Turkish Cypriot columnists assess today (18.09.18) the statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who during his return flight from Azerbaijan, had said that Turkey would increase its occupation troops in Cyprus and it also might establish a naval base.
Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (18.09.18), columnist Esref Cetinel argues that Erdogan showed his determination with these statements and claims: “[…] The conclusion which I have drawn is the following: Of course, we will also draw our lesson from Erdogan’s recent statement. However, the Greek Cypriot side should think not once but a thousand times that ‘it is not possible to expect a solution without Turkey in Cyprus from now on and that the army will not leave the island’. And it should know that Turkey will always be at the negotiating table. What about ours? They have tried a lot to exclude Turkey on the island! The only way left for them is ‘to revolt’! Let us see, will they do this one day?”
Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.09.18), columnist Cuneyt Oruc reports the following in his column under the title “Our recipe is not in accord with the recipe in Athens”:
“[…] Very well, has Ankara, which had reportedly accepted that the number of troops could be reduced to an extent and that it could even approach the number in the Republic of Cyprus 1960 agreements, changed its stance? We could give the following response to this question. The Greek Cypriots, who thought that they broke off concessions when Turkey took steps on the Cyprus question, in the end started shouting with joy that ‘the security and guarantees are not at the table any more’. Actually Erdogan’s statements have in a wink smashed to smithereens the rights, which the Greek Cypriots thought they had broken off as concessions until today. Because, if diplomacy is a bargaining arena, Erdogan is undoubtedly one of the best players of this arena. And the last statement, which he made saying that ‘we will not reduce the number of troops, but on the contrary, we will increase it’, has undoubtedly secured that the Greek Cypriots returned to the very beginning. […]”
Noting that Erdogan has left the door open for the establishment of a naval base by Turkey in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, the columnist writes that the reference that from now on Turkey will implement its own recipe in Cyprus gave a hint as to the course in the forthcoming period. He concludes by saying the following:
“[…] Very well, what will this recipe be? It would be a naivety to think that the recipe of the Turkish side is similar to the recipe written by Tsipras and Anastasiades in Athens. Therefore, a process during which everyone will go their own way will begin in New York rather than a negotiating table [process]. We will watch and see very soon”.
Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.09.18) describes Erdogan’s statements as “dynamite to the new negotiating process”.
According to illegal Bayrak (17.09.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ulucay-receives-bozkir), Volkan Bozkir, Head of the Foreign Relations Commission of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), met yesterday with the self-styled speaker of the parliament Teberruken Ulucay.
Speaking during the visit, Bozkir claimed they will always stand beside the Turkish Cypriot “people” in its rightful case. “We are here to affirm that we will always stand beside Turkish Cypriot people in its rightful case. Cyprus for us is always a first priority. Before the UN General Assembly in New York we are discussing with delegations that will attend what joint strategy we would follow and what can be done to achieve progress on the Cyprus issue”.
Alleging that the real intention of the Greek Cypriots was obvious, Bozkir claimed they tried to preserve the power they obtained unjustly and saw the Turkish Cypriot community as minority in their fake state adding that they would never accept this. “We think that open-ended negotiations are no more beneficial” Bozkir argued and claimed that it was pleasing to see that the UN Chief shared the same view. He further argued that they will no way accept the Greek Cypriots to claim right on natural resources through a fait accompli.
Ulucay, for his part, said that they have close relations with the Turkish Grand National Assembly. “We will have closer relations with the TBMM in the new term. We will take some steps especially in regard to the foreign relations and we will work closely while doing so” Ulucay noted.
He also added that “the parliaments of two countries are in close contact in the lobbying activities at the PACE and the European Parliament”.
Claiming that the Cyprus issue continued to be the most important issue during a time when the economic problems are harder, he said they will continue to struggle for the solution of the problem. He also noted that this struggle will be carried out jointly with Turkey, and added that their expectation from the New York meeting was for a decision for the resumption of the negotiations process with a result oriented point of view.
Furthermore, “BRT” (18.09.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=bozkir-met-with-government-officials) broadcast that Bozkir had separate meetings yesterday with self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman and self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kudret Ozersay.
Speaking during his meeting with Bozkir, Erhurman who referred to the Cyprus issue expressed the view that the negotiations process should be carried out in solidarity with the Republic of Turkey. “We have revealed so many times that we will not be a part of a solution model whereby the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot people is not safeguarded. This is out of the question. We have been conducting the negotiations process with Turkey from the beginning and we shall continue to do so. There is no other way to reach a result that we desire and which will secure our rights” Erhurman argued.
During the meeting with Bozkir, Ozersay, speaking first, noted that Bozkir’s visit was well-timed, significant, and fruitful. “The TRNC within the framework of its own potential and in cooperation with Turkey is trying to defend the interests of the Turkish Cypriot people at different international platforms. The Foreign Relations Commission of the TBMM is a unit which could widen these limited opportunities and be our voice at different platforms. Therefore, I believe this visit is very important and I know that our cooperation and solidarity will continue increasingly” Ozersay argued.
Bozkir, for his part, claimed that he had had the opportunity to discuss many issues during his meetings, adding that such meetings gave a strong message of unity between the two “countries” ahead of the UN General Assembly. He said that he had also discussed with Erhurman the effects of the economic situation in Turkey on the “TRNC”.
“We do not want the TRNC to experience financial difficulties and give the Greek Cypriot Administration an opportunity to use this against the Turkish Cypriots. It is our top priority to maintain the Turkish Cypriot’s welfare at the highest level and to prevent any economic problems in the TRNC. These issues and steps to be taken have already been discussed during the TRNC government official’s visit to Turkey. I believe important developments will occur in the shortest period of time” Bozkir argued.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.09.18) reports that Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, argued that as the currency fluctuation of the TL continues, the prices will continue to rise and they cannot prevent it.
Speaking in a programme at “BRT”, Erhurman noted that the widespread of foreign exchange and the increase of the cost of living due to currency fluctuation has affected mostly the low-income people. He added: “Since I came to office, there has been a loss of 597 million TL in purchasing power.
Referring to his statement “they still haven’t seen the light at the end of the tunnel”, Erhurman said that he means that with the devaluation of the TL, they have entered with Turkey into a tunnel and that it is so narrow that it is not possible to see ahead of them.
Noting that the electricity prices have risen by 52%, Erhurman argued that the “government” is making an extraordinary effort not to make any new price increases. He added that electricity prices change with changes in the prices of fuel oil and currency. Claiming that they cannot make any interference on the fuel price, Erhurman argued that he tried to convey all these problems during his visit to Turkey.
Regarding the transfer of electricity from Turkey with a cable, Erhurman referred to the importance of the feasibility study in order to be able to bring electricity form Turkey. He added that he continues the discussions with the Turkish Deputy President Fuat Oktay on this issue.
Furthermore, referring to the expensive airline tickets, Erhurman argued that it is due to insufficient flights in the occupied area of Cyprus. He also noted that he discussed this issue too during his recent visit to Ankara. Erhurman added that he briefed Turkish President Erdogan on this issue and Erdogan gave orders to do whatever is needed to be solved.
Meanwhile, the paper reports that Fikri Ataoglu, “minister of tourism and environment”, commenting on this issue, announced that with Erdogan’s instructions an aircraft belonging to AnadoluJet will launch operation by being deployed in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Under the title “Tufan Erhurman: The cable from Turkey is a radical solution for the electricity”, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.09.18) reports that columnist Vahap Munyar, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet (17.09.18, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/yazarlar/vahap-munyar/bu-gidisle-bizim-enflasyon-yuzde-50ye-yaklasabilir-40958171) , carried a commentary in his yesterday column on his meeting with self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman regarding the issue of transferring electricity from Turkey with a cable.
Referring to the high price of electricity in the occupied area of Cyprus, Erhurman argued that transferring electricity from Turkey with cable is a radical solution. He further said that he conveyed this issue to President Erdogan during his last visit in the occupied area of Cyprus, adding that he also brought the issue into the agenda when he recently visited Turkey. Erhurman also noted that some of his friends and some units in Turkey are working on this issue.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (18.09.18) reports that the general secretary of the Turkish IYI Party Cihan Pacasi, alleged that no concessions can be made for Cyprus which is a red line for Turkey.
He made these statements speaking during the election campaign for the forthcoming local elections launched by his party during which he strongly criticized the foreign policy followed by the ruling in Turkey Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Pacasi said that the re-launching of the Cyprus negotiations and the issue of abandoning Turkey’s guarantees in Cyprus are on the news again. “Not abandoning Cyprus consistutes a red line for Turkey. We cannot make any concessions. The IYI party follows the developments closely”, he said adding that the mistakes that are made in Turkey’s foreign policy hurts the country’s credibility.
Under the title: “The riot of the jurisdiction” Turkısh Cyprıot daily YENİ DÜZEN (18.09.18) newspaper (18.09.18) refers to the speech delivered by “the head justice of the supreme court” Narin Ferdi Sefik, during a ceremony for the beginning of the 2018-2019 Judicial Year.
Writing that some of the statements made by Sefik during her speech were “impressive”, the paper reports that Sefik said that arrivals in the “country” are not controlled, arrivals are allowed to persons who do not carry a lot of money, controls are not made regarding people who enter the “country” claiming that are students and efficient controls are not made for young persons who apply for driving license.
She also said that “legal cases” in the breakaway regime increased up to 51% within a year.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (18.09.18) reports that according to a statement issued by the “press and foreign affairs directorate” of the illegal Near East university in the occupied area of Cyprus, the “medical students association of northern Cyprus”(“MSANC”), represented the occupation regime in the 67th general assembly of the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations (IFMSA) which took place in August in Canada.
According to the paper, within the framework of the meeting in Canada, the “MSANC”, has signed a “contract” which envisages that it would send students all over the world within the framework of IFMSA’s intership program for training courses while at the same time foreign students would be able to follow training courses in the “TRNC”.
Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (18.09.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/09/17/turkey-russia-agree-on-demilitarized-zone-in-idlib-to-avoid-humanitarian-tragedy) reports that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced yesterday, following their meeting in Sochi, that they have agreed on establishing a 15-to-20-kilometer-wide demilitarized zone in the opposition enclave of Idlib, Syria, which will be patrolled by Turkish and Russian forces, as of Oct. 15. "By Oct.15, we will establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib in an area that is 15 to 20 km wide. The armed opposition groups, including the Nusra Front [Hayat Tahrir al-Sham] will retreat from the region, as well as the heavy weapons," Putin said during a joint press conference following the meeting, adding that there will also be a joint monitoring mechanism comprising of Russian and Turkish soldiers. Erdogan also confirmed the decision on establishing the demilitarized zone between the opposition and the regime forces. (…)
Erdogan further underlined that Turkey and Russia have come a long way to overcome some of the disagreements and concerns over the recent developments in Idlib. (…)
Assad has been supported militarily by Russia and Iran. Turkey, on the other hand, supports the moderate opposition in the war-torn country.
According to experts and news reports, in the case of a full-scale military operation by Assad, Iran would be supporting the regime forces on the ground, while Russia would provide support from the air.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Behram Kasımi, however, said yesterday that the country will not participate in any military operations in Idlib. "The presence of Iran in Syria is mainly for consultancy purposes, and the country will not participate in any upcoming operation," Kasımi said during a press conference in Tehran. (…)
Erdogan was accompanied by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu, Energy and Natural Sources Minister Fatih Dönmez, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, National Intelligence Service (MIT) head Hakan Fidan, presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın and Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun. Accompanying Putin, the Russian delegation included Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak, Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu and Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov. (…)
On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.09.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/erdogans-aide-hails-ankara-moscow-deal-on-idlib/1257398), Erdogan’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin argued that Erdogan made a "diplomatic attempt" to prevent a major humanitarian crisis in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib.
"According to the agreement: The opposition will remain in areas in which they are already present. Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols. Russia will take measures to prevent attack on Idlib," Kalin said on Twitter.
Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (18.09.18-http://www.milliyet.com.tr/emekli-tumamiral-gurdeniz--siyaset-2744220/) reports that the “retired senior naval officer”, Cem Gurdeniz, in exclusive statements to the paper, commented on statements made by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey will increase and not decrease the number of Turkish troops in Cyprus and if necessary, as he said, they would establish a naval base in the “TRNC”.
Commenting on the above statements by Erdogan, Gurdeniz stated that he was supporting the idea for the establishment of a naval base in the “TRNC”, right from the start. He further alleged the following: “The increase of the number of Turkish army in Cyprus, rather than decreasing it, is a very important and strategic statement since it would be comforting not only for Turkey’s future but also for the geopolitical point of view. The establishment of a naval base in the Eastern Mediterranean is extremely important in terms of the capacity for emergency intervention”.
Claiming that the existence of a naval base is not only a psychological matter, he argued that Turkey should establish a naval base in order to be able to ensure the infrastructure of its “territorial existence” in the island and the reinforcement of its strategic security forces.
Gurdeniz alleged further that the establishment of a naval base in the “TRNC” would be very important also taking into account the energy policies experienced in the Eastern Mediterranean. “In a strategic geographical place where there are conflicts for energy and interests, the accomplishment of an emergency intervention is very important. The rapid intervention for defence, security, and environmental disasters should be thought”, Gurdeniz said.
Pointing out that Tasucu port in Turkey’s Mersin district is the closet port with the “TRNC”, Gurdeniz argued that although Tasucu is close they do not have base there. He added that the closet naval base of Turkey which is connected with Cyprus is Aksaz naval base. He also added that the Eastern Mediterranean is connected with the Aksaz Base as well and claimed that the establishment of a naval base by Turkey would enable Turkey to reinforce not only its corps troops but also its naval forces.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.09.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/10-soldiers-detained-over-feto-links-in-turkey-136943), ten soldiers suspected of links to FETÖ, the group believed to have masterminded the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, were detained on Sept. 17, according to prosecutors in the capital Ankara.
As part of a probe into FETÖ infiltration of the Turkish Naval Forces Command and Coast Guard Command, the 10 suspects were detained after prosecutors issued warrants for 22 soldiers, including six serving ones.
The soldiers include a lieutenant colonel, two squadron leaders, three lieutenants, and four sergeants.
The 12 other suspects are still being sought.
Meanwhile, news portal Turkish Minute (17.09.18, https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/09/17/402-people-detained-last-week-over-gulen-links/), under the title “402 people detained last week over Gülen links), reports that the Turkish Interior Ministry announced on Monday that 402 people were detained last week due to alleged links to the Gülen movement.
A total of 18,128 people had been detained over alleged links to the movement by the end of August 2018.
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