‘Turkish Youth Association UK’ was established in October 2018 with the participation of young people who were born and are living in the UK and who are currently studying in the UK. At the reception where the President Nafiya Horozoğlu and three members were present, Minister Özersay was given information about the establishment, contacts and activities of the association.

Indicating that the association has taken an important step in respect of uniting the new generation Minister Özersay said: “This will be very beneficial in terms of understanding the agenda, priorities and problems faced by the young people in the UK”. Özersay also expressed that this factor will contribute to the ‘Project of Turkish Cypriots Living Abroad’ and very successful tasks can be achieved in cooperation. Özersay also said that those people who have not lost their identity can be the most effective lobby for the promotion of a country in terms of art, politics and sports. Özersay hoped that the association will be able to reach more people.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay met with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of Mission in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar.
The recent contacts of the UN Secretary-General’s temporary envoy Jane Holl Lute, exchanging views on the activities of the UNFICYP and in this context, the periodical report which will be presented to the UN Security Council in January 2019 regarding the mandate of the UNFICYP were discussed at the meeting held at the Deputy Prime Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition to these issues, the planned tension created by the Greek Cypriot Administration who provoked the Greek Cypriot farmers especially in the agricultural areas of Denya and Haspolat, the prevention of these events, and the way forward in cooperation, were also discussed at the meeting.
During the meeting, Özersay once again brought into the agenda the proposal of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding land mines and underlined that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready to demine the whole island.
The meeting was conducted in a fruitful and positive atmosphere for almost 2 hours.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay received in his office the President of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Turkey, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu who has paid a visit to the TRNC today (7th December).

Undersecretary of the Deputy Prime Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Güneş Onar and Director of Political Affairs Gülfem Veziroğlu Sevgili were also present at the reception which took place at the Ministry at 12:15.

CHP VicPresident İstanbul MP Ahmet Ünal Çeviköz and TRNC representative of CHP Mustafa Yürükçü accompanied the President  of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kılıçdaroğlu.

As is known, demonstrations were carried out by a group of Greek Cypriots on 29th of November 2018 who demanded the closure of the crossing points leading to the temporary blockage of crossings at the Derinya checkpoint. The same group also distributed a calendar declaring their intention to continue their provocative activities which damage the trust between the two sides. We have been informed that the aforementioned group will next pass through the village of Pile/Pyla and continue their obstructionist activities at the Pyla-Beyarmudu/Pergamos crossing point on 9 December 2018. Residents of both Pyla and Beyarmudu/Pergamos have contacted our Ministry expressing their overall discomfort regarding such a demonstration and demanded that such demonstrations not be allowed at the said location where crossings are already made with great difficulty due to high volume.

As the Deputy Prime Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have taken the necessary initiatives by contacting both the UN Peace Keeping Force and British High Commission concerning these actions which aim to damage the trust as well as escalate tensions between both the communities in Pyla. Our expectation is for both the UN Peacekeeping Force and the British High Commission to fulfil their responsibilities and not to permit such activities which may lead to the escalation of tensions between the two sides in general and the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in particular. We hereby stress the fact that the tensions which have been created for some time now will not benefit either side in any way, and declare that we will continue to follow and monitor the situation and will share any developments with the public in due course.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay stressed that if a partnership state is to be established, the choices are clear.

In his statement to the Turkish News Agency (TAK) on the issue of the Cyprus problem, Özersay said that if a partnership state is to be established, the Greek Cypriot Administration has to change its mentality towards sharing administration and wealth, and negotiations should continue as not open ended, or a solution model based on cooperation should be negotiated as a not open ended process. “I do not see a change in the mentality of the Greek Cypriot side towards sharing” Özersay added.

As long as the mentality of the Greek Cypriot Administration does not change, our insistence on negotiating on the federal basis will take us to a continuation of the status quo and new disappointment as well.

A Federation needs an understanding and mentality based on sharing. If everybody accepts that there is not such a mentality, continuing negotiations will mean a continuation of the status quo and will have risks for a new disappointment.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay met with the German Ambassador to South Cyprus Franz Josef Kremp last Friday (30th November).

