A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (01.06.18) reports that Ahmet Benli, self-styled mayor of occupied Goneyli and chairman of the so-called Turkish Cypriot municipalities’ union, met yesterday in Turkey with Gaye Doganoglu, Vice-president of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe.
Benli stated that their aim is to spread the European understanding of local administration and the charter of autonomy to the occupied northern part of Cyprus. He noted that they always offered Doganoglu’s support and described this cooperation as important for the Turkish Cypriot “municipalities”. He also said that they are working for the representation of Turkish Cypriot young people in the Youth Delegation of the Council of Europe and added: “The most basic agenda of this visit is to evaluate the last stage regarding the representation of our youth in Europe”.
In her statements, Doganoglu described as important the participation of the Turkish Cypriot “municipalities” to the Council of Europe and expressed the belief that this cooperation will produce important results for the development of the Turkish Cypriot “local administrations”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat newspaper (01.06.18) reports that Altinc Keskin the “representative” of the breakaway regime in Kirgizstan stated that they want to establish bridges of friendship and cooperation with Kirgizstan and that the country has the same expectations from the “TRNC”.
Speaking to Ankara Anatolia news agency, Keskin stated that the “representation” was established 11 years ago and it aimed to introduce Kirgizstan to “TRNC higher education and to tourism and culture potentials”. He also said that the breakaway regime wishes to strengthen further these “brotherhood relations”, especially in the field of tourism.
He also said that according to some data on the year 2017, there are currently 245 students from Kirgizstan who study at the illegal universities of the “TRNC” and added that they are also around 1,000 workers from Kirgizstan in the breakaway regime, working mainly in tourism industry.
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (01.06.18) reports that Fikri Toros, the self-styled deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and former chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce claimed that in 2015 President Anastasiades rejected the efforts for creating a joint mobile service for both the non-government controlled and the government controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus via Luxemburg and this was the reason that let the firms not to co-operate on the issue.
Toros who issued a written statement was replying to recent statements made by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kassoulides who appeared to have stated to Turkish Cypriot media the following: “An agreement regarding the mobile device connection was reached. There are two solutions on the matter. One is an agreement with a Turkish firm and the other with a firm that operates in Europe for the connection of the mobile telephone services. The Turkish Cypriot side says no and asks an agreement to be made between the CYTA and the communication authorities of the TRNC. This would have become a political advantage”.
Toros claimed that various consultations took place between the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) to put a frame to the model of such a co-operation under the current political circumstances and added that employees of the telecommunication authorities of both sides participated in these meetings as well as representatives of Telsim Vodafone and Turkcell who are activated in the breakaway regime and CYTA, Primetel and MTN which are activated in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
As he said, according to this all five mobile service provider companies would be connected between them through in a GSM located in Luxemburg. This model was accepted by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci but was rejected by President Anastasiades who said that there was a legal boundary on the issue. This is the real reason that the above mentioned model called Mobile Phone Interoperability was not put into action, he stated.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (01.06.18) reports that according to an opinion poll carried out by Freebirds company in May 2018 for the “municipal elections” in the occupied part of Lefkosia, the “battle” for the post of the mayor will be held between the current mayor, Mehmet Harmanci, who comes from the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and Gencay Eroglu, who is supported by the Democratic Party (DP), but the final word will be said by the “undecided” voters.
According to the results of the poll, which was held with the participation of 600 persons, Harmanci receives 28,95%, Eroglu 18,42% and Hasan Sertoglu, who is supported by the National Unity Party (UBP), 14,14%. Moreover, 14,47% of the participants in the survey stated that they are still undecided.
Asked which party they would vote for if “elections” were held today, the participants in the survey replied: UBP 18,35%, have no view 14,82%, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) 14,56%, and People’s Party (HP) 13,92%.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (31.05.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/energy/2018/06/01/turkey-sends-out-first-drilling-vessel-to-eastern-mediterranean-sea-to-find-oil-natural-gas), Turkey's first drilling vessel, which was named after Istanbul's conqueror Ottoman Sultan Fatih Sultan Mehmet, sailed off to the Mediterranean to start the country's first deep-sea drilling operations. The ship departed yesterday following a ceremony held on the northern Marmara coast with Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak in attendance. While the Minister explained Turkey's oil and gas exploration plans both in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean with a seismic vessel and its drillship Fatih, he announced that the country is planning to obtain its second drilling vessel. He said that the news of the purchase will soon be shared with the public.
Turkey's first drilling vessel Fatih has a length of 229 meters (751 feet) and is capable of drilling to a maximum depth of 40,000 feet. It is scheduled to conduct deep-sea drilling operations off Antalya's shores, as soon as the necessary drilling equipment is loaded on to the vessel, Albayrak said at the ceremony. The first drilling well will reach 2,600 meters in depth. The Minister emphasized that Turkey will commence well drilling operations with local engineers and domestically developed state-of-the-art equipment. The project of the first ultra-deep-sea drilling well was designed by Turkish engineers who will predominantly run the management of the operations.
The Minister stressed Turkey's ambition to become a global player in oil and gas drilling activities and underscored that the country's drilling vessel Fatih is equipped with the cutting-edge technological equipment and is able to drill up to 12,000 meters.
While Turkish Petroleum's seismic vessels Barbaros Hayreddin and Oruç Reis will carry out seismic surveys and collect data both in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the drillship Fatih will be deployed wherever the data suggests potential resources, Albayrak said.
Elaborating on the reason they named the ship Fatih, Albayrak said the conquest of Istanbul opened a new era in world history and the deployment of the first drilling vessel marks the beginning of a new era in Turkey's oil and gas drilling objectives. "Since we are launching a new period, we named the vessel Fatih," the Minister said. "We are witnessing a milestone in Turkish energy history".
In yesterday's ceremony, Minister Albayrak argued that Turkey will continue to exercise its rights ensuing from international maritime law both in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. The latter has been the topic of decade-long disputes concerning the allocation of hydrocarbon resources.
Around the territorial waters of the island of Cyprus, “Greek Cyprus” (it refers to the Republic of Cyprus) has been trying to exclude the “TRNC” (the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus) and Turkey, which has been conducting seismic surveys in the area and exercising its legal rights in accordance with international maritime law in partnership with Turkish Petroleum.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.05.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-neutralizes-4-500-terrorists-in-afrin-operation/1162270), Turkey has neutralized 4,500 terrorists during Operation Olive Branch in Syria's Afrin region, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday during iftar in eastern Malatya province. He said Turkey also cleared the Daesh threat along the country's borders.
"Our steps in the Operation Euphrates Shield and northern Syrian city of Jarabulus are obvious. We neutralized 3,000 Daesh terrorists," Erdogan said.
The President said Turkey had inflicted the heaviest blow against the PKK terror group in history. "The mountains, where PKK terrorists once freely roamed, became these terrorists' grave. Turkish soldiers entered their dens. The terrorists escaped, our soldiers chased them. We neutralized 4,500 terrorists in Operation Olive Branch in Afrin," Erdogan said.
He claimed there is now peace and security in Afrin, adding that Turkish, Kurdish, Arabs and Turkmen communities are living in peace and safety there.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (31.05.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/05/31/turkish-ambassador-returns-to-us-post-after-consultations-over-jerusalem-embassy-move), Turkey's Ambassador to Washington has returned to his post after being called to Ankara for consultations over the U.S. moving its Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The Foreign Ministry confirmed that Serdar Kılıç left Ankara on Thursday, two weeks after Turkey recalled him for consultations.
Kılıç met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım to discuss the Embassy move and Israeli killings of over 100 Palestinian protesters in protests along the Gaza border.
Speaking to A Haber television channel on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Kılıç would return to his post before the Minister's scheduled meeting with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo on June 4 in Washington. "As you know, we did not pull him permanently, it is not a right thing not to have an Ambassador in Washington", Cavusoglu said.
The two Ministers are expected to discuss a "roadmap" for the strategic northern Syrian town of Manbij that has driven a wedge between the two NATO allies.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (31.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/russian-envoy-holds-talks-in-ankara-twice-in-one-week-132653), Alexander Lavrentiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for Syria, met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on May 31, in the second visit of the special envoy to Turkey within one week. Lavrentiev met with Presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın in Ankara last week after paying a visit to Syria.
The meetings come on the eve of the second gathering of the Russia-initiated Sochi Congress. (…) Russia also stepped up a political process to end the Syrian crisis and Putin held a rare meeting with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on May 17 and said the “military success” in Syria allowed for a large-scale “political process” leading to the withdrawal of foreign forces and the reconstruction of the country.
“After the success of the Syrian government army in the fight against the terrorists” the conditions are in place for “the start of a political process on a major scale,” Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin following the meeting. “With the start of the political process in its most active phase, foreign armed forces will withdraw from Syrian territory,” Putin said, without specifying which foreign forces. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (31.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/iyi-partys-presidential-candidate-aksener-calls-for-roadmap-for-return-to-parliamentary-system-132656), İYİ (Good) Party leader and presidential candidate Meral Akşener called on all parties in the opposition “Nation Alliance” to meet in order to define a roadmap for a “return to the parliamentary system” after the June 24 snap elections.
“In order to pass back to the parliamentary system in a healthy and fast way, we should ensure the preparation of a roadmap before June 24”, Akşener said in an interview on a radio station on May 31.
The parties in the “Nation Alliance” all opposed the constitutional amendment that stipulates extensive changes in Turkey’s executive system, granting sweeping powers to the president-elect. They propose a “return to the parliamentary system” after the election in the event if they win a majority in the Parliament or their candidate takes the presidential post.
The alliances were announced after a legislative change approved in March that paved a way for political parties to form pre-election alliances, tackling a problem of 10% electoral threshold for the parties under the alliance.
Speaking in a televised interview with private broadcaster Cem TV early on May 31, Akşener said she believed the three party’s alliance will gain the majority of the votes in the elections. “In my opinion, the alliance should continue after the election,” Akşener added.
As a former member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Akşener described the process of the İYİ Party’s formation as a “necessity,” saying developments after July 15 and the constitutional amendment referendum paved the way for it. (…)
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.06.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkish-police-arrest-30-feto-linked-suspects-/1162410), at least 30 people were arrested early Friday over their suspected links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the July 2016 defeated coup.
The arrests came after the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara issued arrest warrants for 43 suspects as part of probe into group's "absence houses", a label given to hideouts of secret FETO members, across the province, according to security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.
30 of them were arrested during simultaneous raids conducted across 30 different addresses across the capital. The source added that the operation remained ongoing to nab the rest of the suspects.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (01.06.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2018/06/01/8-sentenced-to-life-for-feto-coup-attempt) reports that an Istanbul court yesterday handed down aggravated life imprisonment to eight defendants for their role in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Defendants were among 90 soldiers who tried to take over Istanbul Governorate during the attempt, blamed on military infiltrators of Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). The court ordered the release of 80 defendants and a separate trial for two other defendants. Among those sentenced to life were Col. Nizamettin Aydın and officers Recep Karaçam, Erkan Tercan, Halit Turan, İsa Turhan, Mehmet Ekerbiçer, Mehmet Umut and Sadık Efe. (…) More than 1,200 defendants were sentenced to life and aggravated life imprisonment in dozens of coup trials that started in December 2016.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(DPs / AM)