Under the title “’5 plus UN’ proposal by Cavusoglu”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (10.09.19) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu has alleged that the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots should be accepted before the beginning of the Cyprus negotiations and that no result was achieved for 50 years with the approach “let the negotiations begin and we will see later”.
In statements during a joint press conference with Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci after the meetings they held yesterday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Cavusoglu referred to the contacts held by UNSG’ Special Adviser for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute and claimed that “unfortunately we were not convinced that there is a change of mentality in the Greek Cypriot side in the direction of accepting the political equality of the Turks of Cyprus”.
Reiterating the position that Turkey “does not exclude any solution model which safeguards the political equality and the security” of the Turkish Cypriots, Cavusoglu argued however that “the Turkish Cypriots’ political equality should be accepted beforehand”. Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side did not want to share the administration and the prosperity of Cyprus with the Turkish Cypriots, Cavusoglu accused President Anastasiades of referring, at different occasions to different solution models, such as a two-state solution, loose federation and decentralized federation and alleged: “Anastasiades is an expert on the issue of saying different things to different persons. Therefore, we said let these be clarified at a five party meeting. We should decide together what we will be negotiating. Let it be an informal meeting in an environment in which the UN will also be present, in a format of five plus one and let us determine here what we will be negotiating”.
Cavusoglu argued that after this was done, the terms of reference will be clarified and the negotiations could resume. He claimed: “If the Greek Cypriot side wants to share the power and the wealth with the Turkish side, it will agree on the principles of this beforehand and then the negotiations will begin. If it says ‘no I cannot do that’, then efforts to establish a partnership based on sovereign equality will be exerted and not on the basis of the political equality”.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot “people” would never accept the minority status. He added that it was meaningless for the Greek Cypriot side to insist on this and that entering into a negotiating process without political equality would result in nothing else but waste of time.
Referring to the hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cavusoglu alleged that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots would not stop protecting what he called “their rights and interests” and accused the Greek Cypriot side of not having the intention to share the island’s resources. Noting that the Greek Cypriot side had rejected the proposal submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side in 2011, 2012 and on 13 July 2019, Cavusoglu argued that this proposal was still on the table and added that if the Greek Cypriot side did not accept this proposal, the Turkish Petroleum company (TPAO) would continue its works in the Mediterranean.
Referring to the proposal made by the Greek Cypriot side on the natural gas, Cavusoglu described it as “far from being serious” and as “having no realistic aspect that could be accepted”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (09.09.19-(09.09.19-http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n296391-akinci-siyasi-esitligimizi-tehlikeye-sokmayacak-duzenleme-is) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, speaking yesterday during a joint press conference organized with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu after a round-table meeting they held in the presence of the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot political parties, stated that as a result of the developments to follow on the Cyprus problem, they “want a regulation that would not endanger the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots”.
On the natural gas issue, Akinci said that they discussed with Cavusoglu this issue as well as the Cyprus problem in detail. Supporting that they want for the natural wealth in the Eastern Mediterranean to contribute to peace and stability in the region, Akinci claimed that they have submitted proposals on this direction. “Our wish is for the natural gas to become a bridge for peace and not a field of conflict, thus, we proposed the establishment of a joint committee on the natural gas. Indeed, we came across a categorical rejection by the Greek Cypriot side”, Akinci alleged, claiming further the following: “In return for this, we came across a new proposal according to which we, as the Turkish Cypriot side, would only be informed and the Greek Cypriot administration together with Turkey would be participating to talks. In the proposal submitted by the Greek Cypriot side, it is mentioned that sharing of the natural gas would be on the basis of the population. The proposal of the Greek Cypriot side to Turkey was that the Turkish Cypriot side could be benefited on the population ration only if Turkey would recognized it’s Exclusive Economic Zone and withdrawn its ships”, Akinci claimed, supporting that their proposal is still on the table. “Our proposal was confronted positively by Europe and some other sides”, he claimed.
“We want to make it clear that in cooperation with Turkey, we will not sit and wait with our hands tied. If our proposal is seen positively, then we are ready together with Turkey to evaluate this issue”, Akinci further said, underlining that besides the hydrocarbon issue, they discussed in detail the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.
Referring to the recent contacts of the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute in the island, Akinci said: “There is not a done issue, but an important progress was achieved in several issues. Views may change but still with goodwill and patience, we want a solution that would not put into danger our political equality”, Akinci argued.
Underling that nothing has changed on the positions they have shared with Lute until so far, Akinci said that they have made it clear once again to Lute, that for them, the issue of the political equality and effective participation to decision making is a sine qua non. “The effective participation of both sides to decision making organs is very important. We want to remind that these were already part of past agreements and documents," he claimed.
Reiterating once again that the Turkish Cypriot side would not accept the resumption of a new stall negotiation process with the Greek Cypriot side that would be open-ended, Akinci expressed the view that the open-ended processes remained in the past. He alleged further that if a new process is to be launched, this should be result-oriented.
Regarding the possibility of a five-party conference to take place on the Cyprus problem, Akinci alleged that this was a proposal submitted first by Turkey. He claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side has seen this proposal positively and argued that he considers that the UN will confront this proposal in the same way. (…)
Under the title “Varosha”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Afrika (10.09.19), on its front page, reports that “everyone gazed Varosha…”, adding: “Mevlut Cavusoglu, like the other Turkish officials, who came and left the island, did not pass on the fenced-off Varosha either… Kudret Ozersay, who is showing around Varosha to everyone as a tour guide, escorted Cavusoglu too to Varosha tour”.
The paper also reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu visited yesterday the fenced-off Varosha with “deputy prime minister and foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay.
Cavusoglu, who held inspections at the fenced-off Varosha, was briefed by the military officials about the region. The Turkish “ambassador” to the occupied part of Nicosia Ali Murat Basceri was also present during the visit.
According to illegal Bayrak television (10.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=turkish-fm-cavusoglu-visited-pm-tatar), self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar met yesterday with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Speaking during the meeting, Cavusoglu said that “Turkey will increasingly continue to support the Turkish Cypriot people in every field as it has done so in the past”.
“We have been closely observing and supporting your close work with motherland Turkey on many issues including the financial protocol since you came to office. As the Foreign Ministry, we are providing the utmost support to the work you carry out with our Vice-President Fuat Oktay through our embassy here. We found the opportunity to discuss the Cyprus issue and the hydrocarbon issue in the Eastern Mediterranean with the president and the leaders of political parties during the meetings we held today. I consider the meetings as very fruitful. I was thinking about holding this visit for a long time and I think it is well-timed” Çavuşoğlu added.
Tatar, for his part, said the meeting was important as it had come at a time when a number of speculations were being made and developments were taking place on the Cyprus issue, adding: “The political equality or sovereign equality and the security of the Turkish Cypriot people were exceptionally important. There is no need to play dangerous games for the future without looking at history. We have been concerned about the statements made by the UN special envoy Lute and a number of speculations which had emerged”.
Tatar underlined the importance of expressing everything clearly and accurately before launching a new process, adding: “Our position on the statements delivered after Crans-Montana should be respected. We need to be very careful. We think that no step should be taken without consulting with Turkey. Turkey’s guarantee is important for the security of the Turkish Cypriot people”.
Referring to his “government’s” recent contacts in Turkey, Tatar noted that “efforts to allow the flow of funds within the framework of the Financial and Economic Protocol signed between the two countries continued”.
Tatar also stated that it was their primary goal to further strengthen the “TRNC” economically, to increase the prosperity of the people and to achieve economic stability.
He explained that construction of a water tunnel to supply water for agricultural purposes in “Güzelyurt” [occupied Morphou village] was also underway.
Tatar also expressed the hope that electricity will also be brought from Turkey via cable.
Touching upon the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tatar claimed that “Turkey’s active presence in the region showed the strength of the Turkish nation and created a balance in the area”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay (10.09.19) reports that Cemal Özyigit the leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) stated that the Turkish Cypriots should decide for their own future and added that this applies both for the Cyprus problem and other internal issues. “Intervention of any kind does not benefit anyone”, he said.
He also stated that the will of the “people” must be respected, especially as regards the Cyprus problem and added that the majority of the Turkish Cypriots supported the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, noting that this means that they also supported a federal solution.
Ozyigit also said that what must be done is not for the Turkish Cypriots to get involved into new adventures but the efforts for a bi-communal bi-zonal solution to be continued.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakış (10.09.19) reports that the member of the central committee of the New Cyprus Party (YKP) Alpay Durduran and the member of the Left Movement Abdullah Korkmazhan stated that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and the National Unity Party (UBP) are trying to undermine the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Durduran further stated that Turkey shows no respect either to the “state” or the community in “norther Cyprus” and added that it is a shame that UBP supports this.
On his part, Korkmazhan stated that efforts are exerted so that Akinci and his actions on a federal solution to be deactivated while at the same time the efforts for the continuation of the status quo are continuing. He also accused the ruling in Turkey Justice and Development Party (AKP) as well as UBP and the People’s Party of Kudret Ozersay that they try to make the new efforts for the Cyprus negotiation to fail.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (10.09.19) reports that the Trade Union Platform described Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu as “colony minister”. In a statement issued yesterday on behalf of the platform by Sener Elcil, general secretary of primary school teachers’ trade union, the organization commented on the statements made the day before yesterday by Cavusoglu during his visit to occupied Yalousa village, accompanied by Turkish “ambassador” to the occupied part of Nicosia, Ali Murat Basceri. Elcil noted that Cavusoglu’s statement “ignores the political will of the Turkish Cypriots” and “emphasizes that Turkey is the one that takes the decisions” in the occupied area of Cyprus.
“Cyprus is our homeland and our basic duty is to unite it, to oppose colonialists and to ask for peace and solution”, says the statement adding:
“The racist, discriminatory, anti-solution and insulting for the Turkish Cypriots statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during his visit to Karpasia like a colony minister show the real thoughts of AKP’s administrators’ regarding Cyprus. In these statements the political will of the Turkish Cypriots is ignored and it is emphasized that Turkey is the one that decides. Just like holding a meeting in Karpasia aimed at giving political messages to the Greek Cypriots, it also aimed at gathering votes for the parties created by the embassy of Turkey. By referring to ‘my citizens’, Cavusoglu states clearly that they spoiled the population structure in Cyprus and sees the persons from Turkey who have settled here as a political argument. He shows that the mentality of conqueror-colonialist is continued by Turkey in the 21st century ignoring the international law and in an EU territory. Opening a consulate in a building which belongs to Tel-Sen [Translator’s note: The so-called telecommunications authority] was materialized to show once more expansionism, colonialism and the fact that the Turkish Cypriot administrators are puppets.
It seems that Mr Cavusoglu has forgotten that the ‘responsibility of guarantees’ in the 1960 Republic of Cyprus Agreements guarantees the territorial integrity and the constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. […] With his statements regarding the guarantees, Mr Cavusoglu is trying to hide that he set eye on the island’s resources and that he wants the entire island. […]”
Writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (10.09.19), the paper’s publisher, Basaran Duzgun comments on the contacts held by Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu in the occupied area of Cyprus and reports that “President Erdogan and his men” were committing the mistake committed in the past by former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who had once said that Turkey would have interests in Cyprus even if a single Turkish Cypriot did not exist on the island. Under the title “Ecevit’s trauma and the heavy price which Cavusoglu’s way will cause”, Duzgun notes, inter alia, the following:
“[…] Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his men are committing now the same mistake. They are following a policy in the Cyprus problem in which the Turks of Cyprus are not a subject […] The latest example is what Foreign Minister Cavusoglu did. In Karpasia he gathered TRNC citizens from Turkey [whatever was the need for that] and talked strangely. ‘Those who oppose Turkey’s guarantees are committing treason’, he said. Who says this? Turkey’s Foreign Minister who is accused, by many countries in the world, including the Greek Cypriots, of being an occupier. It was the same Minister of Foreign Affairs who replied to questions regarding the guarantees at the recent summit in Crans Montana by saying: ‘Why you are asking us? Ask the Turkish Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots are the ones who want us to be guarantors’. Moreover, during that summit, he had made an opening and limited the guarantees to some period and suggested that it could be degraded even to being a police force. Very well, what happened today and those who debate the guarantees became traitors? Ecevit’s trauma rose from the grave again. The price for this will be heavy”.
Moreover, writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (10.09.19), the paper’s director, Cenk Mutluyakali comments on the same issue and reports that in his statement Cavusoglu had actually said that “the terms of reference will be determined in our presence” and that this would happen in a five-party summit and not in a tripartite meeting. “This is the summary of the entire day”, notes the columnist.
Commenting on Cavusoglu’s statement that “we should decide together what we will be negotiating in a five plus the UN format”, Mutluyakali writes that Cavusoglu had clearly said that “you the Cypriot leaders cannot decide alone”.
“Another ‘summary’ exists. The Republic of Cyprus has a say in the south and Turkey in the north”, argues the columnist, who commenting on Cavusoglu’s visit to occupied villages and the statement that “we are briefed on what services the Turkish Cypriot people expect”, notes that Cavusoglu did not care anymore if there was an “administration” in the occupied area of Cyprus and that the Turkish Cypriot politicians remained silent to this behavior.
The columnist concludes by saying: “There is a more important allegation of course. While UN Special Advisor for Cyprus Lute was holding contacts with the Cypriot leaders, the TRNC foreign minister sent a letter to Turkey, they say. He demanded ‘urgent interference’. By Turkey. To his own leader. ‘This cannot happen’, I think. I hope it is denied. […] Personally, I believe that the solution in Cyprus could be achieved ‘in spite of the guarantors’. Maybe I am wrong. However, I can say my view with courage and sincerity. I wish our political actors could achieve this as well”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (10.09.19) reports that Serdar Denktas decided to resign from the leadership of the Democratic Party (DP).
According to a statement issued by his party, Denktas will act as the leader of DP until the party’s general assembly which will be held on November 30. Denktas did not make any statement as regards his candidacy for the “presidential elections”, writes the paper.
In addition, Havadis (10.09.19), reports that Denktas stated that he said several times that he will resign from the leadership of DP and added that he resigned in order to give the chance to other persons who want to be candidates for this post. “I do not want to be the Eroglu in my party” he stated. Asked about the possibility to be a candidate in the “presidential elections of 2020”, Denktas said that he has not decided on the issue yet and added that his decision to resign was taken in the framework he mentioned above.
Commenting on the same issue, Yeni Bakis (10.09.19) writes that Denktas is getting ready for the “presidential elections”. The paper further writes that Denktas told members of his party that he is not leaving politics but he will continue following a new road.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.09.19) reports that the “Turkish Cypriot red crescent” in a written statement called on the International Red Cross Committee to recognize the “TRNC’s red crescent”.
The “Turkish Cypriot red crescent” accuses the International Red Cross Committee of not following the principle of partiality and condemns the fact that their application for being recognized by the International Red Cross Committee has not become accepted.
The statement adds that the “Turkish Cypriot red crescent” would organize a meeting in occupied Keryneia on September 24-25 where Red Cross and Red Crescent Associations from more than 50 countries would be invited, with the aim to call on the International Red Cross Committee to recognize the “TRNC’s red crescent”.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Afrika (10.09.19) reports that the “objection by the prosecution office on the caricature case, who was resulted with acquitment, went to the appeal court”.
According to the paper, “the appeal will be discussed at the supreme court on October 30 in Nicosia and the lawyers Tacan Reynar and Mine Atli will defend the columnists and the paper at the appeal, as they did at the lower court”.
The paper further reports as follows: “The court has acquitted us at the caricature case, which was opened with a demand of the embassy [translator’s note: the illegal Turkish embassy in the occupied area of Cyprus] and the statement of the Turkish Minister responsible for Cyprus Affairs Recep Akdag ‘I will do personally whatever is needed in order to be sentenced’ regarding Erdogan’s caricature which we published. The office of the chief prosecutor objected to the acquitment and appealed. The case will be discussed at the appeal court on October 30”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (10.09.19) reports that the the so-called Turkish Cypriot Security Forces ("GKK") announced that the “TCG Canakkale submarine” will be open for public visits in the port of occupied Keryneia today and tomorrow in specific hours. The submarine has anchored in the occupied port of Keryneia in the framework of the “Mediterranean Shield Action”.
According to Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet Daily News (10.09.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/fm-cavusoglu-says-washington-is-stalling-syria-safe-zone-process-146456), Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on September 10 that Washington is stalling the implementation of an agreement to create a "safe zone" in northern Syria.
Speaking to reporters at a news conference in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said that the United States' approach to the safe zone agreement has been unsatisfactory and that the steps it has taken have only been "cosmetic”.
“The U.S. did not keep its promise in northern Syria, including Manbij roadmap, due to its engagement with PKK/YPG terror group, the steps taken or said to have been taken are cosmetic steps,” he said. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (09.09.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/09/09/fm-cavusoglu-discusses-syria-with-russian-counterpart), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu discussed Syria's Idlib and the Astana process with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov over the phone, Foreign Ministry sources said Monday.
The two Ministers also focused on the establishment of a constitutional committee in Syria, sources added.
According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (10.09.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-germany-relations-improving-turkish-official/1577335), Turkey and Germany are working in good faith to improve bilateral relations, Ankara’s Deputy Foreign Minister said on Monday.
“Relations between Turkey and Germany have been normalized, we can safely say this. But normalization is not enough for us. We should further improve our ties,” Faruk Kaymakci told reporters at the end of a two-day visit to Berlin. Kaymakci said officials were planning high-level visits, including a possible visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel to Turkey in the near future. (…)
Kaymak said the two countries would focus on common interests and work on concrete proposals to enhance cooperation in various fields, including economy and trade.
He said migration and the EU-Turkey refugee agreement are among key areas where the two countries have close cooperation. “Turkey has so far spent $40 billion for Syrian refugees. Although the EU has pledged €6 billion ($6.6 billion) for Syrian refugees in Turkey, so far it spent only €2.1 billion. We expect from the EU to increase its contribution, and speed up procedures for funding,” he added.
According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (09.09.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkish-firms-have-advantages-for-us-companies/1577145), this is the right time to invest in the U.S., and Turkish firms are more advantageous than Chinese firms for U.S. companies, according to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Cooperation between governments is not enough, the public sectors should collaborate, he stressed during a weekend meeting organized by the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAIK) and Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK).
He also said over 1,700 U.S. companies are active in Turkey and this situation has opportunities for enriching bilateral relations.
The goal of reaching $100 billion in trade between the U.S. and Turkey should be contributed halfway by both countries, he said.
Nail Olpak, the head of DEIK, said: "Although there have been some issues between the two countries of late, the trade volume posted an increase."
DEIK prepared a report on the $100 billion trade target with the coordination of the Turkish Trade Ministry and sent it to the U.S. side, said Olpak.
Since arriving in Turkey on Sept. 6, Ross has met with several business associations in the financial hub Istanbul such as the DEIK, TAIK and the Turkish Industry and Business Association.
He met with Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak on Monday and he will meet with his Turkish counterpart Ruhsar Pekcan in Ankara on Tuesday.
In 2018 Turkish-U.S. trade was around $20.6 billion -- including $8.3 billion in exports from Turkey -- according to TurkStat, the Turkish Statistical Institute.
According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (10.09.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/09/10/opinion-poll-shows-turkeys-chp-as-leading-party-for-first-time-in-years/), Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has emerged as the leading party in a recent opinion poll for the first time in years, leaving the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has been in power since 2002, behind, according to the polling company’s owner.
The poll was conducted by the Eurasia Public Research Center (AKAM) between Sept.1 and 7. AKAM’s owner, Kemal Özkiraz, announced in a series of tweets on Monday that the CHP came in as the leading party for the first time in years. It was followed by the AKP, then the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the İYİ (Good) Party.
Özkiraz said the poll was conducted without taking the new political parties in consideration that are planned to be established by two former AKP heavyweights, former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and former deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.
According to Özkiraz, the AKP lost significant support due to its stance on the results of the March 31 local elections in İstanbul, which was won by CHP candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu. (…) A repeat election was held in İstanbul on June 23, as a result of which İmamoğlu won by a larger margin.
“If the June 23 election had been a general election, the voters would have reacted in the same way across the country. The perception of illegality led the AKP to lose votes everywhere,” he tweeted.
Before the March 31 election in İstanbul, AKAM accurately predicted that İmamoğlu would receive 44% of the vote while AKP candidate Binali Yıldırım would receive 42%.
For June 23, AKAM predicted that İmamoğlu would receive 53% of the vote, although he actually garnered 54%. The details of the poll will be made public at a later date.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION