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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-01-02.05.2019

No.80/19                                                                                             01-02.05.2019

 

Contents

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1.Ozersay evaluates his meeting with Akar

2. Ozersay: “We are those who pay the price from the unilateral accession of the Greek Cypriot side to the EU”

3. Erhurman says technical work in Turkey regarding the “economic protocol” will be completed next week

4. Harmanci discusses the opening of crossing points with trade unions

5. 182% increase on the smartphone usage in the occupied area of Cyprus in a period of five years

6. International conference in co-operation with a French University is organized by DAU

7. Opening of a solar power plant in occupied Vatili

B. Turkish Press

1. Turkish, US officials talk safe zone in Syria

2. Turkey slams US over religious freedom report

3. Erdoğan, Putin talk ‘close cooperation in Syria’ over phone

4. Giant defense exhibition IDEF'19 sees product debuts, inking of multiple agreements

5. One hundred forty five  people detained for taking part in illegal May Day demonstrations across Turkey

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1.Ozersay evaluates his meeting with Akar

Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat (02.05.19) under the front-page title: “Constructive meeting” reports that so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay, evaluating to illegal BRT his recent “contacts” in Istanbul, said that he met with Turkey’s Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar.

Describing the meeting with Akar as very constructive, Ozersay said that during the meeting they discussed recent developments on the Cyprus problem, the “Greek Cypriot sides’ attempts in the Eastern Mediterranean” and especially the “Greek Cypriot side’s ties with third countries on issues related with military, defense and security”.

“Such attempts by the Greek Cypriot side constitute for us a threat for the security and the stability in the region”, Ozersay alleged, arguing that there is an attempt to exclude not only Turkey but also the “TRNC” from the region.  “These are developments that may have negative effects on the stability of the region”, Ozersay further argued. He went on saying that during the meeting, “they discussed further the steps that could be taken in order not to allow the Greek Cypriot side to ignore the Turkish Cypriot side’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean”. 

Within the framework of his “contacts” in Istanbul, Ozersay further attended the opening ceremony of the International Defense Industry Fair which is the biggest fair taking place there. On the sidelines of the fair, Ozersay and his accompanied delegation are expected to meet again today with Akar.

(AK)

2. Ozersay: “We are those who pay the price from the unilateral accession of the Greek Cypriot side to the EU”

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (02.05.19) reports that so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, issuing a written statement on the occasion of the 15th anniversary from the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU, described the “decision of the EU to unilaterally accept the Greek Cypriot side as a member of the EU as wrong”, alleging that it is the Turkish Cypriot side which pays the price of this decision. Claiming that the EU’ decision is unfair for the Turkish Cypriot side, Ozersay alleged that the decision of the EU is the reason that we went away from the solution of the Cyprus problem. He argued further that the Greek Cypriot side moved away from the goal of the solution of the Cyprus problem since it has the security of the EU.

Stating that in spite of this situation, the fact that the Turkish Cypriots are also European citizens is a reality that would not change, Ozersay called on the EU to fulfill the promises it gave to the Turkish Cypriots and to undertake steps for the lifting of the so-called isolations. “The Turkish Cypriot people is determined to move forward safeguarding the modern civilization values in order to become a democratic and secular state”, Ozersay alleged.  

(AK)

3. Erhurman says technical work in Turkey regarding the “economic protocol” will be completed next week

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (02.05.19) reports that Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus has said that according to information given to him by the “undersecretary” at his “office”, Turkey would complete the technical work regarding the “economic protocol” to be signed with the breakaway regime and convey the results to the “government” within next week the latest. “Our target is to hold the last meetings at political level and sign the protocol within May”, noted Erhurman in exclusive statements to the paper.

Describing as “objective” the reason for the delay of the signing of the “protocol”, Erhurman argued:

“[…] The government is united. There is no problem in the relations with Turkey. While the protocol procedure is advancing, we are preparing our own package at home. While reducing expenses, it is also very important to increase the income and not shrink the economy.   […]

If there are some circles which claim that the problems will be solved in case the government changes, they should openly explain how they will do this […]

For the crossing points we employed around 20 persons and new employments are on the agenda. For a new crossing point in Nicosia, an agreement should be reached at the level of the leaders […]”.

(I/Ts.)

4. Harmanci discusses the opening of crossing points with trade unions

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (01.05.19) reports that Mehmet Harmanci, mayor of the occupied part of Nicosia, held a meeting the day before yesterday with some Turkish Cypriot trade unions, members of the Trade Union Platform, on the issue of opening crossing points at the Pafos and Famagusta Gates in Nicosia, after an agreement reached on this issue between himself and Constantinos Yiorkadjis, Mayor of Nicosia.

In statements during the meeting, Harmanci said that the opening of the crossing point at Famagusta Gate to vehicles would ease the “suffering” of people at the Agios Dometios crossing point. “The opening of Pafos Gate to pedestrian crossings will allow the Lokmaci barricade to breathe freely in the movement of tourists”, he noted.  

(I/Ts.)

5. 182% increase on the smartphone usage in the occupied area of Cyprus in a period of five years

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (02.0519) reports that in the fourth quarter of 2018, there were 877 thousand 990 registered mobile subscribers in the occupied area of Cyprus, but only the 721 thousand 088 were "active" mobile subscribers.

It was also reported that the mobile network operators "Cyprus Mobile Telecommunications Ltd." and the "Telsim" and KKTCELL have achieved net sales revenue of 85.72 million.

Also, according to the same data, there was an increase of approximately 182% compared to the smartphone usage in the first quarter of 2013 and 324% increase of the smartphone and tablet usage comparing with 2013.

(AK)

6. International conference in co-operation with a French University is organized by DAU

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (02.05.19) reports that the “Management and economy faculty” of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) is organizing a conference under the name: “International Banking and Finance prospective”. 

The conference will take place between 3-4 of May, 2019.  The conference is organized with co-operation with the Montpellier Business School of France.

7. Opening of a solar power plant in occupied Vatili

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (02.05.19) reports that the inauguration ceremony of a solar power plant took place in occupied Vatili village.

The plant covers an area of 10 donum and its cost was 6 million Turkish Lira. 

The plant is considered to be a very big investment in the occupied area of Cyprus.

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Turkish, US officials talk safe zone in Syria

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (01.05.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-us-officials-talk-safe-zone-in-syria-143085) reported that officials from Turkey and the United States are in talks in the capital Ankara on the issues of a planned safe zone, a Manbij road map, an Idlib memorandum, a political solution and the rebuilding of Syria.

A U.S. delegation headed by James Jeffrey, the U.S. special envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, separately met with presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın and Foreign Ministry officials on May 1.

Aside from putting extra emphasis on Turkey’s national security priorities, many other important issues also were discussed: the fight against terror in eastern Euphrates and in entire Syria, the planned safe zone, implementing the road map for Manbij, the fight against terror elements, including DEAŞ, PKK/YPG/PYD; preserving the Idlib Memorandum, rebuilding Syria and reaching a political solution in scope of Syria’s territorial integrity. were discussed during the meeting, according to presidential sources.

“It was assured that all of Turkey’s security concerns will be allayed with the planned safe zone and that all terrorist groups will be eliminated from the region,” according to presidential sources.

Both sides agreed that a solution should be decided and implemented following parleys between technical committees of Turkey and the U.S.

Cooperation regarding Syria should be pursued with trust and transparency, Kalın and Jeffrey assented, according to the sources.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also met with Jeffrey in Istanbul late on May 1.  Akar and Jeffrey discussed the latest developments in Syria, particularly the situation east of the Euphrates, Turkey's Defense Ministry said in a statement      

Turkey and the U.S. have launched talks for a possible safe zone near the Turkish border in northern Syria, following the Washington’s decision to withdraw most of its troops in the country. The idea responded to Turkey’s concerns regarding the threat posed by the YPG as Ankara voices unease about harassment fires launched by the Kurdish group in the region.

The two countries since last year also have been discussing the withdrawal of the YPG from Manbij town in northwest Syria as part of a deal sealed between Foreign Ministers of Turkey and the U.S. on June 4.  The agreed road map stipulates the withdrawal of all YPG members from Manbij to the east of Euphrates and for the establishment of a new city council by the local Arabs. Turkey has long criticized the U.S. for prolonging the process and violating the 90-day timeline.

Meanwhile, Ankara and Washington have been working on a possible visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Turkey, according to Turkish presidential sources.

“We are working on alternative dates including July for Trump’s visit,” Turkish presidential sources said.

Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahım Kalın and U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton discussed the Russian S-400 air defense system via telephone on April 30, Trump’s visit to Turkey and recent developments in Libya, presidential sources said.

The conversation came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Trump spoke by phone on April 29.

Tensions between the U.S. and Turkey have increased recently with Turkey set to begin receiving the Russian surface-to-air missile system that Washington contends will jeopardize Ankara’s role in the F-35 fighter jet program and could trigger American congressional sanctions.

2. Turkey slams US over religious freedom report

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (01.05.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-slams-us-over-religious-freedom-report-143084) reported that Turkey has lashed out at a United States’ commission report scrutinizing the state of religious freedoms in the world for describing FETÖ as a Sunni group facing persecution by the Turkish government.

 “Describing the members of FETÖ as Sunni Muslims facing persecution openly manifests, from the very beginning, that this report is biased, dislocated from reality and written under the influence of … evil groups,” read a statement issued by Hami Aksoy, spokesman of the Turkish Foreign M inistry on May 1.

FETÖ categorization as a terrorist organization has been confirmed through court decisions. The description of FETÖ in the annual report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) means tolerating terror, Aksoy said.

FETÖ leader Fetullah Gülen, whom Turkey has sought to extradite from the U.S., and his followers are accused of overthrowing the government, Turkish Ministry spokesman added.

Aksoy also criticized the report for alleging that a joint communiqué signed by the religious representatives of all non-Muslim communities in 2018 was coordinated by the Turkish state. He said alone this claim reveals that the report was prepared on political motives.

“Criticisms against Turkey by the U.S. administration and the Congress, which could not digest the election of a Muslim to the House Representatives, fail to show sufficient will in the fight against Islamophobia and to prevent attacks against their own religious minorities, are a display of inconsistency,” said Aksoy.

3. Erdoğan, Putin talk ‘close cooperation in Syria’ over phone

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (01.05.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-putin-talk-close-cooperation-in-syria-over-phone-143065) reported that Turkish and Russian Presidents have agreed in a phone conversation to continue close cooperation in Syria as part of Astana process.

According to a statement by the Turkish Presidency, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed bilateral issues and recent developments in Libya and Syria on April 30.

Turkey, Russia, and Iran serve as guarantor states in the Astana peace process.

The Astana process has been successful in bringing a cease-fire in Syria and led to the creation of de-escalation zones.

Kremlin said that the two leaders exchanged views on the results of the eighth meeting of the High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council in Moscow on April 8.

“The leaders noted the importance of effective implementation of the agreements reached on promoting trade, economic, cultural and people-to-people ties, as well as on making continued progress on joint projects, including in the military-technical sphere,” read a statement by Kremlin.

“The two leaders stressed the importance of continued close coordination of Russia and Turkey’s efforts to stabilize the situation in Idlib and the need for effective measures to suppress terrorist groups,” the statement said adding that both leaders confirmed “that launching the Constitutional Committee as soon as possible is a priority task within the context of the 12th International Meeting on Syria held in Nur-Sultan on April 25–26.”

Turkey also reiterated its support for Libya’s peace and stability, Turkish Presidency said.

4. Giant defense exhibition IDEF'19 sees product debuts, inking of multiple agreements

Turkish Daily Sabah (02.05.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/defense/2019/05/02/giant-defense-exhibition-idef19-sees-product-debuts-inking-of-multiple-agreements) reports that a prototype of armored amphibious assault vehicle, ZAHA, which is manufactured by FNSS, one of Turkey’s leading defense contractors, is being showcased at the International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF’19), Istanbul, May 1, 2019.

The Turkish defense industry continued to unveil innovations on the second day of the giant international defense fair in Istanbul, which has also witnessed the signing of several defense agreements

Having already proved its skills in the international arena with a number of major platforms and systems it has developed in recent years, the Turkish defense industry is now showcasing its new innovations as well as new versions of previously developed products at one of the world's leading defense fairs, the International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF'19). Having gone through a busy first day on Tuesday, marked by a number of deals, the giant exhibition yesterday also witnessed the signing of multiple agreements. Over 70 countries, 148 delegations from three international institutions, over 480 local firms and 580 foreign companies are attending the four-day event, hosted by the National Defense Ministry under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey and the management and responsibility of the Turkish Armed Forces Foundation.

About 250 Turkish participants are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Visitors have had the opportunity to see a dozen armored combat vehicles, tactical armored vehicles, unmanned land vehicles rockets, guided missiles, infantry weapons, military simulators and explosive ordnance disposal equipment at the giant fair.

For instance, a new national laser gun, developed by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) that can be mounted on Turkey's first locally designed and produced assault rifle, the MPT-76, was introduced.

The Rifle Mount Laser (TÜMOL), which has a deterrent effect up to one kilometer, will provide great advantages to Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), according to a statement by the Industry and Technology Ministry yesterday.

Speaking about the product, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said: "It turns electricity into laser light. It has a very high effect at a short distance. Doesn't make a sound. Can be seen with an infrared camera. It can penetrate steel on the deck of a ship at a power level of 20 kilowatts."

Varank said the weapon undoubtedly neutralizes a target at a distance of 150 meters, damages a target at a distance of 250 meters and has a deterrent effect of up to one kilometer, depending on weather conditions.

On the other hand, one of the leading defense manufacturers, FNSS, introduced its armored amphibious assault vehicle, the ZAHA. The vehicle was designed to meet the requirements of the Turkish Naval Forces, said Nail Kurt, CEO of FNSS, on the sidelines of the fair. Speaking at the ZAHA prototype launch, he noted that the armored amphibious assault vehicle could only be produced by a limited number of countries.

Turkey's major rocket and missile manufacturer ROKETSAN has unveiled an indigenous laser-guided anti-tank shell, Tanok, at IDEF'19.

With its extensive experience and know-how in missiles, ROKETSAN plans to produce tank munitions to meet the needs of the market by designing several alternatives, such as mounting the Tanok on ground vehicles or using it as a man-portable missile.

5. One hundred forty five  people detained for taking part in illegal May Day demonstrations across Turkey

Turkish Minute new portal (02.05.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/02/145-people-detained-for-taking-part-in-illegal-may-day-demonstrations-across-turkey-ministry/) reports that the Turkish Interior Ministry has announced that a total of 145 people have been detained for taking part in illegal May Day demonstrations across Turkey, the Diken news website reported on Wednesday.

In a written statement on Wednesday the Ministry said a total of 138 demonstrations were held in 67 provinces with the participation of 303,640 people. The Ministry said 16 illegal demonstrations were also staged and that 145 people who attended these demonstrations were detained.

Police intervention in May Day celebrations is frequent in Turkey. On May 1, 1977 hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square in İstanbul. Snipers opened fire on the crowd, which led to a stampede as many people ran to the downhill Kazancı Yokuşu street, the nearest exit from the square. Forty-one people lost their lives in the massacre.

In 2010 thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square for a May Day demonstration for the first time in more than 30 years, but since 2013 bans have re-emerged for May Day gatherings there.

 

 

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TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(CS/AM)