A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan(12.12.19) publishes statements made on Wednesday night by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to three Turkish Cypriot TV channels: Bayrak, Kanal Sim and Genç TV.
The paper reports that Akinci said that the bi-zonal bi-communal solution was confirmed in the statement published after the tripartite meeting in Berlin between the two community leaders and the UNSG Antonio Guterres. He also noted that the text of the statement was based on the UN Security Council Resolution No 716, which includes the effective participation in the decisions and “therefore it is important”.
Akinci argued that the most important target was a strategic agreement and added: “This was exactly what we have been trying to explain: It is a text explaining that there will be no negotiation only for the sake of negotiation. For this reason, I attach importance to this statement”.
Recalling that after Crans Montana the UNSG had given a period to the sides to make assessments, Akinci said that during their meetings held with Guterres in New York in September, the UNSG had evaluated the possibilities of holding a tripartite and five party meetings and decided to convene a tripartite meeting.
Noting that the tripartite meeting in Berlin was not something that came up suddenly, Akinci recalled that before going to Berlin he had met with the Turkish Cypriot political parties and during that meeting he had said that he was going to Berlin to put the efforts for a solution in Cyprus “on the right track”, “to make the road before us a little bit more evident” and not to negotiate for the sake of negotiations.
Noting that the bi-zonal, bi-communal solution was confirmed in the text published after the tripartite meeting in Berlin, Akinci said that the text was based on the UN Security Council Resolution No 716, which includes the effective participation in the decisions. Akinci underlined also the importance of the fact that the text after the meeting in Berlin had been published with the approval of all three sides.
Pointing out that in the said text the UNSG committed himself to work for a five party meeting, Akinci argued that the sides were not in a hurry now for holding a five party meeting and added that this meeting would take place after the “elections” to be held in the occupied area of Cyprus in April 2020. He noted that the five-party meeting would take place with the participation of representatives from the two communities, the three guarantor powers and the UN.
Describing the target of reaching a strategic agreement as the most important one, Akinci argued that this was his view, which has now become a view of the UN and of President Anastasiades.
Akinci noted also that the UNSG said that he would help on the issue of the terms of reference which have not been formed yet.
Wondering whether there was an alternative different than federation on the table, Akinci noted that whatever was done it would be done through negotiations and under the UN roof.
He argued that bi-zonality and the rotating presidency were also confirmed in the above-mentioned text.
“Perhaps the events in the Eastern Mediterranean is a factor for UNSG Guterres saying that he would help us on this point”, argued Akinci adding that the UNSG wanted to help in the Cyprus problem after the green light taken by the UN Security Council, “because the solution of the Cyprus problem will settle many issues”.
Claiming that there were some concrete issues in the Guterres framework and some issues which were not concrete, Akinci argued that the concrete issues were the rotating presidency, the effective participation and the property issue. The issues which were not concrete are the matters of security and guarantees, he added.
Noting that it was said that a new bi-zonal system would be established in a possible agreement, Akinci argued: “What we should basically look at is the following: 1. Equality, 2. Freedom and 3. Security. A system which does not include our security is not something which our people will accept. However, the way of how the security issue will be should be discussed. We must not be afraid of discussing. We are not living in the 1960. […]”.
Recalling that the final decision would be taken in a referendum, Akinci added that no one would accept an agreement which would take them back to the pre-1974 period. “Therefore no one needs to worry”, he said.
Referring to the agreement signed recently between Turkey and Libya, Akinci alleged that this was deriving from a mentality which excluded Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots and would corner Turkey in the Antalya Gulf. He claimed that the agreement was “a reaction to an action” and recalled that Turkey had stated that it was ready to meet with all countries in the area except for the Republic of Cyprus. “It is a counter move by Turkey. It is possible to understand why it was made”, he added.
Pointing out that as long as there was no solution in Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean would continue creating problems, Akinci argued that overcoming the “weakness”, which Turkey experienced with its neighboring countries, would be good mainly for Turkey but also for the said countries as well, “because Turkey is not a country that could be ignored”. “The other countries, however, are also important for themselves. Therefore, if the weakness here is overcome, it will be for everyone’s benefit”, he said.
According to illegal Bayrak television (12.12.19-https://www.brtk.net/akarkibris-bizim-milli-meselemizdir-kimse-taviz-beklemesin/), Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, in statements yesterday during the budget discussion in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), referred, inter alia, to the Cyprus problem and reiterated that Turkey would continue with determination protecting its rights and interest in Cyprus and its surroundings. He alleged further that they would be protecting with determination the rights and interests of their “blue homeland”.
Akar added also the following: “Cyprus is a national cause for us. Nobody should expect from us to make concessions on this. All know our views and approaches towards this issue. We do not turn our eyes to the rights of no one. “When saying that ‘we want good neighborhood ties’, should not be perceived as a concession or weakness and when we say that ‘we would not allow any fait accompli’, should not be perceived as a threat’”, Akar further argued.
Recalling that Turkey has signed two MoU with the Libya state National Consensus Government, Akar claimed that these MoU constitute the legal basis for broadening their cooperation in the security and military field. He further claimed that they put forward that they would not allow any fait accompli in the region and they have registered their maritime jurisdiction areas according to the international law in order to protect the rights and interests of the two countries.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (12.12.19) reports that so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar, speaking yesterday in the so-called assembly which has approved the “prime ministry’s budget”, claimed that “they would definitely sign the economic protocol in 2020”, alleging that bureaucrats have already prepared a “draft of the protocol” and have already conveyed it to Turkey.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Güneş (12.12.19) reports that Tatar claimed yesterday while speaking in the “assembly” that a lot of things have changed in the “TRNC” during the 4,5 years that the Turkish Cypriots leader Mustafa Akinci was “elected in the presidency”. Tatar went on to allege that when he looks the “structure of the assembly”, he wants to send the message that federation is not the only solution on the Cyprus problem. Pointing out that the “parliament” reflects the wishes and the stance of the “people”, Tatar claimed that everybody should be aware from now on that it is not possible for a federal solution to be found on the Cyprus problem.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen(12.12.19) reports that Dogus Derya, self-styled deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has said that the allegation that the occupied fenced off city of Varosha was an EVKAF property was not true. Speaking at the “assembly” yesterday, Derya noted that the principle of prescription was valid even in the “religious law” and added that the prescription period for the EVKAF properties in the “TRNC” was 36 years.
Pointing out that the EVKAF’s properties in occupied fenced off Varosha had been prescribed, Derya accused EVKAF’s administration of hiding the issue of prescription, of not allowing researchers to enter into its archives and of preventing the correct information to come to light.
She recalled that late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas had committed himself to returning Varosha to its legal owners and wondered whether Denktas had not been clever enough to say that “Varosha is EVKAF’s property” and spend millions.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (12.12.19) reports that the self-styled minister of health Faiz Sucuoglu, evaluating the “agreement of general health security” signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime stated that it will be able to cover both workers who are “citizens and non-citizens”.
Sucuoglu, who was speaking at TV Gunes, also said that due to this agreement they will be able in the future to work together with the health system of Turkey and the persons that are covered with the plan will be able to be benefited by Turkey’s health security system as well. As he said, he discussed this issue with the Turkish Foreign Minister who said that he ia willing to cover for 300,000 more thousand persons since they cover already for 82 million persons.
Turkish daily Sabah (12.12.19) cites diplomatic sources and reports that Turkey informed the UN about the pact between Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) so the agreement to be registered.
The paper writes that Turkey made that move yesterday and notes that the pact was signed on Nov. 27 and was published in Turkey’s Official Gazette with the signature of Tayyip Erdogan.
According to Turkey’s presidential official site (11.12.19, https://www.tccb.gov.tr/haberler/410/113912/cumhurbaskanligi-sozcusu-kalin-akdeniz-in-baris-denizi-olmasi-icin-butun-taraflarla-anlasmaya-haziriz-), Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, speaking to reports on Wednesday following a Cabinet at the presidential complex, commented also to Turkey-Libya deal as following:
“As for Libya, there are two agreements with Libya on November 27 in Istanbul; one related to maritime jurisdiction and the other is a security and military agreement. The agreement on the maritime jurisdiction is the new one. As you know, they were discontent on the issue, reactions are still coming, frankly, we have hard time to understand this. Because, it is unacceptable an agreement that was mutually put together by two neighbouring countries with coastlines in the Mediterranean is greeted with childish fit from other countries. According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the countries can meet and make bilateral, trilateral, or multilateral agreements with countries with coastlines in the same sea. As a matter of fact, we have seen that Israel, Egypt, Greece and the South Cyprus [Republic of Cyprus] made trilateral-quadrilateral agreements in order to confine us to the Antalya coast in the Mediterranean. For example, we have made it clear that we can cooperate with all sides and make agreements in order the Mediterranean to become a sea of peace. The only exception is South Cyprus [Republic of Cyprus], because we do not officially recognize it. However, we stated that we can cooperate with other countries on delimitation of maritime jurisdictions, continental shelf and on seismic researches, drillings and in other sectors. This was the first agreement”.
He further said: “The second agreement is the agreement on security and military cooperation. This is an updated version of a previously signed agreement, if I am not mistaken of 2011 or 2012, which has been widened a little. According to this agreement, if the internationally recognized government of Libya has a request from Turkey, to send troops, the legal text is ready within the scope of this agreement. Of course, there is not such request, at the time being, from Libya. We hope that they will not obliged to do so.”
Turkish Daily Sabah (11.12.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/12/11/turkey-wont-allow-unauthorized-searches-drilling-within-borders-of-libya-deal-energy-minister-says) reports that Turkey will not allow anyone to conduct search, drilling or production activities within the maritime borders secured through the Libya deal without authorization from Ankara, Energy Minister Fatih Dönmez said Wednesday.
Speaking to Daily Sabah, Dönmez presented his assessments on Turkey's gains regarding the memorandum of understanding on the limitation of maritime jurisdiction signed between Turkey and Libya.
"The agreement with Libya was made with the official government recognized by the whole world. We are opposite shore countries with Libya. The agreement is in line with international maritime law. This has nothing to do with NATO. It is no more than an unavailing effort. There is no gap to which Greece could object to," Dönmez said, adding that those who were trying to throw Turkey and Greece out of the equation did not expect such a move and Turkey maximized its realm of authority in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Dönmez also evaluated President Erdoğan's statements on the purchase of a third drilling vessel. Indicating that a number of alternatives on the purchase of the vessel are being negotiated, Dönmez said, "As our President has announced, we will continue our activities with the third vessel not in the Mediterranean but in the Black Sea and maybe even in international waters."
Dönmez, who also gave information on Fatih's drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean in Finike, said: "It was recorded during drilling made from 3,953 meters onward in the Finike-1 bore that gas rates had shown a significant hike. Following analysis, the gas was determined to have thermogenic roots. With this discovery, we verified that oil and natural gas searches until today have been moving in the right direction."
The country's deep-sea drilling has gained momentum through 3D seismic data that has evaluated nearly 37,000 kilometers in the Eastern Mediterranean up until now, resulting in plans to drill another five wells with the vessels in 2020.
Drilling work will be expedited in Thrace and southeastern Anatolia, while there are prospects of natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean where Turkey plans to drill another five wells. Minister Dönmez also said that authorization and drilling activities will be starting in 2020 for these five wells.
Exploration and drilling activities both at home and in the Eastern Mediterranean will be accelerated, the Minister added.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.12.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/sending-troops-to-libya-not-on-turkish-agenda-for-now/1670835) reports that sending ground troops to Libya is not currently on Turkey's foreign policy agenda, but the country might consider to do so if the UN-recognized Libyan government makes such a request, according to Turkish Foreign Minister.
"At the moment, as no such request was made, we don't have a plan of sending ground combat units [to Libya], but our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] earlier said we might evaluate this if such a request is made," Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday amid his joint news conference with his Croatian counterpart Gordan Grlic Radman in Ankara.
Croatia, as a member of the EU, would take side with the European community regarding the dispute over the Eastern Mediterranean, but Turkey viewed Croatia as an "objective and honest" country, he said.
Cavusoglu said he informed Radman about Ankara's policy in the region which is based on fairness and international laws, adding that” the Turkish government expected the EU to resolve the dispute instead of supporting unilateral acts of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration”.
"We want to develop relations with the EU in a mutual manner, but this cannot be [achieved] unilaterally," Cavusoglu said when asked about Ankara's ties with the union.
He said Ankara’s accession to the union, migration, customs union agreement, fight against terrorism, and free visa issues were the hot headlines in the relations, adding: "There are commitments the EU failed to fulfill regarding the migration deal. The EU must do its duty."
"We take side with dialogue, cooperation, and diplomacy," he said and underlined that the challenges the EU faced today could not be resolved alone and they required international collaboration.
Radman, for his part, said his country was happy with the developed bilateral ties shared with Turkey and said the countries had tremendous potential to boost their trade volume.
The bilateral trade volume could climb to $1 billion and entrepreneurs could invest in both sides, he added.
The Croatian Foreign Minister referred to Turkey as a "strategic partner" and an important international actor in the eyes of his country.
He added that Turkey has played a key and successful role tackling terrorism and migration issue, and thanked Cavusoglu for Turkey's efforts in helping Syrian and Afghan migrants.
Emphasizing that both Croatia and Turkey stood as important NATO allies, he said both sides worked fruitfully for ensuring European security.
He argued that the current political crisis around the globe stemmed from the asymmetric threats, referring to small terror groups, and said that today's warfare, especially against terror, has drastically changed.
He stressed that terrorism had no religion and it was not a national matter in today’s world, and all countries must work side by side to eliminate this threat.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.12.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-bill-a-disrespect-to-turkey-s-sovereign-decisions/1671242) reports that Turkey on Thursday condemned the passing of a sanctions bill against Turkey by the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Committee, calling it a “disrespect to our sovereign decisions about our national security.”
“The recent attempts carried out with domestic political calculations in both wings of the Congress, which have also been supported by the circles against Turkey, is a new incident of disrespect to our sovereign decisions about our national security,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Ministry said these attempts “are beyond damaging U.S.-Turkey relations.”
“We know on what bases the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations adopted a bill to impose sanctions on our country on the pretext of our Operation Peace Spring and [Russian] S-400 system,” according to the Ministry.
It said the reason was “the profound disappointment due to the heavy blow Turkey dealt to the project which has been carefully prepared for a long time.”
“Turkey had responded to a similar bill with a similar content adopted by the House of Representatives on Oct. 29. This time, the bill that is being put on the agenda of the Senate shows that our explanations are not intended to be understood,” the Ministry added.
The Ministry called on the U.S. Congress to adopt a constructive attitude towards the development of Turkish-U.S. relations, “which will not undermine our common goals”.
Ankara Anatolia news (12.12.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkish-maritime-pact-with-libya-effective-as-of-dec-8/1671213) reports that Dec. 8 has been determined as the effective date for the landmark pact between Turkey and Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) that sets out the countries’ Eastern Mediterranean maritime boundaries. The decision was published in Turkey’s Official Gazette early Thursday.
The pact was signed on Nov. 27 and passed by Turkey's Parliament on Dec. 5. It went into effect on Dec. 7 in Turkey and on Dec. 8 in Libya after the two countries published it in their respective Official Gazettes.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (11.12.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/giving-up-on-s-400s-out-of-question-says-defense-minister-149720) reports that the Turkish defense minister has said Turkey will not back out of the Russian S-400 air defense systems it procured over the summer of 2019 and is in contact with its NATO allies, particularly the U.S., regarding a solution.
“We repeatedly reiterate that the U.S. is our strategic partner and we expect them to act in accordance with the spirit of strategic partnership. There is no such thing as giving up on this system anymore,” Hulusi Akar told state-run Anadolu Agency in a Dec. 8 interview, which was published on Dec. 11.
“We need to focus on finding a solution with the existence of this system,” he added.
The Minister also said that Turkey continues its relationships with all parties to manage the disputes caused by Ankara’s S-400 purchase.
Turkey procured the S-400s in a bid to defend its nation and country, he added.
Akar also unveiled some technical details about the S-400 systems.
He said that the delivery of an S-400 fleet, consisting of two batteries, has been completed. The batteries’ installation process continues, he added.
“The installation is not in terms of its location. These will be installed, and its works and test will be done,” he said.
Akar also conveyed that the training of military personnel for the usage of S-400s continues but is expected to be completed by the end of December. The military officials will also undertake additional training by Russian instructors, he added.
“Those instructors will come and continue to train the personnel in Turkey, and probably, in the spring of 2020 this installation will take place and activities will start to be carried out,” he said.
Ankara and Moscow are also in talks for a second fleet of S-400s, the minister said. He added that Turkey has some criteria such as technology transfer, joint production, and joint exportation.
He also underlined that Turkey is currently working to build an indigenous air defense system such as Hisar, a low- and medium-altitude missile systems, and Siper, a long-range missile system.
“Our works continue from two sides; the procurement of S-400s and works for indigenous production,” he said.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (11.12.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-attaches-great-importance-to-relations-with-us-3507137) reports that Turkey attaches a great importance to its relations with the U.S., the head of the Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee said on Tuesday.
In a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield, Volkan Bozkir said Satterfield's experience in the region is a great advantage for both the U.S. and Turkey.
The two countries should move the relations forward, Bozkir added.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION