Turkish Cypriot newspaper KıbrısPostası (08.10.19) reports that Hasan Tacoy, self-styled minister of economy and energy in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the project for interconnecting the electricity networks in the occupied area of Cyprus and Turkey was gaining more importance with the investments made in the occupied area in the field of renewable energy and therefore they should invite tenders the latest by January for interconnecting their electricity networks.
Addressing yesterday the 10th Turkey Energy Summit in Antalya, Tacoy said that their stance on this issue was clear and that “electricity will definitely come to Cyprus”.
Referring to the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tacoy alleged that in spite of all warnings, the “Greek Cypriot administration”, as he described the Republic of Cyprus, continued what he called its “illegal” tenders in parcels where the Turkish Cypriots also have rights.
“This is a policy of tension and non-solution. The necessary steps were taken against this policy of tension and non-solution”, he claimed and recalled that Turkish Yavuz vessel has started drilling in parcel 7 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone. He alleged that those who thought that the “TRNC” was alone and did not take “Turkey’s power in the area seriously” would “get their answer in the language they understood”.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Tacoy alleged that the federal solution model had “bumped against the wall” and that new ideas should be discussed. He reiterated the Turkish allegation that the Greek Cypriots do not accept the Turkish Cypriots as their equals and argued that it did not seem that they would accept them. He claimed:
“[…] There is the wish for starting a new process through the UN. International pressures are exerted on the UNSG to carry out a three-party meeting with the leaders. As Turkey says, first we want to know what we will be discussing. We think that it would be right for us to start after this. […] I want to address the Greek Cypriots and the international powers from here, from guarantor motherland Turkey. The Turks of Cyprus will never abandon Turkey’s effective and active guarantees. Turkey’s guarantees brought tranquillity to the island after 1974. […]”
Under the title “Yavuz started drilling”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Vatan (08.10.19) reports that Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, during his address at the Turkey Energy Summit held in Antalya yesterday, reiterated that “they, as Turkey, are in the Mediterranean and they will continue to protect the rights of the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriots until the end”, adding that no one can prevent Turkey’s determination in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Claiming that the rights of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean are documented with the UN, Donmez further argued: “We shall not allow energy piracy in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is not a country that can be pushed aside in this region. We shall continue to pursue our rights stemming from international law. No power can prevent us from our activities. We will search, research and if there is, we will find it. We have ships, which are upgraded with domestic technology and Turkish engineers, who work hard for the bright future of our nation day and night. (…) Where once, Turkey did not have neither the financial nor the technical infrastructure, now it is trying to buy a third ship besides the other two drilling vessels and no one can usurp its rights in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey is the only country with four liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the Eastern Mediterranean region, the Middle East and Europe.”
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (08.10.19), the “parliamentary immunity” of former “prime minister” and “deputy” with the United National Party (UBP) Huseyin Ozgurgun was lifted by a majority of votes yesterday in the “parliamentary assembly, after the hearing of the ad-hoc committee report”.
The paper further reports that “41 deputies from National Unity Party (UBP), Republican Turkish Party (CTP), People’s Party (HP) and Communal Democracy Party (TDP) voted in favour of the motion to lift Ozgurgun’s parliamentary immunity. Two deputies from the Revival party (YDP) voted against it and seven deputies including all three from the Democratic Party (DP) were absent.”
“The parliamentary assembly opened the way for judicial proceedings to be launched against Ozgurgun”, the paper further reports.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (08.10.19) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will brief the Turkish Cypriot political parties “that are represented in the parliament” about his contacts in New York.
In the meeting, which will take place Thursday morning at the “presidential palace”, the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot political parties will participate.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (08.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-presidency-submits-motion-on-iraq-syria-147241) reports that the Turkish Presidency on Oct. 7 submitted a motion to the Parliament to extend the state's authority to launch cross-border military operations in northern Iraq and Syria for one more year.
The motion, which was submitted by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, had previously allowed the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations from Oct. 30, 2018 until Oct. 30, 2019.
The motion stated that Turkey attaches great importance to the protection of Iraq's territorial integrity, national unity and stability. "However, the existence of PKK and Daesh in Iraq poses a direct threat to regional peace, stability and the security of our country," it added, using the Arabic acronym of ISIL.
Meanwhile, the motion also said that Turkey has continued security activities east of the Euphrates, “in line with its legitimate security interest”.
During the parliamentary session, the Deputies will debate whether the same motion should be extended, or a new motion should be drafted.
The Presidency also submitted a motion calling for extending the deployment of Turkish troops to the Central African Republic (CAR) and Mali as part of a UN-approved EU peacekeeping mission. The extensions will be effective as of Oct. 31, 2019 for another year.
The Parliament will debate both motions on Oct 8.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-all-set-for-safe-zone-operation-defense-ministry-147239) reports that Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Oct. 8 that Turkey is ready for a possible military operation east of the Euphrates River in Syria to establish a safe zone.
“The establishment of a Safe Zone/Peace Corridor is essential for Syrians to have a safe life by contributing to the stability and peace of our region,” the Ministry said on Twitter.
“Turkish Security Forces will never tolerate the creation of a terror corridor at our borders. All preparations for the operation have been completed,” it added.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been facing mounting pressure in Washington after the White House announced late on Oct. 7 that the U.S. would pull back its forces in Syria ahead of a "long-planned" Turkish operation.
The Trump administration has ruled out any U.S. support for the mission, and in the face of significant pushback, the President vowed "If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey."
Turkey has long called for the U.S. to collaborate with it in the fight against ISIL, a terrorist group Ankara has worked to root out, arresting and deporting its members within Turkey.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (07.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-troops-retreat-from-n-syria-has-begun-erdogan-147193) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Oct. 7 that Ankara was ready to launch military operations against the People’s Protection Unit (YPG) in the east of the Euphrates in northern Syria “at any moment” following the U.S. announcement that it would not stand in the way.
“We have made a decision. We said ‘one night we could come suddenly.’ We continue our determination,” Erdogan told reporters before his departure for Serbia.
“It is absolutely out of the question for us to further tolerate the threats from these terrorist groups,” he said, referring to the YPG.
Erdogan also said the U.S. troops have started withdrawing from positions in northern Syria. “The withdrawal [of the U.S] began after our conversation [with Trump] at night,” Erdoğan said, referring to his phone call with the U.S. President Donald Trump late on Oct. 6.
Turkish Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.10.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/turkiye/yavuzdan-3-ay-icinde-netice-almayi-bekliyoruz/1604950) reports that Alparslan Bayraktar, Turkish Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, has said that they were expecting results within three months from the drilling carried out by Yavuz vessel in [Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone] in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Addressing yesterday the opening ceremony of a meeting under the title “Commercialization of Eastern Mediterranean Gas” held within the framework of the 10th Turkey Energy Summit in Antalya, Bayraktar argued that Turkey was carrying out a very “serious commercial and technical operation” in the Eastern Mediterranean and added that they would definitely implement practices which reduce the country’s dependency on foreign sources in the field of natural gas and oil.
Noting that pressure was exerted on the foreign companies from which the Turkish drilling ships were receiving services during their operations in the Mediterranean, Bayraktar said: “Unfortunately, some companies are succumbing to these pressures, they are leaving us alone, but Turkey is continuing these activities together with all its stakeholders with great determination”.
He argued that, in spite of the companies which withdrew their cooperation, Turkey was continuing successfully its operations in the Eastern Mediterranean and added: “Yavuz drilling vessel will start its activities at the Guzelyurt – 1 well today [Translator’s note: Guzelyurt is the name given by the Turks to occupied Morfou]. God willing, if there is no misfortune, we are expecting to have a result within three months from these works”.
Noting that long-lasting efforts were exerted before the above-mentioned work, Bayraktar claimed: “We have a planning which first started with seismic [explorations], then continued with a drilling and I hope with the production together with the discovery of gas and afterwards with the transfer of this gas to Turkey. As our esteemed minister said, if there is something here, we will find it. We need to continue our efforts”.
Arguing that Turkey was continuing discussions with countries and companies, which respected its position in the area and wanted to become partners with it, Bayraktar gave details regarding their meetings for cooperation and added:
“There is nothing such as Turkey remaining alone in the area. Turkey is continuing meetings with the actors in the area. It is continuing meetings with actors who want to enter into the area. The fact that the companies, which show interest for this place, see a commercial possibility in the aforementioned areas and make a positive evaluation is important. That is, perhaps if the position of a company is not sufficient for an investment in the Mediterranean, it is not possible for us to reach anywhere with this company, but our meetings continue with companies which are considering entering into the Mediterranean and becoming active in the fields for which Turkey possesses a license. […]”.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (07.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/main-opposition-chp-slams-govt-operation-in-n-syria-147232) reported that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) spokesperson Faik Öztrak on Oct. 7 slammed the government’s decision to launch a new military operation into the east of Euphrates River in northern Syria.
“The [government] is unable to rule the country. They have brought the economy to ruins: our country is being scattered. They are looking for a way out and do not abstain from driving [Turkey] to the Middle East swamp,” Öztrak said during a press conference in Ankara.
“The government has been talking about an operation into the east of Euphrates for some time”, Öztrak added.
CHP’s group Deputy chairmen and Central Executive Board Members held a meeting, headed by the party’s leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, on Oct. 7 morning, Öztrak conveyed.
“We see that after the phone conversation that took place between the White House, a secret agreement has been made regarding the planned operation towards the east of Euphrates, with the U.S. administration,” Öztrak said.
Öztrak claimed that the United States approved of such an operation in exchange for Turkey “keeping watch on the ISIL terrorists” in the region.
“The U.S. President overtly confesses this,” the Spokesperson said, referring to the White House statement, which included United States’ demands towards certain European nations, who refused to take back captured ISIL terrorists.
The CHP has been advising the government to ameliorate relations with Syria, Öztrak added.
“We are for the interests of our soldiers and nation. The shortest way to peace in Syria passes through the road from Ankara to Damascus,” he added.
(…)“Are the guns handed over to the terrorists going to turn to our soldiers? [The government] is getting prepared to leave a bigger burden on our nation’s shoulders,” he added.
Meanwhile, CHP group deputy chairman Engin Özkoç on Oct. 7 criticized the new planned operation over Twitter.
“The U.S. is opening an amorphous area to Turkey. It is leaving the ISIL, which itself and the EU failed to clean out, to us. We should not forget that we are under threat from many fronts,” Özkoç said.
“Our heroic soldiers should not be pushed to the Middle East swamp, for the sake of future of politics,” he said.
Moreover, Hakkı Saruhan Oluç, the group Deputy chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), criticized the planned operation, saying it will not bring peace to the region.
“The military operation to be performed in northern and eastern Syria will not bring tranquility, peace and democracy to this region,” Oluç told journalists in the parliament.
The solution for the region could be found “with democracy, human rights and rule of law,” he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (07.10.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-open-consulate-general-in-serbias-novi-pazar-147238) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Oct. 7 that Turkey will open a consulate general in Serbia's Novi Pazar city.
"Today, we are taking another historic step within the context of our bilateral relations. Serbia responded positively to Turkey's demand of opening a consulate general in Novi Pazar," Erdogan said at a news conference along with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic after co-chairing a Turkey-Serbia High-Level Cooperation Council meeting in Serbia.
Erdoğan said his meeting with Vucic was "very fruitful" and the leaders set "new goals" in their bilateral relations.
“Bilateral trade volume between Ankara and Belgrade reaches $1.2 billion”, Erdogan noted and urged Turkish firms to increase investments in Serbia, supporting that relations with Serbia were at the best level in history.
Erdoğan's remarks came before his two-day visit to Serbia where he will mark the 140th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Turkey and Serbia.
Erdogan pointed out that Turkey's investments in Serbia rose for the last two years.
"I paid a visit to Serbia two years ago, almost on the same dates, which gave momentum to our relations. I will hold the second meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council, which was established during that visit," said Erdoğan.
"We will have the opportunity to evaluate what we have done for the last two years and set new targets," he added.
Erdogan further said that Turkey supports Serbia's economic development efforts and the EU accession process, adding that if prosperity and peace continue in Serbia, this will have positive repercussions for the whole region.
Referring to the economic development between the two countries, Erdoğan said that together with Vucic they have encouraged Turkish businesspersons and investors to expand their business in Serbia.
(…) Erdogan pointed out that Turkish investments in Serbia have risen from only $1 million in 2011 to $200 million in 2018 and provided employment for approximately 8,000 people in the country. "Our companies have investments in Serbia in many sectors such as textile and garment, automotive supplier industry, machinery, banking, tourism. The number of Turkish companies operating in Serbia was around 130 in 2015, and it has already exceeded 800," said Erdogan.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION