According to illegal Bayrak (17.12.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=spokesman-issues-statement-after-lute-meeting), Baris Burcu, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s spokesman, said that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the UN Secretary General’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute held a fruitful meeting today during which they discussed in detail the terms of reference which the UN is drafting in an attempt to start a new negotiations process.
In a written statement issued after the meeting which lasted for an hour and 45 minutes, Burcu said: “We had a productive and detailed meeting on the terms of reference. It seems that the preparation of the terms of reference will continue for some more time. Within this framework, the president will be meeting again with the UN special envoy tomorrow at 10:30am”.
Meanwhile, “BRT” (17.12.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=un-envoy-lute-received-by-president-akinci) also broadcast that Akinci’s spokesman Barış Burcu and his special advisor on diplomacy and EU affairs Erhan Erçin were also present at the meeting.
The UN envoy made no statements to the press before or after the meeting.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (17.12.18) under the title: “Anastasiades cannot decide unilaterally”, reports that so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, commenting on President Nicos Anastasiades’ recent interview to Euronews, reacted strongly over Anastasiades’ statement on the issue of natural gas sharing and claimed that Anastasiades cannot decided unilaterally on the natural gas sharing, arguing that he does not have this right.
Replying to Anastasiades’ statement that the natural gas wealth could be shared with the Turkish Cypriots on a ratio of 4:1, Ozersay alleged the following: “Anastasiades cannot decide unilaterally on how the natural wealth would be distributed, he does not have such a right. I consider it would be better if he stops speaking on the natural gas issue as if he is the only owner of this. If he really has the will to share the natural resources, then let him sit with us on the table and discuss all together about how, in what percentage the natural resources could be distributed, let’s do it the soonest possible, let’s enter in an account on this issue. He (President Anastasiades), cannot behave as if he is the only owner of these resources, we are equal owners of these and thus we should decide together on the ratio, we are obliged to do so”, Ozersay stated.
“If it is not possible to reach a partnership agreement on the natural gas sharing, then we should sit the soonest possible and discuss the possibility of a general offsetting”, Ozersay further said.
Claiming that the current situation indicates that it would not be possible to reach a partnership agreement on natural gas sharing because of the Greek Cypriot side’s mindset, Ozersay argued the following: “In this case, we should sit and count everything about this matter. We should put in a basket all rights being seized all these years, all things being lost in the past and after taking into consideration everything, we should share the natural wealth equally. And we cannot do so by taking into consideration the population as the only element for this”, Ozersay added.
Refferring to President Anastasiades’ statement who has proposed the population ratio of 4:1 for the natural resources sharing, Ozersay alleged that Anastadiades has previously made statements on convergences they achieved in the past and on the possible convergences to be reached in the framework of the comprehensive solution, claiming that “they are full of these promises and words”.
Ozersay went on accusing the Greek Cypriot side of trying to seize the Turkish Cypriot’s rights by stating that the natural resources will be shared after the solution. “The effort to connect the natural gas sharing with the comprehensive solution shows their unwillingness to share. I have notice that the Greek Cypriot leadership, reflecting the general expectation of its community, does not want to share the natural resources. (…) In international law, there are basic principles on how such natural wealth could be shared equally. The population ration is not the only element for this to be done, but also there are a lot of other similar factors which are taken into consideration, such as the economic level of the communities, the current needs on this wealth, the historical usage. When the day comes, we should decide together on how the distribution of the natural resources will be made, we should take a common decision. And that day has already come”, Ozersay argued.
Under the title “Does Anastasiades give to charity?” Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (17.12.18), on its front page, reports that Oguzhan Hasipoglu, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), evaluating President Anastasiades’ proposal to share the wealth of natural resources around the island with the Turkish Cypriots on the basis of a population ratio of 4 to 1, argued that this showed the uncompromising stance of the Greek Cypriot side and wonders if Anastasiades is giving to charity.
On the same issue, “BRT” (17.12.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ubp-general-secretary-tacoy-slams-anastasiades) broadcast that the general secretary of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Hasan Taçoy claimed that it was not up to the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades to decide what would happen and how any revenues deriving from the island’s natural wealth would be distributed. “The Greek Cypriot leadership cannot present the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people as a favour”, he argued.
Taçoy’s statement came as a response to earlier statements made by Cyprus President Anastasiades that any wealth to be generated from the natural gas off the coast of the island should be distributed 4 to 1.
Tacoy claimed that Anastasiades’ remarks were far from the island’s historical facts and only made it harder to reach a settlement in Cyprus. He added that the statements were the continuation of the Greek Cypriot side’s aggressive and provocative policies.
Claiming that it was not up to Anastasiades to decide how and when revenues from hydrocarbons will be distributed, Taçoy said that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot “people” knew well how and when to protect its rights when the time came.
Accusing the Greek Cypriot leader of overstepping his boundaries, the UBP General Secretary Hasan Taçoy said that Turkish Cypriot “people” would never abandon its sovereignty or Turkey’s active and effective guarantees. He also said that the Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot people will also not remain as bystanders against the actions of the Greek Cypriot leadership on the issue of hydrocarbons.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (15.12.18) reports that the budget of the so-called ministry of foreign affairs was voted by the “assembly”. The budget is up to 99,841,600 TL.
Speaking during the discussion, the self-styled foreign minister Kudret Ozersay stated that the “foreign ministry” aims to strengthen the relations between the “TRNC”, both with Turkey and the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and also “to increase the visibility of the Turkish Cypriots”.
He criticized the Greek Cypriot side for not wanting to share “the power, the administration and the natural wealth” in Cyprus, adding that all the partners in the breakaway regime (the “government and the assembly”) share this opinion. He also stated that it is very important for the new procedure to be seen if there is a common vision between the two sides in Cyprus.
Referring to the hydrocarbon issue, he said that this could offer an opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem, which was lost in 2004. He said that they work with Turkey on this issue and they take every opportunity to explain that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to share the natural wealth of the island. He said that some circles want to cut the ties between Turkey and the “TRNC” and added that no one has so much power and neither Turkey nor the “TRNC” will give permission for this. He stressed the importance of a common vision between the two sides of the island as it was noted by the UN Secretary General. He also said that the main question that the UN Secretary General’s special envoy on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute should ask the two sides, should be what is the core of the Cyprus problem according to each side.
He claimed that UN in Cyprus became part of the status quo and that in some area they lost their role, adding that the “foreign ministry” together with the “presidency” gathered their opinion and sent them to the UN on the issue.
Referring to Maronites issue, he said that efforts were made for quicker step to be taken for their return. On the return of the fenced off city of Varosha under Turkish Cypriot administration, he stated that discussions are still continue and there is a close co-operation with Turkey on the subject.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.12.18) reports that the “minister of transportation”, Tolga Atakan stated that around four million travelers used the illegal Tympou airport between January and November 2018.
According to Atakan, 24,744 flights were made in illegal Tympou as follows: 22,334 scheduled flights, 1,715 charter flights and 695 special flights.
During this period, 3,740167 travelers used the illegal Tympou airport: 3,519,450 travelers with scheduled flights, 218,972 travelers with charter flights and 1,645 with special flights.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.12.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-decisive-fight-restrains-terror-activities-minister-139755), under the title “Turkey’s ‘decisive fight’ restrains terror activities: Minister”, reports that Turkey’s National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that the Turkish army has dealt a heavy blow to the PKK and the illegal group has been experiencing “serious failure” following Turkey’s “decisive fight”. (…)
Akar further said the counter-terror efforts were “necessary and obligatory” for Turkey’s security. He also stressed the importance of protecting Turkey’s rights in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. “We will continue to protect our rights and benefits in the Aegean, in the Eastern Mediterranean and in ‘blue homeland’,” he added. (…)
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.12.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/terrorists-being-buried-in-trenches-they-dig-erdogan/1340524), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday reiterated his firm stance against terrorism, vowing to root out terrorists from his country’s soil.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of July 15 National Park in Esenler district of Istanbul, Erdogan said: “We are always in terrorists’ mind. We are burying them [terrorists] in the trenches that they dig themselves and will continue to do so.” (…)
During his speech, Erdogan also warned opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu against inviting people to hold demonstrations similar to 2013 Gezi Park protests. “Mr Kemal, you cannot make anybody to take the streets. Let me tell you something: Here is neither Paris nor the Netherlands,” he said.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.12.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/working-with-assad-to-be-considered-if-elected-fairly/1340513), Turkish Foreign Minister on Sunday said if there is a democratic and credible election in Syria, then everybody "should consider" working with Bashar al-Assad. "If it is democratic and credible one then everybody should consider [working with Assad]," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a special session -- moderated by CNBC anchor Hadley Gamble -- of 18th Doha Forum in Qatar.
"It has to be a very credible, transparent, democratic and fair election. At the end, Syrian people should decide who is going to rule the country after the elections," Cavusoglu added. He further said that the constitution for Syria should be drafted by the people of their own country.
“It [the draft process] should be conducted under the umbrella of the United Nations. It has to be an inclusive one. Everybody, the eligible ones, should be able to vote,” he said, referring to Syrians inside and outside of the country, including Turkey and other neighbouring countries.
Cavusoglu said Washington’s support of YPG/PKK terrorist organization in Syria and extradition of the leader of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- the group behind July 2016 deadly coup attempt in Turkey -- are main issues between Turkey and the U.S.
"Recently I’ve seen the credible investigation of the FBI in several states and they have noticed the darkness of this organization [FETO]," he said, adding that the country saw that the terror group was violating the U.S. laws, "including tax fraud, visa fraud, and also some other illegal activities."
Noting that Turkey’s expectation was very clear, he said extradition of the FETO leader Fetullah Gulen and other perpetrators of the attempted coup -- "84 names" -- were requested from the U.S.
"Last time when we met in Buenos Aires, [U.S.] President [Donald] Trump told [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan that they have been working on that. But we have to see concrete steps, because it has already been more than two years, almost three years," Cavusoglu warned. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkiey-conducts-fresh-airstrikes-in-iraqs-north-139767), Turkey has conducted a new wave of airstrikes in northern Iraq.
"7 separatist terrorists who were in preparation to assault our bases were neutralized in northern Iraqi regions of Gara and Hakurk as a result of airstrikes on Dec. 16," Turkey's National Defence Ministry said in a statement on Dec. 17, referring to the illegal PKK. (…)
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (17.12.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/arrest-warrants-out-for-111-feto-suspects-in-turkey-3469401), Turkish prosecutors issued arrest warrants on Monday for some 111 people including active-duty soldiers across the country for their suspected links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt.
Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued warrants for 64 suspects -- 55 non-commissioned officers including 35 on-duty soldiers -- within the Turkish Land Forces Command and the Gendarmerie General Command.
The other nine suspects are believed to be the terror group’s so-called civilian imams. The suspects are accused of communicating with the terror group through payphones.
Balikesir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office also issued arrest warrants in 14 provinces as well as the “TRNC” for 27 suspects as part of a probe into FETÖ. They were also reportedly communicating with the terror group through payphones.
In western Çanakkale province, arrest warrants were issued for 20 FETÖ suspects as part of a probe into the terror group’s crypto structure within the Turkish Armed Forces.
The search for the suspects is ongoing across the country. (…)
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION