Recent News


No. 753                                                                                 07-09.12.2019




Α. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Oktay: “Turkey will open 5 new drill sites in the Eastern Mediterranean”

2. A survey on the tripartite meeting in Berlin

3. Erhurman: “CTP has always nominated its party leader as presidential candidate”

4. Izcan re-elected leader of the United Cyprus Party

5. Benter: Varosha belongs to Evkav

B. Turkish Press

1. Erdoğan: “Turkey, Libya maritime deal sent to UN”

2. Cavusoglu: Turkey ready to take any measure to defend its vessels operating in Eastern Mediterranean

3. “Greece's move to expel Libya envoy is a sign of weakness”, Akar claims

4. ‘Turkey-Libya maritime deal no threat to  other states’, says Akar

5. Tatar: “A new map emerges in the  Mediterranean”

6. Turkey reportedly looking for a third drilling platform


Α. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Oktay: “Turkey will open 5 new drill sites in the Eastern Mediterranean”

Illegal Bayrak (09.12.19 reports that Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay speaking during the budget discussions at the Turkish Grand National Assembly Oktay said: “Turkey will not make any concession on its rights in Cyprus, the Aegean or the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Evaluating the natural gas exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, he said that “Turkey will open 5 new drill sites in the Eastern Mediterranean and continue to pursue an active strategy in its oil and natural gas activities”

Turkish Vice-President Oktay also said  that “Turkey will protect its rights and interests”.

2. A survey on the tripartite meeting in Berlin

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs(09.12.19) reports that according to a survey carried out by COMAR company in the beginning of December 2019 using the method of face to face interviews with 2,189 persons, the Greek Cypriot side is the one that gained from the agreement achieved during the tripartite meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the UNSG held on 25 November in Berlin. 

Asked which side they believed benefited the most from the result of the tripartite meeting, the participants in the survey replied: The Greek Cypriots -31,7%, no one -29,9%, both sides -17,5%, the Turkish Cypriot side -7,4%, the EU -3,7%, Turkey -3,2%, Greece -0,7%, Britain -1% and everyone -4,9%.   

Asked “how do you evaluate the result of the tripartite meeting”, 42% of the participants said it was negative, 21,6% positive and 25,2% replied that they were not informed about the meeting. 11,2% said that the result was neither positive nor negative.

Asked whether they believed that Akinci came into conflict with Turkish officials because of the agreement reached at the tripartite meeting, 55,4% of the participants said yes, 35,5% said no and 9,1% said they had no opinion on the issue.

Asked to say who was responsible for the non-solution in Cyprus, 52,9% replied the Greek Cypriots, 10% Turkey, 5,7% the Turkish Cypriot side and 3,2% Greece.   

Asked whether they believed that there would be developments in the direction of a federal solution in Cyprus after the tripartite meeting, 71,3% of the participants said no, 22,5% yes and 6,2% expressed no view.

Asked which solution model they supported, 29,6% replied confederation based on two separate independent states, 29,7% bi-zonal bi-communal federation, 18,7% recognition of the “TRNC”, 11,4% integration with Turkey, 1,2% unitary Republic of Cyprus, 3,8% continuation of the current situation and 0,9% replied that there was no problem called the Cyprus problem. 

The following table shows the correlation between the replies of the participants in the survey to the question “in your opinion, with which of the models below should the solution of the Cyprus problem be realized?” and the candidate they intend to vote for in the forthcoming “presidential elections”:

Who they will vote for

Bi-zonal bi-communal federation

Confederation based on two separate independent states

Integration with Turkey

Unitary Republic of Cyprus

Recognition of the “TRNC”

Mustafa Akinci






Ersin Tatar






Tufan Erhurman






Kudret Ozersay






Serdar Denktas






Erhan Arikli












No answer






Will not go to the ballot box








3. Erhurman: “CTP has always nominated its party leader as presidential candidate”

Under the title “Erhurman is a likely candidate”, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (09.12.19), on its front page, publishes an interview with the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman.

Following the decision by the CTP to “nominate a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections”, Erhurman said that “CTP, with the exception of two occasions, has always nominated its party leader as its presidential candidate”.

Referring to the Cyprus issue, Erhurman argued that the candidates should defend a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem, but at the same time, they should also determine what should be done in case that it [Cyprus settlement] is not realized. He further explained: “we should present what we should do in situations that solution cannot be reached due to reasons that are beyond us”.

Asked to evaluate the trilateral meeting in Berlin, Erhurman said that they had always defended it, adding: “We wanted a result that will pave the way for the negotiation process and open the door of the five-lateral summit… We tried for this… We said that it is important for the difficulties of political equality to be minimized significantly, if not entirely”.



