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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media review -06.08.19

No. 146/19                                                                                          06.08.2019

 

Content

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Cavusoglu and Ozersay question the basis of the Cyprus negotiations

2. Cavusoglu and Ozersay discussed the Cyprus issue

3. The steps taken on the closed city of Varosha will mean that a military area will become demilitarized, claims Ozersay

4. Donmez on an illegal visit in the occupied area of Cyprus today

5. Donmez met with Akinci, Tatar and Tacoy; He called on the Greek Cypriot side to rethink the proposal on a common committee on hydrocarbons

6. Erhurman: Varosha neither an issue to be postponed until  after the solution nor reason  for a fight

7. Koran lessons to children continue in mosques

B. Turkish Press

1. Sabah reports that Yavuz vessel started drilling

2. Erdogan: “We cannot remain indifferent to the efforts of sabotage and usurpation in the Eastern Mediterranean”

3. Turkey, US officials meet to discuss Syria safe-zone

4. Donmez onan illegal visit in the occupied area of Cyprus today

5. Turkic council to open office in Hungary

6. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Turkey

7. Columnist argues that the gas issue should be part of the Cyprus settlement

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Cavusoglu and Ozersay question the basis of the Cyprus negotiations

Under the front-page title “The negotiations are their common grievance”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (06.08.19) reports that the “possible negotiations” on the Cyprus problem were the main topic on the agenda of the addresses made yesterday by Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu and self-styled foreign minister Kudret Ozersay at the 11th Ambassadors’ Conference yesterday in Ankara.

The paper covers on its front page Cavusoglu’s allegation that the Greek Cypriot side continues to see itself as a unitary state and the sole owner of the island and the Turkish Cypriots as a minority. “As long as this mentality does not change, sitting at the table just for the sake of negotiations has absolutely no meaning”, he argued adding that “in order for the negotiations to resume, the sides should agree on a common vision and a common basis”. 

On its front page the paper writes also that Ozersay alleged that during the past 50 years everybody should have learned that a federal partnership in Cyprus was not possible and that continuing to support the negotiations without questioning their basis was actually tantamount to supporting the continuation of the status quo. 

On its inside pages, Havadis publishes Ozersay’s address under the title: “Ozersay: The conditions for a federal partnership in Cyprus do not exist”. According to the paper, Ozersay alleged that “if there will be a paradigm change on the issue of the basis of the negotiations in Cyprus during the forthcoming period, we should be able to make possible the discussion of models which are based on cooperation instead of models based on sharing”.  

Ozersay said that many things had changed and had been tried during the past 50 years and argued that the only thing that remained unchanged was the concept of bi-zonal bi-communal federation, that is, the basis of the negotiations. He claimed that the time has come for us to wonder whether the reason for the non-solution was the fact that we understand different things when we speak of a federal partnership and alleged that “the conditions for a federal partnership do not exist today in Cyprus, because the federal partnership is a model of partnership based on sharing administration and wealth” and the Greek Cypriot community was allegedly not ready for sharing.

Arguing that there was lack of confidence between the two communities, Ozersay said that confidence should exist for a federal partnership. He added that experience on the issue of federal culture was another element needed and alleged that since 1963 the Greek Cypriot side turned into a unitary state, the Republic of Cyprus, something which was allegedly the most important element which abolished the conditions for a federation based on sharing. 

“Federation is not a bad model, but in order for the establishment and the continuation of the existence of a federation to be possible, some conditions, some elements, are needed which do not exist today in Cyprus”, he reiterated alleging that for this reason the change of paradigm should be put on the table. He claimed that either the conditions should change for a federal partnership to become possible or a model suitable for the existing conditions should be put on the table.

Ozersay alleged that the creation of the conditions for a federal partnership would start in case the international community were to say that “the Republic of Cyprus does not exist, its government is not legal”, in case the accession of Cyprus into the EU was questioned because of a “not representative government” and in case the international actors stated that they would not be lenient with the Greek Cypriot side on the natural gas issue. He also claimed: “If the UN does not do what they do every six months and says that the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus’ term of office has ended, […] we will withdraw; this would be a tramp card, it would be a step which would change the balances […]”.

(I/Ts.)   

 

2. Cavusoglu and Ozersay discussed the Cyprus issue

According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (06.08.19), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled deputy minister and foreign affairs minister, who is currently in Ankara for the 11th Ambassadors' Conference, met yesterday with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on the side-lines of the Conference.

During the meeting, which was closed to the press, the Cyprus issue and the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean were discussed.

(DPs)

3. The steps taken on the closed city of Varosha will mean that a military area will become demilitarized, claims Ozersay

Illegal Bayrak (06.08.19 https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-speaks-on-ntv) reports that the self-styled foreign minister Kudret Özersay gave a special interview to Turkey’s NTV television channel.

He claimed  that “the Greek Cypriot side did not want to share power or the islands wealth with the Turkish Cypriot people and the steps taken on the closed city of Varosha will mean that a military area will become demilitarized”.

Alleging  that “this point had been reached as an outcome of a protest action that took place against Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, Özersay said: “What we are saying and what we are doing has made the Greek Cypriot side take action”.

Touching upon the 9th of August meeting to take place between Mustafa Akıncı and Nicos Anastasiades, Özersay said that the last time the leaders had come together some confidence building measures (CBM) had been agreed upon and announced to the public. He further said that not only was this important for the continuation of relations between the two sides but it was also a positive development, as it assisted in the trust-building process between the two sides.

Noting that in the past despite some confidence building measures being agreed upon some of these were yet to be realised Özersay said that progress had to be made on certain CBM’s.

Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side was not willing to share power or the island’s riches with the Turkish Cypriot people Özersay said: “If there is no change in the Greek Cypriot side’s stance then it is not possible to wait for a change to take place on the solution process on the island”.

On the closed city of Varosha Özersay claimed  that the issue had been discussed  of a thousand times during the comprehensive negotiations process and as part of the confidence building measures but that due to the “Greek Cypriot side constantly dragging its feet on the issue no outcome had been achieved”.

Claiming  that “the TRNC government accepts the former residents of the closed city of Varosha as its collocutors and shareholders”, Mr. Özersay said: “The closed city of Varosha is a part of the TRNC and under a military zone status. We have taken an initiative in the area and taken the inventory of the buildings there and we will take certain steps”.

“To include the Greek Cypriot side in this process will mean that the area would have been sentenced to the same fate. The former owners have rights and we will take steps accordingly” he added.

He alleged that the relevant  decision taken by the UN Security  Council is in fact but  a recommendation.

“During this century who will say we don’t give you permission to demilitarise a military zone? ” said Özersay.

4. Donmez on an illegal visit in the occupied area of Cyprus today

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (06.08.19) reports that Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez is expected to carry out today an illegal one-day visit to the occupied area of Cyprus. According to the paper, Donmez, who will be arriving in the occupied area of Cyprus at 10.55 am, is expected to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci at 11.30 AM and afterwards with so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar at 12.05 pm. He will later meet also with so-called minister of economy and energy, Hasan Tacoy at 12.40 pm. At 2.30 pm, Donmez will be visiting the Yavuz drillship in order to make inspections there and be briefed on the drillship’s activities. In addition, at 4.45 pm, Donmez will visit the Hala Sultan mosque. Donmez will depart from the occupied area of Cyprus tonight after attending a dinner hosted by so-called minister Tacoy.

(AK)  

5. Donmez met with Akinci, Tatar and Tacoy; He called on the Greek Cypriot side to rethink the proposal on a common committee on hydrocarbons

According to illegal Bayrak television (06.08.18-https://www.brtk.net/?video_post=akinci-enerji-yataklari-konusu-barisa-hizmet-eden-bir-arac-olmali), Turkey’s Minister of Energy Fatih Donmez, who is illegally visiting the occupation regime today, met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

Speaking during the meeting, Akinci stressed the need for the hydrocarbon resources in the island to become an element that will serve peace in the island.

In his turn, Donmez claimed that “Turkey would continue protecting its rights and the Turkish Cypriots rights in the Eastern Mediterranean until the end”.

In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (06.08.19-http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n293393-tc-enerji-bakani-donmez-kktcde-rum-tarafi-ortak-komite-tekli) reports that Donmez met with so-called prime minister, Ersin Tatar.

Speaking during the meeting, Donmez recalled that the Greek Cypriot side had rejected before the proposal submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side on the establishment of a common committee on the hydrocarbon issue and called on the Greek Cypriot side to think again the proposal.

“We will continue developing our ties with the TRNC in all directions”, Donmez alleged pointing out that they feel the “TRNC” as their home. (....)

Touching upon the natural gas issue, Donmez pointed out that Turkey was continuing with its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with two drill ships. “The Fatih drill ship is continuing its activities in the West and the Yavuz drill ship in the Karpaz region. Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa seismic vessel is also in the south of the island”, Donmez said and “thanked the TRNC government for the support they provided for these works”.

Claiming that Turkey had wished since a long time ago for the hydrocarbon resources not to become an issue of dispute but to become an issue that would serve for peace and stability in the region, Donmez accused the Greek Cypriot side of “unilateral activities” and of rhetoric as if it is the only owner in the island. “We will continue to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people in every platform,” Donmez alleged.

Reminding that the Greek Cypriot side had rejected the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal to establish a joint committee on the natural gas issue, he expressed the hope that the Greek Cypriot side will re-think the proposal. He also claimed that Turkey, as a guarantor country, is ready to contribute and provide support.

Tatar for his part alleged that the “TRNC was acting and will continue to act together with Turkey”, claiming that all steps taken by Turkey on the natural gas, “are in accordance with the law and are taken with the aim to protect their rights and interests deriving from  international agreements”. 

Stressing the need to send to the international community the message that there are “two equal peoples” in Cyprus, Tatar alleged that at the end of the day, these “self-sacrifice works will provide wealth to the people in the island”. Tatar further wished for the common committee on the hydrocarbons to be established. 

Tatar went on to refer to the two leaders meeting on August 9 and recalled that he will be meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci today so as to convey their positions as UBP.

Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (06.08.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=donmez-in-trnc) broadcast that Donmez also came together with the so-called minister of economy and energy, Hasan Tacoy at a working lunch.

Donmez and Tacoy will then fly to Yavuz drill ship with a helicopter from the illegal Tymbou airport.

Following their inspections at the Yavuz drill ship, the two “ministers” will return to the illegal Tymbou airport and will then pay a visit to the Hala Sultan Mosque in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

Donmez is expected to “depart” from the occupation regime at 10pm after completing his “contacts”.

6. Erhurman: Varosha neither an issue to be postponed until  after the solution nor reason  for a fight

Illegal Bayrak (06.08.19 https://www.brtk.net/maras-ne-cozum-sonrasina-ertelenecek-ne-de-kavga-vesilesi-yapilacak-bir-konudur/ ) reports that the general secretary of the Republican Turkish party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman posted in his  social media account that Varosha is neither an issue to be postponed  until after the solution nor is it a reason mean for a fight.

“In cases where we cannot reach a comprehensive settlement, Varosha is neither an issue to be postponed until  after the settlement, nor is it a matter to fight over  with the international community. In conditions where we cannot reach a comprehensive solution, it is possible to produce a solution that will serve both to create an economy on its own feet and to push the comprehensive solution through dialogue, multilateral diplomacy and reason. We should focus on producing such a solution”, he stated.

 

7. Koran lessons to children continue in mosques

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (06.08.19) reports that Koran lessons to children continue this year as well in mosques in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Many parents in the within the walls area of occupied Nicosia send their children to these lessons every morning from 09.00 to 12.00. The paper took pictures of 6-10 year old children attending Koran lessons in Saint Sofia (Selimiye) mosque in the occupied part of Nicosia. While boys and girls play together during the break, they attend the lesson in separate classes, notes the paper.

Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot primary school teachers’ trade union, described the Koran lessons as “fanaticism” and “illegal”. He also argued that many religious orders also organized such lessons in (private) houses.

(I/Ts.)      

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Sabah reports that Yavuz vessel started drilling

Under the title “Yavuz drilling vessel started drilling”, Turkish daily Sabah (06.08.19, https://www.sabah.com.tr/ekonomi/2019/08/06/yavuz-gemisi-sondaja-basladi) reports that Turkey continues at full speed the oil and gas exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. The drilling vessel Yavuz started to work off the coast of Karpasia and will operate in the area for three weeks. Moreover, the Fatih drilling vessel, which is to the West of Cyprus, will continue drilling activity on its current route for a few more weeks and has now reached the depth of approximately 5 thousand metres from sea level, the paper writes.

In addition, the paper reports that Oruc Reis seismic research ship will also arrive in the Eastern Mediterranean in the coming days and will support Barbaros in the seismic researches. Meanwhile, it is reported that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) within the framework of the Mediterranean Shield Operation, undertakes the protection of the drilling and research vessels operating in the region. The security of the drilling vessels is ensured with warships, submarines, UAVs and warplanes. The Turkish Armed Forces protects the drilling and seismic research vessels 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Turkey’s Minister of Energy Fatih Donmez, who is paying today an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus, will inspect the drilling vessel Yavuz and send a message from there to the whole world, by stressing their determination that Turkey will not abandon the Eastern Mediterranean”, the paper adds.

The paper further reports: “On the other hand, Turkey’s numerous associations and institutions, that will attend the 20th Young and Mediterranean Meetings, which will take place from the 18th to the 20th November 2019 in Nice (France), will explain there that Turkey will not abandon Eastern Mediterranean”.  The paper argues that he Turkish youths that will attend these meetings will give French President Macron “the necessary answers in his own home regarding the natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean”, adding that the Turkish youths will also meet with representatives of all countries in the Mediterranean. The most important agenda of the meetings will be the energy deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean.

(DPs)

2. Erdogan: “We cannot remain indifferent to the efforts of sabotage and usurpation in the Eastern Mediterranean”

Turkish newspaper Milliyet (06.08.19, http://www.milliyet.com.tr/siyaset/son-dakika-cumhurbaskani-erdogan-konusuyor-6012279) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened that his country could not remain indifferent to what he called “efforts of sabotage and usurpation” in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Addressing the Ambassadors’ Conference today, Erdogan claimed the following on the issue: “We cannot remain indifferent to the efforts of usurpation and sabotage. We will protect the rights of our country and of the Turkish Cypriots. Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean is possible only by protecting the rights of Turkey and of the TRNC”.

(I/Ts.)

3. Turkey, US officials meet to discuss Syria safe-zone

Turkish daily Yeni Safak (06.08.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-us-officials-meet-to-discuss-syria-safe-zone-3497362) reports that Turkish and American military officials met in Ankara on Monday to discuss the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria, according to the Turkish National Defense Ministry.

Turkey expects the creation of a 20-mile (32-kilometer) safe zone in northern Syria and has stressed that “it wants the YPG/PYD terror group cleared in the region’.

Ankara and Washington have yet to hammer an agreement on the safe zone. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said Friday that Ankara has "limited" patience.

If efforts to find common ground with the U.S. prove unsuccessful, Turkey will have to create a safe zone in Syria on its own, said Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Friday.

4. Donmez onan illegal visit in the occupied area of Cyprus today

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (06.08.19) reports that Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez is expected to carry out today an illegal one-day visit to the occupied area of Cyprus. According to the paper, Donmez, who will be arriving in the occupied area of Cyprus at 10.55 am, is expected to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci at 11.30 AM and afterwards with so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar at 12.05 pm. He will later meet also with so-called minister of economy and energy, Hasan Tacoy at 12.40 pm. At 2.30 pm, Donmez will be visiting the Yavuz drillship in order to make inspections there and be briefed on the drillship’s activities. In addition, at 4.45 pm, Donmez will visit the Hala Sultan mosque. Donmez will depart from the occupied area of Cyprus tonight after attending a dinner hosted by so-called minister Tacoy.

(AK)  

5. Turkic council to open office in Hungary

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.09.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkic-council-to-open-office-in-hungary-145544) reports that the Turkic Council held a senior officials meeting at the level of deputy foreign ministers in Istanbul on Friday, where they discussed the opening of a representation office in Hungary.

The member states and Hungary, as the host country, have finalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and other founding documents on the establishment of the office.

The opening of the office in Hungary will be submitted to the approval of the foreign ministries in the coming days.

The meeting was chaired by Turkic Council Secretary General Baghdad Amreyev and attended by deputy foreign ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Hungary.

Amreyev informed the delegations on the preparations about ongoing cooperation projects of the council and the upcoming 7th summit of the Turkic Council in Baku.

He emphasized on the reform process of the Turkic Cooperation Organizations and the opening of the representation office of Turkic Council in Europe.

Amreyev also referred to the non member states Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan saying that there will be joint activities in the upcoming period.

Turkic Council was established in 2009 as an international intergovernmental organization, with the aim of promoting comprehensive cooperation among Turkic speaking states.

6. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Turkey

Turkish daily Yeni Safak (06.08.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/ukrainian-president-volodymyr-zelensky-to-visit-turkey-3497391) reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will pay a two-day-visit to Turkey on Wednesday, according to a written statement from Ukraine's presidency on Monday.

During his visit, Zelensky will meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the capital Ankara, the statement read. He is also scheduled to hold meeting with representatives of Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar communities in the country.

Zelensky will have a meeting with Istanbul's Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Bartholomew, the statement added.

7. Columnist argues that the gas issue should be part of the Cyprus settlement

Under the title “Is a consensus on the gas issue possible?”, columnist Metin Munir, writing in Turkish internet newspaper T24 (06.08.19, https://t24.com.tr/yazarlar/metin-munir/gaz-konusunda-uzlasi-mumkun-mu,23350), argues that Moscow may encourage Erdogan to be more aggressive in the Eastern Mediterranean in order to sow discord among Turkey and its allies, in the following commentary:

“One of Turkey’s most fundamental economic problems, due to its energy poverty, is that it is a major oil and gas importer and this has created a huge trade deficit. This deficit is closed by short-term external debt. The need for borrowing is one of the main reasons why the economy every 15-20 years enters a crisis.

If there was no energy imports, then the economy would be at a manageable level without sufferings or current account deficit. For this reason, Ankara, contrary to international law, will not give up its policies of breaking off its shares from gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. It will use force if it is necessary.

Perhaps, the biggest problem of the Greek Cypriots is that they cannot understand this. The Greek Cypriots, within the framework of maritime law, have found significant gas reserves in the marine areas, which they considered exclusively theirs. They will probably find more. At the possibility of large amounts being found in these regions, some big states close to the Greek Cypriots and energy companies issue warnings that an agreement should be reached with the Turks before the exact amount of reserves is determined. (…) The Greek Cypriots did not listen to the warnings.

A Turkish diplomat said: “The Greek Cypriots always want it all”, adding: “They want the whole Cyprus, all the sea all the gas. This is their weakness”.

 When the Greek Cypriots did not accept to share, Turkey sent its drilling vessels in the places where the Greek Cypriots found gas. It is not known exactly what these vessels are doing there, but the intention is clear: to extract the gas and transfer it to Turkey. This intention will be strengthened in parallel with the determinated rate of gas reserves under the sea. For example, if a reserve of 50 trillion cubic metres is found, it would be impossible to remove Turkey from the eastern Mediterranean.

A source, which follows closely this matter said: ‘The Greek Cypriots think that they are lucky for finding gas. But when the gas found increases, then the possibility of entering in trouble with Turkey increases’.

Turkey has two arguments that it has rights on the exclusive economic zone of the Greek Cypriots. The first is that the sea wealth of the island does not belong entirely to the Greek Cypriots and that the Turkish Cypriots also have rights there. The second point is the non-recognition of the maritime zones between Turkey and other countries.   This is the reason why the Greek Cypriots may say to the sources ‘this is mine; no, this is not yours; here I have rights’.

These claims have not only left Turkey face-to-face with the Republic of Cyprus, but also with Greece. The same situation may apply in the future with Syria and Lebanon, just not so much.

There are also the American, French and Italian companies, which find gas with the licenses obtained from the Greek Cypriots and want to convert the gas to money, and their governments will surely stand behind them.

Let us not forget Russia. Moscow, which has made it a policy priority to detach Ankara from the West, may encourage Erdogan to be more aggressive in the Eastern Mediterranean, in order to introduce a new discord between Turkey and its allies

The best solution for all is to settle the Cyprus problem in a way that the gas issue is within this package. Positive voices come from the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades. However, it is not possible to know whether the AKP government, which has made its business an uninterrupted crisis management, can hear these voices and if they do, do they have the means to respond?”

(DPs)

 

 

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TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(CS/EH)