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TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIΕW-10.12.19

No. 754                                                                                 10.12.2019

 

Context

A. Turkish Cypriot press

1. Turkish Cypriot politicians evaluate Turkey-Libya deal

2. Afrika: Is Turkey moving to “conquer” Libya?

3. COMAR opinion poll show UBP gaining more power

4. “The number of Turkish Cypriots living abroad is 650,000”

5. “A memorandum of understanding” was signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime

B. Turkish Press

1. Erdoğan: Turkey and Libya can conduct joint explorations in eastern Med

2. Cavusoglu: “We broke their game by sending ships”

3. Russian, Turkish defense ministers hold phone call

4. Turkey deports 11 French citizens over Daesh/ISIS links

 

A. Turkish Cypriot press

1. Turkish Cypriot politicians evaluate Turkey-Libya deal

Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Haberci (10.12.19) reports that they have asked “deputies” in the “parliament” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus to evaluate the recent developments in the eastern Mediterranean with Turkey’s agreement with Libya.

Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the Socialist Democracy Party (TDP), noting that the Cyprus problem could not be solved for a long time now, said that the issue of how to use the natural resources both in the sea and in the country is always a mystery, because the [Cyprus] problem is not solved.

Claiming that Turkey has also its own rights in this area, Ozyigit said that with this, the problems with the Greek Cypriot side have started. He further said: “Of course, we don’t want tension”, adding that the Greek Cypriot side should accept that Turkish Cypriots, MAronites, Latins and Armenians have also have rights on the hydrocarbon issue. He also claimed that the difficulties will continue, as long as the Greek Cypriot side does not accept this and continues not accepting this. Ozigit noted that the proposal by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to establish a joint committee with the Greek Cypriot side on the hydrocarbon issue was rejected by the Greek Cypriot leader, adding that on top of this, Cyprus President signed unilateral agreements.

Referring also to Turkey-Libya agreement, Erhan Arikli, leader of the Revival Party (YDP), expressed his sadness that “the TRNC government and parliament did not take a step by issuing a declaration of support to Turkey-Libya agreement”. He claimed that this agreement has changed the balance in the region and the importance of the “TRNC” [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] has been increased at the moment.

Fikri Toros, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that they should look at the Eastern Mediterranean issue from the perspective of Turkey, claiming that both Turkey’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone are in accordance with its rights. He further argued that with this agreement, Turkey has showed how serious, how determined and how clear it is to protect its rights in the eastern Mediterranean. Toros also said that the main reason that the maritime jurisdiction has become visible is because the Cyprus problem is continuing, arguing that the geopolitical problems in the eastern Mediterranean are, in fact, being shaped around Cyprus.

Oguzhan Hasipoglu, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), claimed that the struggle of the Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean is a sovereign one. Claiming that “the most important agreement for their sovereign rights was the agreement for their continental shelf signed in 2011 between the ‘TRNC’ and Turkey”, Hasipoglu added that the second most important agreement is the memorandum of understanding signed between Libya and Turkey.

Hasan Buyukoglu, “deputy” with the People’s Party (HP), said that the agreement between Turkey and Libya is an important step because it shows the strength of Turkey and “a strong Turkey is also strengthening the hand of the TRNC”.

(DPs)

2. Afrika: Is Turkey moving to “conquer” Libya?

Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Afrika (10.12.19), on its front page, commending on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement that Turkey may send troops to Libya in response to a call from Libyan administration during an interview to TRT on Monday, writes: “We will not call it an invasion, we will call it a conquest! (…) Turkey doesn’t invade, conquers!”

The paper also reports that Erdogan, during the interview, said that Turkey would have the right to deploy soldiers in Libya if invited by the Libyan people and administration, adding: “In case such an invitation comes, how will Turkey decide and take charge…!”

(DPs)

 

3. COMAR opinion poll show UBP gaining more power

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.12.19) reports that according to an opinion poll conducted by COMAR, the  National Unity Party (UBP) is by far the leader among all the other parties if there were to be a general election next week.

According to the company, 44.6 %of the persons asked, stated that they would vote  for  UBP, 19.7% would vote for the Republican Turkish Party (CTP),  11.4% the Revival  Party (YDP-the party of the settlers), 7% the  Democratic Party (DP), 6.9% the People’s Party (HP), 5,8% the Social Democratic Party (TDP) and the 4,6 Communal Liberation Party (TKP).

The poll also  shows  that UBP is ranked in the first place in all “six districts “ in the breakaway regime  followed by CTP and YDP.

COMAR  asked 2,189 randomly selected participants who they would vote for should there be a parliamentary election next week.

(CS)

4. “The number of Turkish Cypriots living abroad is 650,000”

Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs (10.12.19) reports that the “Platform of the living abroad Union” announced that the number of Turkish Cypriots living abroad is 650,000.  This applies to persons that are “TRNC citizens” or not, the platform says.

The paper also reports that the leaders of various organisations of Turkish Cypriots living abroad stated that they would like to participate in “TRNC politics”.

(CS)

 

5. “A memorandum of understanding” was signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime

Illegal Bayrak (10.12.19 https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=trnc-turkey-cooperation) broadcast that “ a memorandum of understanding” was signed between the so-called ministry of labour and the Turkish Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services.

“The agreement aims to strengthen social and economic development and further develop and strengthen the general health insurance provided to individuals”, according to Bayrak.

 

B. Turkish Press

 

1. Erdoğan: Turkey and Libya can conduct joint explorations in eastern Med

According to Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Safak (10.12.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/erdogan-turkey-and-libya-can-conduct-joint-explorations-in-eastern-med-3507010), with the maritime deal between Turkey and Libya, Ankara has shown the world its determination to protect its rights under international law, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday.

Speaking at a live televised interview with TRT, the country’s public broadcaster, Erdogan added that Turkey and Libya can carry out joint exploration operations in the eastern Meditrranean after the two sides signed a deal on maritime boundaries.

Noting that Turkey has the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan claimed: “With this deal, we have taken a rightful step within the framework of international law against the approaches tried to be imposed by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration [Cyprus Republic] and the claims of maritime jurisdictions aiming to confine our country to the Gulf of Antalya.”

Erdogan recalled that a step was taken on the issue long ago, but it could not be proceeded due to then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s death. Since 2011, when long time ruler Gaddafi was ousted and killed, Libya has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which military Commander Khalifa Haftar is affiliated, and the Government of National Accord, which enjoys UN recognition.

Erdogan also said that some countries were disturbed by the deal, while similar deals were inked by ‘Greek Cypriot administration’ [Cyprus government], Egypt, Lebanon and Israel in the past 20 years, ignoring Turkey’s rights and international law in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Speaking about Turkey’s exploration and drilling activities there, Erdogan said that his country is set to buy another drill ship and that the country will carry on its activities not only in the Mediterranean but also in the Black Sea and “maybe even” in international waters. Turkey currently has two drilling and two seismic exploration ships, he added.

“Other international actors cannot conduct exploration activities in the areas marked in the memorandum. Greek Cypriots, Egypt, Greece and Israel cannot establish a natural gas transmission line without Turkey’s consent,” he added.

To a question about a possible military assistance call from Libya’s GNA, Erdogan said such a call from the Tripoli-based government, and Libyan nation gives Turkey that right to answer the call. “In case of such an invitation, Turkey will decide itself about what kind of initiative to undertake,” Erdogan said.

He also noted that Russia, the UAE and Egypt were violating the UN embargo on arms sales to Libya by providing military assistance to Haftar forces in the country.

On Russia’s approach to Libya, Erdogan said he wants to have a phone call with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin within a week to talk about the issue. He noted that any support given to Haftar is illegal just like his forces.

Erdogan also said Putin will visit Istanbul on Jan. 8 and they will inaugurate the TurkStream project.

On the planned safe zone in northern Syria, Erdogan said both deals reached separately with Russia and the U.S. have failed to yield the expected result. Turkey aims to settle 1 million Syrians in areas between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn in planned safe zone in northern Syria, the Turkish President said.

 

2. Cavusoglu: “We broke their game by sending ships”

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.12.19) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Turkey broke the game for Greek Cypriots by sending its vessels to areas that are outside their continental shelf but in areas where the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has given permits to”.

“They were not expecting such a move from Turkey. The balance has changed and there is a great panic” said the Turkish Foreign Minister.

He made these statements during a joint press conference with his Afghan counterpart, İdris Zaman, after the 8th Ministerial conference of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul process in Istanbul.

Cavusoglu claimed that the memorandum of understanding signed between Turkey and Libya is in line with international law.

3. Russian, Turkish defense ministers hold phone call

Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.12.19  https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/russian-turkish-defense-ministers-hold-phone-call/1668880) reports that  Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar discussed the situation in the Middle East in a recent phone call, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.

The two ministers paid particular attention to the implementation of the Russian-Turkish memorandum on Syria, the Ministry said in a statement.

"The parties discussed the situation in the Middle East region, paying special attention to the implementation of the Russian-Turkish memorandum of understanding on the settlement of the situation in the northeast of the Syrian Arab Republic and measures taken to stabilize the situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone," it said.

4. Turkey deports 11 French citizens over Daesh/ISIS links

Turkish daily Yeni Safak (10.12.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-deports-11-french-citizens-over-daesh-isis-links-3506958) reports that  Turkey deported 11 French citizens over links to the Daesh/ISIS terrorist group, the Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday.

The ministry statement said the extradition process continues “for other foreign terrorists”.

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TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(CS/ EH)