Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (14.02.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci alleged that the lurches of the Greek Cypriot side, stepping back from what it had previously accepted and the rejection of fundamental parameters of the political equality were the most serious obstacles to the solution of the Cyprus problem. In a written statement issued yesterday, Akinci claimed that the way for putting aside what he called the negative stance of the Greek Cypriot side was not for the Turkish Cypriots to abandon their “just and correct stance”.
Referring to the view expressed by some circles in favor of a “two state solution” in Cyprus, Akinci said that it was not possible for this to be accepted officially under these circumstances and it did not seem that it would be possible in the future either. “This has nothing to do with my rejection, the situation concerns the world’s realities”, he added.
Referring to the risks of the existing status quo, Akinci argued:
“The status quo is the basic factor which leaves the Turkish Cypriots outside international law and forces our young people to live in uncertainty for the future. The Turkish Cypriot existence and identity is vanishing as years are going by […] On the other hand, the Republic of Cyprus, from which [the Turkish Cypriot community] has been excluded, is only under the Greek Cypriot community’s possession and is unjustly benefiting from the goods in the UN and the EU. This situation cannot continue like this. As I have said earlier, the status quo victimizes the Turkish Cypriots more than anyone else, but in the long term, it will not be in the benefit to the Greek Cypriots either […]
The conditions created after 1974 have a made bi-zonal federal solution based on political equality the most realistic solution model in Cyprus. This position, which initially had been expressed by the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey, was later accepted by the Greek Cypriot side and the international community. Today, all sides refer to a solution through negotiations within the framework of the UN. Since this is the situation, the model is known. Of course, the accumulation of more powers in the founding states could be discussed. Anyway, this issue has always been our position. However, in any case, the political equality and the effective participation in the decisions are fundamental”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (14.02.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=dinner-at-grand-ankara-hotel) so-called prime minister Tufan Erhürman met with Turkish Cypriots residing in Ankara at a gathering at the Grand Ankara Hotel last night.
Speaking there, Erhurman touched upon the Cyprus issue, explaining the process that took place in Crans Montana and alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side had put forward serious initiatives at the table.
“We were not even expecting this to take place. It was a very important step towards a solution but unfortunately this was not reciprocated. The Greek Cypriot side dragged its feet and sought ways to leave the table and found them. We were very close to a solution but it did not take place and this has gone down in history” Erhurman claimed.
(…)Alleging that President Anastasiades had proposed a two state or a confederation like solution both behind closed doors and in front of “authorized people”, Erhürman added: “Now we are face to face with surprises. We have moved from a loose federation to a decentralized federation. They both give more powers to the founding states and fewer powers to the central state”.
Explaining that throughout the history of the negotiations process the Turkish Cypriot side has always defended a federation model, Erhurman said that “the position put forward by Anastasiades was the Turkish position”.
“If this is the new initiative we don’t have any problem. Let’s sit down and meet but now he is saying something else. He is now talking about giving fewer powers to the central state. It doesn’t matter how much authority is given to the founding states it is not possible for us to give up on the Turkish Cypriot peoples political equality” Erhurman further alleged, noting that “the Turkish Cypriot people will not be sidelined”.
Explaining why the Greek Cypriot side is behaving in such a manner on the Cyprus issue, Erhurman alleged that this was due to the hydrocarbon reserves surrounding the island.
“Anastasiades needs to decide on what he wants to discuss. Sharing is essential for us. If there is such a thing, then the negotiations will have a meaning. The ball is in Anastasiades’ court, we will see how he will play and we will play accordingly”, Erhurman added.
He also explained what needed to be done while waiting for the Cyprus problem to be solved. Erhürman argued that in order to reach the desired socio economic level there was a need for the support of Turkish Cypriots living abroad and he continued to give further details regarding the economic situation in the “TRNC”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (14.02.19) reports that Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, met yesterday in Ankara with the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Binali Yildirim. Today Erhurman is expected to meet with Fuat Oktay, Turkish Vice President and responsible for Cypriot affairs.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıslı(14.02.19) describes as crucial Erhurman’s meeting with Oktay, since they are expected to discuss issues of strategic importance. According to the paper, they will discuss the following issues:
- The implementation of a Plan B in the Cyprus problem, that is, the model of confederation based on two states instead of a federation.
- The “fact” that insisting on the UN parameters allegedly serves only the Greek Cypriots’ aim to gain time for the drillings they conduct in the Mediterranean.
- The need for the “government” not supporting the Turkish Cypriot leader on this issue.
- The implementation of the “cooperation protocols” signed with Turkey in the direction of launching drillings in the so-called sea area of the “TRNC”.
- The preparation of “protocols” providing for the establishment of a naval base and an airbase by Turkey in the occupied area of Cyprus.
- The granting of “citizenship” should be facilitated, but at the same time measures to prevent criminals from entering into the occupied area should be taken within the framework of the “protocol” signed recently with Turkey.
- The “economic cooperation protocols’” implementation should be speeded up, for a “serious reform” to take place in the “public” sector.
- Turkey’s financial aid to the “budget” of the “TRNC” should be speeded up and especially the measures which will contribute to agricultural production with the transfer of the water from Turkey.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat (14.02.19), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime minister, had yesterday separate meetings, first with the Irish Ambassador to Cyprus Deirdre Ní Fhallúin, and later with the German Ambassador to Cyprus Franz Josef Kremp.
Ozersay made the following post on his social media account regarding his meetings with the Ambassadors: “We discussed the points that we arrived and the points we could not arrive at the Cyprus problem and shared our views. We also had the opportunity to evaluate the difficulties that the European Union is facing on the issue of Brexit. We will continue to work and make our voice heard to the representatives of international actors in every potential platform.”
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (14.02.19) reports that the former “speaker of the assembly” Sibel Siber criticized the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for his statements that there is no other alternative than federation for the solution of the Cyprus problem. “No one amongst us has the right to put the Turkish Cypriot people into this situation”, she stated.
She went on to claim that with these statements, Akinci is creating unnecessary polarization and discussions among the Turkish Cypriots and “puts butter on the bread of the Greek Cypriot leader who is against a solution”, as she stated.
She further argued that “by waiting for change of mentality and by telling the Greek Cypriots to come and be partners, a gesture that gives the impression that you are begging, helps towards the continuation of the status quo” which, according to Sibel is the wish of the Greek Cypriots.
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay (14.02.19), under the title “The crisis of KIB-TEK with Ankara”, on its front page, reports that there is an economic crisis between the “coalition government” and Ankara, adding that the crisis was particularly related to the privatization of “KIB-TEK (Turkish Cypriot electricity authority)”.
According to the paper, “the economic protocol, which is signed every three years between Turkey and the TRNC has not yet been signed. It is claimed that during the protocol talks between Ankara and the TRNC government, there was a crisis because of KIB-TEK. Ankara wants the division of KIB-TEK in three – production, distribution and collection – as well as its privatization to be included in the protocol.”
It was also reported that Ozdil Nami, self-styled minister of economy and energy, in order to overcome the deadlock with Ankara, has pressed the button to dismiss the “board of directors” of KIB-TEK or its chairman Ahmet Hudaoglu. In addition to this, the paper reports: “Nami blocked the decision of KIB-TEK board of directors for international tender for investments taken in June 2018 and he took the issue to a meeting of the council of ministers. Meanwhile, the KIB-TEK board of directors decided on the procurement of four power plant units known for their latest technology and environmental friendly fuel consumption last December through the central tender commission (MIK)”.
The paper wonders if Nami is the spokesman of Ankara and adds: “After all these developments, is Ozdil Nami, minister of economy and energy of the four coalition government, the spokesman of Ankara? Even Nami’s announcement explaining the increase of electricity charges recently although it was not on the agenda served this purpose too!”
Moreover, the paper reports that Kubilay Ozkirac, chairman of EL-SEN (the trade union of KIB-TEK’s employees) wonders why Nami cannot see that the privatization of “KIB-TEK” will be a problem, adding that “this issue was not included in the program of the coalition government”.
7. The settlers’ party congratulated Erhurman for his harsh statements at a bi-communal event
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (14.02.19) reports that Ahmet Yonluer, the deputy chairman of the Revival Party (the settlers’ party- YDP) criticized the statements of Selam Eylem, the chairwoman of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers Union (KTOEOS), who speaking at a bi-communal event criticized in her turn Turkey’s politics in Cyprus.
Yonluer also congratulated the so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman who speaking at the same event said that he does not share the views of Eylem. Yonluer stated that he finds Eylem’s statements insulting both towards Turkey and the “TRNC” and added that these views calls out the views of the Greek Cypriots.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (14.02.19) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Primary Scholl Trade Union (KTOS) announced that it will file a lawsuit against the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar and the “deputy speaker of the assembly” Zorlu Tore.
During a press conference which was organized in order to respond to the criticism that the two politicians made against KTOS’s comments over the visit of the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, KTOS announced that it will file a lawsuit against Tore and Tatar, noting that the criticism was insulting towards the trade union.
On his part, Tatar stated that he will file a lawsuit against the general secretary of KTOS Senel Elcil for the latter’s statements against Tatar. Elcil appeared to have stated that there is a lawsuit against Tatar in the UK therefore he cannot visit England.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.02.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-greek-defense-ministers-talk-bilateral-issues/1391398) reported that the Turkish and Greek Defense Ministers have agreed to establish technical working groups to address issues including confidence-building measures, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
On the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels, Turkey's Hulusi Akar and Greece's Evangelos Apostolakis met and discussed current issues between the two countries, the Ministry added in a statement.
Following the meeting, Akar told Anadolu Agency: "We should work to find peaceful solutions to our problems as two friendly and neighboring countries."
Their meeting comes off the heels of last week's official visit to Turkey of Alexis Tsipras, Greece's Prime Minister.
Later on Wednesday, Akar met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and discussed issues related to the alliance.
Akar also held meetings with his Georgian counterpart Levan Izoria, Montenegrin counterpart Predrag Boskovic and Italian counterpart Elisabetta Trenta.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.02.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/talks-to-extend-akp-mhp-alliance-to-20-more-provinces-ongoing-akp-spokesperson-141219) reported that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Ömer Çelik has said that their alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), called the People’s Alliance, may expand further to cover 20 more provinces for the upcoming March 31 elections.
“Our colleagues’ meetings for alliance in more provinces are ongoing. An evaluation is the case for 20 provinces. There is a common intention to hold a rally in [the capital] Ankara and Istanbul. The last decision will belong to the leaders. The target is that the alliance becomes successful,” Çelik said during a program aired on the national broadcaster TRT on Feb. 13.
The MHP previously said that it would not present metropolitan mayoral candidates in Turkey’s three biggest provinces, in a bid to support the People’s Alliance.
After their joint efforts to win the referendum to shift to a presidential system in 2017, the AKP and MHP formed the People’s Alliance ahead of the June 24, 2018 elections.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.02.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-70-feto-members-get-jail-time/1391759) reported that seventy people were convicted and sentenced to prison on Wednesday for being members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, according to a security source.
The Ankara 2nd Heavy Penal Court handed out sentences ranging from six to nearly 15 years.
The seventy were convicted over leaking the civil service recruitment exam -- known as the KPSS – in 2010, which FETO members used to help them infiltrate state institutions.
Among the group convicted were Kubra Gulmez and Kubra Sagun, the wives of former air force Lts. Haldun Gulmez and Bahadir Sagun, who allegedly bombed the hotel where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stayed at during a vacation in Marmaris on the attempted coup night. (…)
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION