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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 25.07.19


A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Turkish Minister of Defense is paying an illegal visit to the breakaway regime tomorrow

2. Akinci talked over the phone with UN Secretary General

3. Ozersay to NTV: “We will take a decision about Maras after the inspections works”

4. Tatar met with Akinci and said that he does not believe that there will be a serious negotiation process

5. The self-styled minister of tourism met with the Turkish Minister of Tourism in Ankara

6. Hasipoglu attended a conference in Turkey and met with US businessmen

B. Turkish Press

1.Turkish academics allege that Turkey's activities in the Eastern Mediterranean are lawful

2. “Cavusoglu: Turkey not satisfied with US proposal on safe zone in Syria”

3. EIB freezes lending in Turkey as part of sanctions against Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean

4. Cavusoglu met with his Malaysian counterpart

5. TurkStream's Turkish terminal ready to deliver gas by year's end


A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Turkish Minister of Defense is paying an illegal visit to the breakaway regime tomorrow

Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (25.07.19) reports that the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, is paying an illegal visit tomorrow in the breakaway regime.

Akar will meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the “prime minister” Ersin Tatar. He will be accompanied by the chief of staff of the Turkish armed forces general Yasar Guler, the chief of the naval forces Admiral Adnan Ozbal, air forces General Hasan Kucukkakyuz and ground forces General Umit Dundar.

The paper notes that Akar will also visit the Turkish occupation forces in Bogazi.

Reporting on the issue, Afrika notes in its first page that “this is a surprise visit” and writes that “the whole of the Turkish armed forces is coming to the TRNC”.

On its part, Haberci writes that Akar is visiting the “TRNC” following yesterday’s statements by Erdogan who said that  “Turkey is ready to vanish any threat against it”. (This was included in Erdogan’s statement about the anniversary of marking the Lausanne Treaty).



2. Akinci talked over the phone with UN Secretary General

Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (25.07.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci held a telephone conversation with UN Secretary- General Antonio Gutterres.

According to a statement issued by the so-called presidency, Gutterres expressed his satisfaction over the meeting, which will take place on the 9th of August between the two leaders and sent his well wishes.

On his part Akinci stated that a political will and determination are demanded for the solution of the Cyprus problem and said that the Turkish Cypriot side showed this with a certain and constructive way in any case.

The UN Secretary General stated that he would be very happy to meet with Akıncı, who will be in New York for the UN General Assembly, which will take place in September. Gutterres stated that the process of planning and preparation must be dealt carefully on the way to the 5-party unofficial meetings and suggested a meeting, which would include himself and the two leaders.

Akıncı informed the Secretary General that he views this suggestion positively.

In addition, Bayrak (25.07.19) broadcast that Akinci hele a meeting with the United Nations under Secretary General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix. No statements were made after the meeting.


3. Ozersay to NTV: “We will take a decision about Maras after the inspections works”

According to illegal Bayrak television (25.07.19-, so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister”, Kudret Ozersay in statements to a televised program broadcast live by NTV channel, referred, to the issue of the opening of the fenced off city of Varosha, stating that as of today experts have entered the “closed city” to carry out an inventory study. “Even though they have in their hands some figures from the past”, said Ozersay, it is necessary to update them, he added.

Stating that the “members of the inventory committee” together with experts will carry out inspections in the area in order to update the data they have, Ozersay stressed that it is important to inspect the area after taking any decision about Varosha.

Recalling that they “received some decisions related with the movable and the immovable properties, Ozersay alleged that it is important to implement without delay the decision taken towards carrying out a study over the “former property rights of vakif organization and of other individual persons”.

Supporting that it was out of question to leave Varosha, which had become a symbol of stability and the status quo, in its current state, Ozersay alleged it is important to reinstate civilian life in the fenced-off city but that protecting property rights was also of vital importance. “It’s not possible to say exactly when the current work will be completed. What I can say is that the current situation cannot continue,” Ozersay argued.



4. Tatar met with Akinci and said that he does not believe that there will be a serious negotiation process

Illegal Bayrak (25.07.19 reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and “prime minister” Ersin Tatar met  this morning for their routine meeting.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Tatar said that he had discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus problem with Akinci.

“Akinci informed me of his conversation with the UN Secretary-General. The Cyprus negotiations process could start again but the Greek Cypriot side’s position is clear. President Akıncı said he will be in New York in September but from what I understand I don’t believe there will be a serious negotiations process. The sides are questioning what kind of developments could take place after Crans Montana,” he said.

Tatar added that their priority was the developing and strengthening of the “TRNC”.

Responding to a question on Varosha, Tatar said that the team tasked with conducting an inventory of immovable properties in the fenced-off city was continuing its work.

Tatar claimed that a number of documents have been found in Evkaf’s archives as well as Ankara regarding property in Varosha.

“We shall decide how to proceed once the inventory is completed. But our overall intention is to reopen the fenced-off city to settlement under Turkish Cypriot administration,” he said.

Asked about the economic protocol signed with Turkey, Tatar said the issue had been discussed with Akıncı.


5. The self-styled minister of tourism met with the Turkish Minister of Tourism in Ankara

Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (25.07.19) reports that the self-styled minister of tourism Umal Ustel held a meeting in Ankara with the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.

Ways to reduce the prices of airplane tickets with the reduction of airport taxes and ways to increase the number of tourists who visit the breakaway regime were undertaken during the meeting.

The paper writes that they discussed the possibility of having tourist packages that will include a visit to the breakaway regime in order to safeguard that tourists will visit the occupied area of Cyprus. For example, a five-day trip in Antalya could be made in a way that three days to spend in Antalya and 2 days in the breakaway regime.

Ustel also said that he conveyed to the Turkish Minister the demand for tourists to visit the breakaway regime via Turkish airports, using the illegal airports, with a place change, using the “touch down method”. According to Ustel, he received the message that they will get positive replies to their demands in a short period of time.



6. Hasipoglu attended a conference in Turkey and met with US businessmen

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (25.07.19) reports that Oguzhan Hasipoglu, so-called deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP) attended a “Business Development Conference” which took place in Istanbul and was co-organized by the American-Turkish Business Development Council and the Investment Office of the Turkish Presidency.

Among the participants at the conference were the chairman of the American-Turkish Business Development Council, Ugur Terzioglu, the former US Minister of Interior, Ryan Zinke, the former Turkish Prime Minister and Deputy with AKP in Izmir, Binali Yildirim and from the occupation regime, Hasipoglu and the “chairman of the administration board” of the illegal American university of Keryneia, Serhat Akpinar.

According to the paper, after the completion of the conference, Hasipoglu attended a luncheon with the US Minister of Interior, Zinke and Yildirim, while at the same time he had the opportunity to meet with several US businesspersons of petrol and technology firms.


B. Turkish Press

1. Turkish academics alleged that Turkey's activities in the Eastern Mediterranean are lawful

Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.07.19- reports that in an interview with Anadolu Agency, international relations expert Pinar Ipek alleged that Turkey could freely navigate its continental shelf based on its sovereignty rights in the Eastern Mediterranean but research and drilling vessels were excluded from free passage since continental shelves are extensions of a country’s coastal territory, barring other countries from conducting such non-permitted activities.

(…)Underlining that “the Turkish drilling vessel Yavuz continues to operate within the borders of the continental shelf of the TRNC”, Ipek said that “the move, which was declared illegal in declarations of the European Union and the Greek Cypriot administration”, as the Republic of Cyprus is referred to, actually "complies with the basic principles of international law".

"The problem of (boundary) delimitation of the continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean has continued to increase with the agreements signed by the Greek Cypriot administration and Egypt in 2003, Lebanon in 2007 and Israel in 2010 in terms of a so-called exclusive economic zone," Ipek further argued.  

(…)Ipek noted further that “Turkey and the TRNC signed a continental shelf delimitation agreement on September 19, 2011, with the TRNC issuing a license to Turkish Petroleum Corporation on Sept. 22. The Yavuz drilling vessel operates in areas in line with the license and the continental shelf of the TRNC," she claimed.

She claimed also “that the existence of two administrative structures on the island, Turkey’s refusal to recognize the Greek Cypriot side and the accession of the Greek Cypriot side to the EU could not prejudice Turkey and the TRNC’s right of sovereignty on the continental shelf”.

According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), “coastal states' continental shelves and exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in a semi-enclosed sea like the Mediterranean are determined in Article 83 and Article 74 which are also referred to in Article 38 of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, in order to achieve an equitable solution”, she said.

“However, no method is exclusively highlighted in those articles to determine the continental shelf”, she added.

“The equidistance principles in maritime boundary claims were not even mentioned in the 1982 UNCLOS as they were in 1958. Therefore, Turkey did not sign the 1982 UNCLOS due to the absence of the equidistance principles,” she argued.

Speaking on Turkey's fourth vessel, dubbed the Oruc Reis, which will be activated within the boundaries of Turkey and the “TRNC’s continental shelf”, she alleged it is a supportive act that marks the Turkish resolution on hydrocarbon activities and protection of the Turkish continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“However, the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece are trying to apply the (legal) regime of islands in Article 121 by violating the principle of ‘equitable’, ignoring the provisions of Article 74-EEZ and Article 83-Delimitation of the continental shelf between states with opposite or adjacent coasts,” Ipek further argued.

She went on to say that the priority in determining the continental shelf or EEZ line is not whether the islands have these rights or not, but to look at the negative impact of the islands on the equitable solution.

“Unfortunately, Greece and the Greek Cypriots are proposing a continental shelf and EEZ that would cover all (Greek) islands, insisting on a full impact method for setting these borders. This is clearly contrary to both international law and the principle of equity in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCRC) published in 1982,” she highlighted.

She also stated that it is “incompatible with international law that either the EU, Greece or the Greek Cypriot administration describe Turkey’s sovereign rights to facilitate activities in the continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean as unlawful, adding these declarations were clearly made for political purposes”.

On July 16, Turkey’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Fatih Donmez, announced that the country will send a fourth ship to the Eastern Mediterranean region to continue its exploration and drilling.

"The MTA Oruc Reis seismic research ship, which has been conducting seismic surveys in the Black Sea and Marmara since August 2017, will be sent to conduct seismic surveys in the Mediterranean Sea," Donmez said on Twitter.

Giving an example of the “TRNC’s proposal made on Sept. 24, 2011 to stop hydrocarbon activities simultaneously until a final solution is reached”, she alleged the Greek Cypriot side has not accepted the proposal.

“Unfortunately, the Greek Cypriots continue to create political pressure based on the interests of multinational companies, ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. As a matter of fact, the TRNC did not receive a positive response to the natural gas cooperation proposal it made on July 13, 2019,” she argued.

Meanwhile, Mehmet Hasguler, “deputy chairman of the Higher Education Planning, Evaluation, Accreditation and Coordination Council (YODAK)”, told Anadolu Agency that Turkey tries to protect its sovereignty in the Eastern Mediterranean within the framework of international maritime law.

Referring to Turkey’s drilling activities in the region, Hasguler argued that Turkey as a sovereign state has to adopt a similar attitude as a response to other countries which are conducting drilling activities.

As an international relations professor, Hasguler alleged “that holding drilling activities is one of the most ideal ways to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and a natural sign of the country’s existence in the territorial waters and exclusive economic zone”.

Speaking on the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean, he claimed that “Ankara protects the rights of the Turkish Cypriots as much as possible and within the framework of agreements between the two states”.

“On behalf of the TRNC, Turkey continues its natural gas exploration and drilling activities in the region. However, in my opinion, the missing part is public diplomacy. The experts and the academics from the TRNC universities within the EU countries should consider public diplomacy and should be backed by the scientific activities,” he alleged.

“The Greek Cypriots have a political orientation based on a deadlock on the island instead of cooperation and solution-oriented policies since they are backed by the EU”.

“The Palestinian issue and Cyprus issue have been two major issues in the Eastern Mediterranean which remain unsolved. It is clear that the EU has perpetuated instability and disagreement on Cyprus island with the membership of the Greek Cypriot administration to the bloc,” he alleged.


2. “Cavusoglu: Turkey not satisfied with US proposal on safe zone in Syria”

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (25.07.19- reports that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on July 24 that a new U.S. proposal concerning the creation of a possible “safe zone” in northern Syria is not “satisfactory” and suggested that Turkey will launch a new offensive in Syria if an agreement is not reached soon.

“New US offers are not satisfactory for us. Here, we got the impression that they want to stall just like what happened with Manbij,”Cavusoglu said at a press conference after meeting with Denis Moncada Colindres, his Nicaraguan counterpart.

(…)Cavusoglu made the comments after U.S. and Turkish delegations discussed a possible safe zone along the border with Turkey. Turkey and the United States do not agree on the size of the possible zone or how it would be administered and the presence of the YPG group in the region, he said.

“What’s different is that there are new ideas on who will be included in the safe zone and joint patrols between soldiers. The most fundamental three sensitive topics for us are: the depth of the safe zone, the elimination of the PKK and YPG from there and whose control the zone will be under. We have not reached an agreement on these issues,” he said. “Our friends have told [them] that we cannot accept these offers and that we will formally inform after we have discussed it amongst ourselves.”

Elaborating on the ongoing talks between the US and Turkish soldiers, Cavusoglu said: “The soldiers are discussing technical issues such as how can a joint patrol be achieved and how a base will be set up.”

“A new U.S. proposal for establishing a safe zone in northern Syria is very much like the Manbij model that the two countries agreed”, he added, recalling that the Manbij deal has not been fully realized despite more than a year having passed since the agreement. “Essentially, this model can be transferred to the safe zone, but there should be no distraction,” he said.

Cavusoglu stressed that Ankara and Washington need to hammer an agreement as soon as possible, as Turkey has “run out of patience.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. envoy  Jeffrey also met with Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın on July 24 and they discussed “the Manbij road map, a long-awaited committee to revise Syria’s constitution and a political solution to the Syria crisis, ensuring the territorial integrity of the war-torn country were among the issues of the meeting”.

The U.S. Embassy in Ankara said the discussions were “forthright, positive and productive.”

“The United States and Turkey continue to exchange views on mutual concerns in Syria, and we look forward to continuing these discussions, including through military-to-military consultations,” said the written statement.


3. EIB freezes lending in Turkey as part of sanctions against Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean  

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.07.19- reports that the European Investment Bank (EIB) will not do any new lending in Turkey linked to the government until at least the end of the year while it carries out a strategy review.

The move is part of a European Union decision earlier this month to symbolically punish Turkey over what it calls “illegal” drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.

“As the EU Bank, the EIB will follow the Council’s recommendations and, notably, will take a restrictive approach towards the submission of new lending operations to its Board for approval for the rest of the year,” an EIB spokeswoman told Reuters.

The EIB, which is Turkey’s biggest single lender, has spent between 0.4 billion euros ($446 million) and 2.2 billion euros  ($2.45 billion) a year in the country over the last three years, while nothing has been invested so far in 2019.

The freeze is not currently expected to affect private sector projects and the bank could still sign around 350 million euros worth of deals before the end of the year if it gets the green light from EU finance ministers on the EIB board.

“A review of the Bank’s strategic orientations of its lending activities in Turkey is scheduled for later this year,” the spokeswoman added.

Turkey has said that any EU funding cuts will not affect its drilling off Cyprus.


4. Cavusoglu met with his Malaysian counterpart

Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.07.19- reports that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hosted on Wednesday his Malaysian counterpart in Ankara.

Cavusoglu and Saifuddin Abdullah discussed the “excellent” bilateral ties of the two countries, Cavusoglu said on Twitter.

“Cooperation in the field of defense industry will give a new impetus to our economic relations with one of our best commercial partners in the region,” Cavusoglu said, hailing Malaysia as a strategic partner in the Southeast Asia.

Saifuddin is currently in Turkey as part of a delegation of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, for bilateral talks with Turkish officials.


5. TurkStream's Turkish terminal ready to deliver gas by year's end

Turkish daily Sabah (25.07.19- reports that the Kıyıköy terminal construction, which will bring in Russian gas to Turkey via the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project, is 90% complete, ready to begin serving by the end of this year.

The strategic natural gas pipeline project, TurkStream, is very close to completion and will be ready to deliver gas to the Turkish market by the end of this year

The epitome of Turkish-Russian energy cooperation, TurkStream marked a critical project development milestone with the 90% completion of all construction work at the Kıyıköy receiving terminal on the Turkish side where Russian gas will be transferred across the Black Sea to Turkey.

 "The landfall facilities in Russia stand at a 99% completion level, and both offshore pipelines connecting the two shores are fully complete. The construction of the offshore segment of the pipeline was completed in record time, which is a remarkable achievement for such a technically challenging project," Oleg Aksyutin, Deputy chairman of the Gazprom management committee, the project's main partner company and CEO of the TurkStream project company, told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Wednesday.

The TurkStream project consists of two lines across the Black Sea, the first of which will serve Turkey with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters, while the second line is planned to serve Europe.

Each pipeline is 930 kilometers in length, laid at depths reaching 2,200 meters. Of the two onshore lines, Turkey's state-owned oil and gas trading company, the Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ), is constructing the onshore line to connect to the Turkish grid and a BOTAŞ-Gazprom joint venture is building the second line toward Europe.

The project is the biggest-diameter offshore gas pipeline in the world laid at such depths. The world's biggest construction vessel, the Pioneering Spirit, carried out the deep-sea pipe laying.

The Kıyıköy receiving terminal, located approximately 100 kilometers west of Istanbul, is one of the two receiving terminals, located on the Turkish side, while the other facility is located in Anapa, a port town on the Russian Black Sea coast.

"We have full confidence that the TurkStream pipeline will be ready for gas deliveries by the end of December, and serve to ensure supply security for Turkey and Europe and bolster Turkish-Russian cooperation for generations to come," Aksyutin said.

"The construction progress on the Turkish landfall has been on schedule, as well as in compliance with strict safety, social and environmental standards," he added.