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‘This country is frightening us’
Young people who live, work, study and frequently visit Nicosia’s walled city spoke to Yenidüzen. Interior Minister Baybars: “I have given instructions, controls have been stepped up”. A total of 1879 suspicious people have been denied entry since January 1.
- KTÖS (Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union): “There is a need for 11 new school buildings – KTÖS says there are 185 unemployed teachers, religion lessons should be elective and there is an urgent need for new schools in the country.
Accreditation crisis continues, authorities insistently remain quiet
The accreditation problem, which Kıbrıs Postası had reported on, continues to remain unresolved. The Turkish Higher Education Board (YÖK) suspended the accreditation of university students who graduated after transferring to a university in the North. Kıbrıs Postası spoke to YÖK and YÖDAK (Turkish Cypriot Higher Education Accreditation Board). They did not refute the reports but refrained from making statements to the paper. YÖK announced on Monday there are not any amendments to the existing procedures on the accreditation process.
- Trying to usurp our rights – Commenting on reports that an arrest warrant has been issued for Fatih’s crew, PM Ersin Tatar said the Greek Cypriot side and its partners are trying to usurp Turkey’s and Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Tensions caused by Turkey’s and South Cyprus’ simultaneous hydrocarbon activities has reached a new high following claims the Greek Cypriot side has had arrest warrants issued for the crew of the drilling ship Fatih and executives of companies collaborating with Turkish Petroleum.
- Trees chopped down to find bag of gold – One of two bags buried by the Iranian jewellery store robbers, who left the country from Ercan (Tymbou) airport, in an area near Famagusta Port has yet to be found. Authorities are now searching the area with excavators, cutting down all the trees in the process.
EU cannot be a guarantor
Speaking to Havadis, the Slovakian Foreign Minister said the European Union could not be a guarantor of a future federal state in Cyprus due to legal reasons. He said: a member state’s security is its own responsibility.
- No new measures on accreditation – Turkish Higher Education Board (YÖK) said there is no need for concern as there are no new measures regarding the accreditation procedures of university students in the North.
No backing down
TRNC Prime Minister and Foreign Minister react to ‘arrest’ warrant issued by Greek Cypriots for crew of drilling ship Fatih. Government partners spoke on the issue stating that no one could force Turkish Cypriots to back down from their rights. They warned that appropriate counter measures would be taken.
- Real bullying – Greek Cypriot police is insulting, intimidating its own citizens who cross over to the North, handcuffing and detaining anyone who reacts.
Until the occupation is over
While Greek Cypriots are not requesting anything from Turkish Cypriots occupying their properties in the North, a Turkish Cypriot with property in the South sent letters to their current Greek Cypriot occupants with various demands. This angered the Interior Ministry in the South. The response given to İbrahim Ramadan from Limassol regarding the letter sent to 22 Greek Cypriot families calling on them to seek a deal was: “No exchange or use of these properties can be allowed until the occupation ends”.
- Arrest warrant for Fatih crew – No official statement has been made confirming such a warrant has been issued but the Turkish Foreign Ministry nevertheless reacted. It said such a warrant was null and void for Ankara.
News of arrest warrants issued for Fatih crew sparks reaction from Turkish and TC officials
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
News claiming that the Greek Cypriot side has issued arrest warrants for the crew of Turkey’s drilling ship Fatih and executives of partner companies working with Turkish Petroleum was met with fierce criticism from Turkish Cypriot and Turkish officials on Monday.
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said that no one could ignore the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean or force them to make concession from those rights.
In a written statement Tatar said that if there was any unlawful or unjust action to talk about, it was the Greek Cypriot side which was committing unlawful and unjust acts by signing international agreements and conducting unilateral drilling by ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.
“South Cyprus and its partners are trying to usurp our rights by excluding Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus from the Eastern Mediterranean for the sake of their own interests,” he said.
Tatar claimed that games were being played to prevent Turkey from growing stronger and to break off Turkish Cypriots from the Turkish nation. “It should be known that no one can ignore the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean or force them to make any concessions from those rights,” he said. “I urge the Greek Cypriot administration, which is said to have obtained arrest warrants for Fatih’s 25 crew members, to refrain from resorting to such actions and to seek an understanding with us. We shall either reach an understanding within a just framework or take reciprocal steps to meet their actions,” Tatar warned.
He also said that the Turkish Cypriot side was ready to discuss and settle the hydrocarbons issue outside the framework of a comprehensive settlement. “We believe that this will contribute to settling the matter,” he added. Tatar also warned the UN and all interested parties that the Turkish Cypriot side will not be responsible for the consequences of the Greek Cypriot side’s constant rejection of its proposals and from the provocative actions it takes.
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay warned that the Greek Cypriot side’s actions against the crew onboard Fatih, carrying out activities in the Eastern Mediterranean will be met with reciprocal steps unless the matter is solved through peaceful methods. He added it is natural sides will have claims in disputed areas and the disputes must be overcome through peaceful means.
Speaking in parliament on Monday, Özersay said that the initiative launched to issue an arrest warrant against the crew of the Fatih was wrong. “Such actions are wrong. Should this matter not be solved through peaceful means reciprocal steps will be taken,” Özersay warned.
He also noted that explanations will be made gradually by the government on foreign policy and the Cyprus problem. He rejected allegations that the government was disregarding or undermining the authority of the president.
In a separate official statement on Monday, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said that if the Greek Cypriot Administration has really taken such decision crossing the line, it will be considered by Ankara as null and void. He warned that the appropriate response will be given should such an attempt be made.
Aksoy said that Ankara was following the developments closely. “If the reports that arrest warrants are being issued for the crew of the Fatih and high-ranking officials of companies working with Turkish Petroleum are true, let no one have any doubt that the necessary response will be given,” Aksoy warned. He said that the warrants if issued were against international law and that Ankara would be launching its own legal action.
“The Greek Cypriot Administration cannot take such a legal action based on a so-called national law, for a unilaterally claimed maritime area which is not delimited in accordance with international law. This is also incompatible with international law. Consequently, we will initiate the necessary counter-legal actions, together with our relevant authorities,” Aksoy said in his statement.
The methods of the Greek Cypriot Administration in a vain effort to stop our activities within our continental shelf will not yield any results, Aksoy added.
He said that Turkey will continue to resolutely conduct its oil and natural gas exploration/drilling activities as planned, with a view to protecting its rights in its continental shelf, as well as the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, as a co-owner of the Island.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) Spokesperson Ömer Çelik tweeted on Monday that Turkey will not allow the Greek Cypriot side to usurp Turkish Cypriots’ rights.
He added disregarding Turkish Cypriots or their rights would be futile.
>> GCs cannot ignore TC and Turkey’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.
>> Turkey and TCs will not make any concessions from hydrocarbon rights.
>> GC side committing unlawful and unjust acts by signing international agreements & conducting unilateral drilling by ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.
>> GC side & its partners attempt to usurp Turkey’s and TC’s rights by excluding Turkey and North Cyprus from the EastMed for the sake of their own interests.
>> A game is being played to prevent Turkey from growing stronger and to break off Turkish Cypriots from the Turkish nation.
>> TC side is ready to discuss and settle the hydrocarbons issue outside the framework of a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus Problem.
>> TC side will not be responsible for the consequences of the Greek Cypriot side’s constant rejection of its proposals and from the provocative actions it takes.
>> GC side’s actions against the crew onboard Fatih will be met with reciprocal steps unless the matter is solved through peaceful methods.
>> Initiative launched to issue an arrest warrant against the crew of the Fatih is wrong.
>> No one should have any doubt that the necessary response will be given if reports on arrest warrants are true.
>> Ankara would be launching its own legal action against GC side.
>> GC side’s actions are not compatible with international law. Ankara will launch counter legal measures if needed.
>> GC side’s methods to stop Turkey’s activities within its continental shelf will not yield any results.
>> Turkey will not allow the Greek Cypriot side to usurp Turkish Cypriots’ rights.
Turkey will not yield to intimidation strategy in Cyprus
Energy, Regional/International Relations
Chair of the International Law Department at the Akdeniz (Mediterranean) University and President of the Research Centre on Maritime Law at Cyprus Bahçeşehir University, Dr Emete Gözügüzelli said Turkey will not yield to a strategy of intimidation in the Eastern Mediterranean, which takes shape in the form of US economic and military threats against Turkey.
She said that these efforts were aimed at forcing Turkey to cease its hydrocarbon activities in the area and withdraw from Cyprus.
Gözügüzelli added that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ankara clearly rejected such strategies put forward by former International Energy Affairs Coordinator Amos Hochstein.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency in Istanbul on Monday, Gözügüzelli reminded that Turkey’s second drilling vessel, the Yavuz would soon be commencing drilling in areas licensed by the TRNC.
She said that a map prepared by Hochstein showing energy fields and transfer lines did not mean that the US accepted Turkey’s position in the region.
Gözügüzelli said the US Administration has not publicly acknowledged accepting Turkey’s positions. On the contrary, America is threatening Turkey economically and militarily to stop its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean region, she said.
Gözügüzelli stressed Turkey’s priority is its and TRNC’s sovereignty on maritime jurisdiction. This fact is being reiterated in every diplomatic platform and is clearly displayed in Turkey’s hydrocarbon activities and military capabilities. She noted that the said map in question had been prepared by Amos Hochstein to form a vision on the US energy policies. The map details the current situation and shows who is doing what and where. It attempts to show export routes for the natural gas to Europe. She added that the same strategy was shared with the Turkish President during the 2015-2017 Cyprus negotiations process.
Gözügüzelli said Turkey is now making counter moves against attempts to alienate it within the region because Turkey rejected America’s suggestion to leave Cyprus to benefit from the natural gas export strategies.
Slovakian FM: “EU cannot be “guarantor”
EU Matters, Negotiations Process
Slovakian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák said on Monday the European Union (EU) cannot be a guarantor of a future federal state in Cyprus due to legal reasons.
He said all member states were responsible for their own security and that the EU could only act on territories outside of the bloc through Common Security and Defence Policy missions.
Speaking to Başaran Düzgün from Havadis, Lajčák said Slovakia supported the resumption of talks in Cyprus with the aim of finding a federal solution.
He said there were no alternatives to a united, independent and sovereign Cyprus. He also noted that Slovakia was ready to undertake an initiative for the resumption of the talks between the two leaders.
Responding to a question regarding the EU impartiality with the Republic of Cyprus as a member, he said the Cyprus problem is older than Cyprus’ membership to the Union. EU member states believed EU membership would contribute to solving the problems between two communities’ within EU principles and values. Since then, the EU has done its best to bring the two communities closer and to encourage them toward unification, Lajčák said.
He reminded that Slovakia has taken on the responsibility as a facilitator for the continuation of the bicommunal dialogue and has been hosting political party meetings for 30 years.
In addition, Slovakia contributes to United National Peace Keeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) with 242 peacekeepers with the aim of bringing the two communities closer, he said.
Lajčák pointed out that the status quo in Cyprus was unsustainable but also warned that the alternative was not permanent separation.
“In this regard, Slovakia welcomes a solution within UNSC resolutions and UNSG’s recommendations and that is accepted by all the actors relevant to the Cyprus problem. The solution must be in line with international law and must be in line with European values,” he added.
>> EU cannot be a guarantor of the federal state due to legal reasons.
>> Each state can only be responsible for its own security. Only cases where EU acts in non-EU territories is within Common Security and Defence Policy missions.
>> Slovakia supports the resumption of talks for a federal solution in Cyprus.
>> There are no alternatives to a united, independent and sovereign Cyprus.
>> Slovakia ready to undertake initiative for the resumption of the talks between the two leaders.
>> Slovakia supports solution in line with UNSC resolutions, international law and EU values.