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Front Page Headlines
A new tension over diplomacy
“Social dinner” between Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay led to a new crisis. Akıncı: “I wasn’t informed of the meeting before or after it took place. This is a direct violation of state practice and seriousness. It all falls against values of political ethics.” Özersay: “I’m saddened to see such a reaction to a social meeting. Moreover, the President met with AKEL and didn’t inform me.” Anastasiades: “I do not believe that I need to seek permission with whom I decide to have dinner with.”
- ‘Inventory’ move on closed Maraş – Council of Ministers decided to take on a new initiative on the “closed city of Maraş (Varosha)”. It was announced that a team of experts will be formed to conduct a scientific inventory.
They’ve started early
The top brass of the state, President Mustafa Akıncı and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay got into a row ahead of the Presidential elections while tensions in the seas wage on in the background.
- Ground-breaking step from the government for Maraş – Council of Ministers decided to form an expert team to carry out a scientific inventory study for the reopening of Maraş (Varosha).
A day full of crisis
Tensions first flared up between the National Unity Party (UBP) – People’s Party (HP) coalition over UBP MP Hüseyin Özgürgün. Later a row erupted with President Akıncı on not informing him [on the Özersay-Anastasiades meeting]. It was a tense day for politics.
- Maraş surprise from the government – Council of Ministers adopted a series of decisions on Tuesday. The most striking decision among them was on Maraş (Varosha). Council decided to form an expert team to conduct an inventory of the fenced-off city.
Yavuz entering the game
Work on the Yavuz, Turkey’s second deep-sea drilling vessel, has been completed. It will set sail from Yalova (Turkey) on Thursday to start drilling in areas licensed by TRNC.
- Ankara’s Maraş game – PM Ersin Tatar decided to act together with Ankara to clarify the status of Maraş (Varosha). The first step will be for an expert team to enter the fenced-off city to produce the list of movable and immovable properties.
If that’s how it is, this is how it will be
The Council of Ministers decided to conduct a scientific inventory of the closed city of Maraş (Varosha) and to take further steps.
- The time has come – CHP (Turkey’s Republican Peoples’ Party) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu demands steps to be taken for the recognition of the TRNC.
- ‘Nothing is being kept a secret’ – FM Kudret Özersay reacts to President’s office for criticizing him for having a social dinner with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
Akıncı stabbed by Brutus
A civilian coup against Akıncı. A total disgrace. Tuesday witnessed one of the busiest days in recent months in terms of political developments. Akıncı learned about the secret meeting held between Kudret Özersay and Nicos Anastasiades on June 4, the first day of the Bayram holiday. Akıncı called Tatar to inquire whether the claims about the meeting were true. Tatar confirmed that the meeting had taken place.
- The first step to opening Maraş (Varosha) for resettlement comes from the TRNC
Özersay announces concrete moves on Maraş (Varosha)
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Concrete moves are to be taken over the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha), Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister’ Kudret Özersay said on Tuesday.
The announcement made the front page of all six dailies.
A group of experts will be tasked with conducting a scientific inventory of the closed city of Maraş (Varosha) to study its land registry records, the condition of its movable and immovable properties, the identification of properties belonging to the Evkaf Administration and environmental risks, Özersay said after the decision was taken by the Council of Ministers.
He said that the scientific inventory will determine the policies that will be followed and the rights of former residents of Maraş (Varosha) and the Evkaf Administration.
Özersay added that even though Maraş (Varosha) is located within TRNC territory, it was currently under the control of the military and that the Council of Ministers will need to produce a special decision for the expert team to carry out the necessary work.
In this respect, there will also be a public call made to those who will want to voluntarily contribute to the study.
Özersay said that both President Mustafa Akıncı as well as the political parties with seats in the TRNC parliament will be briefed about the issue in the coming days.
Also touching upon the Maronite village of Karpaşa (Karpasia), Özersay said that the tender process regarding the relocation of current residents was completed.
He said that contracts will be signed within a week to remove current residents living in the 15 houses in the village to which former Maronite residents will then be able to return.
Row over drilling deepens as EU plans to introduce sanctions against Turkey
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Energy, Regional/International Relations
News on Tuesday that the EU was preparing to introduce political and economic measures against Turkey for its actions off the coast of Cyprus was met with a barrage of statements from Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials, reported by all six dailies.
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar in a written statement on Tuesday said both Turkey and the TRNC were determined to protect Turkey’s maritime doctrine ‘Blue Homeland’ and would do that was necessary to protect their rights.
Tatar stressed both Turkey and the TRNC are waging a national struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean that will affect the future.
Commenting on the news of Tsipras and Macron asking for EU sanctions on Turkey over natural gas drilling by Turkey’s Fatih in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tatar said that Greece which was responsible for the creation of the Cyprus problem, could not achieve anything by attacking Turkey. He also questioned the legal basis for France being in the region as opposed to Turkey, Greece and the UK which are guarantor states in Cyprus.
Tatar also recalled that the EU had not delivered any of its promises to the Turkish Cypriots but instead had adopted a pro-Greek Cypriot stance.
“The Greek Cypriot administration and a number of countries in collaboration with them, are striving to usurp our rights by excluding Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots from the Eastern Mediterranean”, Tatar added.
Tatar also complained that international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union were siding with the Greek Cypriot side and holding back from voicing the truth.
Tatar underlined Turkish Cypriots are lucky for Turkey to continue to safeguard Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the “Blue Homeland”, Turkey’s maritime doctrine. Tatar added that neither France nor the European Union will be able to intimidate Turkey or the Turkish Cypriots with baseless threats and by adopting unreasonable decisions in violation of international law in the name of disregarding Turkey’s and Turkish Cypriots’ rights.
Deputy Speaker of the Turkish Cypriot parliament Zorlu Töre said on Tuesday that it was important not to turn a blind eye to the injustices being committed by the European Union.
Töre added that Turkish Cypriots should not expect the EU to adopt a justice stance.
“Under the current conditions, South Cyprus shouldn’t have been allowed to join the EU. Nor should it be recognized as a UN member,” Töre said.
He pointed out that the TRNC continued to stand strong despite the unjust isolation imposed by the international community.
Töre claimed that efforts were being made to transform Cyprus into a Greek island but that such efforts were thwarted through the support of Turkey.
He also criticized MPs in parliament who argues that the issue of guarantees is not a taboo subject and who questions the existence of the TRNC.
“Those who want Turkey’s guarantees removed will be disappointed,” he said.
Töre questioned the loyalty of the MPs in question serving in the Turkish Cypriot parliament.
“They claim that the TRNC does not have a future but when they are elected they take an oath to protect the existence of the state, its independence and the constitution. What has happened to your oath?” he asked.
Töre reminded that decades of talks to solve the Cyprus Problem had failed to produce the desired result due to the Greek Cypriots’ reluctance to share power with Turkish Cypriots.
“Since the Greek Cypriot mentality will not change let us focus our attention towards upholding our independent state,” he said.
Leader of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktaş said on Tuesday he had been hushed 16 years ago when he had predicted the current tensions over the island’s hydrocarbon reserves.
“We are now in 2019 and we are about to go to war over energy resources,” Denktaş posted on social media.
Denktaş recalled that he had highlighted the need in 2003 for Turkey to take political, legal and diplomatic action regarding offshore hydrocarbon reserves.
“Turkey’s energy minister at the time had refuted my statements and the local press had portrayed me as a daydreamer.
Denktaş questioned why he was hushed and why steps which should have been taken 16 years ago had not been taken.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday said Turkey will not be deterred by anyone in protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean. Speaking on the arrest warrants issued for the crew of the Fatih, Erdoğan said that no one was brave enough to detain the ship’s crew.
Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez announced on Tuesday that Turkey’s second drilling vessel, the Yavuz, was scheduled to be deployed to the region on Thursday. In a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA) in Japan where he attended the G20 Energy and Environment Ministers Meeting, Dönmez said that Turkey will continue its exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean in accordance with international law.
“Fatih is already drilling and it has reached 2,300 metres,” Dönmez said, adding that it would complete its work at the parcel named ‘Finike 1’ by the end of June.
He added the target depth was 5,500 metres. Dönmez underlined the countries that try to keep Turkey out of the energy equation in the Eastern Mediterranean are also aware that it is not possible to find a realistic solution without Turkey.
Dönmez also noted the process of rebranding Turkey’s second deep-sea drilling vessel, the Yavuz has been completed. He said that the vessel was set to embark from Yalova (Turkey) on Thursday to start drilling in areas licensed by TRNC by the beginning of July. The Minister also noted that there are two seismic research vessels currently operational. The Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa vessel is currently carrying out its research in the southern part of the island in areas licensed by the TRNC.
Turkey’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for EU Affairs Faruk Kaymakçı said on Tuesday that the European Union was not authorized to determine land, maritime or aerial boundaries of third countries.
“Solidarity of [EU] membership cannot get ahead of international law and justify the unilateral claims of Greek Cypriots,” he said.
The leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) said on Tuesday that Ankara needed a drastic change in its foreign policy.
“We need to act rationally in foreign policy. The priority is Turkey’s interest. Both the government and the opposition party should advocate this,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in his speech at CHP’s parliamentary group in capital Ankara.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said that Turkey was “losing” in its foreign policy, once again stressing the importance of the country’s needs to establish peace with the world’s nations.
“Relations with neighbours are very important. The policy in Cyprus needs to change. A new move needs to be made. If not, we will face bigger problems in the future,” he underlined.
“We lost sixteen islands [in the Aegean and Mediterranean]. Why is no one opposing this? Where are this country’s national interests?” Kılıçdaroğlu questioned.
Turkey is losing something different with every coming day, he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also referred to the recent drilling disputes in the East Mediterranean, urging voters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to protect Turkey’s national interests.
“Turkey is being isolated in the international area,” he said.
>> Turkey & the TRNC determined to protect Turkey’s maritime doctrine ‘Blue Homeland’.
>> Turkey and the TRNC are waging a national struggle in the EastMed.
>> GC side & a number of countries are trying to usurp TCs rights by excluding Turkey and the TCs from the EastMed.
>> Neither France nor the EU will be able to intimidate Turkey or the TCs with baseless threats and unreasonable decisions.
>> TCs should not expect a just stance from the EU and should not turn a blind eye to injustices committed against them.
>> South Cyprus shouldn’t be allowed to be part of the EU or UN under current circumstances.
>> TC MPs should abide by the oath they took when elected.
>> Decades of talks failed due to GCs reluctance to share power with TCs.
>> Turkey will not be deterred by any in protecting the TCs’ rights in the EastMed.
>> GC side not brave enough to detain the crew on board Fatih.
>> Fatih is already drilling and has reached a depth of 2,300 metres at Finike 1. The target depth is 5,500 metres.
>> No realistic solution can be found without Turkey in the EastMed.
>> Yavuz to start drilling in areas licensed by TRNC by the beginning of July.
>> Two seismic research vessels operational currently & Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa vessel is carrying out exploration in the southern part of the island in areas licensed by the TRNC.
>> EU not authorized to determine land, maritime or aerial boundaries of third countries.
>> EU membership cannot get ahead of international law and justify the unilateral claims of Greek Cypriots.
>> Turkey is “losing” in its foreign policy & the country needs to establish peace with the world’s nations.
>> Turkey’s policy in Cyprus needs to change.
>> Voters should urge AKP to protect Turkey’s national interests.
>> Turkey is being isolated in the international area.
War of words erupts between Akıncı and Özersay over Anastasiades meeting
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Governance & Power sharing
A new spat erupted on Tuesday between President Akıncı’s office and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay following reports that the latter had held a meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades without the knowledge of the president. Akıncı’s office was quick to respond to the reports with a written statement issued by his spokesman Barış Burcu.
Burcu said Tatar confirmed the meeting after Akıncı called him to inquire whether this was true following claims that such a meeting had taken place.
“The fact that no information was given by the foreign minister before or after this meeting is a direct violation of state practices and seriousness. It all falls against values of political ethics,” Burcu said.
He recalled that Akıncı regularly informs all competent state institutions on all official and unofficial meetings held with the Greek Cypriot leadership as well as his foreign interlocutors.
“The unacceptable stance of the foreign minister who has lately adopted a habit of not informing the president of the contacts he is holding is greatly disappointing,” Burcu said.
Responding to Burcu’s statement, Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said it was only natural for him to meet with Mr Anastasiades whom he has known for many years from the Cyprus negotiations process.
Özersay added the meeting which he had with the Greek Cypriot leader was a social dinner and their spouses had also attended. Özersay also criticised Akıncı for not informing the Foreign Ministry on his earlier meeting with the AKEL leader, or on deciding to propose the Guterres framework as a strategic document and said he does not find the reproachful attitude on giving or not giving information healthy. Özersay also noted that some of the meetings needed to be kept confidential in order to achieve the desired outcome and provided the example of the criminal exchange that took place last week.
MEP Kızılyürek forms bicommunal team of advisors and assistants
Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) MEP Niyazi Kızılyürek set up a bicommunal team of advisers and assistants as promised during his election campaign, it was announced on Tuesday.
Kızılyürek named EU expert Derya Beyatlı as his adviser for the Turkish Cypriot community focusing on communication with civil society organizations, on bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the EU and on developing collaboration between the two communities.
Hakan Çoban, who worked with Kızılyürek during his election campaign was appointed as his assistant along with Dennis Kyriacou and Isidoros Sakkas.
“CDF Press Review Disclaimer”
The articles in the CDF Press Review are translated or reproduced as they were reported by the media in each community, including the terminology adopted. Their inclusion in the review does not mean that CDF endorses the views they reflect or confirms the information they contain.
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