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20.12.2011 Latest North Cyprus News 20/12/11
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urged Cyprus leaders to speed up the negotiation.
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20.12.2011 Latest North Cyprus News 20/12/11

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urged Cyprus leaders to speed up the negotiation.

After Monday meeting’s failure, Ban told the reporters that meeting opportunities are very limited and both the leaders will show maximum progress before trilateral meeting.

 The UN led peace negotiation is in process for the past 27 months and very little success is achieved till now. UN is saying that on some issues the leaders agreed but main issues are still unresolved.

 Ban told that UN wants to see a reunified Cyprus after the meeting. The Security Council also told both the leaders to intensify their talks and find solution before the resolution extending the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus until July 19, 2012.

13.12.2011 Oil exploration In Farmagusta will begin

Turkey will begin the exploration work in the region of Farmagusta. The natural gas and oil exploration start after discovery from seismic studies conducted on land and sea. 

The EU members do not recognize North Cyprus and has requested Turkey to help in resolving Cyprus Problem. The exploration area will be expanded by Turkey and sign another agreement with Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Turkey is fulfilling all the international norms for exploration of natural. The energy exploration work will shift from Mediterranean Sea to Blake Sea.


The much awaited census of Northern Cyprus will start on 4th December. The census was supposed to be conducted in October.  The census will structured by the State Planning organization. North Cyprus authorities stated that census would be conducted between 05.00 to 18.00 hours. During this time period, there will be curfew in the island so exact population count will be recorded. The census result will come within 2-3 days and detailed result will be declared within few months. State planning organization will take the help of seven thousand employees to complete this task. In North Cyprus, last census took place five years back in April 2006. Last times results showed that 44percent Northern Cyprus are not purely Turkish Cypriot rater they were Turkish Immigrant or Turkish settlers.


Stephanos advised Dervis Eroglu not to be in hurry ; Greek Cyprus government spokesperson Stephanos Stephanou requested North Cyprus President Dervis Eroglu not to be in hurry for Cyprus conference. He said that Dervis Eroglu should not arrange for four or five international party to find the solution of Cyprus Problem The talks should have the same constructive manneras before tripartite meeting. Stephanos suggested that third party should be invited only if Cyprus leaders are close to find the solution of internal aspects of the problem. Stephanos talked about Dervis Eroglu’s statement of calling four or five partied international meeting for discussing the territory. He clarified that UNSG also told ,” the international conference will be convened for the settlement of the international aspects of the Cyprus problem, and the international conference will convene once we are close to an agreement on issues regarding internal aspects of the Cyprus problem.”

Greek Cyprus Foreign Minister met British FM in London ; The Greek Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis was in London and met British Foreign Secretary William Hague. Cyprus FM updated British minister about the current development on the Cyprus Issue. Markoullis told him about continuous Turkish threats on exploration of natural gas and oil by Greek Cypriot. She informed Markoullis about EU Presidency preparation in the second half 2012. The leaders assured each other for full cooperation during presidency period. Markoullis attended a working lunch and met with other delegates where she told them about Turkey’s restriction on sea and issue of piracy.

Demetris Christofiase said that no secret agenda during EU Presidency ; Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofiase said that he will put all his efforts to work in constructive way during EU Presidency. Demetris will be EU President on rotation basis from second half of 2012 for six months. Christofiase told that he will work for the benefit of all the members and “having no secret plan.” He shared his views while attending the 4th Energy Summit organized by the Economist, “Sustainable, competitive and secure energy in Europe.” Demetris said, “I wish to assure each and everyone, especially our EU partners, that Cyprus, having no secret agenda …” He also talked about the ongoing exploration in EEZ and considered it as their sovereign right. He informed that drilling “are very encouraging and hopeful and we are very close to announcing the results of these drilling”.


Trilateral meeting between Cyprus leaders and UNSG
North Cyprus and Greek Cyprus Presidents will be negotiating on Cyprus issue in trilateral meeting to be held in New York under the leadership of UNSG Ban-ki-Moon. The meeting will start on Sunday and continue for two days.The last Trilateral meeting was held in Geneva in July and reunification of Cyprus couldn’t reach to any conclusion. UNSG told both the leaders to talk on six matters. The leaders agreed to have intense talks on the six issues before October.The special representative of UNSG Alexander Downer of Cyprus informed Ban ki Moon after the last meeting between the two leaders that the differences still remain unsolved.  He did not disclose in detail about the concerned issues.The delegates will have meeting at Greentree estate in Manhasset, New York.

Fourth trilateral meeting on Cyprus Issue in Green Tree
Trilateral meeting between Cyprus Leaders and UNSG is taking place in the “Green Tree” mansion, in Long Island. UNSG will evaluate the progress in given six matters to be discussed by the leaders during intensive talks. Some precautionary measures are taken like Secretary General will not make any statement in front of media on Monday after the meeting. The statement will be disclosed on Tuesday morning and at while making statement Cyprus leaders’ wouldn’t be present there.Greek Cyprus President Christofiase Demetris urged Ban-ki-Moon to attend the meeting for longer duration. UNSG has accepted his request and will spend one more hour on Sunday and for Monday meeting he will be there between 1500 – 2200 local time.This is the fourth meeting among three delegates. First time, they met in November 2010, second time on January 26, third time on 7th July 2011.Now this is forth time.

TRNC Foreign Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün
has said that the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias will be unable to do anything at the New York summit because of a lack of domestic support. He said that the continuing intransigence of the Greek Cypriot side was fading hopes for a solution to the Cyprus Problem. Addressing parliament yesterday, TRNC Foreign Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün complained that the Cyprus Turkish Side, without any success, was constantly trying to encourage the Greek Cypriot Side towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus Problem. Responding to criticisms from the opposition on the Cyprus negotiations process, Foreign Minister Özgürgün said that the Greek Cypriot leader was going to New York with his hands tied because of pressure on the domestic front. Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot side has always rejected proposals put forward by the Cyprus Turkish Side; Özgürgün said that this was a clear indicator as to how much the Greek Cypriot Side really desired a solution. He also said that the Cyprus Turkish Side’s courage alone was not enough to reach a settlement and that the Greek Cypriot Side had to show the same determination, will and courage if a solution is to be reached.

Doğan Harman passed away.

Prominent Cyprus Turkish journalist and writer Doğan Harman passed away yesterday. Harman died of a heart attack at the age of 61. The sudden death of the well known journalist Doğan Harman has caused deep sorrow within the Cyprus Turkish Press community. According to the information obtained by the BRT correspondent, Doğan Harman suffered a heart attack yesterday morning while working at his office.Harman lost his life shortly after being taken to the Doctor Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital. Today, a special ceremony was held in front of the Kıbrıslı newspaper which was owned by Doğan Harman. He was then laid to rest at the Lefkoşa cemetery. Doğan Harman who was born in Lefkoşa in 1950 studied philosophy at the Moscow State University. After returning to the TRNC, Harman worked as a journalist for numerous newspapers for many years. He also served as a presidential advisor during the first President Rauf Denktaş’ term in office and wrote many books on the Cyprus issue.


North Cyprus population census delayed
The most awaited population census to be held in North Cyprus is postponed for the next month. Yorgancioglu said that the new date has not been decided yet and foreigners and immigration amendment draft law” should not be implemented before census. The population census took five years ago and since then the migration has increased too much in the Northern part. North Cyprus President Dervis Eroglu stated, “For serious planning at an economic and social level, there is need for a new population census in the immediate future. I can say that the government sees the issue positively.”
The increased migration in North Cyprus is resulting in the change of ethnic behavior of the people thus resulting in strained relationship between Turks and Turkish Cypriot people. The statistics of April 2006 showed total population as 256,644 and only 52% Turkish Cypriots were born in Cyprus. The data tells that 113,687 of the population is not purely Turkish Cypriot rather they are "Turkish immigrants" or "Turkish settlers" from Anatolia.

Demertis has not taken the name back from EU Presidency
Greek Cyprus spokesperson Stephanos Stephanou said that negotiations on Cyprus problem will be confidential and Demertis has not taken the name back from EU Presidency.Stephanou when asked about the trilateral meeting to be held in New York said, “Allow me not to say much for this issue for the simple reason that negotiations are confidential.”  He said that National Council said that we have not been informed about the meeting.Lately, Turkish Cypriot leader Derviş Eroğlu said despite whatever was accomplished in the Cyprus direct talks, some serious differences remained and he hoped those differences could be eradicated at the forthcoming New York trilateral talks so that a Cyprus settlement could finally be achieved. Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias also told reporters that the last meeting of the U.N.-facilitated direct talks process was far better compared to many of the previous talks, but the two sides remained far apart on many outstanding issues. Does U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon have a magic wand that he did not use in the previous summit meetings? Or has his representative Alexander Downer done the same during the dozens of direct meetings between the two leaders on the island, but plan to use the wand at the New York meetings to achieve a magical resolution on the island? All we know so far about the modality of t he New York rendezvous of the two leaders with the U.N. chief is that the meetings are slated to continue for two full days – Oct. 30 and 31 – and Ban Ki-moon will be present only at the opening and closing sessions, while an army of top U.N. executives will help out the two leaders to iron out their differences and produce a compromise settlement. Up until recent weeks the expectation was that the secretary-general will listen to the two leaders, help them achieve some further convergences, and, should he reach the conclusion that sufficient convergences were achieved, he would invite an international conference (with the participation of Turkey, Greece and Great Britain as well as the leaders of the two communities of the island and with some international observers, like the EU and permanent five of the Security Council) to work out the remaining issues, headed by the security dimension, including the guarantees issue. Another alternative was to declare that the talks failed to resolve the Cyprus problem and blame whichever side was responsible with the failure. Nowadays, however, there are “credible” claims that though the Turkish side was adamantly opposing such a development, the U.N. secretary-general was “convinced” by some international game setters that perhaps it would be wiser not to hurry the conclusion of the process, reduce its speed a little bit and give it a last kick in 2013, immediately after the EU term presidency of the Greek Cypriot side was finished. So far, there has been almost no discussion between the two sides on the “security and guarantees” heading. In the “territory” heading, the Turkish side made some serious approaches, but there has been almost no convergence on the issue. On the “economy” heading, as well as the “relations with EU” heading, the two sides have developed almost full accord, excluding the demand of Turkish Cypriots that the Cyprus settlement must become EU’s “primary law.” Yet, this issue appears to be within reach. As regards “governance and power sharing,” surprisingly, the two sides have developed incredible progress but also some serious differences, particularly as regards elections that continue marring the prospect of a landmark breakthrough. Yet, with some amendments to the “cross voting” concept proposed by the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, this problem might be eradicated. In the “property” issue, however, there has been no tangible progress. Now, with this background, can two Cypriot leaders dance the last tango in New York? Can Ban Ki-moon convince them to walk the required extra miles in reconciliation.


Christofiase is not intended to sign any treaty in New York
North Cyprus President Dervis Eroglu that Greek President Christofiase Demerits will be attending the tripartite meeting in New York without any perception to sign any treaty.Dervis said this after meeting Christofiase last time in the buffer zone before New York meeting.Talking to a T.V. channel Eroglu said that Demetris stressed on that all the 165, 000 Greek refugees must come back to their home and if this happens there would not be any space for Turkish Cypriots. Dervis Eroglu also stated that at any point Turkish Cypriot is not going to agree on all the claims of Greek side. He said we had to discuss during these intensive talks six matters and North Cyprus had taken important steps during negotiation. On talking about the effect of drilling in EEZ, Eroglu said that he had asked Demetriis to postpone the drilling work to avoid any unnecessary dispute but Christofiase did not give any response in this direction.The tripartite meeting is due on the 30th and 31st of October and both leaders will be moving within two days for New York.

One more Turkey exploration ship will sail from Monday
Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told that another vessel for oil and gas exploration will leave for Cyprus on Monday. The ship will move from Turkey’s southern Antalya port for the Mediterranean Sea. The ship will search for oil and natural gas in 1,100 sq. kilometer for about 40 days. The whole tension aroused in the Mediterranean Sea when Greek Cyprus sent Noble Energy gas ship for exploration in EEZ . Turkey does not recognize Greek while it is an EU member and internationally recognized. In response to this ship Turkey sent Piri Reis in September and signed a treaty with North Cyprus. Piri is having exploration work continuously. One more ship which is not publically much known is doing the work of exploration. The Energy minister said that after Monday there will be three ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Yildiz said that gas exploration, "will continue in the north and south and even in the western parts of the island."


Dervis Eroglu is hopeful to get resolution of Cyprus Issue
North Cyprus President Dervis Eroglu hopes to resolve the Cyprus Issue in the trilateral meeting to be held in 30th and 31st October. Before the meeting in New York, the two leaders had meeting today in the buffer zone and it was very productive. Dervis Eroglu said that from their side some extra efforts were made to make the meeting successful. He said that we discussed on issues but Greek’s reaction was the same. The leaders of Cyprus had tripartite meeting on 7th July in Geneva. Eroglu in a newspaper gave statement, ‘"we are going to New York with a hope of reaching an agreement."

Dervis Eroglu and Christofiase had meeting on Friday
North Cyprus President Dervis ERglu and Greek Cyprus President Demetris Christofiase met on Friday in the buffer zone last time before meeting with UNSG Ban-ki-Moon. The leaders discussed management of power, ownership, and relations with EU.  The leaders discussed the issues and will finally meet in New York for trilateral meeting.  The intensified talks began on July 25 and six issues were main discussion points.

Greek Minister said by our efforts Turkey got more isolation
The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stavros Lambrinidis said that with by efforts we had managed to convince some of the other countries to be with their side on exploration in EEZ against Turkey.Lambrinidis said that in the meeting with Ban-ki-Moon they discussed Cyprus issue, Turkey’s position and behavior in Mediterranean. He also stated that he had meeting with The Greek Cypriot President Demetris and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on the same issues. Lambrinidis said during 66th UN General Assembly said ''the deep concern of Greece over Turkish actions and statements that destabilize the situation in a critical period for the entire region of Eastern Mediterranean.''He was favoring the right to exploration in Nicosia region by Greek Cypriot and considered it as their right with no doubt. He further said that in response to exploration in EEZ, Turkey sent its warship in the sea and signed an illegal agreement with Turkish Cypriot.

News From Turkey
Earthquake with frequency of 7.2 Richter measured in the eastern Turkey
An earthquake with frequency of 7.2 Richter was measured in the eastern Turkey. The earthquake came near Van city and the reports of 50 people got injured. Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the reports of earthquake but did not give the exact number of people injured. Geographically, Turkey’s position falls in the sensitive zone and earthquakes come frequently here. In 1999, two earthquakes above the frequency of 7 killed more than 20,000 people.


North Cyprus decided not to have annual Toros military exercise
North Cyprus and Greek Cyprus decided not to have military exercises due to UN led peace talk. The decision has been made to avoid any tension between the two communities.The decision was made without even asking Turkey whether it will cancel its military exercise or not. But, the defence Ministry expects that Turkey will also join them in their decision.North Cyprus presidential spokesperson Osman Ertug in a written statement said that the annual Toros military exercise will not hold this year. Toros is a co-operative military exercise done by Turkish forces and Turkish Cypriot forces in response to Greece and Greek Cyprus Nikiforos military exercise.Presently, the UN led negotiation is at very crucial point and North Cyprus does not want to do any military action. The talks between both the communities started in September 2008 and trying to achieve bi-communal and bi-zonal federation equality.

Downer will present a report to UNSG before tripartite meeting
The UN Secretary General special envoy for Cyprus Alexander Downer stated that he would be giving a detailed report about the peace talk to UNSG before the tripartite meeting in New York.The tripartite meeting will be held in New York between North Cyprus President Dervis Eroglu , Greek Cyprus President Christofiase Demetris and Ban-ki-Moon on 30th and 31st October.Eroglu and Christofiase are having a series of meeting to discuss the disputed matters. They made mutual consent over some of the matters and will meet last time on 21st October before tripartite meeting.

Turkey won't accept Greek Cyprus as the EU President
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke in Kızılcahamam that there country will not sit with Greek Cyprus if it accepts the EU Presidency before Cyprus Solution. Turkey has also warned that if Greek accepts the Presidency in July 2012, its effect could be seen with the relations of other 27 nations.Erdogan further said that Turkey does not recognize Greek Cyprus as a sovereign country and doesn’t want to deal with ‘so-called country’.

Greek Cyprus as well as Turkey are watchful

Any Turkish military activity near the coast or in the space is being keenly monitored by the Greek Cyprus. This is to make the exploration of natural gas and oil EEZ area safe from any unwanted activity. The Turkish exploration boat Piri Reis has also started sailing early this morning after technical problems in the engine. Turkish military ships are becoming quite cautioned after the exploration has started in Mediterranean water.


The Greek Prime Minister Demetris Christofiase and North Cyprus Dervis Eroglu met on Tuesday to find out the Cyprus Solution under the guideline of UN. Lisa Buttenheim, the special representative of UN General Secretary in Cyprus said that the leaders had intensive talks during their last meeting on Friday. Buttenheim said that leaders had an intensive talk for around six hours. She also said that discussion had entered into new phase called ‘give and take’ and so they had discussion on number of issues.Christofiase said after meeting that no ‘give and take’ issues had been discussed on Police and internal security of the country. He further said, “These are the issues on which we are closer and the experts from the two sides have undertaken the responsibility.”Christofiase also stated that there are some serious issues where the opinions are different......

The Cyprus leaders of both the community will meet for the nest meeting to be held on Friday to continue the UN led talks. UN Seceratary Special representative on Cyprus issue Alexander Downer analised Tuesday’s meeting good one and said, “it’s been our assessment that today’s meeting was a pretty useful meeting, a lot of different ideas and views that have been exchanged; I think that our overall take is that it has been constructive.” Talking about the tripartite meeting in New York, Downer said that UN SG Ban Ki- moon is making his mind to handle this issue in the coming meeting. His eye will be on the last meetings before tripartite meeting. Downer said after the sessions of meeting he will give some suggestions to UNSG to clear the real scenario of the issue. Greek Cyprus President Christofiase said after Tuesday’s meeting that they will have three more meeting before the tripartite meeting.....

(Reuters) - Turkey signed a deal with the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state on Wednesday that will pave the way for offshore gas exploration, in a move set to escalate regional tensions over Mediterranean energy reserves. On Tuesday, the Greek Cypriot government, which has been at loggerheads with Turkey since its military invasion of north Cyprus in 1974, said drilling had begun in a southeastern offshore block, adjoining a gas field in Israeli waters reputed to be the world's largest find of the past decade. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described the offshore drilling by Cyprus and Turkey's estranged ally Israel as "madness" before signing the deal with the Turkish Cypriots to clear the path for Turkish exploration off northern Cyprus. "We had previously brought to the international community's attention in a clear manner ... that if the Greek Cypriots started drilling, we would take a number of concrete steps together with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," Erdogan was quoted as saying by state news agency Anatolian. "To reflect this commitment, Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus today in New York signed a continental shelf agreement."
Turkey is the only country to recognize the Turkish Cypriot state, while the Greek Cypriot government is internationally recognized and represents the island in the European Union. Both Cyprus and Greece denounced the agreement as illegal. "Turkey has committed yet another illegal act by signing an agreement with an illegal entity, such is the pseudo-state, which has been condemned by U.N. resolutions," government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said in a statement. "Turkey is attempting to prevent the Republic of Cyprus from exercising a self-evident right, one which is acknowledged by the international community, which asks that Turkey respect international legality. Unfortunately Turkey persists in acting illegally." Turkey's neighbor and historic rival, Greece, reiterated its criticism of the pact. "This move from Turkey is against international law and U.N. Security Council decisions. The so-called 'deal' is invalid and groundless," the foreign ministry said in a statement. Cyprus has been split since the 1974 invasion in the aftermath of a brief Greek-inspired coup in Nicosia, and Turkey maintains a military presence in the Turkish Cypriot state. Turkey argues that the Greek Cypriot government should not have started gas explorations before reaching a settlement in reunification talks with the Turkish Cypriots, and that the mineral wealth belonged to both communities. "The Greek Cypriot administration and Israel are engaging in oil exploration madness in the Mediterranean," Anatolian quoted Erdogan as telling Turkish reporters early on Wednesday. "Actually, the Greek Cypriot administration's drilling activity is nothing but sabotage of the negotiation process between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots," he added. Peace talks between the two sides were launched in 2008 but progress has been slow. The United Nations is tentatively eyeing a settlement before July 2012 when Cyprus is due to assume the European Union's rotating presidency.
The row over hydrocarbon reserves erupted as relations between Turkey and Israel broke down over Israel's refusal to apologize for killing Turkish activists aboard a ship carrying aid to Palestinians in Gaza last year. Under Erdogan, Turkey has become increasingly assertive in the region and it disputes the offshore territorial agreement struck last year by Cyprus and Israel. Texas-based Noble Energy which is carrying out the drilling operations for Cyprus, has been conducting offshore drills in the eastern Mediterranean for Israel since 1998. Turkey has said it would use its navy and air force to escort any gas exploration vessels it may dispatch in the Mediterranean if Cyprus pressed ahead with drilling. Erdogan again referred to Turkey's military muscle on Wednesday: "Our assault boats and frigates are already in the region," Anatolian quoted him as saying. Last week the Turkish leader said warships could be sent to the eastern Mediterranean any time and Israel could not do whatever it wants there. The European Commission has called for Cyprus and Turkey to show restraint in the gas row and work toward a settlement on the island. Cyprus has said it will block negotiations Turkey began in 2005 to join the European Union if Ankara continues to oppose its gas exploration. Turkey has said it will freeze relations with the EU Presidency if Cyprus is given the role next July before a settlement over the island is reached.


President Derviş Eroğlu inaugurated the Lancet Medical Analysis Laboratory in Gazimagusa yesterday. Making an opening speech during the ceremony, the President pointed to the importance of such facilities in the TRNC.
Touching upon the Cyprus negotiations process the President said that the talks were still continuing as they have yet to come to an end.
‘These kinds of investments in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus further strengthen the country and enables us to promote our state’, said President Dervisş Eroğlu.
He also pointed to the importance of unity and solidarity in the TRNC.

Turkey Signs Oil Agreement with Turkish Republic of North Cyprus
The eastern Mediterranean’s offshore potential oil and natural gas assets are becoming an increasing multinational issue, with disputes arising between Israel, Lebanon, turkey and the Republic of Cyprus about how best to apportion the eastern Mediterranean seabed. Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) delegations have met in Lefkosa and agreed to issue an oil exploration license to Turkey’s state-owned Turkiye Petrolleri Anonim Ortakligi (Turkish Petroleum Corporation, or TPAO) and a continental shelf delimitation agreement in order to counter proposed efforts should the Republic of Cyprus proceed with offshore drilling activities off the island’s southern coast. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement noting that the MFA "upon the invitation by the Turkish government, a technical meeting was held Thursday at the Ministry with a delegation composed of representatives from relevant authorities of the TRNC. As a result of the meeting, it has been agreed that Turkey and the TRNC will conclude a continental shelf delimitation agreement should the Greek Cypriot administration proceed with offshore drilling activities in the south of the island," Turkey’s Anadolu Ajansi news agency reported. Following the invitation of the TRNC government, a delegation from Turkey, led by the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources Deputy Undersecretary Sefa Sad?k Aytekin and representatives from Turkey’s MFA, the Petrol Isleri Genel Mudurlugu (General Directorate of Petroleum Affairs, or PIGM) and TPAO held meetings in Nicosia to discuss the issues.


Cyprus Talks ...

The two Cyprus Leaders met on 14 September in the afternoon in the UN Protected Area in Nicosia to continue their discussions on citizenship issues, picking up from where their Representatives had left off from their discussions that morning.  Responding to journalists’ questions after the meeting, Lisa Buttenheim, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Cyprus, remarked that the two sides “have identified a number of convergences” on citizenship matters, although were still apart on some issues therein.  The Leaders will next meet on 16 September to take up matters pertaining to the economy.

TRNC News ...
TRNC President, Dervis Eroglu, will travel to New York on 17 September to hold a variety of meetings within the framework of the United Nation’s General Assembly workings.  According to a statement by the Presidential Press Bureau, the President will be leaving the TRNC for New York on Saturday morning and is  expected to return to the TRNC on 25 September.  During his New York visit, the President will be accompanied by his Special Representative, Kudret Özersay, the Presidential Spokesman, Osman Ertuğ, and a member of the Cyprus Talks negotiations team, Güneş Onar.

News from Turkey ...
The world’s largest mosaic museum - The Zeugma Mosaic Museum - opened on 9 September  in Turkey’s SE province of Gaziantep and was visited by more than 3,000 people on the first day.  Museum officials said this number of visitors on a single day was a record, adding that they expected some 100,000 visitors each month, with growing interest from local and foreign tourists. The Zeugma Mosaic Museum is displaying a total of 1,700 square metres of mosaics in more than 7,000 square metres of exhibition space.   Besides mosaics, wall paintings, fountains, columns and walls are now on display which have been unearthed during various excavations at the site of the ancient Roman city of Zeugma which was founded in 300 B.C. by Alexander the Great.  Taken by the Romans in 31 B.C. it took the name Zeugma, meaning ‘bridge’ or ‘gate’ and reached the height of its glory during the Roman era.

One of the most popular exhibits is the ‘Gypsy Girl’ mosaic, which is the symbol of both Gaziantep and Zeugma. The mosaic is displayed in a special section on the museum’s second floor.  Gaziantep Culture & Tourism Director, Salih Efiloğlu, said the museum met world standards in terms of security and lighting technology, adding that 2,600 square metrs of mosaics have been unearthed so far in Zeugma excavations. “The mosaics from the Roman period have been completely restored by Turkish teams and they are being exhibited in chronological order,” he said, adding that the restoration of other mosaics is ongoing. 

Secret agent 007 - James Bond - one of Hollywood’s most enduring characters, will have new adventures in Istanbul.   The city’s historical neighbourhood - Sultanahmet - will feature in the next film in the series.  Director Sam Mendes has received permission from Turkish Culture Minister, Ertuğrul Günay, to shoot scenes for the film in Sultanahmet Square.  “Shooting will start within the next few months. We have discussed the issue and rather than closing the square completely, some parts could be partially closed from time to time for the filming,” Günay said, adding that it would be difficult to close the whole square. “We have to consider our tourists, but we can accommodate foreign film production companies that want to use Turkey as a platform.”   The film will be released in 2012 and has further importance as the series will celebrate its 50th anniversary.  Actor Daniel Craig will play Bond for the third time.

Cyprus Talks ...

The two Cyprus Leaders met on 8 September for over five hours discussing property matters aiming to build convergences on a series of related issues.  Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Alexander Downer, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, drew attention to the briefing he gave to the Security Council on 7 September before noting that all of its 15 members had expressed their firm support to the ongoing peace process and the efforts of UN SG Ban Ki-moon, as well as his own, to help the process along. The Cyprus Leaders  will next meet on 12 September when they will take up the issue of citizenship, immigration and aliens.

The Cyprus Leaders met on 6 Sept, reportedly in a “good atmosphere”, focusing their discussion almost entirely on the property issue, one of the chapters being addressed in the UN-backed Cyprus reunification talks.  Following the meeting the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, told the media that the two sides had brought along a “series of proposals on property” which they will continue to discuss amongst themselves and again on 7 September with UN property experts. 

Dr Downer also informed journalists that he will be briefing the Security Council in New York on 7 September via video link to update the 15-member body on the status of the peace negotiations. The Leaders’ next meeting is scheduled to take place on 8 September.

The two Cyprus Leaders had met previously on 2 September and continued to discuss territory and property.   It was their sixth meeting under the intensified phase of the talks.  The Leaders will continue their discussions on 6 September in accordance with the agreed schedule.  Speaking to reporters at the UN Chief of Mission’s Residence in Nicosia, Alexander Downer, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, said: “Both sides presented documents and they decided, after some detailed discussion of these documents, that it would be productive for the Representatives to take on the discussion henceforth in relation to these documents in order to ensure not just clarifications but with a view to coming to convergences. There is no doubt the atmosphere was a good atmosphere today, a positive atmosphere and an encouraging atmosphere.”

TRNC News ...
TRNC Minister of Economy & Energy, Sunat Atun, declared that the agreement which envisages the electricity transfer from the TRNC to South Cyprus was renewed yesterday. The agreement was extended for another 6 months. The TRNC has been transferring electricity to South Cyprus, after the largest power plant in the South -Vasiliko- was heavily damaged during a deadly explosion that took place at a naval base located near the plant in July.

The second agreement envisaging electricity transfer from the TRNC to South Cyprus was signed yesterday and will be valid until the 29th of February 2012. According to the agreement, 120 Megawatt electricity power will be transferred to South Cyprus, however, the amount of power will be increased when Kıb-Tek’s system is available. The cost of the purchased electricity will be estimated in line with the rise in the US Dollar and oil prices.  It is reported that the cost of the electricity supplied in August is nearly 7.5 million Euros and is expected to be paid by the Greek Cypriot Electricity Department within 15 days.

Prime Minister, İrsen Küçük, has said that the Ramadan holiday has greatly contributed to the tourism sector in the TRNC.  Evaluating current developments he said “2011 has been declared as the year of North Cyprus Tourism in Turkey and due to the work of the government we were able to reach our goals”.  Research carried out in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry revealed that some of the hotels in the TRNC were a hundred percent full throughout the Ramadan holiday. “This is very pleasing” said the Premier.  Pointing to the increase in flights during the Ramadan period, PM Küçük said that more than 600 flights were organised during the period and noted that the support given to the tourism sector by the government had paid off.

News from Turkey
Turkey to boost trade ties with London - In an effort to boost trade and investments with the United Kingdom, Turkey will open diplomatic attachés in Birmingham and Edinburgh to work alongside its trade counsellor in London.  The openings reflect a decision by Ankara to increase the country’s number of trade counsellors from 115 to 250, Yüksel Akça, Head Trade Counsellor at the Turkish Embassy in London, told the Anatolia news agency.  “Thus, we will serve Turks, Brits and companies that wish to invest in Turkey in the north, centre and south of the U.K.,” Akça said, adding that Birmingham and Edinburgh serve as key centres of trade.

The Turkish official, however, said the U.K. economy remains in a dire situation after the 2008 global crisis. “This year, gross domestic product is expected to grow a meagre 1.2 percent, the lowest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD]. Still, the U.K. is the seventh largest economy in the world, and ranks only after Germany in Europe. It is also the 10th biggest exporter and sixth biggest importer.”

Last year, 15 percent of Turkish exports were destined for the UK, making the country Turkey’s second-biggest market.  “Despite all odds in the general economy, our exports to the U.K. rose by 20 percent in the first seven months of this year,” Akça said. “For many industrial products, the U.K. stands as the number one market for Turkey.”  On Sept. 9, a joint economy and trade meeting will be held in Istanbul. The event is expected to bring together more than 300 businesspeople from the U.K. and Turkey. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary in the U.K. Cabinet, will also come to Turkey on a four-day trip starting Sept. 26, leading a delegation of key business people from various sectors.

Famous Train back in Istanbul - The Çırağan Palace has just completed a decade of catering Ottoman food onboard the world-renowned Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for its arrival to Istanbul.  The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express -  which inspired Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock and many others - departed from Paris on 2 September 2011, and will arrive in Istanbul on 7 September, after a journey through Budapest, Bucharest and Varna.

Every year, the Çırağan Palace team meets the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express in Kapıkule, on the Bulgarian border with Turkey, to prepare an exclusive lunch on board with the chefs of the train, as the train heads to Istanbul. Venice Simplon-Orient-Express passengers have been enjoying the “Palace food,” with carefully prepared traditional Turkish dishes, for a decade. The hotel also hosts the majority of Venice Simplon-Orient-Express passengers during their stay in Istanbul, taking them on a scenic boat trip on the Bosphorus from the historic Sirkeci Train Station to the hotel.

The famous intercontinental train left its station for the first time on Oct. 4, 1883, departing from Paris. The original route had Istanbul as the last stop, reached by ferry from Varna, in Bulgaria. In 1885, the route changed, and travellers reached Istanbul via rail, from Vienna-Belgrade. During the years that followed, the route continued to change, and today, this luxurious five-day journey takes its passengers to the most beautiful and iconic cities in Europe, such as Budapest, Venice and Istanbul.


