Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.04.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has recalled that his meeting with President Anastasiades on 16 April will be the first between them after ten months and added that he will evaluate the issue on Friday during a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the “assembly”. “I think that this delay is normal because there were elections both in the Greek Cypriot side and in our side”, said Akinci yesterday prior to his departure for Istanbul where today he will address the 21st Eurasian Economic Summit upon an invitation by the Marmara Group Foundation.
Akinci noted that he will meet with President Anastasiades to see whether the things which had been said ten months ago still remained the same or whether a new point of view was developed. He alleged:
“I want to clearly say the following: This will not be a negotiation. There will not be resumption of the negotiations from the point they were left in Crans Montana and in the same manner. This should be very clearly understood. If anything will happen, if a new process will begin with a new understanding, it will not be like the old one. That old process has closed. It is something which belongs to the past. 50 years passed within this framework. […] It is very clear that unproductive open-ended processes within the same framework with so long time periods have not and will not lead us anywhere. Is there a will for jointly shaping the future? Is there a consensus on what should be done now for this? Will it be possible for our basic vision to coincide? And if it is, will we be able to agree on the modality? There will be an exchange of views within this framework. In brief, we will assess the situation. We want to understand and explain. The framework of this meeting will be in the above manner. I believe that the esteem Greek Cypriot leader has the same feelings. He also knows that it will not be a negotiation. I am sure that he also wants to understand and explain. This is why we should listen to each other and explain to each other”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.04.18) reports that Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs Recep Akdag illegally visited yesterday the occupied area of Cyprus and met with Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, the “speaker” of the “assembly” Ulucay, “prime minister” Erhurman and “foreign minister” Ozersay. In his statements, Akdag said that he is in favor of rapidly implementing the “economic protocol” between Turkey and the breakaway regime and alleged that “the education and abilities of the Turkish Cypriot people as well as the potential of this land offer us a big opportunity to increase per capita income to 25 thousand dollars within a short period of time”.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Akdag alleged that the Greek Cypriot side should understand that things will not develop like it plans. Claiming that this is the synopsis of the issue, he argued that they will accept absolutely no debate on the existence of two equal communities on the island and added that there is a full agreement that the efforts for finding a political solution should be exerted “knowing and perceiving this”. He also alleged the following:
“We do not believe that progress will be achieved as long as the equal rights of the Turkish community living in Cyprus with the ones of the Greek community living in Cyprus are not accepted without any thought for concessions. The Greek Cypriot side should understand this very well. We cannot abandon Turkey’s guarantees on these lands, [we cannot abandon] the measures taken by Turkey together with our brothers here for ensuring their security. It is unthinkable for us to abandon these. If there will be progress, it will be within this framework. We do not believe that there will be progress outside this […]”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.04.18) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that exhibits showing that there is a change in Greek Cypriot side’s mentality are needed and that still they are not able to see such exhibits.
In statements yesterday during a meeting with the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs Recep Akdag, Ozersay recalled that Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci has clearly said that his meeting with President Anastasiades on 16 April is not tantamount to the resumption of negotiations. He noted that during the above-mentioned meeting the possibility of the sides’ having a common vision will be examined and added that nothing more could be said at the current stage.
Furthermore, Ozersay alleged that the Greek Cypriots should exhibit a will in order for a solution or cooperation to be achieved in Cyprus and claimed that the recent process showed that the Greek Cypriots always refrain from exhibiting this will.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (12.04.18) reports that the “chairman” of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) in the occupied area of Cyprus, Huseyin Ozgurgun, in statements while attending a televised program broadcast by Genc TV, referring to the forthcoming “presidential elections” that will take place in the occupied area of Cyprus in 2020, announced that either he will be “candidate” or he will support the “UBP candidate”.
Ozgurgun further stated: “Even if I would be elected president or not, I would leave the active life by 2020”. I do not intend to stay in my post until the age of 78-80. I would not continue in the political life after 2020. I will be out of that by 2020. I have said that if my party comes second in the general elections I would resigne immediately. But now I would serve my party until 2020”, Ozgurgun said.
Evaluating the “four-coalition government” in the occupied area of Cyprus he claimed that the “coalition” does not defend the “people’s power”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (12.04.18) reports that Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Cavusoglu will pay an “official visit” in the occupied area of Cyprus during the week-end in the framework of the project: “Lefkosia: "Vakif town".
The project aims to the promotion of the Ottoman monuments belonging to Evkaf foundation in the occupied area of Cyprus in order to achieve the tourist development of the “TRNC”.
The project was presented during an event organized in Turkey on February 27, where Cavusoglu also attended.
The project "Vakif town" will be realized with an event to be held on April 15th in the "TRNC". Cavusoglu will be “visiting” the “TRNC” on that date in order to attend the event and together with journalists, “representatives of the tourist firms”, and a delegation of tourists guides will attend a “tour project”. The starting point of the “tour” will be the Keryneia Gate in the occupied part of Lefkosia and they will walk to 18 historical monuments.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (12.04.18) reports that Zeki Celer, self-styled minister of labor and social insurance of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that approximately 104 thousand employees are employed in the private sector in the occupied area of the island and that more than 40% of these persons come from Turkey.
In statements to Anatolia news agency during his visit to Ankara, Celer noted that those who want to work in the occupied area of Cyprus should secure “work permit”. “They come and work with a tourist visa. We cannot interfere after a work accident, nor we can help them”, he warned adding that the people in Turkey should be further informed in order for this “informal employment” to be prevented. “Because almost one in ten workers that we have is unregistered, that is, 10-14 thousands in 104 thousands”, he said.
Celer added that he would discuss the issue of the working life with Julide Sennaroglu, the Turkish Minister of Labor, and that he would also meet with Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, the Minister of Family and Social Security Affairs.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.04.18) reports that the “chairman” of the so-called Turkish Cypriot football association (KTFF/ CTFA) Hasan Sertoglu, in exclusive statements to the paper, commenting on the allegations that some Greek Cypriots attempted to prevent the “TRNC national football team” from participating in the CONIFA 2018 World Cup which is set to take place in London, confirmed the allegations.
Sertoglu explained that the efforts to prevent the "TRNC national team" is being carried out by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK which is a London-based umbrella organization incorporating Greek Cypriot associations in the United Kingdom. Sertoglu added that the above organization has sent a letter to Enfield Council, demanding for the Turkish Cypriot team to be prevented attending the Cup, however, according to Sertoglu’s claims the Enfield Council rejected the demand of the Greek Cypriots.
Sertoglu stated that the Cyprus Football Association (CFA or KOP) was not involved in these attempts.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.04.18) reports that 22-year-old Erdinc Senturk who is accused of murdering Greek Cypriot Solomos Apostolides, committed a suicide attempt while being in prison in Yalova in Turkey.
According to IHA news agency, Senturk’s suicide attempt was unsucceful due to the mediation of other prisoners who tried to prevent him. Senturk was transferred to the Yalova State Hospital for treatment. After he was provided with health care, Senturk was sent back to prison since his life was not in danger.
The paper writes that Senturk will be handed and trialed in the “TRNC” after correspondence procedures on his case will be completed.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (11.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-will-not-accept-fait-accompli-in-aegean-and-east-med-top-soldier-130135) reported that the Turkish Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar referring to recent tensions with Greece stated on April 10 that the Turkish Armed Forces are ready to perform every task in the seas but Turkey wants the Aegean Sea to be “a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation”.
“We will not allow a fait accompli in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. We have taken all necessary precautions and will continue to take them with the same determination,” Akar said during his visits to the Gölcük Naval Shipyard Command in the north western Kocaeli province and the Gallipoli peninsula in the Gelibolu district of the Canakkale province.
“The Turkish Armed Forces are fully willing and resolute in performing any task given to them overseas and in the Blue Homeland [territorial waters] regarding our national sovereignty and independence,” Akar said.
Akar also said that Turkey wishes for a solution in accordance with international law for the problems in the Aegean Sea and has made every effort to make it “a sea of peace, friendship, and cooperation,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.04.18-https://aa.com.tr/en/americas/erdogan-trump-discuss-syria-in-phone-call/1115485) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump talked about the latest developments in Syria in a phone call on Wednesday, according to the Turkish presidency.
The phone call came after Trump warned Russia on Twitter to brace for U.S. military engagement in Syria following a suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta on April 8 that killed dozens of people.
Trump also blamed Russia for being partners with “a gas killing animal”, referring to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
Trump’s posts on Twitter followed a warning from Moscow that the risk of a direct military clash between Russia and the U.S. in Syria “is higher than before”, with a Russian envoy saying that U.S. missiles flying over the war-ravaged country would be shot down.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (11.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/assad-killed-nearly-1-million-people-must-go-turkish-fm-130157) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in statements on April 11 called on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down “immediately” in order to open way for a political settlement, holding him responsible for the death of “nearly 1 million people” during the seven-year-long conflict in Syria.
“The Assad regime should absolutely leave power in Syria. It is not the first time the Assad regime used chemical weapons. Leaving the chemical weapons aside, he has killed nearly one million people using other weapons through aerial bombing, barrel bombs and conventional weapons,” Cavusoglu said at an event on Islamophobia organized in the Turkish capital Ankara, replying to a question about the recent attack in Syria’s besieged town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta.
“Thus, this individual should leave power immediately and we should move on to a political process,” Cavusoglu added.
The April 7 attack took place in the town near Damascus, the capital, amid a resumed offensive by Syrian government forces after the collapse of a truce.
The Syrian government and its main ally, Russia, deny the accusations.
When asked about a possible military action against the Syrian regime by Western countries, “We will wait and see,” Cavusoglu said, recalling that the proposal to investigate the chemical weapons attack was vetoed by Russia in the United Nations Security Council.
Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.04.18-https://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-tells-us-russia-to-stop-fighting-like-bullies/1115240) reported that Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has urged the U.S. and Russia to stop “fighting like street bullies”.
Speaking at the Gebze Technical University in northwestern Kocaeli province Wednesday, Yildirim said: “‘I have better missiles’ one says. The other says ‘my missiles are better’. They are fighting like street bullies.”
Yildirim’s remarks came after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia to brace for American military engagement in Syria after a suspected chemical attack killed dozens of people. He also blamed Russia for being partners with “a Gas killing animal”, referring to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
Trump’s tweets followed a warning from Moscow that a risk of a direct Russia-U.S. military clash in Syria “is higher than before”, with a Russian envoy saying that U.S. missiles flying over the war-ravaged country would be shot down.
Yildirim said this is a time to unite, not to become rivals. "The ‘who is stronger’ fight should be left aside,” he said, adding that countries should join hands to ensure the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq by eliminating terror groups on these lands.
He also urged the Permanent Representatives of the UN Security Council to act more responsible. "The powerful countries, especially permanent representatives of the UN have more responsibilities than usual."
He said that the world and the region could not just sit back and watch millions of people die.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.04.18-https://aa.com.tr/en/politics/nato-head-to-pay-official-visit-to-turkey-on-april-16/1115026) reported that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will pay an official visit to Turkey on April 16, according to diplomatic sources.
Stoltenberg is expected to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli.
Turkey-NATO relations, Operation Olive Branch, counter-terrorism, preparations ahead of the 2018 Brussels Summit and regional issues are expected to be on the agenda of the meeting.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (11.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-economy-minister-says-no-need-to-intervene-in-lira-because-speculative-moves-do-not-reflect-realities-130136) reported that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has stated that global and regional uncertainties are the main reason behind steep fluctuations in market parities and the struggles of the Turkish Lira.
Speaking at a summit in Istanbul on April 11, Yıldırım also said that the Central Bank would take “necessary measures” to support the lira, without giving details.
“Our economy’s real indicators do not comply with what is happening. What we are facing are temporary fluctuations that will have limited impacts. We will take the required measures to raise our country’s predictability,” he added.
Yildirim also stressed that the Central Bank is “responsible for monetary policy,” seeking to emphasize the Bank’s independence. “It has taken the necessary measures until now and it will continue to do so,” Yıldırım said.
Regarding Turkey’s persistently high inflation, Yildirim also said that it was “the government’s duty to ease it.”
Yildirim’s comments came after the lira sank to record lows, battered by a number of structural concerns in investors’ minds, including a rising current account deficit. The lira, one of the worst-performing emerging market currencies this year, has also been pressured by a ruble sell-off and by the possibility of a U.S. missile strike on Syria.
The lira hit an all-time low of 4.1944 against the dollar, a depreciation of 9.4% this year. Against the euro, it fell to a record low of 5.1914. Following Yıldırım's comments, the lira eased to 4.1457 against the dollar and to 5.1327 against the euro.
(…)Meanwhile, in remarks made at the 21st Eurasian Economic Summit, Yildirim went on to say that Turkey, which has seen economic growth for the last 16 years, would continue to grow in the coming years. "As long as there is stability and confidence, our private sector will continue to grow with the incentives given by the state.
"Our goal for growth is sustainability", Yildirim said, adding that Turkey has been updating its policies and fixing problems. "The country increased supports for several areas such as research and development (R&D) activities, marketing strategies, and technological infrastructure”, Yildirim stated.
He further said that the number of research and development (R&D) centres and design centres in Turkey has now reached 857 and 195, respectively.
Turkey promotes R&D projects in the private sector and universities through various technological support programs, he said.
He said that Turkey hosts around 130,000 foreign students from 100 countries and thousands of Turkish students go abroad for education every year.
“The number of universities rose from 72 to 186 and the number of lecturers increased from 100,000 to 160,000 in Turkey during the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s government”, he added.
Yildirim stated further that Turkey expects around 38 million tourists in the current year.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has characterized the sell-off as an attack by Turkey’s enemies “There are games being played on our economy,” Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara on April 11.
“I call on those attacking our economy: You will not succeed. Just like you failed before, you will fail again,” he added
In a televised interview on broadcaster BloombergHT earlier on April 11, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci urged “calm” to businesspeople. “Turkey’s tourism revenue will see a 35% year-on-year increase this year. Our services exports are also slated to rise to $52 billion. Foreign direct investment [FDI] inflow to Turkey has been increasing. In the light of these facts, we can say that there is not any problem with foreign currency inflow to our country. The recent speculative moves do not reflect the realities in our economy,” Zeybekci said.
“We should not make any hasty intervention. The parity moves will stop at some point,” he added.
Regarding the government’s plans to combat inflation, Zeybekci said that new measures would be taken to ease the food prices, especially meat prices.
“We are against methods that would tighten the demand. What we need to do is to raise the supply,” he added.
Zeybekci also said that some contacts have been made with top U.S. trade representatives about steel and aluminium tariffs. “We will hold face-to-face meetings with them in the near future. We have a firm hand in works to be exempted from the new tariffs. If the new tariffs continue to be imposed on Turkey’s iron and steel sector, we will think it is intentional and react accordingly,” he added.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION