Recent News

Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-21-23.09.19

 

No. 179/19                                                                                        

Content

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci departs for New York: “Political equality is sine qua non for the Turkish Cypriots not for Turkey”

2. Ozersay met with Cavusoglu in New York

3. Oktay: “653 million TL has been transferred to the TRNC as part of the economic protocol that was signed”

4. Tatar claims that there is a need to talk about sovereign equality and not political equality

5. “Polemic quarrel” between Akinci, Tatar and the UBP on the Cyprus problem prior to New York

6. Congress suggests “fundamental changes” in the Turkish policy for Cyprus

7. Agreement on the terms of reference will speed up the process, says Ozyigit

8. Ustel evaluates his “contacts” in Ankara

Β. Turkish Press

1. Turkish, US Presidents discuss bilateral relations

2. Erdogan discusses with Senator Graham the F-35 program

3. Cavusoglu discussed with Guterres regional developments and Cyprus

4. Turkish court orders re-arrest of opposition leaders of HDP

5. Opinion poll shows support for President Erdoğan stands at 39.1%

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci departs for New York: “Political equality is sine qua non for the Turkish Cypriots not for Turkey”

Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (23.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/cumhurbaskani-mustafa-akinci-adadan-ayrildi/) broadcasts that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci departed for New York this morning.

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (23.09.19) reports that Akinci, who is expected to meet with the UNSG, Antonio Guterres, is accompanied by his councilor Erhan Ercin, the director of his “office” Cenk Gurcag and his spokesman, Baris Burcu. Akinci will return to the occupied area of the island on 2 October.

According to illegalBayrak (23.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/akinciucu-acik-uzayip-giden-surecler-artik-bizim-isimiz-degildir/), in statements at the illegal Tymbou airport, before his departure, Akinci argued today that the Turkish Cypriots wanted clarity in the negotiations to be held on the Cyprus problem and added that “open-ended processes which are prolonged is not our job any more”.

Akinci alleged that political equality was a sine qua non for the Turkish Cypriots and not for Turkey, like President Anastasiades had argued and claimed that President Anastasiades was trying to deceive both his own public opinion and the international community.

Akinci argued also that the “Greek Cypriot administration” should change the logic of majority-minority to the logic of partnership. He then called on the UNSG and expressed his expectation for him to undertake a “more active role” in New York.

Moreover, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (23.09.19) reports that Akinci alleged that President Anastasiades’ recent speech in London was far from having the mentality for a partnership based on political equality. In a post on his social media account yesterday, Akinci claimed that President Anastasiades continued making statements which reject the agreements of the past and demonize the effective participation in the decisions. “It suits him to present this just demand, which the Turkish Cypriots have all along, as an imposition by Turkey”, he alleged adding that he would visit New York to meet with the UNSG with determination and protect the Turkish Cypriot “people’s” right to exist in equality, freedom and security on the basis of international law “with their genuine identity and personality”. “Political equality and effective participation is an established UN parameter now and it is included in the agreements of the past”, he argued and claimed that President Anastasiades should say to the UNSG that he did not accept this.

(I/Ts.)             

2. Ozersay met with Cavusoglu in New York

According to illegal Bayrak television (23.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-in-new-york-6), self-styled foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, who is currently in New York for a series of contacts accompanied by his undersecretary Güneş Onar and private secretary Sonat Altuğ, will be “representing the TRNC” at the summits organised by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO). He will also be attending the coordination meeting of Foreign Ministers of the OIC which will be held on the side-lines of the General Assembly.

He will be further holding meetings with high-ranking UN officials, the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, and representatives of states participating in the UN General Assembly.

As part of his contacts in New York, Özersay held his first meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu yesterday. During their meeting, Özersay and Çavuşoğlu exchanged views particularly on the natural gas issue and other regional issues.

Çavuşoğlu also briefed Özersay about his recent meeting with the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

3. Oktay: “653 million TL has been transferred to the TRNC as part of the economic protocol that was signed”

According to illegal Bayrak television (23.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=trnc-turkey-relations-7), self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar met with the Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay at Turkey’s Presidential Complex.

Self-styled minister for economy and energy Hasan Taçoy, self-styled minister for tourism and environment Ünal Üstel and “deputy” Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu were present during the meeting.

Speaking after the meeting, Oktay said that they had particularly taken up economic issues during the meeting. He also announced that “653 million TL has been transferred to the TRNC as part of the economic protocol that was signed between the two countries and discussions regarding where the money was to be used had also been taken place”. “This is a new beginning. Just as Turkey has always supported the TRNC in every field we will continue our support with determination”, Oktay added.

He further noted that under Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s leadership, Turkey’s policies on Cyprus and its stance had been very clear and drew attention to the fact that the reportedly international embargoes imposed against the Turkish Cypriot “people” are a violation of human rights, claiming that “the embargoes not only affected the Turkish Cypriot people but the tourists that wanted to visit the country as well”.

“This is a violation of law. This is a violation of human rights. Freedom to travel is one of the basic rights of humanity and this is being restricted. We need to inform the whole world of this violation and our president is voicing this violation at every platform. We will continue with full determination until this violation has been removed”, argued Oktay.

Touching upon the water project between the “TRNC” and Turkey, Oktay said now that drinking water has reached the island [the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] they will speedily complete their works so that the water can be used in the agricultural sector as well.

Noting that they also wanted to meet the islands electricity needs he said that “the ministers of both countries will carry out efforts towards this end”.

On the issue of the use of hydrocarbon resources surrounding the island Turkey will never pay heed to the fait accompli trying to be enforced by the Greek Cypriot side or the international arena and everyone will see this clearly, Oktay reiterated: “Just as prime minister Tatar has stated before no one will be able to entrap Turkey via Cyprus to the Anatolian. Cyprus could be an island of peace. Both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have equal rights on an equal political basis and a fair share of the resources can transform the wealth of the island into the wealth of the people. I hope this will be the outcome”.

Tatar, for his part, firstly touched upon the “TRNC’s economy” by saying that economic developments will take place, certain commitments needed to be fulfilled and that once projects have been completed, tourism, higher education, reel sector and agriculture developments will take place. “What is important is for this environment and for this security to continue. Everyone must look forward to the future with hope and protect the TRNC”, added Tatar.

Noting that in order to move forward to a better position within the Eastern Mediterranean stability and consistence was needed Tatar said, adding that where there is stability there is economic growth and noted that steps to increase the prosperity of the “country” were being taken.

Pointing to the importance of the support given by Turkey in order to overcome the “unjust embargoes and isolations” imposed by the world, Tatar said that a clear message was given regarding the determination for legal action to be taken on the efforts in the East. Med, the opening of the fenced-off Varosha and direct flights to “Ercan” [occupied airport of Tymbou] were also very significant.

4. Tatar claims that there is a need to talk about sovereign equality and not political equality

According to illegal Bayrak television (23.09.19, https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=pm-tatar-gives-inteview-to-brt), self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar, speaking in an interview to BRT this morning, has said that “his government was against a fait accompli on the Cyprus problem”. He added that pressure was being made to start a new negotiations process but that they had not been informed at which point the Turkish Cypriot side will be giving into these pressures.

He further noted that discussions were held on the Guterres Framework, scrapping Turkey’s guarantees and other issues, any of which they could not accept, adding: “Moreover, even the Greek Cypriot side has not accepted most aspects. In other words we haven’t received a clear reply on issues such as a rotational presidency and political equality”.

Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot leader was criticizing the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, Tatar said: “Anastasiades is not even accepting the notion of political equality which we and Akinci have accepted”.

He said that he was fine with this issue being discussed but expressed his disapproval for launching a new negotiations process, repeating his earlier remarks that there was no need to enter into a new adventure on the Cyprus Problem. “You never know what might be discussed at the negotiating table and that would weaken your hand,” he added.

Tatar also argued that the Guterres Framework will take the Turkish Cypriot “people” to conditions prior to 1960, adding: “In the 1960 partnership Republic each community elected its own leader. Now there is this idea of cross-voting. There is fixing everything to a population ratio of 4:1. In the end we won’t be having two states, we will be having two entities”.

Tatar said that the current conditions dictated the need to talk about sovereign equality not political equality, adding that “the north’s structure had grown stronger in the past 45 years since 1974”.

“Whether you accept it or not we have two states in Cyprus. It is not possible to ignore this fact when conducting any new negotiations,” Tatar claimed.

5. “Polemic quarrel” between Akinci, Tatar and the UBP on the Cyprus problem prior to New York

Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (21.09.19) and all other Turkish Cypriot dailies refer in their front page titles to the quarrel between the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) and so-called prime minister Ersin Tatar and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on the Cyprus problem, prior to Akinci’s departure for New York.

Replying to latest accusations by Tatar directed to the Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci that “he follows a wrong policy on the Cyprus problem and that he is looking for new adventures on the Cyprus problem by entering to a new negotiation process with President Anastasiades, having the support of some marginal minority groups in the TRNC”, Akinci answered that “he represents the Turkish Cypriot people in the TRNC which constitutes the great majority and is in favor of a federal solution in Cyprus”.

In statements via his personal account to Facebook, Akinci said the following: “Our goal is a  bi-zonal federal solution in Cyprus, with two founding states based on political equality. And what Mr. Tatar calls adventure, we do it with the people’s support. What Mr. Tatar calls ‘marginal minority groups and Akinci’s friends’ are the greatest majority of the Turkish Cypriot ‘people’. Those who cannot see this reality today, one day they would see it”, Akinci said.  

In his turn, replying to Akinci’s above statements, Tatar accused Akinci of engaging in demagoguery, alleging at the same time the following: “Contrary to what Mr. Akinci allegations, our opinion is that the great majority of the Turkish Cypriot people what the continuation of Turkey’s active and effective quarantees in Cyprus and is against any solution which would envisage making concessions on the territory issue and returning a lot of land including Morfou and Karpasia”. 

On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (23.09.19) reports that the National Unity Party (UBP) in a written statement yesterday, expressed worries on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot “people” over Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s wrong stance on the Cyprus problem, supporting also that Akinci is looking for adventures on the Cyprus problem if entering to a new negotiation process with Anastasiades.

UBP supported further in the statement that it is very natural for “prime minister” Tatar to make warnings to Akinci towards the policy he follows on the Cyprus problem and especially prior to his departure for New York. The UBP recalled that in the past, it was Akinci the one who “submitted a map for the return of Morfou to the Greek Cypriots” without “informing first the assembly”.

(AK)

 6. Congress suggests “fundamental changes” in the Turkish policy for Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (23.09.19) reports that the final conclusions of the “Last Word on Cyprus” conference held in Ankara on 20 and 21 September suggest “fundamental changes” in the Turkish policy in Cyprus. The statement describes as “a serious mistake” the commencement of the Cyprus talks from the point where they left off at Crans Montana and/or within the framework of the Guterres Document and argues that the target of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality as it is provided in the 1977-79 High Level Agreements was not “an appropriate model for agreement” in Cyprus.

Claiming that the Cyprus problem was not concerning the “factors that control the Eastern Mediterranean” but “it is an issue directly concerning Turkey’s and Turkish Cypriot people’s security and prosperity”, the statement argues that Turkey’s security begins from Cyprus and “TRNC’s” security begins from Turkey. “This is a rule which does not change and even a suggestion for it to change cannot be submitted”, claims the statement alleging that the best option was the “two state solution” in a manner which the Turkish Cypriot “people’s” so-called sovereign equality” is protected.

The statement emphasizes, inter alia, issues such as: The quick implementation of the project of transferring electricity from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus with undersea cables, the utilization of all possibilities provided by the international law against the so-called embargo in the field of transport, the speeding up of the work of the “Immovable Property Commission” and overcoming the reasons which limit its activities, not allowing the discussion of the Treaties of Guarantees and Alliance and opening the fenced off city of Varosha under Turkish Cypriot administration on the basis of international law by taking into consideration the “legal situation” of the so-called EVKAF’s properties. 

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (23.09.19) recalls that Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamid Gul, self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar and “minister of economy and energy”, Hasan Tacoy were among the speakers at the conference.

(I/Ts.)         

7. Agreement on the terms of reference will speed up the process, says Ozyigit

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (22.09.19) reports that Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has said that an agreement on the terms of reference would speed up the process of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and would create a domino effect for a federal solution. In a written statement issued on Saturday, Ozyigit recalled that the community leaders would meet with UNSG Antonio Guterres in New York and discuss the terms of reference, noting that in a recent statement the UNSG underlined that the sides should reach an agreement on the terms of reference quickly.

Noting that he expected the process to advance positively and the way for a federal solution to be paved, Ozyigit added: “The negotiating process should definitely be result oriented and not open-ended. The basis of the solution is a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality like it is noted in the 11 February 2014 Document and the Guterres Framework of 30 June 2017. Political equality and effective participation in the decisions is a sine qua non”. 

Ozyigit said that the historical process and experience showed that federation would be the most realistic solution in Cyprus and expressed the view that they should not enter into “new adventures”. Recalling that especially recently some Turkish Cypriot politicians and some officials from Turkey referred to a “two state solution”, Ozyigit said that this was not possible in the current circumstances and in the foreseeable future. He noted that federation was the only realistic model accepted by all sides.

Referring to the license granted by the Republic of Cyprus to TOTAL and ENI companies for plot 7 of Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone, Ozyigit alleged that “unilateral steps” would only cause tension, like they did until today. Ozyigit described as “wrong” the Greek Cypriot side’s stance on the hydrocarbons and argued that the most correct path on this issue would be the acceptance of the proposal submitted by the Turkish Cypriot leader regarding the establishment of a joint committee.

(I/Ts.)   

8. Ustel evaluates his “contacts” in Ankara

Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (23.09.19) reports that so-called minister of tourism and environment Unal Ustel, evaluated in a written statement the meeting he held in Ankara with Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay and also his participation to the “north Cyprus tourism council” which took place in Ankara.

Supporting that Turkey will include also the “TRNC” in Turkey’s Tourism Promotion agency, Ustel alleged that together with Turkey, they formed an effective promotion and marketing policy. “We have a strong support by Turkey and we are very happy for this”, Ustel said, alleging that they pay great importance for the “promotion of the TRNC” to Turkey, since, Turkey is the occupation regime’s biggest market. He added that a lot of promotion events are organized in Turkey for the “promotion of the TRNC’s tourism” and claimed that the first one took place in Istanbul and the other is currently taking place in Ankara.

Referring to his meeting with Oktay, Ustel said that they discussed ways to find solutions to the difficulties experienced in the “tourism sector”. He further alleged that in the forthcoming period they would determine a road map together with Turkey on the “country’s tourism”. Ustel further claimed that they have decided together with Turkey to form a policy aiming to promote the “TRNC” to third countries, as a destination place for tourists.

(AK)

Β. Turkish Press

1. Turkish, US Presidents discuss bilateral relations

According to Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet Daily News (23.09.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-us-presidents-discuss-bilateral-relations-146790), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,  who arrived in New York on Sept. 21 to attend the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly, on Sept. 22 discussed over the phone bilateral relations and regional issues with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump, according to a statement by the Republic of Turkey Directorate of Communications.

Earlier, Erdoğan said he would address international peace and security issues at the U.N. General Assembly on the first day of the General Debate on Sept. 24.

Speaking at an event on Sept. 22 organized by the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC) and Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) in New York,      Erdogan also vowed to unveil the true face worldwide of FETÖ. (…)

Erdoğan said Turkey is taking necessary steps for extradition of Gülen and to halt its all operations in the U.S., adding that pro-FETÖ figures in the U.S. are making efforts to harm Ankara-Washington relations and cause unrest among Muslims.        

Earlier, Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also said that Gülen's cult uses American taxpayers' money and therefore his cult is not only Turkey's problem but Americans' as well.   

In his remarks, Erdoğan said Turkey will also continue to back Palestinian cause, saying Palestine is a "red line" for Turkey, adding: "No power, threat can prevent us from protecting the law of Palestine". (…)      

2. Erdogan discusses with Senator Graham the F-35 program

Under the title “Senator 'hopeful' for strategic US-Turkey relationship”, Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (22.09.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/senator-hopeful-for-strategic-us-turkey-relationship/1590917) reports that after the meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, the Republican Senator Lindsey Graham expressed hope for a more strategic relationship between Ankara and Washington.  Erdogan hosted South Carolina Senator at the Peninsula Hotel.

Speaking to reporters, Graham said the meeting "was good", adding: “I am hopeful we can get a more strategic relationship with Turkey [...] try to get them back in F-35 program, maybe talk about free trade program. (…) Because Turkey is a very important ally, not just when it comes to Syria, really for the whole region". (…)

Turkey produces some parts of the F-35 jets and is also a partner in the jet program, and has warned any effort to remove it from the production chain would be very costly. 

Graham praised Turkey as "indispensable to keeping Syria together" and its assistance in northeastern Syria to prevent re-emergence of Deash terror group. "Most importantly, Turkey is protecting 4 million people from slaughter," he added.

3. Cavusoglu discussed with Guterres regional developments and Cyprus

According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (20.09.19,  https://www.aa.com.tr/en/74th-un-general-assembly-2019/turkish-fm-meets-un-chief-in-new-york/1589633), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met Friday with the UN chief here as the international body gathered to kick off the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.

Cavusoglu told reporters he had a "useful" meeting with Antonio Guterres and discussed a range of issues, including Syria and the constitutional committee for the war-torn country. The meeting was closed to the media. (…_

Later on Friday, Cavusoglu tweeted his meeting with Guterres, writing that he discussed regional and international developments, and Cyprus. (…)

4. Turkish court orders re-arrest of opposition leaders of HDP

According to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu (21.309.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkish-court-orders-re-arrest-of-opposition-leaders/1589825), a court in Ankara on Friday ordered the re-arrest of the former co-chairs of the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), according to judicial sources.

The move came after the Chief Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara launched a fresh investigation into Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, who have been in jail since November 2016 after they were arrested along with several other HDP lawmakers on terror-related charges. (…) On Sept. 2, an Ankara court decided to release Demirtas while he awaited trial. (…)

On the same issue, Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (20.09.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/09/20/turkish-prosecutor-demands-demirtas-stay-in-jail-due-to-new-terrorism-investigation/) reported that the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched a new terrorism investigation into Selahattin Demirtaş, a jailed Kurdish politician, demanding the continuation of his imprisonment, an opposition Deputy tweeted on Friday, adding that Demirtaş’s lawyers applied for parole the same day.

Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a Deputy from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said the investigation aimed at keeping Demirtaş in jail despite a release order from a court amounted to “tyranny”. “There’s no [an independent] judiciary, no law, no code, no judge. Not just for us, not for anybody,” Demirtaş said in response to the latest development, according to a Twitter account run by his lawyers. (…)

A court on Friday ordered that his more than three-year-long imprisonment must be deducted from his four-year, eight-month prison sentence.

According to Tanrıkulu, Demirtaş should be released from prison after that ruling.

5. Opinion poll shows support for President Erdoğan stands at 39.1%

According to Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (21.09.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/09/21/opinion-poll-shows-support-for-president-erdogan-stands-at-39-1-percent/) and Turkish internet newspaper T24 (20.09.19, https://t24.com.tr/foto-haber/babacan-dan-davutoglu-na-ince-den-imamoglu-na-ada-arastirma-nin-son-anketi-ne-soyluyor,8763), a new survey showed public support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would stand at 39.1%, while İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu could garner 28.6% of the vote if a presidential election were to take place next Sunday.

The survey, conducted by the ADA Research Company on 1,721 people between 19-30 of August, also indicated that Selahattin Demirtaş, a jailed Kurdish political leader, would receive 8%, the İYİ (Good) Party’s Meral Akşener 6.8%, the leader of MHP [National Movement Party] Devlet Bahceli 6.5%, Ali Babacan 4.2%, Ahmet Davutoglu 2.3%, Muharrem Ince 2.0% and Kemal Kilicdaroglu 0.5%.

Due to an enormous victory against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate in the recent İstanbul mayoral election, the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) İmamoğlu has become a star in Turkish politics.

The survey also questioned the perception of recent political issues in public opinion.

Although former AKP heavyweights Ali Babacan and Ahmet Davutoğlu are engaged in efforts to establish new political parties, only 32.2% of participants thought that Turkey needs a new party.

A total of 44.9% of Turks, meanwhile, believe economic deterioration is the country’s most urgent problem, whereas 17% say it is unemployment and 6% say Syrian refugees.

Roughly 61% of the public, according to the opinion poll, think the executive presidential system, which was adopted after a narrowly backed referendum in 2017, is not satisfactory.

Turkey’s purchase of a Russian S-400 air defence system is supported by 74.9% of those surveyed, and an overwhelming 94.5% consider the United States an enemy. Seventy-one percent says Russia is also an enemy.

……………………..

TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(DPs/AM)