No. 05/2020 09.01.2020
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Illegal Bayrak (09.01.20 https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=turkish-mfa-on-cairo-summit-communique) reports that Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has criticized the joint statement issued by Greece, France, Egypt and the Republic of Cyprus concerning the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Turkey and Libya.
“The statement has revealed how justified Turkey’s steps in the Eastern Mediterranean are,” it said.
The Turkish Foreign Minister said that the statement made after the summit in Cairo was based on unrealistic arguments.
“The Memorandum of Understanding signed with Libya is legitimate and in accordance with international law,” it said, adding that the agreement was a blunt response to those who tried to disregard Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Saying that Turkey has a say in the region and projects taking part in the Eastern Mediterranean, the statement read: “We would like to stress once again that we are prepared to cooperate with all countries, with the exception of the Greek Cypriot Administration to transform the Eastern Mediterranean into an area of cooperation and not conflict.”
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan(09.01.20)reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that everything in the occupied area of the island was examined based on the solution of the Cyprus problem and the Cyprus talks, but the Turkish Cypriots should have a policy outside the Cyprus problem.
In statements yesterday to Radyo Güven, Ozersay said that they should develop a foreign policy that would be in harmony with the developments on the natural gas issue and the issues of defence and security.
“We are in a position to actively defend this policy at all platforms even though we are a non-recognized state”, he alleged and claimed that this would make the “TRNC” a “regional player”, even before the solution of the Cyprus problem. He also claimed the following:
“If the licences granted by the TRNC are presented on the maps while the natural gas equation in the Eastern Mediterranean is discussed all over the world, in the US, in Britain and in Europe, if the drillings carried out on behalf of the TRNC are also presented on the maps and if the stage at which they are is mentioned, this means that we also exist in this geographic region. Even though the TRNC is not recognized as a state by the other players, it is a player recognized by Turkey, the biggest player of the region. […]”
Asked to comment on President Anastasiades’ statement that the Republic of Cyprus did not wish a conflict with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and was taking the necessary measures for this, Ozersay claimed that if this meant that the necessary steps were taken to exclude Turkey and the “TRNC”, then “he is talking in vain”. He alleged that President Anastasiades started giving signs that “I am open for a dialogue”, because “they are not in a position to risk a conflict”. He also alleged that this was a result of the policy followed by Turkey and the “TRNC”, the “agreements” which they had signed and their activity in the area.
Noting that the statement made by President Anastasiades was an issue of trust, he added that the Turkish Cypriots could not trust the Greek Cypriot side and that they should be cautious. He claimed the following: “The south Cyprus Greek administration reflects in general the will and expectation of the Greek Cypriot people. Actually, it is the Greek Cypriot people the one that does not want to share the administration and the wealth with us. Even though Anastasiades approaches it tactically, we should sit at the table on the issue of cooperation”.
Ozersay argued also that “tomorrow or in the forthcoming years”, the Greek Cypriot side would be forced to cooperate with the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey as regards the natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and reiterated the view that cooperation on the natural gas and other issues before the solution of the Cyprus problem was possible.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen (09.01.20) reports that the “council of ministers” granted the TRNC citizenship” to five persons as from 2020.
The names of the five persons, as were published at the “official gazette” on January 3rd are as follows:
Mehmet Yusuf Turan, Tansel Kincak, Hazar Soyler, Sevil Dudak and Huseyin Bakis.
According to the paper, these persons were either born or spent up to ten years in the breakaway regime or worked and studied for a long period there.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (09.01.20) reports tha so-called ministry of tourism and environment will organize a two day “north Cyprus tourism council” under the slogan “we are planning the future tourism policy of the TRNC”.
According to the paper, the “tourism council” will take place on January 11-12.
Speaking yesterday in a Press conference, so-called minister of tourism and environment Unal Ustel said that the aim of the organization of the “council” is to determine the new vision and strategies to be followed on tourism.
Ustel announced further that a new aviation company will launch flights to the “TRNC” as of May. He, however, said that he could not give the name of the company yet since there is a possibility for an effort by the Greek Cypriots to prevent it.
Stating that they pay also great importance to the “completion of the Ercan airport” the soonest possible in order to overcome difficulties experience in transportation, Ustel explained that the would undertake new steps and “proceed to justice” if necessary for the delay of the project.
Commenting on the boycotting campaign which was launched in the UK against Cyprus due to the case related with the 19-years old British woman which was allegedly raped by a group of Israelis, Ustel claimed that they have prepared and sent digital advertisement to 50 different websites which separates “the TRNC from south Cyprus”. Ustel added further that the advertisement clarifies that the “TRNC is a safe and secure place”. He went on to add that they have also sent promotional films for the “TRNC” to different television channels in the UK and claimed that films will be broadcast, “as long as there is no political pressure”.
The website of the Turkish Presidency (08.01.20 https://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/news/542/115220/-we-aim-to-make-turkey-a-global-energy-hub- ) published statements by the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who speaking at the inauguration of TurkStream, said:
“We aim to make our country a global energy hub. […] As Turkey, we have never sought regional tension. The sole purpose of our hydrocarbon exploration efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean is to protect the interests of our country and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. As we always say, no project which excludes Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean has a chance to be put into effect economically, legally and diplomatically. Surely, Turkey, which has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean, has a say in all kinds of projects about this region.”
Reiterating his call to all littoral countries for cooperation, President Erdoğan stressed: “Let’s turn the Mediterranean, the cradle of civilizations throughout history, into an area of cooperation as opposed to conflict. We are prepared to amply reciprocate every positive step. We stand ready for all kinds of cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and justice. Turkey's vision for cooperation is embodied by TANAP, which carries Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe, and TurkStream, which transports Russian natural gas to Europe and we are proud to inaugurate today. We expect our interlocutors not to turn down this sincere hand of cooperation.”
Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.01.20 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/erdogan-putin-call-for-truce-in-libya-by-sunday-night/1696836) reports that Turkish and Russian Presidents have urged for a cease-fire in Libya by Jan. 12 midnight, according to Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
“Today, our President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and Russian Federation President [Vladimir] Putin are calling for cease-fire in Libya by Jan. 12 midnight,” Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Istanbul.
Cavusoglu said Erdogan and Putin held a bilateral meeting following the launch of TurkStream natural gas pipeline project in the city, which the two leaders as well as the President of Serbia and Prime Minister of Bulgaria attended.
The TurkStream project consists of two lines with a total capacity of 31.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year. The first line will carry 15.75 bcm of Russian gas to Turkish consumers every year, and the second line will carry another 15.75 bcm from Russia to Europe via Turkey.
Noting that the Turkish and Russian Presidents discussed bilateral and regional issues, Cavusoglu said: “We have been especially working with our Russian partners to achieve a cease-fire in Libya.”
He stressed that Turkey will continue efforts to work both with Russia and all the parties in Libya to establish lasting peace in the country.
“These efforts actually contribute to the successful completion of Berlin [peace] process and to bring peace and tranquility to Libya,” he added.
Since September, several high-level meetings were held in Berlin to put an end to the Libyan conflict, with the participation of France, Italy, Germany, and the U.K. The negotiations are known as the Berlin peace process.
Lavrov in his comments reiterated the call for truce.
"I would like to emphasize the call that Presidents Putin and Erdogan addressed to all the Libyan sides -- to immediately stop fighting, starting from 00:00 on Jan. 12," he said.
Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
Both leaders also discussed the situation in the Persian Gulf after top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in a U.S. airstrike last week and called for resolving rising tensions peacefully.
"And in connection with the events of recent days the President firmly spoke out for the solution of all problems in the Persian Gulf zone and in the region as a whole exclusively by peaceful methods in accordance with the norms of international law," Russia's top diplomat said.
In addition, the Directorate of Communications of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey (09.01.20 https://www.iletisim.gov.tr/turkce) reports that Erdoğan presented to Russian President Putin the book “Strategic Move in the Eastern Mediterranean Equation: Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding” prepared by the Directorate of Communications.
During a bilateral meeting with Russian President Putin, who is in Istanbul to attend the inauguration ceremony of TurkStream natural gas pipeline, President Erdoğan gave Putin the book “Strategic Move in the Eastern Mediterranean Equation: Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding” prepared by the Directorate of Communications.
The book, which has been prepared in English and Turkish, consists of the following chapters: "Geopolitical Importance of the Eastern Mediterranean", "Hydrocarbon Potential of the Eastern Mediterranean", "Turkey’s Stance on the Eastern Mediterranean", "EU, GCASC and Greece’s Stance on the Eastern Mediterranean" and "Turkey-Libya Memorandum of Understanding”.
The book outlines the strategic importance of the Eastern Mediterranean throughout history and in the present day.
In addition, the hydrocarbon potential of the Eastern Mediterranean is discussed in detail with images and data obtained from various reports.
“The book details Turkey’s rightful position regarding the Eastern Mediterranean based on international law and agreements, particularly highlighting the rights and legitimacy of Turkey and TRNC. Addressing the unfair moves of the EU, GCASC (Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus) and Greece, the book also explains the implications of the said responses in the Turkish context and their reciprocity under international agreements”, is reported.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (09.01.20 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/eus-michel-due-in-istanbul-to-meet-turkish-president-150741) reports that European Council President Charles Michel will visit Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Jan. 11 in Istanbul, the EU leader’s press service announced on Jan. 8.
The announcement came a day after top EU diplomats urged a diplomatic solution and rejected what they called "foreign interference" in the Libyan conflict, including the sending of Turkish troops to the country at the request of Libya’s U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Josep Borrell, EU Foreign Policy chief, rejected Turkish military aid to Libya as “foreign interference” during a press conference after his emergency meeting Tuesday with the Foreign Ministers of France, Italy, Germany, and Britain.
The EU is firmly convinced "there is no military solution to the Libyan crisis," warning that "a protracted conflict" would “spread instability across the region and aggravate the threat of terrorism,” said a joint statement by the top EU diplomats.
The Foreign Ministers of Italy, Greece, France as well as a Greek Cypriot administration envoy met Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Jan. 8 to discuss their response to the Libyan crisis as well as to the military aid offered by Turkey.
After meeting Erdoğan in Istanbul on Saturday, Michel will also travel to Cairo to meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Last week Turkey’s Parliament passed a motion allowing the government to send troops to Libya’s U.N.-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), which has been besieged by forces of Khalifa Haftar. The warlord supported by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates has made significant advances in recent weeks.
Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and the other in Tripoli, which enjoys U.N. and international recognition.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION