Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (22.10.19) reports that yesterday the so-called “supreme court” in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus rejected with majority the appeal filed by Greek Cypriots against the decision of the “lower court”, which argued that the properties in occupied Famagusta belonged to EVKAF religious foundation. In its decision, the “supreme court” said that the appeal of the Greek Cypriots should have been filed six months after the decision of the “lower court”, but it was submitted after this time period passed and this is why it was rejected.
Moreover, the “supreme court” suggests to the “Immovable Properties Commission” that it should take as basis the title deeds’ records of 1974 when it decides. It also suggests that the “Commission” did not have the power to examine whether any “irregularity” had taken place before 1974. The minority of the “court”, however, decided that whether “irregularities” took place should be examined. The decision of the majority was read by Narin Ferdi Sefik, “chairperson” of the “supreme court”. The decision of the minority was read by “judge” Gulden Ciftcioglu.
Murat Hakki, lawyer of the plaintiffs, told the paper that the process from now on would be related to how the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) would interpret and perceive this decision, adding that “if the decision of the majority is taken as basis and is implemented by the Commission, it could be said that the way will open for the Commission to become an effective local remedy for Varosha”.
Engin Ulunay, EVKAF’s lawyer, told the paper that the decision of the majority of the “supreme court” was not binding, “because the decisions which bind the Commission are the decisions of the supreme administrative court”. “This has the character of a conclusion”, he argued.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (22.10.19) reports that the “court’s” decision “satisfied both the EVKAF and the Greek Cypriot plaintiff”. Pointing out that the “court” convened under the presidency of Narin Sefik, the paper writes that the “court” rejected unanimously the appeal against the decision taken by occupied Famagusta “district court” in 2005, which claimed that Varosha was EVKAF property. “However, some issues pointed out by the court caused debates”, notes the paper.
Stelios Ioannou, owner of Argo Hotel in Varosha, had filed an application in 2017 against the above mentioned decision of the “district court”, notes the paper adding that Ioannou’s application was rejected in 2018 and then he filed an appeal during the same year. This appeal was rejected yesterday.
According to the paper, while some said that the decision taken yesterday by the “court” was against EVKAF, as it suggested that the Commission should take as basis the title deeds of 1974 when it decides, EVKAF’s director Ibrahim Benter said that they welcomed the decision. He claimed the following:
“As it is remembered, the wish of the Greek Cypriots was to annul the declaratory judgement of 2005. The court did not annul it. This is the first issue. The second issue is the opening of the way for the people, that is, the Greek Cypriots, to apply to the Immovable Property Commission. When they apply, the Commission will take into consideration the title deeds of 1974. That is, as [there are] two decisions, it is a little bit of a contradictory situation. […] We want the Immovable Property Commission to work. Anyway, there is a system here for the Greek Cypriots to pursue their rights. We want this to work. […] Let them come and search for their rights and we will also go and say what we have to say, because we are also a party [Translator’s note: In these proceedings]. Let the court decide who is right”.
Illegal Bayrak (22.10.19 https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akar-says-turkey-will-protect-trncs-rights) reports that Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that “Turkey as a guarantor state will continue to protect the rights of the TRNC”.
“TRNC cannot be left out of the energy equation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Akar said as he addressed the TRT World Forum yesterday.
The Turkish Defence Minister pointed out that international interest in the region had increased due to the hydrocarbon resources. “Turkey at this point will be protecting its legitimate rights and interests as well as its continental shelf,” Akar concluded.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberci (22.10.19) under the front-page title: “Akinci could not establish dialogue with Turkey” reports on statements by former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in an exclusive interview to the paper’s columnist, Dilek Kirici.
In his statements, Talat described as “unsuccessful” Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s “term in the presidency of the TRNC”, supporting that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) will not support him in the forthcoming “presidential elections”. Talat supported further that Akinci had cut all ties with Turkey and claimed that the deterioration of ties between Turkey and the “TRNC” is due to the lack of dialogue. “The Turkish Cypriot leader should have been extremely active; he should have established a dialogue with all countries that could be effective on the Cyprus problem, such as Turkey, the EU and the UN. I consider that the CTP is leaning towards supporting its own candidate in the elections. There is a decision of the party’s organs on this issue. They would not support the current president”, Talat alleged.
Asked to reply why he considers Akinci “unsuccessful”, Talat said that the current conditions are worse than ever. “The current conditions are very bad. We have returned years back when the sides were following the policy of accusations. The UN’s Secretary General is exerting efforts to do things but the sides cannot be synchronized. In order for a solution to be able to be found, there should be a clear approach between the Turkish Cypriot side, the UN, Greece and the Greek Cypriot side. Under the current conditions, there is not even a clear approach between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side. The Turkish side and the TRNC’s government speak about two states and confederation. The Turkish Cypriot leader under the position of the president speaks about federation. There is chaos right now. And if the same president is elected again, this chaos would continue. It is a precondition that any agreement to be found and carry the signature of Turkey, should be in accordance with international law. It is not possible for any agreement to be reached without Turkey”, Talat argued.
Referring to the period of his “term in office”, Talat claimed that comparing with Akinci’s term, when he was “president” he had the support of Turkey on his efforts and the policy he followed.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkın Sesi (22.10.19) reports that a “memorandum” for the “draft law on gambling games”, which includes an amendment as regards the increase to 30 years of the period for which the “council of ministers” could renew the license of the casinos in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, was approved yesterday in the “assembly” with the positive votes of the National Unity Party (UBP), the People’s Party (HP) and the Democratic Party (DP).
Self-styled minister of finance Amcaoglu said that three investors were waiting to make an investment and added: “The country has not the luxury to ignore these investments. This arrangement is for them. It is a demand of the enterprises”.
Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister, stated that big investors in the corridors of the “ministries” and the “assembly” were asking when they would be able to invest. Claiming that investors had become “beggars”, Tatar argued that they should not put obstacles to the investments.
Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) said that such an arrangement would open the door for granting licenses to casinos without a limit.
Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), noted that investments in the occupied area of Cyprus had been identified with casinos.
Erhan Arikli, chairman of the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP), warned that the “draft law” would result in money laundering.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs (21.10.19) reports that according to an opinion poll conducted by the Center for Migration, Identity and Rights' Studies (CMIRS), as regards the possible candidates for the forthcoming “presidential elections” of April 2020, Akinci, Erhurman and Hasipoglu are leading the race.
In the opinion poll conducted in September 2019, the name of the “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP) Oguzhan Hasipoglu was included in the opinion poll, as a candidate of UBP, since his name was mention at backstage after the statements of UBP’s leader, Ersin Tatar that he was not going to be a candidate for the party. CMIRS chairman Mine Yucel stated that Tatar’s name was included in the opinion poll conducted in June 2019 adding that Tatar received in that poll 10%.
The names included in the current poll were Mustafa Akinci, Tufan Erhurman, Oguzhan Hasipoglu, Kudret Ozersay, Serdar Denktas and Erhan Arikli. The percentage of those stating that they would not vote, or that they are undecided or that they would vote for another candidate who was not included in the list was up to 28,6%, compared to 20% at the last opinion poll conducted three months ago.
First in the preference of respondents was Akinci with 31,8%, compared to 33% that he received in the opinion poll conducted three months ago. Second comes Erhurman with 17% compared to 16%, third comes Hasipoglu with 8,12% and third comes Denktas who increased his percentage to 7.8% compared to 6,8%. Ozersay, who received 4,8% in the current opinion poll scored the biggest loss in his support since he received 11,4% in the previous opinion poll of CMIRS conducted three months ago. Finally Arikli,[Tr. Note: The leader of the settlers party] received 1,8% compared to 2,2 % that he received in the last opinion poll.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (22.10.19) reports that Aysegul Baybars, self-styled minister of interior of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the “regulation on residence and visas” could not be prepared having in mind only the citizens of a particular country.
Baybars made these statements speaking yesterday at the so-called assembly, where she said that the “regulation” was not made having in mind only the Turkish citizens living in the breakaway regime. She said that there is an agreement with Turkey on the issue and that the position of the Turkish citizens will be regulated following a circular note.
Also speaking at the “assembly” as well, Erhan Arikli the leader of the Revival Party (YDP) [Tr. Note: The party of the settlers], stated that there are reactions from “various circles” against the “regulation” and claimed that the “government” promised to solve the “anomalies” that occurred. He also claimed that the “regulation” is against “international agreements” signed with Turkey and said that one-sided arraignments cannot be done. He also said that “serious disturbance” will take place in case the “regulations” ae not re-examined by the “council of ministers”.
In addition, the paper further reports that the deputy chairman of the YDP Bertan Zaroglu also criticized the “regulation” asking for its postponement until a new arrangement is made.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (22.10.19) reports that according to a booklet prepared by the Turkish Cypriot “building contractors’ union”, a steady increase was observed in the construction files in the occupied area of Cyprus during the period 2013-2018. The booklet includes data obtained from the “district offices”, the “municipalities” and the “public improvement units”. The number of the construction files was 2,092 in 2013 and increased to 2,873 in 2018. During the above-mentioned period, the total number of the construction files reached 14,179.
According to the paper, 12,804 of these investments (86,46%) were residences, 1,586 (10,69%) were commercial investments, 65 (0,42%) were investments in tourism and recreation, nine (0,06%) were investments in the field of health, 32 (0,21%) were investments in the field of education, 104 (0,69%) were investments in the field of industry, 14 (0,09%) were “public” investments and 194 (1,29%) were investments in building swimming pools.
From the point of view of their height, 49% of the buildings are at the level of the ground floor, 34% at the level of two floors and 17% varied between three and twelve floors.
According to Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (22.10.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/10/22/turkey-russia-on-same-page-regarding-anti-terror-fight-erdogan-says), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking to reporters at Esenboğa Airport in Ankara ahead of his official visit to Russian Black Sea city of Sochi on Tuesday, said that Turkey and Russia are on the same page regarding the will to eliminate terrorism, as he strongly opposed the extension of the 120-hour pause in northern Syria agreed as part of a deal reached with the U.S. to allow the withdrawal of the PKK-linked terrorists.
Noting that his Russian counterpart supports Turkey's stance regarding the elimination of terror threat along the border, Erdoğan said: "Turkey and Russia are on the same page regarding the elimination of terrorism". (…)
In response to a question about French President Emanuel Macron's request for the extension of the 120-hour pause of Operation Peace Spring, Erdoğan said it is out of the question.
"No request for an extension was directed to me. We made this deal with the U.S., not France. Macron holds these kinds of talks with terrorists anyway," Erdoğan said and added that he currently does not plan to meet with Macron.
"Right now there's no plan to meet with Macron, Merkel and Johnson, but I conveyed one condition — holding the summit in Istanbul or (Syrian border cities of) Şanlıurfa or Gaziantep," he added.
Erdoğan is visiting Russia upon President Vladimir Putin's invitation for a working visit. Turkey and Russia are part of the Astana trio with Iran. (…)
According to Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet Daily News (21.10.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-take-necessary-steps-in-syria-after-meeting-with-putin-erdogan-147763), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct.21 said that Turkey will take necessary steps in northern Syrian after his scheduled meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on Oct. 22. “As you know, there is a pause of 120 hours. A major part of [the period] has ended. Tomorrow [on Oct. 22] we have a visit to Russia, Sochi,” Erdoğan said during a speech at the TRT World Forum in the Istanbul metropolis.
“In this trip, Mr. Putin and I will tackle the period and will hopefully take the necessary steps,” he added. (…)
Erdoğan reiterated that Turkey will not make a deal with “terrorist organizations”, accusing Western states of “siding with terrorists”. “We have not and will never sit at the same table with terrorists. Others may do it; it’s not our business, but it is significant to see where international politics, law of war and the fight against terrorism have come”, he said. (…)
Erdoğan also said that sending 30,000 trucks of arms and weapons via Iran to terrorist organizations in northern Syria is “inexplicable”. (…)
“The West sided with terrorists, and all of them attacked us. These include NATO countries as well as European Union counties. Weren’t you against terrorism? Since when have you been acting with them?” Erdoğan added, addressing the Western circles.
Countries which are “truly against terrorists” should provide proof, Erdoğan said. “Leave your filters aside; be clear, transparent and voluntary.”
“Those thinking that the terror and refugee problems will remain limited within Turkey, instead of empathizing with us, are mistaken,” he said.
Erdoğan suggested that international organizations such as the United Nations should be “restructured”. “The world is not the same as it was after the First World War. Then, a reform needs to be implemented,” he said.
Turkey is pulling out all the stops to fulfil its responsibility across the world, according to Erdoğan. “Some countries have a free hand in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa for other intentions, but we are there for its brothers and sisters,” he said, claiming that Turkey has no interest in other countries’ territories.
Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, who also attended the forum, said that Turkey’s goals are to protect its borders, prevent a terror corridor in northern Syria and ensure safe return of displaced Syrians. "As long as the YPG/PKK is active in Syria, neither that country nor the region can reach permanent peace, security and stability," he claimed. (…)
"In the meantime, regrettably and deplorably, YPG/PKK received substantial material support from our allies. Each weapon handed over to YPG/PKK ended up in the hands of the PKK ready to be turned on Turkey - a fellow NATO member", he argued. (…)
Referring to Turkey’s recent deal with the U.S. on northern Syria, the Defence Minister said: "Implementation of the agreement is critical and we are watching closely to make sure all of the conditions are met. If the withdrawal is completed on time, the operation will be halted".
In the meantime, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, speaking also at the TRT World Forum on Oct. 21, said that "Operation Peace Spring" will resume if the YPG/PKK terror group does not withdraw within 35 hours. "If all the YPG/PKK elements withdraw from this region, we can halt the operation", he added. (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency (21.10.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/italy-favoring-arms-embargo-disappoints-turkey/1621639), Italy's attitude towards Turkey's anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria is disappointing, according to Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Criticizing Italy's statements on a proposed arms embargo on Turkey, Cavusoglu said: "Some statements coming from Italy regarding the imposition of an arms embargo on Turkey are unacceptable", adding that Turkey is "very sad" that Italy is in the forefront of European countries pushing for an embargo.
"We expect more solidarity and support from the Italian government against the PYD/YPG terror group", he stressed, referring to the Syrian branch of the “terrorist” PKK.
Claiming that Turkey is carrying out Operation Peace Spring to eliminate the YPG/PKK threat to Turkey's national security, Cavusoglu argued that the operation is in line with Article 51 of the UN Charter, which concerns the right to self-defence.
Cavusoglu called on Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to take the necessary steps to prevent a deterioration in ties and cooperation between the two countries. (…)
According to Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (21.10.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/2019/10/21/turkey-managing-migration-not-blocking-it-interior-minister-says), Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, speaking at an international workshop on migration on Monday, claimed that Turkey treats the issue of migration as a humanitarian phenomenon that needs to be managed rather than blocked.
"In order to manage it, one needs to understand why people migrate," Soylu said, as he pointed to discrepancies in the income of the working class in southeastern Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Soylu noted that Turkey's Coast Guard plays an important role in managing migration by saving lives at sea. (…)
Meanwhile, Soylu said Turkey has deported some 75,172 people since January and expects this number to reach 95,000 by the end of the year. At least 4,407 irregular migrants were held across Turkey over the past week, according to security sources. As many as 1,916 migrants were held in multiple operations carried out by gendarmerie forces in the northwestern Edirne province, bordering Greece and Bulgaria. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkey’s state news agency (21.10.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/safe-zone-in-nsyria-to-allow-2m-syrians-return-home/1621432) reports that Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay, speaking at Yildiz Teknik University in Istanbul on Monday, said that the planned safe zone in northern Syria will allow nearly two million Syrian refugees to return to their homes. He claimed that “Turkey cleared 65 Syrian settlements, including district centres of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn, of terrorists during its counter-terrorism offensive in northern Syria”.
“The terrorists will abandon the area by leaving their arms until the 120-hour pause of Ankara's counter-terror offensive ends”, Oktay said, and stressed: "They have no other choice."
Oktay said that “Turkey provides all basic services such as health, education, housing, road, electricity, and water to Syrian people resettled in areas liberated from terrorism after Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists since 2016”.
The senior official also claimed that Turkey makes and will make all kinds of contributions to a solution based on the territorial integrity and political unity of Syria. (…)
According to Turkish news portal Ahval 22.10.19, https://ahvalnews.com/dismissed-kurdish-mayors/turkey-dismisses-four-kurdish-mayors-terror-charges), Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Monday removed four district mayors from office in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır and Van, independent news site T24 reported.
Three district mayors in Diyarbakır from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) - the mayor of Kayapınar, Kezban Yılmaz, the mayor of Bismil, Orhan Ayaz, and the mayor of Kocaköy, Rojda Nazlıer - as well as the HDP mayor of Van's Erciş district, Yıldız Çetin, were replaced by state-appointees, Turkish online newspaper T24 (22.10.19, https://t24.com.tr/haber/hdp-li-ercis-belediye-baskani-cetin-in-yerine-kaymakam-mehmetbeyoglu-kayyim-olarak-atandi,844820) said.
Yılmaz, Ayaz and Nazlıer were detained in a police raid on their homes in the early hours of Monday while Çetin was detained on Oct. 15 due to investigations over terror charges.
Together with the latest removals, 12 mayors of HDP were replaced with administrators over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for three decades, T24 said.
Turkey’s state news agency (21.10.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/borsa-istanbul-appoints-new-managing-director/1621666) reports that Turkey's stock exchange Borsa Istanbul has named Hakan Atilla its new managing director, according to a BIST statement on Monday. Atilla, 49, served as deputy director-general at Turkish state lender Halkbank from 2011 to 2018.
Marking the appointment on Twitter, Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak proclaimed that Atilla had "returned to his country and was reunited with his family after an unjust conviction". This July Atilla returned to Turkey after serving a U.S. prison sentence for violating American sanctions on Iran -- charges he maintained he was innocent of.
Last October Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blasted Atilla's conviction, calling it a "politically motivated” ruling with "no respect for the law". (…)
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION