Under the title “Threat of ‘war’ to Cyprus”, Turkish daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.02.18) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used very hard expressions for Cyprus by saying: “We warn those who go beyond their limits in Cyprus and the Aegean. Whatever is Afrin for us, the same thing is our rights in the Aegean and Cyprus”.
Addressing the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group yesterday, Erdogan claimed that those who go beyond their limits in Cyprus should not make wrong calculations by taking advantage of the developments in the south of Turkey. “As we have spoiled the scenarios of those who have miscalculated at our south borders with the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch Operations and soon with the steps which we will take in Mumbich and other areas, we spoil and we will spoil and their calculations as well”, he alleged.
Referring to the foreign companies who are activated in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Erdogan advised them not to become instruments in “issues which go beyond their limits and power trusting the Greek Cypriot authorities”.
Asked whether the Italian ship which would carry out drillings was sent away from Cyprus’ open sea, Erdogan replied: “What business an Italian ship has in Cyprus?”
Called to comment on the allegations regarding a clash between a Turkish and a Greek ship near Imia rock area in the Aegean, Erdogan claimed that “these Greeks were confused again”, adding that Turkey had from the beginning said to the Greeks not to come and go in the area, not to put Ankara in a difficult situation and leave the dogfights and the fights in the sea aside. “Of course, when these are not left aside, our soldiers do their duty. Last night something like that happened. The issue ended without any problem”, he alleged.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.02.18) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the Turkish Cypriots “have also rights as regards the natural resources in Cyprus”.
Speaking to the TRT Channel from Kuwait, he claimed that the Greek Cypriots have never approached the solution of the Cyprus problem and that the Turkish Cypriots have rights over the natural gas. “|If you do not want to share these then we will protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, the TRNC and Turkey.”
Claiming that they wanted to maintain friendship and good neighborhood relations with Greece, he expressed the need for acting with common understanding in order to achieve this.
In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (14.02.18) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu replied to the EU’s criticisms on Cyprus in an interview with state-broadcaster TRT on Feb. 13.
He alleged that many EU leaders admit that both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are right in the criticisms against “Greek Cypriot unilateral actions off the island in their private conversations”.
“The only thing to do is for the Greek Cypriots to abandon unilateral actions in the eastern Mediterranean,” Cavusoglu claimed.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (13.02.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2018/02/14/turkey-exercises-rights-legally-derived-from-intl-marine-law-in-eastern-mediterranean), Turkish warships blocked a rig by Italian energy company ENI in Eastern Mediterranean where Cyprus granted a drilling and exploration license to the Italian company.
The paper reports the following: “Turkey's blockade of Italian energy firm ENI's rigging operations in the Eastern Mediterranean to explore hydrocarbon resources has echoed in the Greek Cypriot administration [Cyprus government], Greece and the European Union. The escalating diplomatic lambasts; however, blur the issue of legality while ignoring the sovereign rights of Turkey and Turkish Cyprus [breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus] on the natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak emphasized that Turkey will not allow the spread of ignorance toward and violations of Turkish Cyprus's rights and will exercise its legal rights to the fullest extent.
Speaking at a ceremony in Ankara, Albayrak highlighted Turkey's robust determination to continue protecting its sovereign rights and the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people in the eastern Mediterranean region. ‘Turkey will not allow any parties to neglect or ignore Turkish Cyprus and its citizens and will exercise its rights bestowed by internationally acknowledged laws’. Albayrak also stressed that Turkey will conduct efficient energy diplomacy and politics in the region.”
Meanwhile, self-styled deputy of the National Unity Party (UBP) of the “parliament” in the occupied area of Cyprus Sunat Atun, “former economy and energy minister”, told Daily Sabah that Turkey is reportedly protecting its rights derived from international maritime law by sending warships to the region. According to the international maritime law, he alleged that national territories have a continental shelf up to 200 miles while the islands have territorial waters extending up to 14 miles. "The so-called 6th Block, within this territory, falls within the limits of Turkey's 200-mile continental shelf", he claimed.
Meanwhile, Turkey's first drillship, the Deepsea Metro 2, arrived to the country by the end of December, according to Monday's shipping data, with exploratory offshore drilling in the Mediterranean to begin in early 2018.
Aegean Sea should be ‘friendship’ sea between Turkey and Greece: Turkish PM
Ankara has “explicitly” told Greece that refraining from tensions would be “better” for bilateral ties, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Feb. 14, adding that the Aegean Sea should be a “friendship” sea between the two countries.
Talking to the media at Ankara’s Esenboga Airport before leaving for Belarus, Yilidirim said: “We explicitly expressed to him [Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras] that staying away from tensions will be better, with regards to relations between the two countries.”
His remarks came a day after he and Tsipras spoke over the phone and discussed recent developments in the Aegean Sea.
He said the Aegean Sea should be a “friendship” sea between Turkey and Greece.
“Recently, there have been some violations in this tension, which started with the Kardak islets, to which we gave a response,” Yilidirim said.
He added that the two Premiers agreed to ease tensions and keep communication line open via political and diplomatic channels.
Yildirim said a NATO General Staffs meeting would be held in May.
“In this framework, the chiefs of the general staffs of the two countries will gather and mutually discuss the necessary measures to ensure tensions in the field do not escalate further,” he added.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (13.02.18 http://www.mfa.gov.tr/sc_-12_-disisleri-bakanligi-sozcusunun-yunanistan-disisleri-bakanligi-tarafindan-yapilan-aciklama-hk-sc_en.en.mfa) made the following statement:
In the statement made today (13 February) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, it is claimed that the Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made “a strong demarche protesting” a dangerous incident, which took place within the Kardak region. Unfortunately, the Greek side has both misled its public opinion as we are accustomed to, and has distorted the facts, as is always the case.
In fact, the Undersecretary of our Ministry has called the Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the incidents caused last night by the Greek Coast Guard boats through their dangerous maneuvers in the vicinity of the Kardak rocks, which are under Turkish sovereignty. The Undersecretary has clearly stated that the hostile actions of the Greek military forces are continuing in air and at sea, of which we will not tolerate, and that increasing tension in the Aegean Sea does not serve to the interests of the two countries. He further stated that the Greek side should end these dangerous actions”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (14.02.18) under the front-page title: “New lynching provocations”, reports that in the nationalist front the fire for “lynching hysteria” against the Afrika newspaper could not be extinguished. According to the paper, 15 organizations operating in the occupied area of Cyprus sent a letter to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci demanding from him to follow a more hard stance against Afrika newspaper.
The “organizations” alleged that Akinci “activated the security forces”, claiming that Akinci has “forgotten those who committed the crime”. The organizations in the letter demanded further for “an investigation to take place against Afrika”, while at the same time they accused Akinci of following an “unbiased stance”.
Among the “organizations” which signed the letter are: the “TMT Figher’s Association”, the “association of keeping alive the thought of Rauf Denktas”, the “human rights’ association”, “the Turkish refugees’ association” and several other “organizations” of the Turkish settlers in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (14.02.18) reports that the “Revival Party”, (YDP) which is the party of the “Turkish settlers” in the occupied area of Cyprus “submitted a complaint to the police” against Sener Levent and the Afrika newspaper concerning the publication of the Erdogan’s caricature and of the Sener Levent’s article entitled: “Zorba the Cypriot”.
YDP, demanded from the so-called police to “undertake the necessary legal measures” and for the “newspaper” to be “tried in court”, according to the “articles 68 and 48 of the chapter 154 of the penal code” which refers to the crimes “insults against foreign state officials” and “cause animosity and hostility inside the circles of the society”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (14.02.18) reports that the “Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry” (“KTSO”) participated in the Fruit Logistica fair, which was held in Berlin between 6 and 8 of February.
According to the paper, the products that were demanded most by the visiting companies, were the Cyprus potatoes and the Valencia oranges.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.02.18) reports that the “Turkish Cypriot air sports federation” will organized in occupied Akanthou village the “paragliding world cup”.
The “cup” is to be organized between Ferbuary 15-18 with the participation of 114 athletes from 20 different countries, such as Albania, Bulgaria, the Check Republic, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Kosovo, Malaisia, the Netherlands, “TRNC”, Romania, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and the UK.
The “international competitions” will be arbitrated by foreign referees, writes the paper, adding that the “organization” of the “cup” in occupied Akanthou village will be the first part of the event.
In statements to the paper on the issue, the “chairman” of the “Turkish Cypriot air sport federation” described as very important the “organization” of the event in the “TRNC”, claiming that this has nothing to do with “politics” but rather the “aims of the organization” are concentrating only in the field of sports.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (14.02.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-lawmaker-berberoglu-sentenced-to-five-years-in-jail-127239) reports that the
main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Enis Berberoglu was sentenced on Feb. 13 to five years and 10 months in prison for leaking classified material to a newspaper.
Berberoglu was accused of allegedly leaking footage purporting to show National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks sending weapons to Syria to former daily Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dundar. In December 2017, the prosecutor also demanded up to 15 years in jail for Dundar, who is being trialed in absentia and is in Germany.
Berberoglu is the first CHP lawmaker to be given prison time, after the lifting of parliamentary immunities in 2016.
Moreover, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (14.02.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/former-hdp-co-leader-kemalbay-detained-over-terror-propaganda-127286) also reports that former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-leader Serpil Kemalbay was detained in the capital Ankara on Feb. 13 for allegedly “spreading terrorist propaganda” during a party congress, according to a security source.
Kemalbay was detained in the Cankaya district after an arrest warrant was issued for her by the provincial chief public prosecutor’s office, said the source, who asked not to be named due to the restrictions on speaking to the media.
The detention warrant came as part of an investigation into her remarks which the prosecutor’s office says amounted to “spreading terrorist propaganda” at the party’s third ordinary congress on Feb. 11.
In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (14.02.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/up-to-25-years-in-prison-sought-for-hdp-deputy-bestas-127265) reports that a prosecutor on Feb. 13 asked to sentence Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Meral Danis Bestas up to 25 years in prison over charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization,” “inciting others to commit crime” and “provoking the public to attend illegal meetings and demonstrations.”
HDP Adana lawmaker Bestas was arrested on Jan. 30, 2017 as part of the investigation carried out by the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, and was later released on on April 21, 2017 on conditions of trial without arrest.
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