According to a post on his social media account, Özersay said: “It seems that Germany’s role and power within the EU are going to increase more, particularly after the UK Brexit. I had a fruitful meeting with the German Ambassador to South Cyprus Franz Josef Kremp. We discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus problem as well as matters related to the energy issue and we shared our views with him”.

 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay, Minister of Public Works and Transportation Tolga Atakan and some bureaucrats visited Beyarmudu and Pile.

In his statement regarding the visit, Özersay said: “We have evaluated what can be done in order to overcome the problems at the border crossings from time to time and also listened to the problems and opinions of the citizens in the region. We obtained information from our police at the crossings and we met with our mukhtars on both sides and received their suggestions.”

Noting that they have supported the opening of the gates of Derinya and Aplıç, Özersay emphasized the importance of overcoming the difficulties of the current border gates and facilitating the daily life of citizens in the coming period.

Özersay also added that they will carry out studies in this direction.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay attended the international meeting organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation near Milan, in Italy.

Speaking to the TAK news agency after attending an international conference organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation on the issue of hydrocarbons, the TRNC Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Özersay said that they were conveying the Turkish Cypriot side’s positions at various international platforms so that approaches which take into account the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people can be developed.

“By exchanging views with policy or decision makers or those who can influence the views of policy or decision makers on the issue of hydrocarbons we are allowing everyone to understand our foreign policy. With an active diplomacy, we defend our position, arguments and rights at every platform that is possible abroad. We cannot accomplish this by only negotiating with the UN, some ambassadors and other diplomats in Cyprus. Being active internationally is very important for achieving our goals as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs” he added.

Underlining the need for the two sides in Cyprus to adopt a model of cooperation, Özersay said “a permanent stability in this region is possible only with a lasting and just solution or through temporary arrangements and mutual dependency between the two sides even without reaching a lasting, just and comprehensive settlement”. Without reaching a settlement on the Cyprus problem will bring about a mutual interdependence among all relevant actors in implementing cooperation in trade, economy, tourism, transportation, energy and so on. Permanent stability lies in such relationships.

Özersay also stated that the two sides had been engaged in 50 years of talks on a theoretical and abstract future.

“We are unable to focus on today because of the time and energy we are spending on this issue. This is where the problem lies. Concrete steps from the bottom up and a relationship based on cooperation is inevitable” said Özersay, adding that the time had come to think about this more seriously.

Özersay continued as follows:

It is not possible and necessary to try and predict how the years will take us in respect of the type of partnership in which the relations will develop.  If we do not want to be drowned in the discussions of whether a federation or a bi-zonal federation or a confederation, we need to start collaborating in the way I mentioned and leave this relationship to a natural course. It could also result in a federal partnership with increasing confidence at the end of the day.

Özersay also noted that it is clearly seen that the Greek Cypriot political leadership is not willing to share the governance with the Turkish Cypriots.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Özersay also warned that ‘the critical threshold for the natural gas of the Eastern Mediterranean is already here and if the gas companies are ready to take those risks they will also have to take the responsibility as well”.

Özersay continued: “For a natural gas cooperation which is not indexed to the solution process of the Cyprus issue, the natural gas companies should be mediators or should offer a proper dialogue platform to the parties who do not recognize each other, and not discuss the natural gas issue resulting from the approaches of the Greek Cypriots’

In addition to that Özersay underlined that if those resources are common and they also belong to Turkish Cypriots that means without our participation and acceptance it is impossible to put them on the International market. If the international petroleum companies do not encourage the Turkish Cypriot Side and the Greek Cypriot Side to make an agreement on the national resources before putting the natural gas onto the international market and do not establish a conditional approach in this direction, this issue would cause a headache to all the parties and the risks that companies take will seriously increase.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay finally stressed that the status quo which provides comparative stability in and around the island of Cyprus must not deceive anyone and although some of the international actors do not take the initiative to change the status quo because of this comparative stability, they must not be deceived because permanent stability can only be created by mutual dependence type of relations.

According to the information received from the farmers of Serhatköy as well as the Turkish Cypriot Security Forces, 11 Greek Cypriots who were accompanied by Greek Cypriot press have driven to the region in 6 civilian vehicles violating the buffer zone and reaching as far as the TRNC border in the early hours of the morning. Upon the information given to the UN officials by our Security Forces on the matter, the Greek Cypriot group was removed from the area with great difficulty by UN police patrol unit.

It is understood from this incident that the Greek Cypriot administration of the Southern Cyprus consciously intended to heighten tensions in the Serhatkoy-Denya region by encouraging the Greek Cypriots to violate both the buffer zone and the TRNC border.

As it will be recalled, the request of former Turkish Cypriot residents of Denya to utilise the Serhatköy-Denya road to access their village in the buffer zone in order to conduct Friday Prayer at Denya Mosque was prevented by UN at the very last minute.  On 17 November 2018, a group of around 15-20 Greek Cypriots, accompanied by Greek Cypriot journalists and cameramen, violated the buffer zone with their vehicles, pitching slogans near the TRNC border. They were removed from the location by two UN Peacekeeping Force patrol units.

Regarding this matter, the Greek Cypriot Minister of Defence Savvas Angelidis publicly stated on 18 November 2018 that Denya issue, which he claimed was concerning the prevention of the farmers from conducting farming activities in the buffer zone, was “regulated and managed very well” by the Greek Cypriot Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This statement and recent events which have taken place in the said region clearly show that the Greek Cypriot side is systematically exerting efforts to create artificial tensions in the region. We are calmly monitoring the developments and we call on the Greek Cypriot side to refrain from exploiting the villagers for propaganda purposes.

Regrettably, the Greek Cypriot side is continuing its unilateral, unlawful and unjust activities which disregard the rights of the Turkish Cypriots over the natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. As the TRNC, it has now become inevitable to take concrete steps within the framework which we have previously declared. There should be no doubt that, in the face of the Greek Cypriot mentality which is not ready to share power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots on the Island of Cyprus, we will not stand idly but commence works towards the steps to realize our rights.  This stance has clearly shown that the Greek Cypriot leadership, which calls for the resumption of talks from where they were left off, has a serious weakness concerning sharing of wealth, one of the requisites of a federal partnership. The fact that our numerous calls to jointly manage and exploit these resources have remained unanswered will result in the missing of yet another opportunity. This situation has rendered it unavoidable for the Turkish Cypriot side to commence drilling activities in the areas it has licensed.

As known, the Greek Cypriot administration and USA have signed a letter of intent for cooperation last week. It is understood that the said letter contains provisions regarding the strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries on border and maritime security, fight against terrorism as well as regional stability. We would like to express that this document, which the Greek Cypriot administration has signed under the guise of the “Republic of Cyprus”, is not binding on the Turkish Cypriot side in any way and is, therefore, considered null and void.

It is apparent that the Greek Cypriot side, by way of signing this letter, is attempting to include the USA in the alliance created by the trilateral cooperation agreement it has signed with Israel and Egypt. This approach constitutes yet another example of the insistence of the Greek Cypriot side to ignore the equal rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot side – its main counterpart – over the natural resources of the island and has, once again, shown its true intention in this regard.

The Greek Cypriot administration, whilst continuously rejecting the cooperation proposal made for years by the Turkish Cypriot side regarding natural gas, is continuing its unilateral activities in the Eastern Mediterranean by way of the agreements it has reached with Israel and Egypt and now attempting to include the USA into this process. Unfortunately, this situation threatens the security and stability both on the island and in the region. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we invite the countries and companies involved in this issue to act in good sense, taking into consideration the realities of the island.  We wish to reiterate that we will not stand idly by in the face of these developments which amount to violation of the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, and that we have initiated the necessary steps against this move which affects the future of our people.