Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis(16.10.19) reports that the “assembly” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus was stirred up yesterday, when Zorlu Tore, self-styled deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP) and “deputy speaker of the assembly”, started reading a declaration signed by four parties [the UBP, People’s Party (HP), Democratic Party (DP) and the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP)] regarding the “Peace Spring Operation”, as Turkey called its invasion in Syria.
When Tore started reading the declaration, the “deputies” of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and Social Democracy Party (TDP), which did not sign the declaration, as well as the “deputies” of the DP protested, arguing that the “regulations of the parliament” were violated by Tore, who paid no attention to these protests and continued reading the text of the statement. As a result of this, the “deputies” of the CTP, TDP and DP abandoned the room in protest.
Serdar Denktas, “deputy” with the DP, said that a big mistake was committed by trying to read the statement of the four parties as if it was a common declaration by the “assembly” and added that it was not correct to “throw a ticking bomb and cause tumult on such a sensitive issue”.
Erhan Arikli, YDP’s chairman, said that the CTP and the TDP had signed the declaration but withdrew their signature after the statement made the day before yesterday by the UBP [by which it was alleged that Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci did not represent the Turkish Cypriot community and therefore he should be removed from the post of the negotiator in the Cyprus talks]. “The assembly has no objection to Turkey’s just cause and the Peace Spring Operation, it fully supports it”, he said.
Zeki Celer, TDP’s “deputy”, said that they had withdrawn their support after the UBP’s criticism against Akinci and the statement that he did not represent the Turkish Cypriot community. “The TDP will not play this game, you are the ones that spoiled it”, he added referring to the UBP-HP “government”.
Tufan Erhurman, CTP’s chairman, said that yesterday they had been at the “assembly” since 09.00 o’ clock in the morning and that they had not been briefed that the declaration would be read. He added: “It is not right to read a declaration of four parties in the assembly. I call everyone to reason. It is hard to explain why it was not possible to issue a joint statement, while consensus existed”.
Kudret Ozersay, HP’s chairman, described as “not right” the fact that Tore continued reading the declaration even though Denktas, who had signed it, warned him that this was contrary to “the internal regulations of the assembly” and abandoned the room. “We must act with consensus”, he added.
Ersin Tatar, UBP’s chairman, said that Akinci should think again and again before making statements. “We could not remain without reacting to the statements”, he argued claiming that Akinci caused polarization because of the forthcoming “presidential elections”.
Under the title “An attempt to create a serious chaos in the country”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Kibris (16.10.19) reports that “the Social Democracy Party (TDP) announced that the joint declaration proposal, which was submitted to the parliament, was brought to the parliament with ‘revanchist feelings’ towards our president Akinci and the people who supported him and regardless of the content, they will not sign this or similar declaration”.
Speaking at TDP’s press conference, which was held in order to explain the reasons for not signing the declaration, Zeki Celer, “deputy” with the TDP, stated that due to statements and distorted statements made after Turkey launched its “peace spring operation” in Syria, there is an attempt to create chaos in the “country”, adding that the TDP will not remain silent against this attempt of lynching and disrespecting Akinci.
Celer stressed that firstly they agreed with the UBP (National Union Party), which he made a proposal on Monday to form a joint committee and issue a declaration, during the “parliamentary session”, adding, Celer that the decisions, which were taken, and the statements, which were made on Monday night were clear.
Reading later a written statement by TDP, Celer argued that the party has expressed many times before its view regarding the danger that Turkey is facing with terrorism and its territorial integrity and underlined the importance for the people of the region to build peace.
The statement further reads that Turkey’s fight against terrorism, which has been going on for years now, should not only be supported by us but also by all the world in the name of human dignity.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, TDP’s statement said that there is a systematic attempt to estrange the Turkish Cypriots from the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, adding that since the first day that the current UBP-HP “coalition government” was formed, it has been deliberately and willingly creating crisis with Akinci.
“Besides, the attempt to dispute the leader of the community with an artificial agenda during a period that a tripartite meeting is being prepared within November, will not serve but to weaken the Turkish Cypriots’ hand at the negotiating table”, the TDP statement read.
Under the title “A statement from CTP: “We shall continue to work with responsibility for peace”, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen (16.10.19), on its front page, reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) wishes for the military operation launched by Turkey in Syria to be ended with the least possible casualties and for peace and stability to be achieved in the region.
In a written statement, CTP stated that due to the sorrow they lived in the past, their desire is a world away from violence and conflicts. The statement further read: “For this reason, we are watching in sorrow the pain terrorism has caused to Turkey and its people. (…)”
Noting that the Turkish Cypriot “people” is going through a sensitive period and is loyal to the principle of ‘Peace at Home and Peace Abroad’,” the CTP explained that “Peace means there is no war or terror anywhere in the world; that a fair and lasting comprehensive settlement is reached in Cyprus; and that people live a life of harmony, not polarization.”
Stating that the Turkish Cypriots are a “people”, who respect the freedom of expression, CTP added that the only way to change the views that they consider wrong is to answer to them with the views that they consider right.
The CTP’s statement further read: “This is why we believe that we should not accuse, marginalize or exclude anyone for betrayal, no matter what opinion they declare. This, of course, does not change the fact that each of us must pay special attention to the sensitivity of others while expressing our views, and this creates a greater responsibility for those undertaking public duties. But in the end, tolerance is essential and the only way to discuss different opinions is through debate and not slander.”
“The authority and the responsibilities of the president in the TRNC, who is recognized by the United Nations as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, is elected by the TRNC citizen Turkish Cypriot voters. The source of this institution is the political will of the TRNC citizens. To question whether or not the presidency represents the will of the TRNC people will harm the Turkish Cypriot community’s reputation before the international community”, the CTP statement added.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (16.10.19) reports that Baris Burcu, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci issued a written statement regarding the decisions taken by the National Unity Party (UBP) which referred to Akinci.
UBP condemned in its meeting the statements of Akinci on Turkey’s operation to Syria and claimed that the Turkish Cypriot leader should stop being the negotiator of the Turkish Cypriot side on the Cyprus talks.
Burcu stated that the claims that Akinci does not represent the will of the Turkish Cypriots “is a black stain in the history of the Turkish Cypriots”, as he said. These claims have no validity whatsoever”, he stated, adding that the “will of the people” is demonstrated by their voting and this cannot be cancelled because of a political party’s decision.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberci (16.10.19) reports that “deputy prime minister” and so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, in statements yesterday in a televised program broadcast by illegal BRT, evaluated the criticism expressed by several circles in the “TRNC” against Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the fact that there was a demand saying that Akinci should not be in the Cyprus negotiations.
Commenting on this, Ozersay said that the “assembly does not have the authority to remove from the president’s right the authority to be the negotiator at the negotiation talks. At the same time, there is no article in the constitution envisaging such a thing. Thus, it is out of question for Akinci to be removed from the position of the negotiator”, Ozersay said. He further added that Akinci was tasked by the Turkish Cypriot “people” to “represent” them.
Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak television (15.10.10-https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-comments-on-akincis-remarks), Ozersay supported that the “political tensions that erupted between Turkey and the TRNC as a result ofTurkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı’s remarks on Turkey’s military operation in Syria was not good for the country”.
Speaking to BRT, Ozersay said that such tensions caused division and polarization within society. “This is not something we desire. Everyone must use their energy for the benefit of the country,” he said.
Ozersay added that “everyone in the state’s administration could be criticized but a very different atmosphere emerged when the president was criticized”. “You can criticize ministers or even the prime minister of a country. This is very natural. We can also be criticized for the steps we take or the ones we do not. The same applies to the president but when the president is criticized a very different atmosphere emerges,” Özersay argued.
(…) Claiming that the issue had reached a point where a certain segment in Turkey had started insulting Turkish Cypriots, Ozersay said that that is unacceptable. “We have relations with one state and we cannot carry out that relationship in a healthy manner,” Özersay said, adding that Akıncı had stated that his statement had been misunderstood.
“His statement was open to misunderstanding. The President should have been clear in his statements on a sensitive, emotional and hot topic. He should have refrained from making vague comments,” Ozersay added.
Özersay recalled that Akıncı had expressed support to the previous Afrin Operation. “He might not have wanted to express support this time but a majority of Turkish Cypriots would have wanted to see him support this operation as well,” Özersay further said.
He went on to claim that Akıncı’s argument in favour of dialogue and diplomacy was no longer valid as Turkey had exhausted both methods before launching such an operation.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Halkin Sesi (16.10.19) reports that the Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP) in the occupied area of Cyprus lay yesterday a black wreath in front the “presidential palace” reacting to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s statement on the Turkish invasion in Syria.
Also, MDP prior laying the wreath, conveyed a letter to Akinci via the “Turkish embassy” in the occupied area of Cyprus.
In statements in front of the “presidential palace”, Dervis Sunalp Sencer, general secretary of the party expressed sorrow over Akinci’s remarks claiming that his statements do not reflect the positions of the Turkish Cypriot “people”. He further said that Turkish Cypriot “people” would always be by the side of Turkey and their “martyrs”.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the Left Movement in the occupied area of Cyprus expressed support to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci describing as unacceptable the statement made by the National Unity Party (UBP), claiming that Akinci does not represent the will of the Turkish Cypriot people anymore , noting that “he should not be in the Cyprus negotiations.
Abdullah Korkmazhan on behalf of the Left Movement condemned strongly UBP’s statement underling that Akinci was “elected as president with the vote of the great majority of the Turkish Cypriot community and has taken the task to be its negotiator at the negotiation talks”.
Korkmazhan further added that the biggest concern of the circles supporting the status quo in Cyprus (UBP and the People’s Party (HP)) is the three-party or five-party conference that may take place and added that their aim is to torpedo the solution process.
Korkmazhan called on all supporters of the solution in Cyprus, the workers and all sides, which support peace and democracy to common struggle until a solution is found on the Cyprus problem. “We should stand strong against all this and protect our willpower and our future”, Korkmazhan added.
Under the title “Death threat”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Haberci(16.10.19) reports that the posts against Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci on social media after his statement regarding Turkey’s invasion in Syria did not remain only to swearwords and insults, but tens of threats against his life were also made.
The paper writes that it obtained many of these messages posted on Akinci’s “official” website, adding that some of these messages containing threats, insults and swearwords, are the following: “We will take you suddenly one night, be sensible, listen to what Erdogan is saying”, “We will hang you and your family on gallows”, “You will come to Turkish territories, then we will squeeze your head”, “We will take your head, dog…”, “Your life worth one bullet”.
Lawyers told the paper that according to the “constitution”, the “president of the republic” represents the whole community as “head of the state” and he could not be insulted. They also said that the “police” were expected to launch an inquiry against those who insulted Akinci and threatened his life. According to the paper, Akinci has pressed charges regarding the threats against him and his family.
Under the title “Religious fanatics ask for heads”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika(16.10.19) reports that after Turkish President Erdogan has targeted Akinci, the insults against the Turkish Cypriot leader on Turkish TV channels are limitless. A former Turkish referee named Ahmet Cakar said about Akinci the following: “You ignorant man, I am ashamed that Turkey’s Republic of Northern Cyprus has a president like you”. During a televised discussion following the football game between the national teams of France and Turkey, Cakar referred to Turkey’s goal and argued “let this goal be received by this gentleman”. Referring to the Turkish Cypriot community, Cakar said: “Let the air you breathe, the water you drink be poison”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (16.10.19 http://www.yeniduzen.com/erdogan-macrona-kktcyi-sordum-119963h.htm) reports that speaking on his way home from the 7th Summit of the Turkic Council in Baku, Azerbaijan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the French President Macron asked him about the statement of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who criticized Turkey’s operation to Syria.
“’How do you evaluate the statement of the TRNC president over the operation?’, Macron asked and I replied: ‘Since when do you recognize the TRNC?’,” Erdogan stated.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.10.19) reports that the so-called assembly has approved a “resolution envisaging the urgent discussion in the assembly’s committee of the draft bill for foreigners and migration” anonymously yesterday.
In statements on the issue, so-called minister of labour and social insurance, Faiz Sucuoglu said that the “bill” has been prepared upon the increase of the unregistered workers in the “TRNC” and due to the increase of the illegal workers in the “country” which have reached 8,500-9000.
Stating that they had prepared the above “bill” in order to control the situation related with the “unregistered illegal workers”, Sucuologu said that in this way, they would be able to count the “registered workers in the country”. He went on to claim that in the occupied area of Cyprus there are currently 14,657 “registered workers from third countries and 33,255 registered workers from Turkey”.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkey-not-worried-over-sanctions-erdogan/1615256) reports that Turkey’s President said late Tuesday that Ankara was pressured to halt its counterterror operation in northern Syria but was not worried over sanctions “as the government was determined to eliminate the terror corridor near its borders”.
Speaking on his way home from the 7th Summit of the Turkic Council in Baku, Azerbaijan, Recep Tayyip Erdogan touched on a variety of subjects such as “Turkey’s ongoing anti-terror operation in northern Syria, the YPG/PKK terror group’s mortar attacks in Turkey’s southern provinces and upcoming meetings with U.S. officials”.
“They pressure us to halt the operation, announce sanctions,” he said, referring to Western countries.
“Our goal is clear. We are not worried over any sanctions,” Erdogan asserted, adding the YPG/PKK was losing ground as Operation Peace Spring continued with success.
He stressed that the U.S. urged Turkey to declare a ceasefire so it could act as a mediator between the conflicting parties, but he rejected this offer, as Turkey would not “sit down at the table with terror groups.”
Erdogan went on to say that “U.S. mediation between Turkey and the YPG/PKK terror group would not be reasonable in terms of political science and war law”.
Claiming that Turkey would maintain its operation until the area was cleared of “terror elements”, he said the territory would be given back to its true owners – Syrians – once the operation concluded. “We are on the seventh day of Operation Peace Spring. It continues with success as planned. We secured Ayn al-Arab on the fourth day and Tal Abyad on the fifth day by purging terrorists. Today, we have reached a 32-kilometer depth. We have control over the M4 highway,” he said.
He further stated that the U.S., Russia, the European Union and NATO were briefed on Turkey’s actions and goals regarding the ongoing operation and added that Turkey’s operational success in northern Syria went beyond foreign countries’ expectations as Turkey secured a significant portion of northern Syria within a week.
“Our goal is clear: cleaning our borders of any terror elements and ensuring the safe return of the refugees…The operation will continue until the goals are achieved,” he added.
"Turkey is now a self-sufficient country," he said, adding the country is currently able to meet 70% of its needs through its own defense industry.
In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-initially-resettle-one-million-refugees-to-syria-erdogan-147536) reports that Turkey plans to initially resettle one million Syrian refugees in northern Syria as part of the aims of “Operation Peace Spring,” said Erdoğan.
“We will secure the area extending from Manbij to the Iraqi border and then facilitate one million Syrian refugees’ return home in the first phase and, later on, the return of two million people,” he said, speaking at the 7th Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) in Azerbaijan.
“What is experienced in Syria over the past eight years has shown that it is impossible to eliminate a terrorist organization by means of another one,” Erdoğan stated, noting that Turkey has taken a crucial step on Oct. 9 to “eliminate the PKK/YPG terrorist organization.”
Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkish-russian-leaders-discuss-syria-over-phone/1615206) reports that Turkey's President Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart discussed bilateral relations and regional developments over the phone late Tuesday.
According to the Turkish Directorate of Communications, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin tackled Turkey’s counter-terror operation in northern Syria and its contribution to protecting Syria’s territorial integrity and political resolution process.
In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/operation-peace-spring/turkish-iraqi-defense-ministers-talk-syria-on-phone/1615028) also reports that Turkey's national Defense Minister held a phone call with his Iraqi counterpart on Tuesday, discussing current developments in Syria, according to the Turkish National Defense Ministry.
Hulusi Akar and Najah Hassan Ali Al-Shammari discussed defense and security matters during the call, the ministry added.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/government-caused-world-to-take-position-against-turkey-main-opposition-leader-147539) reports that Turkey should avoid an adventurous foreign policy, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader said on Oct. 15.
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that Ankara has taken all the world against it for not respecting Syria’s territorial integrity. “An adventurous foreign policy should be avoided. We can see the outcomes of an adventurous foreign policy with examples. Some 3,600,000 Syrians are in Turkey. We spent 40 million TL for them,” he said, speaking at CHP’S parliament group meeting.
“If I do not respect the territorial integrity of another government, I will make enemies. Today we have made all the world our enemy,” Kılıçdaroğlu added. He accused the government of supporting terrorist jihadist fighters in Syria. “The terrorists who were wounded were brought to Turkey in Syria for treatment secretly and they were sent to Syria.” He criticized the government for vowing against U.S. President Donald Trump in rhetoric but making concessions last year by releasing U.S. citizen Pastor Andrew Brunson and returning him back to America “even without a court ruling.” Turkey should avoid serving the interest of the big powers, he stated. “There is no leader that humiliates Turkey as much as Trump does,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opposition-leader-urges-govt-to-contact-assad-147538) reports that İyi (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener urged the government for dialogue with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Sometimes you have to choose the second-best scenario. There are two options left today. We will either contact Assad and normalize Syria or we will be the audience of the disintegration of Syria. Assad’s conception of governance may be a big problem, you may find it unacceptable, but no scenario is as bloody and democracy-free as a fragmented Syria,” she said, speaking at her party’s parliamentary group.
Making peace in Syria depends on Turkey contacting Assad, she suggested. Akşener said Turkey should take this decision “before it’s too late.”
She said that no scenario is against the national interests of Turkey more than being surrounded by U.S. and Russian bases. When Ankara opens up that dialogue, there will be no problems in Syria and the threat to Turkey will be reduced, she said.
Akşener said Turkey’s Syria policy should be staging a “struggle in cooperation with the Syrian state for Syria’s territorial integrity against those dividing Syria.”
Akşener emphasized that the only way to get Syrian refugees back to their countries is to get in touch with Assad.
She also criticized the government for being silent about the U.S. sanctions.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-main-opposition-deputy-faces-inquiry-147510) reports that Turkish prosecutors on Oct. 14 began an inquiry into an opposition deputy accused of denigrating the Republic of Turkey in the middle of an anti-terrorist operation in Syria, said a judicial source.
Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Istanbul deputy of the Republican People's Party (CHP), is being investigated by prosecutors in the capital Ankara for his comments about Operation Peace Spring, said the source on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
In a tweet on Oct.12 as well as an interview, Tanrıkulu reportedly called the operation “unjust,” claiming that it is “against the Kurds.”
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.10.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/operation-peace-spring/turkey-neutralizes-637-ypg-pkk-terrorists-in-syria/1615272) reports that “as Turkey's anti-terror operation in northern Syria continues with great success, the number of "neutralized" YPG/PKK terrorists has climbed to 637”, according to the country's National Defense Ministry.
The announcement came via the ministry's official Twitter account.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured, the report adds.
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