Turkish Cypriot daily DIYALOG (13.09.18) newspaper reports that Ozdil Nami, self-styled minister of economy and energy of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that he does not expect positive developments on the Cyprus problem during the forthcoming meetings in New York in the end of this month. In statements to Diyalog TV, Nami alleged the following on the issue: “I am saying it with regret. I do not expect any positive development in New York. The Cyprus problem can be solved. This was seen in Crans Montana. If the Greek Cypriot leader did not abandon the negotiating table on that point, this issue would be over. History will not forgive Mr Anastasiades”.
Referring to the hydrocarbons in Eastern Mediterranean, Nami made a call on the Greek Cypriot side by claiming the following:
“Let us make an open and clear call, through this program, on the Greek Cypriot administration [Translator’s note: This is how he describes the Republic of Cyprus]. Come and let us discuss the energy issue in cooperation in a manner which will benefit both peoples. Cyprus, the entire region and Europe will secure a big gain from the cooperation between the two sides.
We have an important project [for transferring electricity] with cables which we are determined to materialize with Turkey. Significant natural gas reserves exist in the southern part of Cyprus. They also exist in Israel. Come and let us turn all these resources into a peace project. Let us produce a common new energy policy. Let us transfer these resources to Europe over Turkey. In this way, on the one hand we will reduce our energy costs and on the other we will lay the foundations for peace by creating interdependence. We are ready to materialize this scenario of cooperation instead of the scenario of tension. Our first preference has always been cooperation. We have always done our bit, but the other side did not give a positive response until today”.
Nami alleged that if the Greek Cypriot side, as he described the Republic of Cyprus, acts unilaterally, the Turkish side will do “whatever is necessary”, and claimed: “The way of reason commands this cooperation. If our interlocutors ignore this and insist on taking unilateral steps, the Turkish side will not remain indifferent. We have said before what we will do to protect our rights and interests. We will simultaneously take the same steps which the Greek Cypriot side will take. No one should doubt that we will continue to protect our rights and interests”.
Referring to the economic crisis deriving from the devaluation of the Turkish lira, Nami said that the market in the occupied area shrank by 800 million TL because of this crisis and that they are facing some difficulties on the issue of compensating these loses with Turkey’s aid, because the change of the Turkish political system has not been completed yet and the mechanisms to which the Turkish Cypriots will submit their demands for finding solutions to their problems have not been established.
Noting that electricity production costs in the occupied area of Cyprus are much higher than the costs in Turkey, Nami argued that these costs will be reduced when they transfer electricity from Turkey with undersea cables. He noted that some argue that this project could be completed within one year and some others say that three years would be a “more realistic expectation”.
Turkish Cypriot daily DIYALOG (13.09.18) newspaper reports that Turkish MTA Oruc Reis vessel completed its explorations for oil and natural gas in the Black Sea and reached Bosporus yesterday. It was said that the vessel’s new route would be Cyprus.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s new drilling vessel named Fatih has been waiting for some period now in Antalya. Both vessels are expected to come to Cyprus by the end of the month and begin explorations and drillings of natural gas and oil.
Under the title “An airbase in Lefkoniko, a naval base in Trikomo”, Turkish Cypriot daily DIYALOG (13.09.18) newspaper reports that Turkey “has pushed the button” for establishing a naval base and an airbase in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, “taking into consideration the military activity which is currently continuing in the area together with the pushing of the button for the extraction of oil”.
According to the paper, last week a “delegation of experts” carried out examinations at the occupied Lefkoniko “airport” and in Trikomo. “Accordingly, the issue of making an airbase in Trikomo and a naval base in Trikomo is on the agenda”, writes the paper, adding that the delegation of experts toured in the above-mentioned areas and was briefed by “officials”. The works for both bases are expected to begin very soon according to the report to be prepared by the experts.
The issue was reportedly discussed in Ankara during the recent visit by Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (13.09.18), self-styled minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu, who is currently in Ankara for a series of contacts, met yesterday with Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.
During the meeting between “ministers and delegations”, “the issue of North Cyprus earning more benefits from Turkey’s tourism industry was evaluated”. It was also decided that Turkey will provide technical support in order to improve excavation works at archaeological sites in the occupied area of Cyprus and also to improve museum exhibits.
Noting that they always aim for the “TRNC” to benefit from Turkey’s tourism potential, Ersoy said that “efforts to boost their cooperation with North Cyprus in the field of tourism in the new period will continue to increase”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.09.18) carries a report by Fehime Alasya title “The number of travellers is increased by 4% but the number of foreign travellers is decreased”, saying that according to the “official data of the tourism planning department”, the occupancy rates have declined in 2018. In the first seven months of 2018, the occupancy rate of tourist accommodation facilities was 49.8%, while in the same period in 2017 was 55.2%
In the first seven months of 2018, 635 thousand 653 people were staying in tourist accommodation facilities in the occupied area of Cyprus, which was a slight increase, compared to 625 thousand 469 people in 2017.
The paper further notes that there was an increase of 4% from travellers to the occupied area of Cyprus, however there was a decrease of foreign travellers to the occupied area of Cyprus by 2% and at the same time an increase of more than 5% from Turkish travellers.
On the same issue, Fikri Ataoglu, “minister of tourism”, commenting on the data, explained that there is a decrease in occupancy rate due to the increase of the bed capacity. He added that there is a decline in occupancy rate but at the same time there is an increase in the number of travellers arriving and staying in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.09.18) under the title: “The high cost of living has affected the number of students in the TRNC”, reports that experts in the occupied area of Cyprus support that the reduction which is observed on the number of students coming from Turkey to “study” at the “universities” in the “TRNC” is connected with the depreciation of the Turkish Lira and the economic crisis.
According to “figures” provided by the Student Selection and Placement Centre (OSYM), from the 12, 801 vacancy seats which were allocated to Turkish students in the “TRNC”, only 8, 178 were filled. The same “figures” said that while the percentage of students from Turkey in the “TRNC’s universities” during the academic year 2017-2018 was 58% (11.000 students), this has been reduced to 46% (8,000 students) during the academic year 2018-2019.
Speaking to the paper on the issue, former “minister of education and culture”, Ozdemir Berova, expressed the view that the reduction on the number of Turkish students in the “TRNC” is due to the “high cost of living in the TRNC”, while at the same time is related with the remarkable increase on the number of private Universities in Turkey.
Also, former “minister of education” Canan Oztoprak claimed that the economic crisis and the depreciation of the value of the Turkish Lira have affected the number of students who “study” in the “TRNC”. Alleging that the “promotion of the TRNC universities” in Turkey is not sufficient, Oztoprok argues that they should “promote the quality of education in the TRNC’s universities”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (13.09.18) reports that 28 Syrian asylum seekers were arrested in Mersin, Turkey. According to the paper, the Syrians who were arrested in a house in Mersin were planning to travel to Cyprus with a boat. Eight persons who organized the trip were put under arrest as well, writes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (13.09.18) reports that the falling of the Turkish lira against foreign currencies did not affect the crossing from and to the occupied area of Cyprus.
Citing information received by a report of the so-called police for the period January 1, 2017 –August 16, 2018, the paper writes that 8,742,498 crossings took place with vehicles between the free and the occupied areas of Cyprus at the above mentioned period.
According to the data, between January 1, 2018 and August 16, 2018, 1,433,393 crossings took place to the free areas while 1,434,381 crossings to the occupied area. Foreign citizens with vehicles crossed 1,028,720 times to the occupied areas for the above mentioned period while the number for the same period in 2017 was only 259,551
During the last 20 months, which includes the period January 1, 2017 –August 16, 2018,, the number of the crossing of Turkish Cypriots to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus was 1,881,717 while the number of Greek Cypriots’ crossing to the occupied areas was 1,213,209.
Under the title “Kanbay goes, Basceri comes”, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.09.18, https://www.kibrisgazetesi.com/kibris/kanbay-gidiyor-basceri-geliyor/49162) reports that according to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry’s decree, the illegal ambassador in the occupied part of Nicosia Derya Kanbay is to be replaced by “ambassador” Ali Murat Basceri (Başçeri).
The paper notes that Basceri used to serve in the illegal embassy in the occupied part of Nicosia as “undersecretary” and in 2013 he returned to Ankara, where in 2015 was appointed Deputy General Director of Northeast Mediterranean at the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (13.09.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-use-lira-in-property-purchases-sales-rents-136778) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a decree early on September 13 that requires using the lira for buying, selling and renting of real estate and leasing of vehicles.
The decree was published in the Official Gazette.
Purchase, sales and rental contracts of moveable and immovable properties and vehicle leasing made in foreign currencies will be converted into Turkish lira within 30 days, according to the decree.
It added that in the current contracts, the agreed prices in foreign currencies will be redefined as Turkish lira within one month and the terms of the decree will be executed by the Finance and Treasury Ministry.
On Aug. 29, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said that the government would take steps to prevent foreign currencies from being used for real estate and shopping mall store rent and sales.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.09.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-sues-kilicdaroglu-over-insult-136772) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed a claim for compensation worth of 250,000 Turkish Liras against Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıcdaroglu for insulting him during his speech at a provincial heads meeting.
The complaint petition submitted by Erdogan’s lawyer Huseyin Aydın suggested the CHP leader’s remarks of accusing the President of staging a “civilian coup” are similar to the “discourse of FETÖ” and serves their “organizational targets.”
The complaint suggested that Kılıcdaroglu and his party “embraced a campaign conducted by FETÖ leadership, which aims to display an image of bossism” both in Turkey and abroad.
Kılıcdaroglu’s statement, in which he described Erdogan as a “man of currency barons,” insults Erdogan and contradicts with the principles he assumed during his political career, said the complaint.
Earlier, an Istanbul court ordered the CHP leader to pay an immaterial compensation of 142,000 Turkish Liras in a criminal complaint case filed by Erdogan in a row over offshore accounts that Kılıcdaroglu alleged the President and his relatives hold in the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland.
In July, Erdogan filed a criminal complaint against Kılıcdaroglu and 72 other lawmakers of the main opposition party for insulting him by sharing a cartoon on Twitter depicting Erdogan as various animals to show support for four university students who were arrested this month for carrying it as a placard at their graduation ceremony.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.09.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkeys-defense-minister-meets-kazakh-counterpart/1253284) reported that Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar spoke to his French counterpart Florence Parly over the phone upon the latter’s request, according to a Ministry source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
“The two Ministers discussed bilateral relations in defence, regional developments, Libya, Syria as well as counter-terrorism issues”, the source added.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.09.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-uk-agree-on-enhancing-economic-commercial-ties/1253289) reported that the Turkish and British Trade Ministers signed an MoU for the 6th Turkey-UK Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO) in London on Wednesday.
The MoU aims to enhance economic and commercial ties between the two countries.
Speaking at Turkey-UK business forum after the signing ceremony, Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said that both countries expected to further develop cooperation post-Brexit.
"We plan to include services, agricultural products trade, e-trade, and public purchasing to make the agreement more comprehensive," Pekcan said.
Pekcan also invited British firms to invest in high-technology free-trade zones in Turkey. "We will provide special incentives to technology-based projects and companies which operate in IT, informatics and software sectors," Pekcan added.
Liam Fox, British Secretary of State for International Trade, highlighted the importance of Turkey's geopolitical position.
He stated that JETCO was a start of a richer relation between the two countries and added that it aims to increase diversity in trade.
Underlying the bilateral trade volume target of $20 billion, Fox said the target was set realistically.
He noted that more than 200 prominent Turkish companies are operating in the U.K.
Fox added that the number of British tourists visiting Turkey is expected to reach 3 million in 2018, up from 1.6 million last year.
He also noted that the U.K. supports Istanbul to become a financial centre including cooperation with the City of London.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (12.09.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/austrian-journalist-and-activist-arrested-in-turkey-employer-says-136744) reported that the Turkish authorities have arrested an Austrian journalist and activist on suspicion of a terrorism-related offence, the left wing website where he works, said.
Re:volt, which describes itself as a "radical left-wing" online magazine, said Max Zirngast had been arrested at his apartment in Ankara on Sept. 11.
"We condemn this arrest in the strongest terms of course and call for his immediate release," Re:volt said by email, confirming a statement on the arrest from rights group Reporters Without Borders.
"Our writer, who has lived in Turkey for many years, is a passionate leftist activist and author who campaigns for freedom and democracy," the German-language publication added.
“Zirngast is also a student of political science in his late 20s”, Re:volt said. It added that it believed the allegation against him was membership of a terrorist organisation.
"We expect Turkey to immediately explain what the journalist is accused of, and if that is not possible then to immediately release him," Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told reporters before a weekly Cabinet meeting.
Kurz's government, a coalition of his conservatives and the anti-immigration Freedom Party, is opposed to Turkey joining the European Union and has called for accession talks to be broken off. However, both countries have recently tried to improve their relations.
Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment on the arrest.
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