According to illegal Bayrak (04.12.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=berlin-meeting-briefings), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will be holding a meeting at 4 o’clock this afternoon with political parties with seats in “parliament” to brief them about the Berlin meeting held on the 25th of November and the outcome of that meeting.
On Thursday morning, Akinci will come together with “mayors” and in the afternoon he will brief representatives from the political parties which are not represented at the “parliament”. Akıncı will also come together with civil society organisations on Friday.
According to illegal Bayrak television (04.12.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=turkey-libya-memorandum-2), during the 2020 Planning and Budgetary Commissions discussions of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Turkey’s stance on the activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cyprus issue were clearly stated.
During a presentation put forward by the Turkish Ministry for Energy and Natural Resources it was emphasized that drilling efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean would continue in 2020 as well. It was also said that with the “permits” obtained by the “TRNC” [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] they would continue to carry out their research activities in the area.
The Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Ministry also said that the Fatih and Yavuz drill ships are continuing their research activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and that on the 22nd of November they had begun drilling at a forth area.
The Ministry said that in 2020 five drilling wells will be opened and petrol and natural gas research efforts will take place. It also said that by 2023 they are planning on carrying out a total of 26 drilling activities.
The Ministry also claimed that Turkey will continue its determined stance so that the natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean will be shared fairly.
According to illegal Bayrak television (03.12.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=turkey-libya-memorandum), a memorandum of understanding signed by Turkey and Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) is in line with international law, Ömer Çelik, Spokesman for the Justice and Development Party, said in a news conference following his party’s group meeting in Ankara.
Referring to the importance of the agreement, Çelik claimed: “The agreement which is a new phase for the protection of the national interests of Turkey reinforced the protection of Turkey’s rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Pointing out that with the agreement Turkey’s hand strengthened on its oil and natural gas activities, Çelik said “Turkey will not make any compromise or back off from protecting its own and the TRNC people’s rights”. He also added that the agreement signed with Libya designated the western border of Turkey’s maritime zone in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“There is no hesitation that the agreement complies with international law. The objections of the Greek Cypriot administration [Cyprus government], Greece and Egypt are meaningless. They are trying to prevent Turkey to be in the Mediterranean and aiming to restrain Turkey within its borders in the Eastern Mediterranean through a fait accompli. Turkey has shown with this agreement that it will not allow any fait accompli”, Çelik claimed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs (04.12.19) reports that the issue of granting the “right to elect and be elected” to the Turkish Cypriots living in the UK was discussed yesterday at the so-called assembly, after the issue was brought into the agenda by the Revival Party leader Erharn Arikli.
Replying to Arikli, “prime minister” and leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar, stated that because in the past they were not able to explain to the “citizens” the changes needed to be make as regards this subject, they are now conducting in a detailed way their study on the issue. Therefore he stated, after these changes are completed the subject will be brought into the “assembly” for discussion.
Tatar stated that the Turkish Cypriots living in the UK are complaining that “they have to serve their military duty while they are not allowed to vote”. Tatar claimed that juristically and constitutional changes are needed in order for persons who live in various countries abroad to be able to vote “and be granted the right to elect and be elected and even become deputies”.
In addition, in statements to Kıbrıs TV, general secretary of UBP Ersan Saner referred to the visit of himself and of Tatar to London and said that they had the chance to listen to the various problems of the Turkish Cypriots living there. He also stated that they want to strengthen the ties with their “brothers” living in the UK and added that UBP is ready to adopt the changes needed for the Turkish Cypriots living abroad to have “the right to elect and be elected”.
Turkish Cypriot dailyVatan (04.12.19) reports that so-called deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Armagan Candan, who is currently in Paris for a committee meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), met with the President of PACE, Liliane Maury Pasquier.
According to a statement issued by the so-called assembly, Candan briefed Pasquier about the trilateral Berlin Summit. Explaining to Pasquier the importance of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s statement after the summit, Candan said that they expect for the resumption of result-oriented negotiation talks after a five party conference to take place on the Cyprus problem and after the “2020 presidential elections”. Candan also pointed out the importance of Guterres’ statement that this time, the negotiation process to be launched with the aim to reach a comprehensive federal solution would be different.
On the issue of political equality and effective participation on decision-making, Candan said that these are sine qua non for them in order to be able to live in a partnership structure. Candan added that IT would not be easy at all to evaluate the energy potential in the Eastern Mediterranean if no solution is reached.
Pointing out the importance of the representation of the Turkish Cypriots in PACE, Candan thanked Pasquier for his interest and his close ties with the Turkish Cypriot community. Candan is attending the works of the Committee for Refugees, Social Affairs, Equality and Culture.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (04.12.19) reports that Ersan Saner, general secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP), has alleged that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci “failed” in the Cyprus problem, due to his decision to discuss the federal solution.
In statements to Kıbrıs TV, Saner said that before the collapse of the talks at Crans Monata, Akinci himself had stated that “this time either solution will happen or division”. He also argued that after Crans Montana, Akinci had stated that a federal solution could not be achieved any more. He alleged the following:
“After Crans Montana, Mr Akinci referred to a two state solution under the roof of the EU, but later he changed his mind. We are forgiving people, but Greek Cypriot fanaticism is there and increases every day. It is not possible for the Greek Cypriot side to approach our sovereign equality and the things we want on the issues of the territory and property. Turkey’s effective and active guarantees, which are sine qua non for us, are an issue which could never be accepted for the Greek Cypriots. In such a situation, a federation with the Greek Cypriots cannot be established. If it could, it would have been established a long time ago. Therefore, it would be more correct and realistic for us to start this job from the two states, the two states to approach each other and cooperate. This is what we are going to explain to our people in the presidential elections. […]”
Referring to the recent contacts held recently by an UBP delegation in Strasbourg with the Group of the Conservatives and Reformists in the European Parliament, Saner said that since 2017 the UBP participated in all meetings of the above-mentioned Group with the “TRNC flag” and the UBP’s logo.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kıbrıs (04.12.19)reports that the deputy chairman of the Revival Settler’s Party (YDP) in the occupied area of Cyprus Ali Akin Onder, condemned strongly in a written statement, the “Greek Cypriot administration”, [Translator’s note: the Republic of Cyprus], regarding the new “restricting regulations” that would be implemented at crossing points, claiming that these are contrary to the Green Line Regulation and the decisions of the European Commission.
In the written statement, YDP condemned further the so-called government for not undertaking measures to confront the difficulties experiences at crossing points with the crossings of the Greek Cypriots from “south Cyprus” to north Cyprus for shopping, underlining that these crossing contribute to a great extend to the revival of their economy.
Illegal Bayrak television (04.12.19) reports that the so-called minister of agriculture and natural resources Dursun Oguz met with the Agriculture Minister of Azerbaijan, Tarım Bakanı İnam Kerimov and with the Agriculture Ministers of Turkey Bekir Pakdemirli.
According to a statement of the “ministry”, the three men met at Turkey's Embassy in Baku, prior to the 6th Meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture, of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and exchanged views on agricultural policies of the member countries.
Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (04.12.19), the paper’s director, Cenk Mutluyakali reports that at least forty out of the fifty members of the “TRNC assembly”, as the “assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus is called, possess a passport of the Republic of Cyprus.
Referring to a statement made by Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, who had alleged that “the TRNC state exists and it is a state at least as legitimate as the Greek Cypriot administration in Cyprus”, Mutluyakali notes that this was correct, because there was no state in the world named “Greek Cypriot administration”. Mutluyakali writes also the following:
“[…] Very well, is it [the TRNC] as legitimate as the ‘Republic of Cyprus’? Deceiving ourselves is not entertaining! Or just like Cem Karaca’s song says: ‘Even if it is a lie, I like it, say it’.
I am not writing this with such enthusiasm nor is my intention to underestimate, despise, [or] criticize. I live in Cyprus and I know that you can reach nowhere by rejecting. The substance of the statement that ‘we are a state at least as they are’ is actually nurturing the ‘non-solution’. Excluding the need for a ‘federal Cyprus’. Things are not like this. […]
Let us begin from the simplest thing. The President of the Republic of Cyprus does not bear a ‘TRNC passport’ in his pocket. At the head of the TRNC, however, there is a prime minister who possesses a passport of the Republic of Cyprus! The same passport exists in the pocket of at least 40 out of 50 deputies in its assembly.
It is not over! The very place which you call the TRNC assembly is in fact property of the ‘Republic of Cyprus’ and it has been usurped in the universal law! Moreover, the TRNC state itself has carried out a bargaining with Dianellos Vergopoulos, the real owner of the property, in order to purchase this property. Really, how many states in the world do you know that have ‘established an assembly on someone else’s property’?
138 out of the 158 schools of your state remained from the Republic of Cyprus. And not only the schools! All public institutions are like this. You were able to write on your name by paying their money only 17,500 donums [Translator’s note: A land measure of about 1000 square meters], out of the 1 million 453 thousand donums of Greek Cypriot properties. […] 133 out of the 166 hotels are on Greek Cypriot land! There is a concept called ‘territorial integrity’. No state allows the establishment of ‘a separate state based on ethnicity’ on its own land!
If you do not believe, ask your close ones. There are tens of decisions published by the European Court of Human Rights referring to ‘Turkey’s subordinate administration’. And moreover, Turkey has paid compensations by accepting this. Legitimating the existing system by skipping over all these aspects of the issue, degrading it to ‘an assembly exists, elections exist, a government exists, democracy exists, everything which exists there exists, a state at least as legal exists’ is tantamount to taking the extremely easy way out. […]
The whole world recognizes the Republic of Cyprus, in which we are a founding partner. This state is a member of the UN, the EU. Three states, including Turkey, guarantee its Constitution. The ‘TRNC’ is a structure ‘forbidden’ by this Constitution. The Republic of Cyprus is under the occupation of the Greek Cypriots. This is correct. This situation makes compulsory the transformation of the Republic of Cyprus into a new partnership. However, this does not make it equal with the TRNC. […] The Turkish Cypriots are a community in an extraordinary situation bound to Turkey, outside international law, trade and policy. The issue is being able to overcome this. […]”
According to Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (03.12.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/12/03/productive-useful-syria-summit-between-turkey-france-germany-and-uk-concludes), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking after the meeting with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson ahead of NATO summit in London on Tuesday, said that the discussion "went well".
The quartet discussed the Syrian crisis, while touching upon Turkey's operation targeting PKK elements in northern Syria. "Developments regarding Operation Peace Spring will be looked at," Erdoğan had said ahead of the meeting, referring to Turkey's operation in northern Syria, which launched in October.
"Since these countries are among the coalition forces, we will discuss the extent to which they have fulfilled their duties within the coalition and how they can support the plans and projects we prepared," he added. (…)
On the same issue, Sabah (04.12.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/12/04/turkey-expects-nato-allies-to-recognize-legitimate-security-concerns-altun-says) also reports that Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun urged Turkey's NATO allies to recognize the country's legitimate security concerns and needs, as he highlighted that the ongoing summit in London will give member states a chance to hold discussions and dialogue.
Altun criticized NATO allies for failing to recognize Turkey's contribution and efforts in important global issues, including the fight against Daesh, the refugee crisis and more.
In a series of messages on his Twitter account, Altun said Turkey's demand has been "pretty basic". "Our allies must support us in our fight against terror groups just as we support their security by being a top contributor to NATO," the communications director said, adding that Turkey has successfully handled the refugee crisis while waging a determined fight against Daesh. (…)
Altun continued by saying that European allies need to do their part by halting support to the terrorists, as Turkey puts its forces on the ground in Syria to facilitate the return of refugees. "We have prevented large swaths of territory from becoming terrorist safe havens," Altun said, about three anti-terror operations carried out by the Turkish military in northern Syria. However, Altun noted that Turkey's allies criticized the country's anti-terror efforts rather than support them. (…)
Altun also touched upon the failure of European allies to provide financial support for the refugees: "Our European partners continue to be timid in helping us meet this monumental challenge," he said, as he noted that the London summit will provide an opportunity for all member states to hold "candid discussions" about the issues. "It is only through meaningful dialogue that NATO can be strengthened," Altun added.
Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (03.12.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/dunya/turkiye-libya-anlasmasi-turkiyenin-dogu-akdeniz-politikasinda-onemli-kazanim/1662097) reports: “According to sources from officials in Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, the “Greek Cypriot administration [Cyprus government] has made agreements on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction with the region’s countries according to the principle of equidistance considering Cyprus island as ‘continental territory’.
However, the principle of equidistance is not the one to be used for the delimitation of continental shelves and EEZ. The main principle in international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is the equitable principle. According to this principle, comparing islands with mainlands may give them less continental shelf/EEZ. Even the islands could be completely surrounded. At this point, many factors such as the size of the islands, lengths of the façade, location and even how far from the mainland should be taken into account.”
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.12.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/iyi-party-blames-presidential-system-for-economic-woes-149394), Turkey’s opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener on Dec. 3 blamed the executive presidential system for the country’s financial problems, saying the economy has “collapsed”.
“Let’s take a look at the 500-day report of the presidential system. [The economy] contracted over 4%. Our national income dropped to $8,811. We became 10% poorer compared to last year. The unemployment rate increased to 14% from 10%,” Akşener said, during the parliamentary group meeting of her party. “Of course, there are official figures. The realities of life are way direr,” she added.
Akşener also conveyed that the number of unemployed persons in Turkey exceeded 4.6 million, while 369,000 more college graduates became unemployed, reaching over 1.2 million. “The number of unemployed youth increased by 470,000. Now, we have 1,518,000 unemployed young people,” she said.
Akşener also focused on inflation rates, saying the state of the economy has left Turkey behind underdeveloped nations. “When I voice these realities, Mr. [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan gets very angry. He says, ‘She is playing with the figures.’ But all of the figures I give is the state’s official data,” she said.
The opposition leader said the presidential system damaged not only the economy but also democracy and the judiciary in Turkey. “Aside from the mistrust within the country, this means a huge trust issue for investments,” she added.
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