling on the Turkish government to halt the activities. (…)
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (11.07.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus and chairman of the People’s Party (HP), has indicated that he was positive for becoming a candidate in the “presidential elections” to be held next year in the occupied area of the island.
According to a written statement issued by HP, speaking at a meeting in occupied Trikomo area, Ozersay argued that “if we can see that it is a critical and strategic threshold for the future of the Turkish Cypriots, then I may be needed to take a step”. He said that he wanted to do this, because the first step he had taken in politics had been his candidature in the previous “presidential elections”. “If, in the coming period, we need to assume responsibility for being able to have a say in the future of this country, we will sit and decide as a party”, he added.
According to Ozersay, the forthcoming “elections” would be different to the previous ones, because there was a “differentiation” at the level of ideas. He argued:
“Are we going to elect the person who will negotiate the bi-communal, bi-zonal federation like we have been doing for 50 years or are we going to exhibit a stance which is open to discussing different new ideas, which is not thinking dogmatically? It will be an election in which we will decide this […]
Hot events are taking place around the island. They are so hot that even a missile fell on the island. Important developments are ahead of us both in the military sense and in the political and hydrocarbons’ sense We could sit and watch these developments. However, the Turkish Cypriot people had seen in the past that when they delayed in some things or when they could not act at the correct time, they could not be an actor and were forced to live a destiny which was determined by others […]”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (11.07.19) reports that Hasan Sertoglu, chairman of the self-styled Turkish Cypriot football federation has said that they were exerting efforts in the direction of [foreign] teams being able to play preparation matches in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. In statements on a radio program in Turkey after meeting with the chairman of the Turkish Football Federation, Nihat Ozdemir, Sertoglu said:
“[…] We know that our teams will not be able to play matches in UEFA and FIFA. However, we have a permit given to us, which is our right. Serious steps are taken on issues such as preparation matches and teams to come for training camps. Meetings with international lawyers are held. This is the road we are walking. We will be able to succeed with the serious support of the Turkish Football Federation […]”
Under the title: “Turkey is close to declaring its own EEZ”, Turkish daily Yeni Safak (11.07.19-https://www.yenisafak.com/gundem/meb-ilani-yakin-3498061) reports that Turkey, which is giving an energy war with many countries in the Eastern Mediterranean is preparing to declare its own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
According to the paper, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry and Turkey’s Defense Ministry are preparing a study towards this issue. It adds that the agreement to be signed with Libya on the declaration to the world of Turkey’s EEZ map is considered very important. According to the paper, an important opportunity is given to Ankara in order to reach an agreement with Tripoli on the issue related with the Meditteranean hydrocarbons and the Aegean Coast, southwest of Turkey, which are located opposite Libya on the map. The Prime Minister of Libya, Fayez el-Sarraj who is officially recognized by the UN, was received the other day in Istanbul by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The paper continues, writing that the agreement to be reached between the two countries on the issue of the delimitation of marine space fields, is expected.
In statements on the issue, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that they carried out a study on this issue and added that they will move forward undertaking all necessary steps after submitting this to Erdogan.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.07.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-fully-supports-turkish-cypriots-rights-in-med/1528324) reported that the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Spokesman Omer Celik said on Wednesday that Turkey fully supports the “TRNC rights over its own continental shelf and will not allow attempts to usurp them”.
"It is the Greek side and the Greek Cypriot side that engage in unlawful actions that escalate tension," Celik told reporters at his party's headquarters in Ankara, referring to a dispute between the two “countries, the TRNC, and the Greek Cypriot administration regarding hydrocarbon drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean”.
"If the Greek Cypriots had included the TRNC in the mechanisms put in place to share the hydrocarbon resources and guarantee revenue sharing, we would not be having these troubles now," Celik alleged.
He further accused the Greek Cypriot side of “usurping the rights of the TRNC, acting with one-sided waywardness and claiming rights within the continental shelf of the Republic of Turkey. Turkey will never tolerate it," Celik stressed.
Referring to a previous statement by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias who has said that Turkey's activities in the Eastern Mediterranean did not comply with international law, Celik said the speech was "far from a statesman manner," and would not lead to good consequences."
"Turkey's friendship is valuable and does not harm anyone but provides benefits to everyone," Celik said.
"As a sovereign country, Turkey has the will to protect its interests at any cost within its continental shelf notified to the United Nations," Celik added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (10.071.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-warns-united-states-against-harmful-steps-over-russian-s-400s-144861) reported that Turkey called on the United States on July 10 to avoid steps harmful to bilateral relations after the U.S. State Department spokeswoman reiterated that Ankara would face real and negative consequences for acquiring Russian S-400 defense systems.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said the comments by the State Department's Morgan Ortagus on July 9 were not in line with the spirit and content of talks between Presidents of the two countries at the G20 summit last month.
Despite their longstanding strategic alliance as members of NATO, since 2017 Turkey and the U.S. have been at odds over Turkey's decision to buy the S-400, a Russian-made missile defense system, and U.S. threats to break its contract to sell Turkey F-35 jets over the dispute.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.07.10-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/newly-appointed-us-envoy-satterfield-arrives-in-turkey/1528327) reported that the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, David Satterfield, arrived in Ankara on Wednesday.
“We’re pleased to announce that U.S. Ambassador-Designate to Turkey, David M. Satterfield, arrived in Ankara today. Welcome to Turkey!” the U.S. Embassy in Ankara said on Twitter.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced Satterfield’s candidacy on February, 16. The U.S. Senate designated him on June 28.
Born in 1954, Satterfield stands out as a senior career diplomat of the U.S.
Earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in 1976, he served as Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs since 2017.
During the presidential term of Barack Obama, Satterfield served as Director General of the Multinational Force and Observers in Rome from 2009 to 2013 and 2014 to 2017.
In 2014, Satterfield was appointed as Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Libya, based in Tripoli.
During George W. Bush's presidency, Satterfield was the Coordinator for Iraq and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State from 2006 to 2009.
He also assumed top posts at U.S. missions in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon.
Apart from English, the ambassador is fluent in Arabic, French, Italian and Hebrew.
John Bass was the last serving American ambassador to Ankara in 2014-2017.
Bass, who now serves as new U.S. envoy to Afghanistan, left Turkey in October 2017 amid a visa crisis between Washington and Ankara. The post has since been vacant.
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and the U.S. were established in 1927 after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (10.07.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-slams-former-deputy-pm-babacan-over-his-resignation-from-akp-144859) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan over his resignation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), accusing him of “abandoning the common cause”.
“[Babacan] met with me upon his request. He said he would resign after the [June 23 rerun elections] because he lost his sense of belonging to [the AKP]. He reasoned this over the country’s economy. For us, the common cause should not be abandoned,” Erdogan told reporters late July 9 on his return from a two-day South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) summit in Bosnia.
Erdogan said further that he asked Babacan, who is a co-founder of the AKP, about new party rumors surrounding his resignation, but Babacan said that he is “not thinking about it for now.”
“Mr. Ali is one of the youngest people to become a minister in Turkey. There were many subjects we could not agree on; the issue of interest rates is the most important among them. I always told him about the losses caused by interest rates,” he said, adding that when interest rates declined to 4.6%, inflation was at around 7%. There is no such thing that people will always remain here,” he said.
Erdogan added that he had told Babacan that the Cabinet could make use of his ideas or contributions if there were any.
Erdogan also stressed that he had asked Babacan to become an adviser for the AKP. “He, however, refused the offer, Erdogan added.
“Our party has a deep-rooted infrastructure. I told this to [Babacan] as well. I said, ‘It is your way but don’t forget that you do not have the right to break up the ummah [Muslim community]. You are doing this and you will not reach anything by doing this.’ I also told him not to delay [establishing a party] because there are four years until the next elections,” Erdogan said.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (10.07.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/govt-failed-to-meet-economic-targets-main-opposition-chp-144874) reported that main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Spokesperson Faik Öztrak said on July 10, a day after the 11th development plan was submitted to Parliament that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has failed to meet its economic targets.
Öztrak slammed the new development plan, saying it falls short of addressing the needs of Turkey’s economy. “In 2013, income per capita was $12,480. Now, the development plan says it will be $12,484 in 2023. There is an increase of just $4. For 10 years, we have been spinning our wheels,” Öztrak said at a press conference held at the CHP headquarters in the capital Ankara.
Turkey is in the middle of an economic crisis, according to Öztrak. “The ruling party failed to meet all its targets from economic growth to unemployment and income per capita.”
“The need for a proper plan that will earn everyone’s trust and will expand the horizon is growing every coming day,” he added.
Öztrak also said that four international financial institutions, including the World Bank, have been projecting the contraction in Turkey’s economy but “the ruling party is having a hard time comprehending the crisis.”
“The way to decrease the interest rates goes through the decline in risk premiums or inflation,” he added.
Öztrak also said that the new presidential system Turkey switched to last year has caused an economic downturn.
“[President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan is saying ‘we will reach our 2023 targets’. He is giving false hope. He is pledging half of what he had pledged when he was prime minister in the single-man regime,” he said.
If the “optimistic” economic objectives in the development plan are achieved, Turkey will still rank 17th among the world’s top economies, according to the CHP spokesman.
“National income will be much lower. Our country will no longer be among the top economies of the world,” Öztrak said.
“There is no room for hopelessness. Our country has qualified staff that will be much more beneficial,” he added.
Turkey’s 11th development plan, which covers 2019-2023, was submitted to Parliament on July 9 following Erdogan’s approval.
The plan foresees that the country’s gross domestic product will increase to $1.08 trillion in 2023 while the per capita income target is $12,484.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.07.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/istanbul-poll-election-body-announces-official-result/1528594) reports that some weeks after Ekrem Imamoglu was declared Istanbul’s new Mayor, Turkish election authorities on Thursday announced the detailed result of the election rerun in Turkey’s most populous city.
According to the Supreme Election Council (YSK) decision published in the Official Gazette, some 8.9 million Istanbulites, out of 10.5 million, cast ballots in the June 23 rerun poll.
Imamoglu, candidate for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), won the race with 4.7 million votes, while Binali Yildirim of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party got 3.9 million.
This translated to 54.2% of the vote for Imamoglu and 45% for Yildirim.
The Istanbul mayoral poll was initially held on March 31, when Imamoglu got 48.8% of the vote and Yildirim got 48.55%, according to official YSK figures.
But the March poll was annulled after the AK Party appealed the result, citing irregularities and violations of the law.
The Official Gazette also announced the results of other rerun elections on June 2 in places such as Adiyaman, Artvin, Denizli, and Kirikkale.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION