No. 762 20.12.2019
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Under the title “Do direct flights to Ercan [occupied airport of Tymbou] begin?”, columnist Sami Ozuslu, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen (20.12.19), evaluates Kibris Postasi paper’s recent article on launching direct flights through the British sovereign bases in Cyprus.
Ozuslu writes that the main reason of not opening the airports in the occupied area in Cyprus for direct flights is a “political obstacle”, in other words: “The status of the TRNC, more precisely its illegality”. He further explains: “The airspace of the TRNC, like its territory is not legal… There is no such thing as ‘TRNC airspace’ for any country except Turkey. Just as it does not have continental shelf and territorial waters… It means neither our land, nor our waters, nor our airspace are legal… In all international texts they are registered in the name of Cyprus… In other words, our land, our sea and our airspace belong to the Republic of Cyprus… The actual situation doesn’t allow the Republic of Cyprus to control the northern part of the island. Therefore, in this part of the island, the control is de facto in the TRNC authorities… The airspace in our side is called ‘advisory area’ and all the planes passing by come into contact with Ercan civil aviation. (…) However, no plane comes directly from any country apart from Turkey”.
Furthermore, the columnist writes that yesterday he asked the British High Commission for information regarding this issue, adding that the answer was clear: “The news is not true. There is no change in the position of Britain. Direct flights between Britain and the northern part of Cyprus are not in line with the United Kingdom’s international responsibilities”. Ozuslu concludes his article, with the statement: “This is the case”.
Under the title “UAVs-UCAVs, UBP-HP”, columnist Unal Findik, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen (20.12.19), comments on the recent deployment of Turkey’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) in the occupied area of Cyprus, as follows:
“That’s all we needed now in our country. (…) Armed or unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles will take off from our Gecitkale airport [occupied airport of Lefkonoiko]. TRNC prime minister Ersin Tatar said: ‘Turkey has requested, we have convened the council of ministers and we gave them permission.’ What’s the rush Mr Tatar? Why did you not play difficult at least? You should have asked for some money in exchange. You gave it away for free. Was it not built for this reason in the early 1980s in the first place? If you look at the papers in that period, it was reported that it was built for military purposes and it was described as the new military airport in Cyprus. Of course, the unmanned aerial vehicles were not yet discovered at that time.”
The columnist further reports: “On 12 December 2019, the Turkish peace forces in Cyprus [Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus] sent a letter to the government demanding that the airport be given to them. The UBP-HP government (National Unity Party-People’s Party), without delay, convened the council of ministers on December 13, 2019, suspended the contract with businessman Asil Nadir on the grounds of ‘force majeure’ and executed the order. This is an independent state.”
Findik accuses HP of becoming UBP’s crutch and they obey their orders immediately in order not to leave from the “government”. “After the decision of UAVs-UCAVs, UBP-HP were called to Ankara. Some said that there was a crisis in the coalition government; some said that it was because of the economic protocol”, Findik writes and wonders if the only thing that they care about is if the money from Turkey comes, regardless if war preparations are going on in “our small country”.
Illegal Bayrak (20.12.19https://www.brtk.net/ulucayazerbaycan-milli-meclisi-baskani-oktay-asadov-ile-gorustu/) reports that the “speaker of the assembly” Teberrüken Uluçay met with the speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan Oktay Asadov in Baku.
The meeting lasted about one hour.
According to a written statement made by the so-called assembly, Ulucay thanked Asadova for the invitation which was made within the framework of the TURKPA General Assembly and invited him to the breakaway regime.
Referring to the importance of the unity and solidarity of the Turkic-speaking countries, Uluçay said that Azerbaijan, a friendly and brotherly country, always has an exceptional value for the Turkish Cypriots.
During the meeting, Uluçay gave information about the process of the Cyprus problem, researches on natural gas around the island and investment activities, especially the education sector in the “country”.
Expressing the importance they attach to Turkish Cypriots, Asadov pointed out that they have established close ties in many areas, particularly in the field of cultural and artistic activities.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (20.12.19) reports that Yusuf Inaniroglu, the director of the theology college Hala Sultan in occupied Mia Millia stated that the number of the students of the college reached 1,500, making the collage one of the biggest schools in the breakaway regime.
He made these statements during a visiting paid to the school by the “deputy parliament speaker” Zorlu Tore. He also said that there are many applications pending for students who want to study at the theological college.
Turkish television channel (20.12.19 https://www.cnnturk.com/turkiye/bakan-donmez-akdenizde-misafir-degil-ev-sahibiyiz ) reports that Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez stated that Turkey is not a guest in the Mediterranean. “We are landlords”, he said and he reiterated that Turkey is committed to carrying out five new drillings in 2020.
Speaking at an energy conference in Batman, Turkey, Dönmez claimed that they will neither usurp anyone’s right nor will they allow anyone to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“It is not possible to carry out any exploration in the region without Turkey’s consent or approval,” Dönmez said, claiming that the agreement signed with Libya has blocked the plans of neighboring countries.
He noted that Turkey’s exploration will continue and added that Fatih and Yavuz drillships were operating at a depth of four thousand metres while Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa and Oruc Reis seismic research vessels continued with their research.
“We have the best vessels equipped with the highest technology,” he stated.
The Turkish Foreign Minister Hamit Aksoy (20.12.19 http://mfa.gov.tr/sc_-78_-abd-kongresinde-kabul%20edilen-tahsisatlar-yasa-tasarilari-hk-sc.en.mfa) issued the following statement on the issue of the approval by the U.S. Congress of draft Appropriations bills:
“Draft appropriation bills regarding budget allocations for U.S. federal institutions in 2020 which were approved by the U.S House of Representatives and Senate, contain negative language targeting Turkey. This is the latest outcome of the agenda pursued by Members of Congress who are bent on damaging our bilateral relations by any means.
Turkey condemns the exploitation of even an ordinary budgeting process for the sake of the short term political ambitions of U.S. politicians.
Foremost, U.S. Members of Congress are damaging their own reputations and credibility by allowing themselves to be used by their anti-Turkish colleagues’ drive to hollow out the notion of Alliance. Those circles who try to unfairly block the delivery of F-35 aircrafts to Turkey, while attempting to hamper efforts for a solution on the Island of Cyprus and cooperation opportunities in the Eastern Mediterranean, will realize in due time that their initiatives are actually harming the U.S.’s own interests and not serving regional peace and stability.”
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (20.12.10 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/erdogan-says-50000-syrians-fleeing-idlib-to-turkey-3507793) reports that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said “that 50,000 people were fleeing Syria's northwestern region of Idlib to Turkey”, and slammed Muslim nations for not supporting his plans to resettle refugees in other parts of north Syria.
"Look, 50,000 people are once again coming from Idlib to our lands," Erdogan told a meeting of Muslim leaders in Malaysia. "We already have 4 million people, and now another 50,000 are coming and this may increase."
He gave no details and did not say whether the Syrians had actually crossed into Turkey, which has built a wall along its 911 km (570 mile) southern border since the outbreak of Syria's eight-year conflict.
"Is the Muslim world that poor? Why don't they support this?" he said. "Even if they just gave their alms, there would be no poverty here, no have-nots," he said.
"They provide no support when we call on them to form a safe zone, but when it comes to weapons, the arms come," he said.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION