According to illegal Bayrak television (12.11.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=erdogan-slams-eus-decisions), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacted to the decisions taken at the European Union Foreign Affairs Council on Turkey’s exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Responding to a question regarding the decisions taken at the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Turkey’s exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean during a press conference ahead of his official visit to the US, Erdoğan said: “The EU forgets that we are a guarantor in Cyprus. Greece and Britain are also guarantors. We have rights here as a guarantor power. We also have rights in the area called the exclusive economic zone. These rights are stemming from the international law”.
“Countries which have no rights according to the international law are coming and carrying out works there however they say Turkey cannot enter this area. They also say that they will impose sanctions. The EU had already wasted Turkey’s time by keeping on saying that we will accept you as a member. You did not fulfil your promises to Turkey. It’s not binding for us to be at the negotiating table. The negotiations could end instantly”, he added.
Calling on the European Union, Turkish President Erdoğan said: “Do not attempt to threaten us on the developments in Cyprus. We don’t care at all and we will continue on our way.”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (12.11.19) reports that the Turkish Cypriot delegation that will participate in the three party meeting on November 25 in Berlin, is making intensive preparations for the meeting.
According to statement issued by the “presidency” the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will meet with academicians in the coming days who are specialized in certain subjects.
In addition, Akicni will also held a meeting with UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute on November 16, and following this meeting he will inform the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot parties that are represented in the “assembly”.
Turkish Cypriot daily “Yeni Duzen” (12.11.19) reports that Tufan Erhurman the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) stated that any steps taken for a comprehensive solution and every meeting held in that direction is important for the CTP.
Erhurman, who issued a written statement, also said that the party supports to the upcoming three-party meeting to be held on November 25 in Berlin.
He said that the fact that the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres was attending this meeting was extremely important and meaningful, since Guterres has been highlighting since Crans Montana the importance of the parameters reaffirmed by the UN Security Council.
He went on adding that CTP was holding meetings with Greek Cypriot political parties, Ambassadors and other persons that could influence the procedure in order to help the process.
According to illegal Bayak television (11.11.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=prime-minister-gives-interview), self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar, in an interview to Turkish dailies Sabah and Milliyet, said that including their determined stance in the Eastern Mediterranean, the “TRNC” is always in harmony with Turkey.
Referring to economic issues, Tatar noted that they aim to improve the economy in order for “North Cyprus” to be able to support itself fully. He reiterated that they are always in cooperation with Turkey on all issues and added that “just how Turkey is important for the TRNC, the TRNC’s existence is important for Turkey”.
Commenting on Turkey’s and the “TRNC’s” rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and the natural gas and hydrocarbon drilling activities in the area, Tatar claimed: “In order to protect the just rights of Turkey and the TRNC in the Eastern Mediterranean, we are carrying out natural gas and hydrocarbon research and drilling activities with the rights obtained through international agreements”, and added: “It is also a part of our natural borders and therefore is totally legitimate”.
He said that although Turkey may be perceived as disobedient by the world, it will not give up on its rights and is therefore following a different path in diplomacy.
Touching upon the Cyprus issue, Tatar said that during the last negotiations carried out in Cyprus no outcome was achieved and therefore there was no point in carrying out any further discussions if the basis of the negotiations isn’t changed. He added what was being imposed on the Turkish Cypriots were zero soldiers zero guarantees, questioning what could be negotiated after this imposition.
He also said that the Greek Cypriot side had clearly stated that if Turkey does not cease its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean then they will not continue the negotiations.
Pointing to the importance of following a national policy with Turkey, Tatar claimed that the only option for the Turkish Cypriots is to further strengthen the “TRNC” and continue to exist on these lands forever.
He said that as National Unity Party (UBP) they will always continue to defend the rights of the “TRNC” and the Turkish Cypriot “people”.
According to illegal Bayak television (11.11.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=1st-east-med-energy-symposium-2), self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar, illegal Turkish ambassador to occupied part of Lefkosia Ali Murat Basceri and self-styled economy and energy minister Hasan Tacoy delivered speeches yesterday during the 1st East Med. Energy Symposium organized by the Energy Economy Association and “ODTÜ North Cyprus campus” [the “Middle East Technical University’s North Cyprus campus].
Referring to the natural gas issue, Tacoy said that Turkey is one of the seven countries around the world that is able to carry out its own gas and drilling efforts at sea. He added that Turkey will continue to carry out its drilling activities in the areas known as blue homeland, claiming that both Turkey and the “TRNC” will continue to protect their rights in the blue homeland area.
Tatar, for his part, claimed that with the discovery of natural gas and hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean the “TRNC” had become more valuable and added that together with Turkey they will continue to protect their rights and interest.
Explaining that work was being carried out on ways to proceed in the future, Tatar argued that it was not possible for those who are trying to prevent these works from taking place, to be successful.
Claiming that there are two “peoples” on the island with equal rights, Tatar said that “the Greek Cypriot side claiming that they will give the Turkish Cypriot people their rights after a solution is reached on the Cyprus issue is not acceptable”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (12.11.19) reports that former Turkish Foreign Minister Mumtaz Soysal, has passed away at the age of 90.
Soysal was an advisor and close friend to late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Raif Denktas.
Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet Daily News (11.11.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-reiterates-vow-to-defend-rights-in-med-sea-148586) reports that Turkey on Nov. 11 reiterated a vow to defend its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in response to plans by the European Union to impose restrictive measures on the country. “We have repeatedly and strongly emphasized that in the Eastern Mediterranean, we will not cease to protect our rights stemming from international law and rights and interests of the TRNC [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus], despite all of the unintelligible steps of the European Union,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The decisions taken today at the European Union Foreign Affairs Council meeting clearly demonstrate that our messages following Council meetings of July 15 and October 14, 2019, have completely fallen on deaf ears,” it said.
The Ministry claimed that from 2004 until 2019, Turkey and the “TRNC” have made benevolent efforts to turn the hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean into an element of stability rather than tension as the side having taken all the constructive and positive initiatives. It further claimed that the “Greek Cypriot administration” [editor’s note: as it refers to the Republic of Cyprus] and the EU, which it pushed maximalist approaches, neither can perceive the facts nor take decisions in accordance with international law and the principle of equity in this process.
"We have consistently stated since 2004 that naturally, we will not allow the unilateral usurpation of our rights," it added.
The Ministry argued that the bloc lost its impartiality a long time ago and proved that it cannot take a constructive and helpful role in the issue. "As a matter of fact, it couldn't be more ironic for the EU to make reference to the principle of good neighbourliness after the launch of our off-shore activities as it has become deaf to our repeated calls since 2004 for respect for the sovereignty and legitimate rights of both Turkey and the TRNC," it said.
“It is a vain expectation for those who think that Turkey will bow to threats and back down on its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the Ministry added. “No one should doubt that we will continue our exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.” (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.11.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/feto-extradition-to-dominate-trump-meetings-agenda-erdogan-says-before-us-visit-148598), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Nov. 12 departed from Ankara to Washington for his two-day visit to the U.S. where he will meet with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.
Before his departure, Erdogan said the extradition of FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen will dominate the meeting’s agenda. “We have taken many steps for the extradition of the terrorist in Pennsylvania and will continue to do so. We are determined on not letting this go until all putschists will be held accountable before the law,” he said.
Noting that Ankara’s deals with the U.S. and Russia over the withdrawal of the YPG did not “entirely” eliminate the terrorists from the region, Erdogan said: “Neither Russia nor America cleared the terrorists in the time-span they determined. We will talk about these with Mr. Trump”. He added that after his meeting with Trump, he will also hold another phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin regarding the YPG withdrawal.
Ankara wants to continue ‘sincere’ cooperation with Russia, and U.S. on establishing safe zone in northeastern Syria, Erdogan said. (…) Turkey wants to start a new period with U.S. regarding security issues, he added. He also underlined that he and Trump are on the same page to find solutions to the bilateral problems.
The Turkish President will also give a speech addressing business people at a meeting which will be hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and meet with members of the Turkish-Muslim community in the U.S., the statement added.
According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (11.11.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/energy/oil/iraq-views-turkey-as-alternative-for-basra-oil-exports-/27338), Iraq is targeting Turkey as one of a possible export route alternatives for oil transportation from the oil-rich Basra region that has seen its exports hamper due to protests in the country, Iraqi Oil Minister Falah Alamri Jassim told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
Iraq is calling on Turkish investors to extend pipeline projects from Basra to Ceyhan, and to rehabilitate strategic pipelines, to develop the oil-rich city of Basra, Jassim said, adding thatIraq places special emphasis on energy corridors with Turkey in its search for alternative export routes.
He described the Arabian Gulf as “the primary route for Iraqi oil exports but contended that it also needs flexibility in its oil export routes.
Baghdad's main objective is to diversify its export points of oil, Alamri said and added the diversification of export resources and routes depends on Iraq's needs, political and economic situation and the security of pipelines. (…)
He urged that Turkish investors invest in pipeline projects extending from Basra to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, as well as the rehabilitation of strategic pipelines to develop Basra. Turkey is involved in many projects in Iraq’s energy sector and is known as one of the largest investors in Iraq, Alamri said. "In fact, all foreign investors in Iraq are competing with each other," he said and added that China, which ranks first in energy investments particularly in Basra, is followed companies in the U.K., South Korea and Russia.
According to Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Safak (12.11.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/over-2300-life-terms-handed-in-270-feto-cases-in-turkey-3504961), a total of 2,327 defendants have been handed life sentences in cases related to the 2016 defeated coup by the Fetullah reportedly Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) in Turkey.
According to data compiled by Anadolu Agency from judicial sources, following the July 15, 2016 defeated coup chief public prosecutors carried out over 100,000 investigations.
Out of 289 cases, 270 of them completed, a total of 3,838 defendants were convicted. The Turkish courts ordered aggravated life sentences for 1,224 convicts. Among them were 71 former generals, 829 former officers, 173 former sergeants, 50 former specialized sergeants and four former police officers.
Separately, 1,511 convicts were handed down jail terms ranging from 14 months to 20 years, while some defenders were acquitted in nationwide cases. (…)
Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (12.11.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-starts-repatriating-daesh-terrorists/1642574) reports that Turkey started repatriating captured Daesh/ISIS terrorists to their home countries, according to Turkey’s Interior Ministry. A total of three foreign terrorists -- citizens of Germany, Denmark and the U.S. -- were deported from Turkey on Monday, spokesman Ismail Catakli told Anadolu Agency.
The Danish terrorist was arrested in Copenhagen Airport on Monday, according to Copenhagen Police.
The legal proceedings are nearing completion for two Irish terrorists caught in Syria, and were also soon to be repatriated, Catakli said, adding: "The legal proceedings for 11 French-national terrorists who had been captured in Syrian territory are in progress."
On Monday, a German Foreign Ministry official confirmed that the country would take back 10 Daesh/ISIS suspects of German citizenship, along with their wives and children, who were captured by Turkish authorities. (…)
According to Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (12.11.19), the Eastern Mediterranean 2019 Invitation Exercise – hosted by Turkey with the participation of 15 countries, 47 ships and 4,700 personnel – is continuing on its third day.
The multinational military exercise, which is organized every other year by the Turkish Naval Forces Command (TNFC) and is celebrating its 22nd year, started on Sunday. It entered into its second phase yesterday with the departure of the warships from Aksaz Marine Base in the Mediterranean resort town of Marmaris.
The exercise is expected to last 12 days. In addition to Turkey's navy, the naval forces of the U.S., Pakistan, Canada, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Greece and Spain are participating in the drill. (…)
Previously, Yankı Bağcıoğlu, the head of navy operations, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the TNFC has established an exercise-control unit of 170 people and an additional 96 personnel will perform their duties at the headquarters. (…) He emphasized that the current drill will have the highest level of participation compared to any other exercise in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Bağcıoğlu also said that four frigates, one submarine, three mine hunting vessels and two fuel supply vessels belonging to the Turkish, Canadian, Greek, Spanish and Italian naval forces will participate in the exercise.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION