Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.03.18) claims that Greek Cypriot politicians continuously refer to the closure of the crossing points between the occupied and the government-controlled area of Cyprus, but neither the UN nor “TRNC officials” are informed about such a decision. According to the paper, various debates were caused by AKEL General Secretary Andros Kyprianou statement that President Anastasiades “decided to examine the closure of the barricades”. It is noted that efforts are exerted in the direction of the opening of more “gates” and the increase of the existing seven crossing points.
In statements to Kibris, Baris Burcu, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, said that there is no official development regarding the possibility of the closure of the crossing points by the Greek Cypriot side. Noting that it would not be correct to comment on assumptions, Burcu argued that the Turkish Cypriot side is in favor of all steps which could make people’s life easier and added that the efforts for the opening of the crossing points in Apliki and Deryneia areas are continuing. He said that the Greek Cypriots should take some steps for the opening of the barricade in Apliki and the Turkish Cypriots should take some steps for the opening of the crossing point in Deryneia. Burcu noted also that a meeting will be held today with the UNDP for the works in the buffer zone in the Apliki area and tenders will be invited.
Moreover, the paper publishes statements by professor Ahmet Sozen, “head of the international relations’ department” of illegal Eastern Mediterranean University, who said that he does not think that the closing of the crossing points is possible.
Under the title “Cavusoglu invited him, Ozersay did not go”, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (06.03.18) reports that right after the establishment of the self-styled government in the occupied area of Cyprus, “prime minister” Tufan Erhurman asked for an appointment with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who, however, did not give him one. It is said that this was an “attitude” by Turkey, as the Turkish government thinks that some events which happened during the efforts for the establishment of the “four-party coalition” were directed against Turkey and the AKP. In the political backstage it is said that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government reacts especially against the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).
Except for Erhurman other “ministers” have also asked for appointments with their Turkish “counterparts”, but only Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu replied positively to self-styled foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, who however, did not accept the invitation showing as pretext the discussion of the regime’s “budget”. Ozersay did not accept Cavusoglu’s invitation to visit Turkey because no appointment was given to Erhurman, notes the paper, which says that an “invitation crisis” is experienced between Turkey and the breakaway regime.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.03.18) reports that Ahmet Yesilada, chairman of the potato producers’ union, said that 300-500 tons of potatoes will be “exported” to “south Cyprus” under the Green Line Regulation under the supervision of EU experts who will arrived in the island next week.
Speaking to the paper, Yesilada explained that a total of 700 tons of potatoes were “exported” to “south Cyprus” last autumn under the supervision of EU experts, stressing that this is impossible to affect the production of potatoes in the “south”.
Yesilada further said that due to the dry weather in the island this year, the potatoe harvest was below the record.
Noting that regularly a total of 20 tons of potatoes are obtained from the harvest, which is held twice a year, Yesilada added that from this amount, approximately one thousand tons is being consumed every month in the domestic market, 100 tons are being “exported” to Turkey and the rest is being “exported” to “south Cyprus” upon request.
Illegal Bayrak television (06.03.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cost-of-living) broadcast that the “State Planning Organisation” has announced that for the month of February 2018 the cost of living has increased by 1.61%.
In accordance with this, the inflation rate for the past year is currently 11.80%.
According to the figures published by the “prime ministry state planning organisation” there have been increases in 372 items and decreases in 123 items.
The first three goods to see the highest increase are fresh grapes by 83.98%, tomatoes by 80.62 % and cauliflower by 64.56%.
The first three goods to show the highest decrease are pumpkin by 24.87 %, artichoke by 22.58 % and fresh broad beans by 21.69 %.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (06.03.18) reports that the Youth Organization of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) held the day before yesterday its 16th general congress.
According to the paper, Bertu Dedeler has been elected as the new chairman of the “youth organization”.
Speaking after his “election”, Dedeler stated that the youth should be active in all platforms and sectors of the “society”. He stressed the importance of the Turkish Cypriot youth voice to be heard not only in Cyprus but also in international organizations. He further stressed their important contribution to the efforts for reaching to a solution in Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (06.03.18) reports that so-called minister of national education and culture, Cemal Ozyigit inaugurated yesterday the “3rd International Turkish Cypriot literature and litterateur symposium”, which is taking place at the Ataturk Cultural center in the occupied part of Lefkosia.
According to the paper, the symposium will last two days. Authors, writers and teachers of literature from foreign countries, such as Turkey, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, “Gagauzia”, Moldavia, Iran Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Poland and Russia are attending the symposium writes the paper.
In statements during the inauguration ceremony, Ozyigit promised that efforts will be exerted so that the Turkish Cypriot literature to be included in the education curriculum at “schools”.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.03.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/police-foil-isil-attack-plot-on-us-embassy-in-ankara-128237) reports that the Turkish police foiled a planned Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attack against the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on March 5, detaining suspects in the capital Ankara and the Black Sea province of Samsun.
The detentions came after the Ankara Governor’s Office stated late on March 4 that extra security measures had been taken in the city upon intelligence that “terrorist actions” could take place in areas where U.S. citizens are located.
“Upon intelligence coming to our units from U.S. sources that terrorist actions could be undertaken targeting the U.S. Embassy and where U.S. citizens are staying, security measures have been reviewed and extra measures have been taken,” the Governor’s Office said.
The U.S. Embassy in Turkey announced that it has suspended operations on March 5 and 6 due to an unspecified security threat.
A statement posted on the embassy’s website on March 4 urged U.S. citizens to avoid the Embassy in Ankara and large crowds, as well as to “keep a low profile.”
The statement said the Embassy will be closed “due to a security threat. The Embassy will announce its reopening, once it resumes services.” It did not give details about the threat.
On March 5, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said U.S. consulates in Turkey were “operating as normal.
Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (06.03.18 https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2018/03/05/turkish-court-rules-against-release-of-2-greek-soldiers ) reports that a Turkish court ruled against the appeal of the arrest of two Greek soldiers detained on espionage and trespassing charges in the northwestern province of Edirne, while Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag ruled out the exchange of soldiers.
As they pleaded their innocence, a Turkish court rejected the appeal by lawyers to release the two Greek soldiers arrested last week in the border city of Edirne for spying on the Turkish side of the Greek-Turkish border.
Lt. Angelos Mitredotis and Sgt. Dimitris Kouklazis were found by patrolling Turkish soldiers in a forbidden military zone, allegedly taking photos for espionage purposes. A court in Edirne, where the border dividing the two countries by the Meric River lies, has accepted the prosecutor's plea to arrest them for attempted espionage. Since their arrest Friday, the soldiers are being held in a maximum-security prison in the city, separate from other inmates.
Speaking at a news conference following a meeting in Ankara, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said that the exchange of Greek soldiers with pro-coup Gulenist Terror Group (FETO) soldiers seeking asylum in Greece is out of question.
The two suspects claimed innocence and told interrogators that they were "lost" in bad weather while patrolling the border. When questioned by prosecutors, they said they were lost while tracing footprints in a snowy area, in order to find human smugglers and illegal immigrants. The area in which they were caught is a popular transit point for migrants crossing into Greece from Turkey as well as for fugitives. They explained that they took photos of the area to "show their superiors the work they have done."
In its verdict for the continued detention of the soldiers, the court ruled that the soldiers had no "residence" in Edirne and an examination of digital evidence found on them was still in progress.
The website of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affiar( 06.03.18 http://www.mfa.gov.tr/no_-62_-disisleri-bakani-mevlut-cavusoglunun-almanyayi-ziyareti-hk_en.en.mfa issued the following two statements regarding Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu:
“Cavusoglu […] will visit Germany to attend the ITB Berlin Tourism Fair and to have some contacts on 6-7 March 2018.
During the visit he will meet with H.E Sigmar Gabriel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany and will also hold speeches on our foreign policy at conferences to be organized by Korber and SETA Berlin Foundations.
Press Release Regarding the visit of Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to Austria:
(06.03.18 http://www.mfa.gov.tr/no_-63_-disisleri-bakani-mevlut-cavusoglunun-avusturyayi-ziyareti-hk_en.en.mfa ) Cavusoglu, will visit Austria on 8 March 2018. Cavusoglu and H.E. Dr. Karin Kneissl, Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of Austria will discuss bilateral relations, regional and international issues at their meeting in Vienna.
H.E. Mevlut Cavusoglu will also attend the official opening ceremony of Yunus Emre Institute in Vienna and meet with representatives of the Turkish community in Austria.”
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(CS / AM)