4. Izcan re-elected leader of the United Cyprus Party

Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Detay (09.12.19) reports that Izzet Izcan, who has been leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) since 2003, was re-elected yesterday during the 5th ordinary general assembly of the party.

Addressing the party assembly, Izcan referred to the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, stressing that the region, including Cyprus, is passing through a ring of fire and what is going on is just an effort to exploit the rich energy resources of the Middle East.

Referring to the Cyprus issue, Izcan noted that there is an effort on both sides of the island to eliminate the solution based on federation. He reiterated that the solution should be bi-communal, bi-zonal federation based on political equality by referring to the UN Resolutions.



5. Benter: Varosha belongs to Evkav

Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (08.12.19) reports that İbrahim Benter, the general director of the “Evkaf Administration” claimed that the fenced-off Varosha city is entirely Evkaf property.

He claimed that the area was purchased by Lala Mustafa Pasa following the conquest of Cyprus in 1571 only to be donated later to the foundation established in his name.

“We have numerous documents proving that this area belonged to the Evkaf for 300 years. It is seen when examining the title deeds and registers that the area belongs to the Evkaf,” he claimed adding  that the title deeds had been sold unlawfully,  by the British during the island’s colonial rule to Greek Cypriots who then invested in the area.

“We are prepared to sign rent contracts with Greek Cypriots if a political understanding is reached and they accept that the fenced-off city belongs to the Evkaf,” he added.


B. Turkish Press

1. Erdoğan: “Turkey, Libya maritime deal sent to UN”

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (07.12.19 reports that Turkey’s maritime boundary delimitation agreement with Libya was sent to the United Nations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan said the deal -- already signed by the president -- was ratified by the parliament and published on Dec. 7's Official Gazette, going into effect.

On Nov. 27, Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) signed the bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU).

Speaking at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) consultation meeting of provincial heads in Istanbul, Erdoğan said Turkey will use its rights under international law and international maritime law till the end on Eastern Mediterranean.

Erdoğan also slammed Greece over its expulsion of the Libyan ambassador, dubbing it as a "scandalous" move. "What did you gain from this?"

Turkey called on the regional countries to work in a collective manner regarding the distribution of hydrocarbon reserves, which have an estimated value of hundreds of billions of dollars and turn the natural sources into an opportunity to boost bilateral ties and neighboring relations.

However, Ankara’s calls have fallen on deaf ears so far and some countries attempted to isolate Turkey from the energy equation. Turkey maintains drilling activities in the Mediterranean region under escort of the country’s navy elements.

The Turkish President also said that Turkey is not to leave Syria unless foreign countries withdraw from the region. He added that Turkey is in Syria by the demand of the Syrian people.

"We are the ones who cleared the region of 3,000 Daesh terrorists. There is no other country in this world putting up this fight," he said, using the Arabic acronym of ISIL.


2. Cavusoglu: Turkey ready to take any measure to defend its vessels operating in Eastern Mediterranean  

Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.12.19 reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that  Ankara rejected unilateral steps in the Eastern Mediterranean region and suggested the establishment of a commission that will distribute revenues.

When asked if Turkey will use force amid its search and drilling activities off Cyprus, he said that  Turkey does not want a military escalation in the region, Cavusoglu warned, adding it was ready to take any measure to defend its vessels operating there. 

As part of his visit to Italy to attend the 5th MED 2019-Mediterranean Forum from Dec. 5 to 7, Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to the local daily Corriere della Sera on a variety of topics, including Turkey’s S-400 purchase, its anti-terror operation in northern Syria and recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

NATO did not raise any objection to Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile system whereas the U.S. criticized the move, Turkish foreign minister said.

"The U.S. criticized us, however, NATO did not say anything. On the contrary, NATO secretary-general [Jens Stoltenberg] repeatedly stated all countries have the  right to buy the weapon and defense system they want," he said. 

Cavusoglu said many false stories accusing Turkey of changing the demographic structure of northern Syria, creating a humanitarian crisis or even reviving the Daesh terror group were circulating on international media, but they were only smear campaigns by those seeking to establish a state in the region.

He said the international community should focus on the reconstruction of the war-ridden region, not the smear campaign against Turkey, adding the Ankara administration was ready to collaborate with all countries.

Asked about any possible contact with Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Cavusoglu said: “Everybody’s help is needed for the return of refugees to Syria. That might be an option.”


On a question regarding the arrests and dismissals following July 15, 2016 defeated coup, Cavusoglu asserted that the government had the responsibility to defend its citizens, and added the FETO terrorists directly struck the parliament with fighter jets.


3. “Greece's move to expel Libya envoy is a sign of weakness”, Akar claims

According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (09.12.109,, Turkey’s National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, commenting on the expulsion of Libya’s Ambassador to Athens, claimed: “We consider it as a sign of weakness. It will influence the result. We advise Greece to approach the matter with calm, logic and wisdom and to take into consideration international law. I would like to underline that this agreement is fully in accordance with international law”.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk in Ankara on December 9, Akar, referring to Turkey-Libya maritime pact, reiterated: “It was signed to defend the rights and interests of Libya and Turkey, two sovereign countries and does not pose a threat against our neighbours”.  He further claimed: “We will not allow the violation of Turkey’s rights and law, as well as the rights and law of our Cypriot brothers. We will not allow in any way fait accompli. We want everyone to know that any decision to be taken without Turkey will in no way be valid.”

On the same issue, Akar also said: “Plans that Turkey is not a part of, cannot be carried out, because we are the guarantor country. We invite all sides at the negotiating table to solve the problem [Eastern Mediterranean]”, Turkey’s state channel TRT (09.12.19, broadcast.



4. ‘Turkey-Libya maritime deal no threat to  other states’, says Akar

Turkish daily Yeni Safak (08.12.19 reports that Turkey's recent maritime agreement with Libya is neither a threat nor a breach of the rights or the law of other countries, said Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Sunday, speaking at the Land Forces Command in the capital Ankara.

Signed on Nov. 27, the pact laying out both countries' marine jurisdictions rejects unilateral and illegal activities by other regional countries and international firms and aims to protect the rights of both countries in line with the international law of the sea.

Akar also said that Turkey has fulfilled its obligations from Syria deals with the U.S. and Russia and expects them to do the same, referring to deals under which YPG/PKK terrorists must leave northern Syria, the site of a Turkish anti-terror operation.

Speaking just days after last week’s NATO summit in London, Akar stressed that Turkey “takes threats to NATO seriously and also expects the alliance to fulfill its responsibilities to Turkey.”


5. Tatar: “A new map emerges in the  Mediterranean”

Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.12.19 reports that self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar claimed that “the balance in the Mediterranean has changed, and this new balance should be taken into consideration by all parties”.

While answering questions from anchor Hakan Çelik on private broadcaster CNN Türk on Dec. 8, Tatar said that a new map has emerged in the Mediterranean Sea, after a maritime pact signed between Turkey and Libya.

“The Greek Cypriot side comes to such a game that they will lose what they have. The agreement with Libya has changed all balances. A new map has emerged,” Tatar said.

Tatar alleged  that “the claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriots are unfair even to Egypt and Israel”. “This [claims of Greece and Greek Cyprus] is done through the rights of small islands such as Meis and Crete. Under international law, the continental shelf of a tiny island cannot be a demand for exclusive economic zones,” he said.

Referring to the ongoing Cyprus talks, Tatar said that the failure to achieve a final solution in Cyprus could result in a separation.

Currently, in their [Greek Cypriot] minds, these negotiations are based on a federal partnership. We aim to maintain the existence of the Turks in the north under the constituent state,” Tatar said.

“They [Greek Cypriots] are putting trapped agreements in front of us. Our desire is to have the majority of Turks in the property and population in the northern part of Cyprus,” he added.

Referring to the tripartite meeting between Turkish Cypriot leader  Mustafa Akıncı, President Nikos Anastasiades and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held in Nov. 25 in Berlin, Tatar said  that the talks have been going on more than 50 years without any results.

“What we cannot give up is the right to guarantee of Turkey. We know very well what the Greek Cypriots want. Mustafa Akıncı and his colleagues think that these guarantees can be changed by another mechanism. You cannot force anyone to marry, this business has been spoken for 50 years in Cyprus,” he noted.

6. Turkey reportedly looking for a third drilling platform

Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak (09.12.19, reports that after the memorandum of understanding with Libya, which has allegedly broadened Turkey’s “field of sovereignty in the Eastern Mediterranean and changed balances”, Ankara is intensifying its drillings in the area. After Fatih and Yavuz drilling platforms, Turkey intensified its efforts in the direction of looking for a third drilling platform.

Norway, from which Ankara had purchased the first two drilling platforms, is among the countries with which Turkey held contacts.

With the purchase of a third drilling platform, Turkey’s vessels in the area will increase to five, notes the paper adding that the training of personnel to be employed in these vessels has also intensified, within the framework of measures taken so that Turkey’s plans in its “blue homeland” are not influenced by “embargoes and sanctions implemented by western countries”.





(CS/ EH)