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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 24-26.08.19

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A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. “Entering into negotiations for federation will imprison us in a vicious circle”, alleges Ozersay

2. Tatar insists on a two-state solution and the continuation of Turkey’s guarantees in Cyprus

3. Ulucay expresses hopes for the natural gas issue to be an instrument for cooperation not tensions

4. Cavusoglu: “Any agreement in the Eastern Mediterranean not containing the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey is invalid”

5. Erhurman warns that they should be careful on the issues of occupied fenced-off Varosha

6. Oktay invited Turkish Cypriot youth to camps in Turkey

7. Six migrants were found and five are still missing in occupied Yiallousa

B. Turkish Press

1. Donmez: We will never abandon the rights of Turkey in Eastern Mediterranean

2. Erdogan: “Turkey shows resolute stance in eastern Mediterranean”

3. Ozersay claims that Turkish Cypriots are in dialogue with international energy companies for hydrocarbon resources

4. Tatar made statements on Turkey’s stance in the Mediterranean and said that they consulted with Erdogan about the reconstruction of Varosha

5. Turkey and Lebanon agreed to enhance economic and trade ties

6. Erdogan to visit Russia this week

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. “Entering into negotiations for federation will imprison us in a vicious circle”, alleges Ozersay

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan(26.08.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has criticized the fact that a new negotiating process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will begin, in spite of the fact that, as he alleged, the mentality in the Greek Cypriot side did not change. In statements to Turkish Cypriot illegal TAK news agency, Ozersay said that federation required sharing the administration and the wealth and claimed:

“The Greek Cypriot side wants neither the sharing of administration nor the wealth. When we look at the notes of the Akinci-Anastasiades meeting held recently, one thing is seen clearly: There is no change of mentality in the Greek Cypriot leadership and it does not want to share the administration and the wealth. Moreover, their stance on the natural gas issue shows that they do not want to share the wealth with us. Then, if nothing has changed, why are we launching again the federation process which is based on sharing the administration and the wealth?”        

He argued that it would not be for what he called “the benefit of this country” to engage in a process for finding a federal solution, which requires the mentality of sharing, knowing and seeing that there was no change of mentality. He further recalled that Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci had also said last year that he was not seeing a change of mentality in the Greek Cypriot side. 

“Now I am seeing the minutes of the last meetings and nothing has changed, that is, the mentality is the same”, he claimed and alleged that “entering into negotiations for a federation again will imprison us in a new vicious circle”. “The need is not to launch a process for a federation anymore, but to discuss what kind of a solution is appropriate for the existing conditions in Cyprus, what kind of a partnership will be established. And this is not a federal partnership”, he argued.

(I/Ts.)

 

 

2. Tatar insists on a two-state solution and the continuation of Turkey’s guarantees in Cyprus

According to illegal Bayrak television (24.08.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=pm-tatar-speaks-to-aa), so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar made an evaluation regarding the meeting that will take place between Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı, the “leader of the Greek Cypriot administration”, as President Nicos Anastasiades was referred to, and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in September.

Tatar alleged that the Greek Cypriot side had committed many injustices against the Turkish Cypriots and were continuing to shy away from a partnership mentality. “At this point I think returning to the table within the Guterres framework would be very dangerous as this could all be a part of a big game”, Tatar argued.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Tatar touched upon the Crans Montana summit, alleging that despite all of the Turkish Cypriot side’s good will, intentions and flexibility, this had not been reciprocated therefore it had ended in failure.

He claimed that at the end of this meeting the UN Secretary General had announced that there was no basis for negotiating and therefore the process has ended and only when a new basis is established would he then call for another conference to take place.

Reminding that upon his return to the “TRNC” from Crans Montana Akıncı had said that “this was our generation’s last chance, this last chance has also been lost. Maybe after some time we can start discussion on two separate states under the EU roof”, Tatar said: “I want to ask president Akıncı what developments have taken place in Cyprus now that they want to start from where they left off? There are no changes on the basis. Why are you dragging the Turkish Cypriots back to the same point and forcing them to relive the same antics once again”, Tatar wondered.

He reiterated once again that the Turkish Cypriot “people” support an agreement that is based on two separate states on the island and the continuation of “motherland Turkey’s guarantees” in Cyprus.

Touching upon the issue of equally sharing the hydrocarbon resources on the island, Tatar alleged that the Greek Cypriot side see themselves as the sole owners of the island. “If an agreement was going to take place on the island, they would patch up the Turkish Cypriots to the federal state. The Greek Cypriots would make all the decisions and would give the Turkish Cypriots a right to veto but only for appearance. I can never accept such an agreement,” Tatar argued.

(…)Noting that as the “government” they were closely following the developments taking place, he  alleged that what everyone needed to realize is that the Turkish Cypriot “people” are not alone. “This is an issue for the whole nation, a national cause. We will evaluate everything when the time comes,” Tatar further argued.

 

3. Ulucay expresses hopes for the natural gas issue to be an instrument for cooperation not tensions

According to illegal Bayrak television (24.08.19-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ulucay-speaks-to-anadolu-agency) so-called parliamentary speaker Teberruken Ulucay evaluated the Cyprus issue, the Cyprus negotiations process and the developments taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean to Anadolu Agency.

On the Cyprus issue, Ulucay alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side was always the side that was constructive at the talks because as he supported, the Turkish Cypriot side wanted to find a solution to the Cyprus problem and wanted to take their rightful place amongst the world.

Supporting that the Cyprus issue had been ongoing for close to 50 years, he alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side always supported a solution and voiced this view at every platform.

“We will continue with our determined stance to find a solution to the Cyprus problem in the future as well,” Uluçay argued, accusing the Greek Cypriot side of not wanting to share power with the Turkish Cypriots and that this is the primary problem of the Cyprus issue.

Pointing to the upcoming tripartite meeting between Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı, President Nicos Anastasiades and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Ulucay said that hopefully a decision for a five- party meeting would be made.

Ulucay said that at this phase, a five-party meeting was vital, as it had been discovered that there are serious economic values within the exclusive economic zone of the island.

“These economic values are the hydrocarbon and natural gas reserves surrounding the island. It is our duty as politicians to allow both the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots on the island to benefit from these economic gains,” said Uluçay.

He argued that the politicians and administrators from both sides of the island needed to maneuver their position in order to achieve a tangible outcome and benefit from the opportunities that exist with the discovery of the natural gas resources on the island.

“This is not only for our future but to remove the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean region. We hope that the natural gas issue will be an instrument for cooperation not tensions. A solution to the Cyprus problem may lead to the removal of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and prevent further conflict in the Middle East”, Ulucay further alleged.

 

4. Cavusoglu: “Any agreement in the Eastern Mediterranean not containing the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey is invalid”

According to illegal Bayrak television (24. 08.19- https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=eastern-mediterranean-tensions), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu alleged that any agreement in the Eastern Mediterranean that does not contain the Turkish Cypriot “people” or Turkey is not valid.

Speaking at a joint press conference after a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil in Beirut, Cavusoglu touched upon the work being carried out by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.

He argued that Turkey was carrying out work in the Eastern Mediterranean within its own continental shelf and the permits it received from the “TRNC”.

Cavusoglu claimed that they were carrying out their work in order to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriot “people” in the region.

Underlining the fact that Turkey will continue to protect the rights of the “TRNC” and the Turkish Cypriot “people” in the Eastern Mediterranean until the very end, Cavusoglu reiterated that any agreement that does not contain the Turkish Cypriot “people” or Turkey is not valid.

 

5. Erhurman warns that they should be careful on the issues of occupied fenced-off Varosha

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (24.08.19) reports that Tufan Erhuman, evaluating the latest visit of the “coalition government” to Ankara, the “protocol” and occupied fenced-off Varosha in a television programme on Friday morning, warned that they should be careful regarding the opening of the fenced-off town. He added that the Turkish Cypriot “people” may suffer by these steps that will be taken fighting with the international community on the approach that fenced-off Varosha may be opening only after the Cyprus settlement.

Erhurman explained that it is important to remember what the UN Security Council have said regarding fenced-off Varosha, adding that there are two points on the issue. First, “attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible” and second, “fenced-off Varosha should be opened under the administration of the United Nations”.

Criticizing the “coalition government” that it ignores the UNSC resolutions on the opening of the occupied fenced-off town, Erhurman said that at this moment those who had applied to the IPC [Immovable Property Commission) and did not have an effective remedy, have opened cases at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and they are trying to open a debate whether the IPC is accepted as an effective domestic remedy.

(DPs)

 

6. Oktay invited Turkish Cypriot youth to camps in Turkey

Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kıbrıs (26.08.19) reports that the Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay met with young Turkish Cypriots who participated in a youth camp in Kaman area in Kirsehir of Turkey and stated that they wanted to invite and host all Turkish Cypriot youth in camps in Turkey.

He added that the Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports was working hard for this upon instructions from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The camps in Turkey are at your disposal. You will be encouraging your friends to attend once you go home,” he said. Oktay also said that similar youth camps could be set up in the breakaway regime where Turkish youths could come together with Turkish Cypriot youth.

(CS)

 

7. Six migrants were found and five are still missing in occupied Yiallousa

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (26.08.19) reports that after the discovery of an abandoned speed boat on a coast between the occupied villages of Yiallousa and Agios Andronikos, the “police” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus found 6 migrants, 5 men and 1 woman.

The “mayor” of occupied Yiallousa Emrah Yesilmak, speaking to the paper, said that the migrants arrived in the occupied area of Cyprus on Saturday night and they were eleven persons. He added that the “police” had organized a large-scale search to find the remaining five persons.

(DPs)

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Donmez: We will never abandon the rights of Turkey in Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish daily Yeni Safak (26.08.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/ekonomi/turkiye-dogu-akdenizdeki-hakli-davasindan-asla-geri-donmeyecek-3503469) reports that the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez stated that Turkey will always be next to the “TRNC” and added that they consider it their duty to protect the rights and the interests of Turkish Cypriots in the region.

He also stated that Turkey will never abandon rights in Eastern Mediterranean. “Because our historical mission and energy strategy is based on nationality and indigenousness. Everyone should know that all the Eastern Mediterranean is Turkey's public affairs. As a nation yesterday we were here, we are here today and we will continue to be here tomorrow, "he said.

Dönmez  made these statements speaking at the World Energy Congress and Fair, where he gave information about Turkey’s work in the Eastern Mediterranean in the last period; He said  that with Turkey's first deep-sea drilling vessel they have excavated the first wells adding that they will continue their works with determination.

He said that the works that started should be considered as a product of Turkey’s “energy mind” and added that the stronger example of the determined stance of Turkey as regards the issue of energy are the seismic ships Barbaros and Oruc Reis as well as the Fatih and Yavuz drill ships.  “It is the most concrete example of Turkey's National Energy and Minerals Policy and it is the clearest indication of the determined stance of Turkey”, he stated.

“There are those who try to ignore these national giants. And unfortunately, as our drilling vessels Yavuz and Fatih work in the Eastern Mediterranean and approach the result, we see those rubbing their hands for 'failure'”, he stated, adding that they watch both those who  are sad with their joy and those who are happy for it”, he stated.

 

2. Erdogan: “Turkey shows resolute stance in eastern Mediterranean”

Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.08.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-shows-resolute-stance-in-eastern-mediterranean/1564731?) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said on Sunday that Turkey demonstrated a "historic stance" in the eastern Mediterranean.

"Turkey is showing a resolute stance in the Eastern Mediterranean," Erdogan said during a mass opening ceremony in the northeastern Black Sea province of Trabzon.

Erdogan added that Turkey maintained its activities in the eastern Mediterranean to protect its political and economic interests.

He also said that Turkey carried out its activities with two seismic and drilling vessels, frigates and drones in the region.

 (…)Moreover, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (25.08.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-warns-against-misuse-of-municipal-resources-146028) reported that Erdogan, speaking at an opening ceremony in the northern Black Sea province of Rize on Saturday, referred, inter alia, to the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Turkish presence there and underlined that Turkish seismic and drilling vessels continued to carry out their activities in the region.

"When we find petroleum or natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean all those who now oppose us will line up at our door," Erdogan said.

Also, Turkish daily Sabah (24.08.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/08/24/turkey-to-defend-its-rights-in-eastern-mediterranean-to-full-extent-president-erdogan-says) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated on Saturday Turkey's determination to defend its rights in Eastern Mediterranean while addressing a large crowd of people in Yusufeli district of the northeastern province of Artvin.

Criticizing Western states' opposition to Turkey's move in the region, Erdogan said: "We will defend Turkey's rights in Eastern Mediterranean to the full extent despite Western threats."

(…)

 

3. Ozersay claims that Turkish Cypriots are in dialogue with international energy companies for hydrocarbon resources

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.06.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-cypriots-in-dialogue-with-international-energy-companies-for-hydrocarbon-resources-minister-146011), reports that so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Özersay alleged that Turkish Cypriot “officials” have had meetings with Italian Eni, which struck a license agreement with the Greek Cypriot side to extract natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and have made presentations to representatives of U.S. energy companies licensed by the Greek Cypriots.

“The Turkish Cypriot side is asking these companies to insist on a fair share of natural resources between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot governments as a way for the Turkish side to gain international recognition”, Özersay alleged at a meeting with members of the Association of Diplomatic Correspondents on Aug. 22.

“The expectation of the Turkish side is that the United States’ Noble and Exxon Mobil companies, as well as Italian ENI and French Total companies, which are carrying out drilling activities off the Cyprus shore after signing license agreements with the Greek Cypriots, will conditionally require the approval of both sides of the island and the fair share of natural resources in order to transfer the hydrocarbon resources of the island to global markets even before parties reach a reunification settlement”.

Turkish Cypriots have talked with the Italian Eni company, Ozersay alleged, when asked whether they are in contact with international energy companies to sell the island’s hydrocarbon resources. “We had a dialogue [with Eni], even theoretically, on the issues of how and at what stage we can have cooperation,” he argued, claiming that these companies needed dialogue with Turkish Cypriots as they seek to eliminate their trade risks.

“Additionally, some representatives of U.S. energy companies, which are already licensed by Greek Cypriots, were present at the conference he presented in Washington early this year”, Ozersay further claimed.  “Half of the participants were company representatives. They asked what we meant and asked how it could be procedurally. We told them that we can overcome the problem of recognition if the business is conducted through private companies. We have previous cases for this”, he argued.

“They signal that they are open to discuss formulas in which Turkish Cypriots will be included, thus reducing the risk,” Ozersay claimed.

“At the end of the day, the international energy companies should tell the Greek Cypriot leadership: ‘We have come to the point of excavation so far. But this resource will be delivered to the world markets and converted into money. At this threshold, I cannot take responsibility; the risk is high. You should negotiate with the Turkish Cypriots and agree on this’, said Ozersay, who further alleged that this cooperation does not need to wait for a settlement in Cyprus.

“The issue of hydrocarbon resources should be undertaken separate from the issue of reunification talks”, Ozersay argued, adding further the following. “Whether … the Cyprus dispute is resolved, the issue of natural resources is a regional matter.”

As an example of how to conduct fair share of natural resources through private companies even before the Turkish and Greek Cypriots reach a reunification settlement, Özersay recalled that Turkish Cypriots offered electricity to Greek Cypriots when the lines in the south exploded in 2011.

“The Greek Cypriots rejected the offer at first, as the transfer would be carried through a public institution as they do not recognize the Turkish Cypriot state. But then they welcomed the offer when Turkish Cyprus proposed to deliver the electricity through its trade office”, Ozersay supported.

Özersay claimed further that the best option is mutual consensus between the two sides on fair share of the hydrocarbon resources of the island, but if the Greek Cypriots fail to do so, the Turkish side will push for further licenses and agreements in their maritime zones.

“If we find resources within the maritime areas to the north of the island, we say that this also belongs to Greek Cypriots. But this scenario will see simultaneous drilling activities of two sides in the same region”, Ozersay claimed.

“The Turkish Cypriots disregard the idea of using hard power for benefiting these resources, the only way there would be agreements of licenses and drilling activities”, he argued.

He recalled that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots were not taking this action until 2011 on the argument that “as long as there is no comprehensive settlement area in Cyprus, no one should be involved in maritime jurisdiction activities in this region.”

“But the result was against us. Because the Greeks were creating irreversible de facto situations. In 2011, we went to paradigm change for the first time. We had deals with Turkey for delimitation of its continental shelf and agreements for drilling activities.”

“Today, we are at the point where the balance in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which was distorted, is restored,”Ozersay alleged, claiming also the following: “If we hadn’t done this work and hadn’t built this balance in the field, the possibility of conflict would be very high today,” Özersay argued. Turkey has been carrying out two separate drilling operations off Cyprus, along with exploration of a seismic research vessel- Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa - in the south coast of the island since April 2017.

(…)

 

4. Tatar made statements on Turkey’s stance in the Mediterranean and said that they consulted with Erdogan about the reconstruction of Varosha

Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.08.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/trnc-hails-turkey-s-resolute-stance-in-east-med/1564778) reports that the self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar stated that the breakaway regime is in cooperation with Turkey “in furthering the national interests of the TRNC in the eastern Mediterranean”.

Speaking at a conference in Turkey's central province of Konya, Tatar stressed that he would do his best for the continuation of Turkey’s status as guarantor power on the island and claimed that “it is out of question" to remove Turkish guarantor power from the TRNC”.

"Turkey’s resolute stance and support in the eastern Mediterranean gives us strength," said Tatar, referring to Turkey's activities in the region.

“The Greek side violated international law as well as the rights of Turkish Cypriots by making agreements with other states on searching for resources”, he alleged.

Claiming that Turkey has the longest shoreline in  the eastern Mediterranean, he alleged that “neither Ankara's rights nor the those of the TRNC -- which stem from international law -- could be ignored”.

In addition, Turkish Milliyet (26.08.19 http://www.milliyet.com.tr/siyaset/kktc-basbakani-ersin-tatar-kibris-sorunu-cozulmedikce-kavgamiz-surecek-6021520)  reports that speaking to the paper Tatar claimed that the Republic of Cyprus is under the occupation of the Greek Cypriots. “We cannot abandon all our rights to their mercy and will. If they are here, we are here. [...] This fight will continue as long as the Cyprus problem is not solved “, he alleged.

He went on adding that the continuing support of Turkey is important for them adding that grants from Turkey, have supported various projects in the breakaway regime.

He also referred to the forthTurkish ship Oruc Reis which is also conducting seismic research in the region and said that it is expected to find a large reserve. “In the south, the Greek Cypriots make agreements with countries as they wish. […] We carry out these activities in order to protect our rights and existence. Turkey is ambitious and determined”, he stated.

He went on and added that they had consulted with President Erdogan about the reconstruction of the closed Varosha city and the tender processes. The final decision will be determined by the “Immovable Property Commission”; he said and added that there are many cases in the European Union courts.

 

5. Turkey and Lebanon agreed to enhance economic and trade ties

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.08.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-lebanon-eye-enhanced-economic-trade-ties-146016) reported that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held bilateral talks on Aug. 23 in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri during an official visit to the country.

“We agreed with Saad al-Hariri to enhance our economic and trade relations. For this purpose, we will convene the Joint Economic Commission,” Cavusogluwrote on Twitter.

“Turkish firms are ready to give further contributions to infrastructure and development of Lebanon. We see Lebanon as a brother and neighbor country,” he said.

According to Hariri’s press office, Cavusoglu also expressed Turkey’s support for the country’s army and constitutional foundations.

The two also agreed to realize the free trade zone agreement signed between the two countries.

Hariri, for his part, said that he had lifted restrictions on the entry of some Turkish products into the country as of Thursday.

 

6. Erdogan to visit Russia this week

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.08.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-president-to-visit-russia-next-week-146012) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a one-day-visit to Russia on Aug. 27, his office said on Aug. 23.

Earlier on Aug. 23, Erdogan discussed the latest developments in war-weary Syria and Libya over the phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

In a phone call, Erdogan stressed that Assad regime's violations and attacks in Idlib, northwestern Syria, ARE causing a "major humanitarian crisis."

Turkey and Russia agreed last September to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

The Syrian regime and its allies, however, have consistently broken the terms of the cease-fire, launching frequent attacks inside the zone, according to the report.

The de-escalation zone is currently home to some 4 million civilians, including hundreds of thousands displaced in recent years by regime forces from throughout the war-weary country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(AK/EH)