Representatives of Turkish Cypriot political parties, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and officials from Turkey condemned the burning of a flag of the breakaway regime by members of nationalist right-wing ELAM party in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus during the protests for the 36th anniversary of the breakaway regime’s unilateral declaration of independence.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (17.11.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci said that “another mistake was added to the mistakes which are repeated by this organization [ELAM] which does not tolerate and respect the equal partners of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots, and their symbols”. “The fact that lessons were not drawn from such acts of hatred and violence, which filled with sorrow Cyprus’ past is worrisome”, he argued in a written statement, adding that the right behaviour was the one exhibited by the family of the Greek Cypriot young man, who had stolen the breakaway regime’s flag from a school in occupied Lysi village, as they understood the mistake of their child, returned the flag and apologized to the Turkish Cypriot “people”. He also said that he expected the “right voices” to be heard especially from the Greek Cypriot community against these wrong behaviours.
Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that this was another effort to feed the lack of trust between the two “peoples”. He argued that the international organizations which are sensitive on the issue of building confidence and mainly the United Nations and the world states “have no right to remain insensitive before these behaviours”. He said that these organizations should convey their sensitivity to President Anastasiades and ask him to take concrete steps.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Volkan (18.11.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, said that he had started consultations with the “police director”, the “attorney general’ and the United Nations on the issue. “We will find out their identity from the images by consulting with the UN and take measures”, he said.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (18.11.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, argued that the members of ELAM burned the flag to provoke while the police of the Republic of Cyprus “turned a blind eye”. He alleged that this action was a result of “an important majority” in the Greek Cypriot community and added: “Therefore, while all these are happening it is not right not to tell the truths to the Turkish Cypriot people and create the expectation that something will come out of Berlin”.
Turkish Vice President, Fuat Oktay also condemned the burning of the flag. In a post on his social media account, he described as “unacceptable” the attacks against what he called “national values”. ‘Everything needed should be done against the perpetrators”, he argued reiterating that Turkey would always be by the Turkish Cypriots’ side.
In a written statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry alleged that the fact that no statement had been made by Greek Cypriot officials to condemn this act of hatred and no investigation had been carried out to find the perpetrators was an indication that this act was officially supported. “We believe that the Greek Cypriot administration, which issues statements that encourage hatred against the Turkish Cypriots, and Greek authorities have responsibility in this event”, the statement claimed.
Kıbrıs writes also that Ozersay issued a second statement responding to ELAM’s statement. Ozersay condemned the silence of the Greek Cypriot political parties on this issue alleging that “what is actually dangerous is the fact that the Greek Cypriot political parties and the Greek Cypriot leadership approved of such acts by remaining silent”. He claimed also the following: “Especially while Mr Anastasiades makes no statement to condemn these incidents and to say that they were not right and he does not take measures against such behaviours which encourage violence, the existing lack of trust will deepen. I call on Mr Anastasiades to act knowing this responsibility he has. This silence is not a good sign”.
Finally, Nazim Cavusoglu, self-styled minister of education of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has made a call on the Ministry of Education and Culture not to raise young people who have the mentality of burning flags. In a written statement, Cavusoglu argued that the curriculum of the schools in the Republic of Cyprus should change and claimed that the incidents showed that Greeks and Turks could not live together.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (18.11.19) reports that the so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar stated that everybody should know that the Greek Cypriots are putting at the negotiation table the pre-conditions that will destroy the Turkish Cypriot “people” in order for an agreement to be reached.
Tatar, who issued a written statement, said that the Greek Cypriots dream of taking the Turkish Cypriots in the pre-1974 period. He also added that none of the Greek-Cypriot preconditions could be accepted by the Turkish Cypriots.
Supporting that “new creative ideas and new solution models” should be put on the table, Tatar stated: “The Kosovo model is there. If we are united, if we come out in the world in co-operation with Turkey, a model similar to Kosovo can be applied to Cyprus. If we go towards this direction, the road will open for permanent, lasting peace in Cyprus. We will either walk in the road of co-operation between the two states in Cyprus, or we will be hostages of the status quo. In our opinion this is the time for new creative ideas and new solution models to be put on the table. The rest are efforts to continue the deadlock that is going on for 40 years now”.
In an interview to the Turksih Cypriot daily newspaper Haberci (18.11.19), self-styled minister of economy and energy Hasan Tacoy said: “The solution for me is the continuation of the current status quo. There is solution. We have found plan A, and we are discussing plan B, which is to persuade the South (translator’s side: the Greek Cypriot side) to be partner with us. (…) This is what everyone wants, even the South will make profit of this”.
Commenting on the upcoming trilateral meeting in Berlin on November 25, Tacoy said that the meeting between Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades was arranged close to the upcoming “presidential elections” in the occupied area of Cyprus, claiming that this was done only to benefit Akinci, who would be “candidate”.
Meanwhile, Tacoy said that he supports the “candidacy” of their party leader Ersin Tatar, adding that in case both Tatar and Ozersay are “candidates”, the “coalition government” should not be dissolved.
Turkish Cypriot daily Nacak (18.11.19) reports that “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay, stated that “if you say that the negotiations for a federation will continue and take this choice, that will mean the continuation of the status quo in Cyprus for the next 50 years”.
Speaking to a Turkish television channel, Ozersay stated that co-operation models of the currents conditions should be discussed, instead of the federation model. “We have to take and we will take steps with Turkey”, he stated adding that the status quo creates a stability that puts in danger the existence of Turkish Cypriots’ identity.
He stated that the drillings in the Eastern Mediterranean and the steps regarding the fenced-off Varosha city are the right steps to balance the situation with the Greek Cypriots. He also said that an indication for this is the fact that the Greek Cypriot side, which has never opened a discussion other than a federation solution for the last 50 years, is now saying “come and we can talk about other things”.
Ozersay also said that they should take advantage of this statement made by the Greek Cypriot leader, to open “Pandora’s box” and to discuss other chapters, outside of the ordinary.
Under the title “Quest of resources for compensations”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (17.11.19) reports that the “Immovable Property Commission” is searching for money because it has become “non-functional” during the past few years due to the “lack of resources” before the increasing number of applications. According to the paper, preparations are made by the “state” to bring increases in various taxes to create resources to pay compensation to Greek Cypriots for their properties in the occupied area of the island.
In statements to the paper, Olgun Amcaoglu, self-styled minister of finance of the regime, said that the readjusting of immovable property taxes and other taxes was on their agenda. He noted that no payment was made by the “Commission” this year because the previous “government” had not signed the “economic protocol” with Turkey and added that there were files of approximately 900 million Turkish liras which were expecting to be paid this year. He argued: “There are five cases at the European Court of Human Rights. The last payment of 45 million TL was made in 2018. Not a qurush [Translator’s note: penny] was paid in 2019. With the agreement which we will make in 2020, 440 million TL credits will be conveyed, of which the 100 million TL are support to the Immovable Property Commission, 100 million TL for the support to the reforms and 240 million TL for payment of interest regarding the protocol signed with the cooperatives”.
Meanwhile, Sumer Erkmen, member and former chairperson of the “Commission” told the paper that they were searching for solutions to pay compensations and they had provided for preparing some “laws”. She noted: “There really are delays in the payments, there is congestion. This exists for a long time. During the past few years it increased, because applications increased”.
She said that money was given from Turkey every year, but this was not enough. She noted that sometimes almost all of this money was spent only for one property and added that various formulas had been produced, such as taking a commission from the persons who occupy the Greek Cypriot properties, but no “law” was prepared until today.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Hakikat (18.11.19) reports that Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said: “Cyprus is an important issue for Turkey. We have been until now with our Cypriot brothers in their righteous struggles and we will continue to be with them in the same way. No one should have any doubt about it”.
Speaking at a reception in Turkey for the 36th anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, Akar said: “The pain that they (Turkish Cypriots) felt 45 years ago should not be forgotten. It was not easy for our Cypriot brothers, who are an integral part of the Turkish nation, to come to these days. We are determined to protect the rights and interests of our brothers, with the same feelings and thoughts today, as we did before and we did not remain silent against the injustices that were imposed on them. This should be understood by everyone. Turkey and the TRNC have always been in favour of peace and stability until now. They will continue to do so in the name of peace and tranquillity. We observe sadly that despite all our efforts for a solution, unfortunately this good-will and peaceful approach is not completely understood by the South [translator’s note: he refers to the Cyprus Government] and the necessities have not been done there.”
Akar argued that Turkey has supported that the protection of equal and sovereign rights in the maritime jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Cyprus, as well the sharing in an equal way of the natural sources should be determined by an agreement by all littoral states. He further claimed: “This has been our position from the beginning. Within this framework, Turkey is a guarantor country with Greece and Britain and will continue to be. We are determined to fulfil all our rights and responsibilities in full as we did in the past. We will continue our activities in our own marine jurisdictions and in the areas being authorized by the TRNC. No one should ever doubt that.”
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay (18.11.19) reports that the Justice and Development Party Deputy, former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim who is currently in the occupied area of Cyprus for a series of “contacts” alleged that there is not a problem in Cyprus called “Cyprus problem”.
Speaking during an opening ceremony of the new academic year of the “15 of November Cyprus University”, Yildirim alleged the following: “There is no problem in Cyprus called ‘the Cyprus problem’. There is the TRNC. It is so simple. The TRNC is the guarantee of the Mediterranean. And behind the TRNC there is a mountainous Turkey”.
Yildirim went on to claim that no matter what is said, a federation structure in Cyprus is not realistic. “There is only one reality”, Yildirim alleged, supporting that there are two founding nations in Cyprus, which according to Yildirim have taken their own decisions, to continue with their own path. “There is no other path for permanent peace”, he claimed.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (18.11.19) reports that Armagan Candan, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has participated in the meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Berlin on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. According to a statement issued by the “assembly”, Candan represented the “body” at the joint meeting of PACE’s committees on Political Affairs and Democracy, and Law and Human Rights at the German Parliament (Bundestag) held on 14 and 15 November.
Addressing a meeting with the participation of officials from the German Foreign Ministry and the German Parliament, Candan said that the collapse of the wall in Berlin was a big change for Germany and Europe and added that the same thing could not be said of Nicosia, which remained the last divided capital of Europe. He also referred to the Annan Plan referendum and the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and described as important the fact that the tripartite meeting on 25 November for the Cyprus problem will take place in Berlin.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.11.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated on Monday that Turkey would not have negotiations on the Cyprus issue ‘just for the sake of it’.
"On Cyprus, which is a national cause to us, we will not have negotiations just for the sake of it," Cavusoglu told the members of Turkish Parliament's Planning and Budget Committee.
Cavusoglu said that Turkey had legitimate rights and benefits in the western and northern maritime zones of Cyprus.
"Our country has taken the necessary measures to protect them, and it will," said Cavusoglu.
"We will continue to protect both our rights and continental shelf and the rights of Turkish Cypriots for which we are guarantor," he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.11.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/cyprus-talks-cannot-last-forever-turkish-cypriot-pm-148742) reported that so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar claimed that the lingering efforts to find a resolution to the decades-long Cyprus issue should be “result-limited” and “time-limited”.
“It wouldn’t be right to say that we’re going to put [the U.N. parameters] on the shelf completely, but the alternatives should be on the table. Negotiations should be result-oriented and time-oriented. Endless talks will not save Cyprus,” Tatar told Hürriyet Daily News.
Tatar’s remarks came when he was asked if he would put the U.N. parameters aside if he “runs for president and gets elected”.
Tatar also claimed that a two-state solution in the EU that could be recognized internationally is “realistic.” He supported that such a solution would be a better alternative to a federal one for the island, divided in 1974, and added that Cyprus’ realities require different approaches. “Alternative methods should come to the table; and one of these is the two states in the EU. The important thing is to continue this process with our determination and unity,” he argued, giving the example of the recognition of Kosovo.
“Kosovo got in a separation when the negotiation process collapsed, because the people wanted to continue in their own way. However, we cannot act as a whole in the TRNC, because Mustafa Akıncı [the Turkish Cypriot leader] and the Republican Turkish Party [CTP] say that there is still no possibility of a solution other than an agreement on a federal basis,” Tatar claimed.
When asked about his thoughts on the reception of the Greek Cypriot “side” and whether they would accept the two-state solution despite opposing the idea of a federation with political equality, Tatar supported the following: “Whether they accept it or not, if we want it as a single body, as the Turkish Cypriot people, this idea will come to a respectable point.”
Speaking about the U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding the call upon all states not to recognize the “TRNC”, Tatar underlined that “ the TRNC has to resist.”
“It may be a problem, but we have no other choice. The Greek Cypriot administration offers a zero-guarantee and zero-troop requirement for a federal deal,” he argued. “We can’t sign something like this, it’ll be the end of us. We have to resist until the end,” he claimed.
Tatar also conveyed that he does not believe the upcoming meeting between Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akınci with President Nikos Anastasiades and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will yield any result.
The trilateral meeting will take place on Nov. 25 in the German capital of Berlin.
“The differences of opinion between the two sides are at a peak. The Greek Cypriot administration wants zero troops and zero guarantees. They say they will not sit at the negotiation table if Turkey does not withdraw the ships [from the eastern Mediterranean]”. Tatar added.
When asked if the future relations between the “TRNC” and Turkey will proceed on the basis of equality from the perspective of two sister states or the motherland and babyland, in the event of Tatar getting nominated and elected as “president”, he stressed that a realistic approach is needed.
“A country with a population of 82 million supports you with all means to keep you alive. The TRNC as a state may have to depend on every opportunity offered by Turkey and its shadow. Equal-sister states? Where equal sister states? We need to be realist a little bit,” he said.
Tatar believes that he and his “government partner” Kudret Özersay’s possible nomination will not create a break down in the “government”. “There is no need for the government to break down. If the main thing is to serve the public, there is no need to take this to the point of conflict. We didn't negotiate the presidency. Rumors of an agreement are insulting to both me and Özersay,” Tatar stated.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.11.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/inflation-to-hit-single-digits-in-2020-erdogan-148779) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 16 said that interest rates will continue to fall and inflation is expected to hit single digits in 2020.
"Unfortunately, interest rates had increased to 40%. What happened? We removed the Central Bank chief and with our new governor, the interest rates declined to 13.5%," Erdogan said during a speech at a ceremony in Istanbul.
He also added that the decrease in interest rates would continue and added that the inflation rate will hit single digits in 2020.
“The rate of unemployment is also expected to decline, especially with the data of September”, Erdogan stressed.
"The unemployment rate, which we declined to 8.4%, increased to 14% after the exchange rate and inflation attack we have been subjected to [in Aug. 2018]. We expect this rate to start declining again with the September data," Erdogan said.
Erdogan added that when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power, Turkey's debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stood at $23.5 billion. "We closed this. Now, we do not have anything to do with the IMF," he said.
Erdogan also underlined that both employment and production will increase as well. "This means that [economic] growth will increase too," he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.11.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-investors-aim-to-increase-trade-with-iran-to-30b-148804) reports that the Turkish business people on Nov. 17 said that they aim to significantly increase the volume of trade between Turkey and Iran.
The business people's remarks came at a meeting of the Iranian Business Council in Tehran.
Nail Olpak, chairman of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), said the goal was to increase the trade volume from $9.5 billion to the level of $30 billion set by the presidents of the two countries.
Business people attended the 16th meeting of the Iranian Business Council from Turkey, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Syria, India, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.
Ümit Kiler, chairman of the Turkey-Iran Business Council, said they are focusing on improving trade relations with Iran and the next business forum would be held in Tehran after Ankara.
Mehmet Akgün, chairman of the Denizli branch of the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD), said they are in Tehran to investigate conditions for trade with Iran and noted there is high business potential.
Turkish daily Sabah (17.11.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2019/11/17/energy-minister-turkstream-project-to-be-completed-by-year-end) reports that Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said on Saturday that works on both lines of the TurkStream natural gas pipeline project will be completed by the end of the year.
"God willing, if all goes well, we will have completed the project by year-end," Donmez told reporters after his meeting with the technical team at the construction site of the TurkStream project in the Vize district of northwestern Turkey's Kırklareli.
TurkStream will have the capacity to transit 31.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas every year, which is equal to the energy demand of 15 million homes.
The project consists of two lines across the Black Sea, the first of which will serve Turkey with a capacity of 15.75 bcm, while the second line will serve Europe. Each pipeline is 930 kilometers in length, laid at depths reaching 2,200 meters.
Both TurkStream 1 and 2 will come ashore from the receiving terminal in Kıyıköy on Turkey's Black Sea coast, Donmez noted.
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