2. 45th anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus was marked with several “celebrations” in the occupied area of Cyprus; Oktay visited occupied Tymbou airport and inaugurated the Arpaslan Turkes museum
Illegal Bayrak (20.07.19) broadcast the statements made by the Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay who paid an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus for the celebrations of the 45th anniversary of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus.
“In July 20, 1974 Turkey proved clearly to the whole world that Turkish Cypriots are not and will never be alone”, Oktay claimed, and added that despite all the difficulties experienced, the Turkish Cypriots established their own “state” and defended it.
Alleging that Turkey would never hesitate to take the necessary steps to protect the rights and the interests of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots “within their continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean”, Oktay said: "Turkey is acting in unity as one heart and one voice on this issue."
"We have implemented all the steps that we have always strongly emphasized since the beginning and we will continue to do so," Oktay alleged referring to Turkey's drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Oktay further alleged that Turkey has always defended from the very beginning that the energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean should be used as an opportunity for peace and stability in the island.
Referring to the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem, he said the following: “Our aim is to turn our region into a region of co-operation. […] We had the same approach to the Cyprus problem from the beginning until today. […] Cyprus problem is an issue of political will. While the Turkish side showed its will towards a solution, the Greek Cypriots side shows always a stance against the solution. It is clear that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to share the power with the Turkish Cypriots”, he alleged and claimed that nevertheless Turkey believes that “a solution can be reached in the basis of the establishing will of the two people who are the owners of the island”.
“We are here again for a solution. […] But we cannot accept the negotiation for the sake of negotiation”, he claimed.
He further stated that Turkey will continue its efforts for the economic strengthening of the breakaway regime and added that their aim is “to turn TRNC into an important tourism and education center in the region”.
All Turkish Cypriot dailies, including Kibris newspaper (21.07.19) refer in their front-page titles to the “celebrations” which took place in the occupied area of Cyprus to mark the 45th anniversary of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus.
Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci laid a wreath at Atatürk memorial in occupied Keryneia.
Also, officials from Turkey, including Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Serdar Çam, also, so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar, as well as other Turkish Cypriot “officials” attended the “celebrations” and the “parade”.
"The [TRNC] continues both its development efforts and also its efforts to maintain permanent peace on the island in line with your [Ataturk's] principle of 'Peace at home, peace in the world'," Akıncı wrote on the memorial book.
"Turkish people and the Turkish Republic will always support, as they have been until today, Turkish Cypriots, as the equal owner of the island, who deserve to freely maintain their existence on the island and who are an integral part of our people," Oktay wrote on the memorial book.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (22.07.19) reports that within the framework of his “stay” in the occupied area of Cyprus, Oktay attended the opening ceremony of the Alparslan Turkes museum in occupied Nicosia.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, Oktay said that the museum would be a symbol of strong bonds for future generations. Oktay said the museum would be the symbol of unity and solidarity between Turkey and the “TRNC”.
Alparslan Turkes museum was once the house of the founder of Turkey's Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Alparslan Turkes, who was born in occupied Lefkosia.
Also speaking at the ceremony, so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar alleged the following: "The TRNC is no longer a foster land for Turkey, but a grown homeland, which appeals to [Alparslan] Turkes's feelings”.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (04.07.19) reports that Oktay had also visited the new terminal of the illegal Tymbou airport in order to inspect the ongoing works which are taking place there. Turkey’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Cahit Turhan and so-called prime minister Tatar accompanied Oktay to his “visit. Oktay was briefed by the “construction firm officials” about the ongoing “inauguration works” for the “construction of the new terminal of the airport”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (21.07.19) reports that Turkey and the occupation regime signed the “economic and financial cooperation agreement”. The “agreement was signed” by Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay and so-called prime minister of the breakaway regime, Ersin Tatar in a ceremony which took place in the “prime ministry office’.
According to the paper, the first part of the “agreement” envisages that Turkey will allocate to the occupied area of Cyprus 750 million TL.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, Oktay stated: “Within the framework of our concrete cooperation, as of today (yesterday) we will transfer a resource amounted to 750 million TL to the TRNC”. He added that these resources will “constitute a life water in order to speed up investments and services”.
Recalling that he is visiting the occupied area of Cyprus on the occasion of the “45th anniversary of the Turkish peace operation in Cyprus”, Oktay reiterated that Turkey would be always by the side of the “TRNC” and would “continue undertaking steps for the prosperity of the TRNC”.
Pointing out to the need for the “strengthening of infrastructure reforms in Cyprus”, Oktay explained that it is with President Erdogan’s instructions that they “release the money resources”.
In his turn, Tatar alleged that the “efforts that Turkey exerts to cooperate with the TRNC and protect the Turkish Cypriot’s rights and interests is an indication of how important is the TRNC state”. “Our duty is to reinforce and strengthen further our ties with Turkey”, Tatar argued.
Illegal Bayrak (22.07.19 https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=multi-purpose-rescue-ship-for-trnc) reports that a multi-purpose rescue ship named ‘Gem Kurtaran’ has been given to the breakaway regime by Turkey.
Various Turkish Cypriot “officials”, the Turkish Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Mehmet Cahit Turhan and the Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay took part in the ceremony.
Turhan drew attention during the ceremony to the rising tensions in the Mediterranean and said that “the rescue tugboat would be assisting any ships that experience problems in the area and prevent maritime pollution”.
“Every inch of our land is precious for us as well as every drop of our sea is precious and indispensable,” Oktay said at the welcoming ceremony of the multi-purpose rescue ship.
He said: “The developments in the region and the rapidly changing security balance in the maritime zone have made it necessary for us to move the deterrent power of our navy to further levels.”
“Those who intend to limit Turkey’s continental shelf to the Antalya Gulf should know that, we will resolutely continue our exploration and drilling activities. Our country will continue to protect both its own rights and the rights of Turks Cypriots in the most powerful way as before”,Oktay claimed.
Illegal Bayrak (22.07.19) broadcast that Baris Burcu, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci stated that an informal meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will take place on August 9.
Turkish Cypriot daily “Yeni Düzen” (22.07.19) reports that a meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci was expected to take place in the first week of August.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (22.07.19) reports that the self-styled foreign minister Kudret Ozersay stated that the issue of a five-part meeting should be seen with caution. He also said that the “government” does not find the conducting of such a meeting right.
Ozersay made these statements speaking to illegal Bayrak.
“A five-party meeting should not take place on the negotiation basis of the last 50 years. We have realized clearly that reaching a solution is not possible under these circumstances”, he said and claimed the following:
“This approach means the never ending discussions on a federal partnership that will be realized and will be all for waste. We as the government disapprove of this,” he said.
In case such a conference takes place then new models of co-operation should be discussed other than federation”, he stated.
He also referred to natural gas and claimed that this is a test for the sincerity of the Greek Cypriot side. “The Greek Cypriots say that they are ready to co-operate with Turkey on the natural gas issue. We made a call towards the Greek Cypriot side for co-operation”, he stated and added that the two sides should sit down and discuss the natural gas issue before conducting any meeting.
Illegal Bayrak (22.07.19 https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tatar-speaks-on-brt) reports that so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar “pointed out to the dangers of holding a formal five-party meeting”, according to the illegal station.
He also said that “models other than federation should also be considered for a solution.”
Stating that the “government” had no knowledge on the issue, he said not only the meeting but the content of the meeting was also important.
“It would be inconvenient to meet just for the sake of meting” Tatar said.
Touching upon the risks of holding negotiations before determining a solution model, Tatar pointed out to the need of bringing alternative solution models to the agenda “during a stage when it has been seen so clearly that a federation was not possible”, as he claimed.
Stating that the hydrocarbon issue should also be included in the agenda of the five-party meeting, he said that such a meeting would do more harm than good.
He also alleged that the Turkish Cypriots had their “own state and right of self-determination” today thanks to the right decisions taken by the Turkish governments in the past.
In addition, under the title: “Warning to Akinci on the five-party meeting”, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (22.07.19) reports that with their statements on the issue both Tatar and the “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay, sent messages to the Turkish Cypriot leader over the issue of the five-party meeting.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.07.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/if-needed-turkey-to-take-same-former-step-in-cyprus-erdogan-145120) reported that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on July 20 that the Turkish army would never hesitate to take the same step as 45 years ago, if needed for the lives and security of Turkish Cypriots.
"Turkey launched the peace operation in Cyprus to protect the rights and interests of Turkish Cypriots who are one of the equal owners of the island," Erdogan said in a statement released by Turkey's Presidential Communications Directorate.
Erdogan's remarks came on the “45th anniversary of Turkey's military operation”, as the Turkish invasion is referred to, launched allegedly to protect the Turkish population in Cyprus.
"The entire world is watching our determination. No one should doubt that the heroic Turkish army, which sees [Northern] Cyprus as its homeland, will not hesitate to take the same step it took 45 years ago if needed for the lives and security of the Turkish Cypriots," said Erdogan.
Erdogan recalled that the “military operation in 1974 came after all diplomatic steps were exhausted in line with the international law” and added: "Those who think the wealth of the island and the region only belongs to them will face the determination of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots."
Erdogan reportedly said that Turkey's aim was a fair and permanent solution on the island and peace, not the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean to prevail.
"Those who dream of changing the fact that Turkish Cypriots are an integral part of the Turkish nation will soon realize that it is in vain," Erdogan argued.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also marked the “45th anniversary of the July 20 peace and freedom operation in Cyprus”, as the Turkish invasion is called, stating the following: “Yesterday, today, and always, we will stand by the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus],” he tweeted.
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun wished God's mercy upon those martyred during the “peace operation” in his Twitter message on the anniversary of the 1974 operation.
“Turkey will continue to use all rights and opportunities to protect the rights and interest of Turkish Cypriots, to ensure a fair and lasting solution in the island, and to make the peace prevail in the region in line with the international law,” he said.
Additionally, Kemal Kılıcdaroglu, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader, shared a video on Twitter to mark the anniversary of the “peace operation”.
“The 1974 Cyprus peace operation is one of the significant steps we took for [our] foreign policy,” Kılıcdaroglu said in the video featuring aerial footage of the occupied Pentadaklylos Mountain. He then said that the “peace operation in Cyprus was one of the most importance steps in their foreign policy. The TRNC should finally be recognized”, he argued.
Kılıcdaroglu also remembered Bülent Ecevit, former CHP leader and then-Prime Minister of Turkey, and Rauf Denktaş, the former Turkish Cypriot leader.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.07.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-will-resolutely-continue-drilling-activities-vp-oktay-145135) reported that Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay has said yesterday that those who intend to limit Turkey's continental shelf with Antalya Gulf should know that Turkey will resolutely continue its exploration and drilling activities.
"Every inch of our land is precious for us, as well as every drop of our sea is precious and indispensable," Oktay said at the welcoming ceremony of the multi-purpose rescue ship named "Gemi Kurtaran" in the coastal city of occupied Keryneia.
"The Gemi Kurtaran tugboat will intervene in the possible marine accidents in the Mediterranean and contribute to the prevention of marine pollution from now on," Oktay added.
Oktay said further that "the developments in the region and the rapidly changing security balance in the maritime zone have made it necessary for us to move the deterrent power of our navy to further levels."
"Turkey has always defended the Eastern Mediterranean to be a sea of peace and thus the natural resources should be fairly removed and shared," Oktay said and continued:
"Those who intend to limit Turkey's continental shelf to the Antalya Gulf should know that, we will resolutely continue our exploration and drilling activities. Our country will continue to protect both its own rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the most powerful way as before", he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.07.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-fm-us-counterpart-discuss-f-35-s-400-by-phone-145117) reported that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo had a phone conversation on July 20, in which they discussed the F-35 fighter jet program and S-400 air defense systems issues and Syria, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.
Cavusoglu and Pompeo discussed the F35, S-400 and Syria issues, particularly the Manbij, Idlib and safe zone issues, the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to media, said.
Following protracted efforts to purchase an air defense system from the U.S. with no success, Ankara signed a contract in 2017 to purchase the S-400s from Russia.
U.S. officials argued the Russian system would be incompatible with NATO systems and expose the F-35s to possible Russian subterfuge.
Turkey, however, emphasized the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.
It urged the formation of a commission to clarify any technical issues, but the U.S. failed to respond to this proposal.
The U.S. threatened sanctions over the purchase, with Turkey responding that any sanctions would be met in kind.
The delivery of S-400 components began last week and is ongoing, with 14 shipments of related equipment so far having landed in Turkey over the last nine days.
Deliveries are set to continue through April 2020.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (22.07.19-https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-says-will-retaliate-if-us-imposes-sanctions-over-s-400s-3496029) reports that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that the Russian S-400 missile system will become active in early 2020.
He stated that uncertainty presided over possible U.S. sanctions regarding Turkey's purchase of the Russian missiles. "Trump does not want to impose sanctions," Cavusoglu said in an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber.
"Partners in the F-35 program do not agree with the U.S.'s decision to suspend Turkey," he added.
(…)"Turkey will meet its needs elsewhere if the U.S. does not supply it with the F-35 jets," Cavusoglu said, adding: "Turkey will retaliate if the United States imposes sanctions over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems," he stated, adding that any such sanctions would be unacceptable.
Cavusoglu said further that if a planned safe zone in northern Syria is not established, and if threats continue against Turkey, a military operation will be launched east of the Euphrates river.
Cavusoglu added that he hopes an agreement will be reached after talks on Monday with U.S. special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey, who is visiting Ankara.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.07.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-us-to-talk-on-syria-safe-zone-145132) reported that senior diplomats and military officials from Turkey and the United States will meet in Ankara on July 22 to continue negotiations for setting up a safe zone along the Turkish-Syrian border amid strained ties over the former’s deployment of Russian S-400 air defense systems.
U.S. Special Representative on Syria James Jeffrey will lead the American delegation in talks with the Turkish team headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal. The Syria working group was established in early 2018 and held several meetings to discuss Syria-related issues.
A priority will be given to joint efforts to set up a safe zone in northeastern Syria in order to protect the Turkish borders from the YPG/PYD terror group, an offshoot of the PKK in the Syrian territories. The idea is to create a terror-free zone along this safe zone to be monitored and patrolled by Turkish and American troops.
The two sides had traded their vision and proposals in regards to the safe zone in May. There are still differences on the main points about the safe zone, and Jeffrey’s talks will focus on narrowing the gaps between the proposals.
Turkey wants to have full control of the safe zone after all the YPG troops are withdrawn and all their facilities are destroyed. The depth of the safe zone should be around 40 kilometers so that no YPG troops can attack on the Turkish border, Ankara says.
The United States, however, insists around 10 kilometers deep safe zone with no permanent deployment of the Turkish troops. There were reports that United States was in talks with European partners to create a coalition force for the control of the safe zone.
The talks come as Turkey and the United States are still at odds over the Turkish deployment of the S-400s from Russia which resulted in the cessation of Turkish participation in the F-35 aircraft program. The United States is nowadays pondering on further sanctions against Turkey under the CAATSA (Countering American Adversaries through Sanctions Act).
According to the Turkishminutes portal (21.07.19-https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/07/21/prosecutor-accuses-main-opposition-leader-of-insulting-erdogan/) the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has submitted a summary of proceedings to the Turkish Parliament accusing main opposition leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Milliyet daily reported on Saturday.
In December 2018 Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kılıcdaroglu implied that Erdogan was the head of the FETÖ’s political branch.
FETÖ is a derogatory term coined by the Erdogan government to refer to the Gülen movement after accusing it of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt.
Although the movement strongly denies any involvement in the abortive putsch, the government launched a massive crackdown targeting its followers and labeling them as terrorists.
After the 2016 failed coup, the Turkish opposition theorized that the putschists must have had liaisons among the country’s politicians, sparking a debate over FETÖ’s “political” branch.
The opposition mainly implies that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is that branch since Erdogan’s party was allied with the Gülen movement before 2013.
The Ankara prosecutor’s office accused Kılıcdaroglu of insulting Erdogan by portraying him as affiliated with a terrorist organization.
Although Turkish Deputies have immunity from legal proceedings, parliament can vote to lift their protection after receiving a summary of proceeding from a prosecutor.
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