Cyprus Talks ...
The Cyprus Leaders held two meetings last week, on 23 and 26 August, under the intensified phase of the talks.  Addressing reporters after the second meeting, which was held at the UN Chief of Mission’s Residence in Nicosia, Alexander Downer, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, said: “ The Leaders met today for about five and a half hours. The issue of territory was discussed and the Leaders had a good opportunity to exchange views and consider each other’s positions.”  The Leaders will continue their discussions according to the agreed schedule on 2 September.

TRNC News ...
In his Bayram Message,  TRNC President, Derviş Eroğlu, reiterated the Cyprus-Turkish side’s desire to reach a lasting solution to the Cyprus Problem, one that does not ignore the realities on the island and which is based on the partnership of the two sovereign peoples on the island.  The President issued his message on the occasion of the 30 August Victory Day and ahead of the Ramadan Bayram.

President Eroğlu said that holy and national days were occasions which highlighted the importance of being a nation and a people, particularly for younger generations.   Touching upon the Cyprus negotiations process, the President pointed out that Turkey was the only safeguard and protector of the Cyprus-Turkish People’s independence and sovereignty.  “Everyone must know and understand that the Turkish nation is not responsible for the ongoing non-solution of the Cyprus Problem. The Cyprus-Turkish people will not accept to remain the victims of the non-solution forever” he added.

News from Turkey...
The Turkish national basketball team - runners-up in the 2010 World Basketball Championships - flew to Lithuania on Monday for the 2011 European Championships, where the team hopes to earn a berth for the 2012 Olympics in London.  Turkey finished second behind the United States last year at the 2010 World Championship on home soil, however, its recent performances in friendly tournaments have raised doubts about the challenge in Lithuania.  Team Captain, Hidayet Türkoğlu, who is one of the most experienced players in the squad, says the team will do its best at the event that will witness a fierce competition for the title.  He believes that Turkey will make a good start to the tournament when it takes on Portugal in its campaign-opener on Wednesday.

Turkey will compete in Group A, one of the toughest groups at EuroBasket 2011, against defending champion Spain, host Lithuania, Great Britain, Poland and Portugal. Packed with talent and experience, title holder Spain looks stronger than ever as it heads into the championship as favourite to retain its title and qualify for next year’s Olympic Games.  With only the winners and runners-up qualifying automatically for the Olympics, Spain knows that any slip-up could be fatal in the tournament which runs from 31 August to 18 September.

TRNC News ...

TRNC Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hüseyin Özgürgün, has indicated that the TRNC  will hold a census on 27 November 2011.   In a written statement, the Foreign Minister announced that the government has started the necessary work to hold the census and added that the TRNC, like other states, needs to determine its economic, social and other requirements and can hold a census when the need arises.   Ozgürgün also stressed that the TRNC government is determined to take all the necessary steps to secure a brighter future for the people of the TRNC.

Talks resume on 23 August between the two Cyprus Leaders following an agreed  two-week break in the negotiations.    The meeting which is scheduled to last all day will take place at the  residence of the UN Chief-of-Mission in Cyprus, in the UN Protected Area, starting at 10 am.    The Leaders’ last   meeting before their summer break, scheduled for 5 August, was postponed at the request of the Greek Cypriot side.   

In Turkey ...
Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, said on 21 August that Turkey has reached an agreement with South Africa to mutually waive visa requirements and increase bilateral visits, with an aim toward enriching diplomatic and trade ties.  He also announced plans for a visit to South Africa by Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in the coming months.  “We have placed a great deal of importance on our relations with South Africa in recent years,” the Anatolia news agency quoted Davutoğlu as saying, as he explained that the countries had agreed in principle to facilitate visa liberalization and that the technical work to conclude the visa waiver was in progress.

The Foreign Minister also shared news of the first steps toward a free trade agreement to be signed between Turkey and South Africa, with transportation issues being a focus of the bilateral talks between the countries. In that context, Davutoğlu also indicated that the weekly number of Turkish Airlines (THY) flights between the countries will be increased from five to seven. Acknowledging the growing importance Turkey places in South Africa, the he  stated that the country was becoming more powerful both within Africa and in the international arena. “We have once more renewed our agreement in principle, by which our countries act as strategic partners in international projects and mutually cooperate both in Africa and Eurasia,” Davutoğlu said.

Turkish women became champions for the first time in history in the 2011 FIVB Volleyball Girls' Youth World Championship after Turkey defeated China 3-0 in the finals on 21 August.   The championships, which are held every two years, took place in Ankara and saw 16 teams from around the world competing for the most prestigious trophy in international age-grade volleyball.  The championships, aimed at the under-19 age group, show-cased many of the sport’s up-and-coming athletes.

This is the fifth time Turkey has participated in the FIVP championships. Turkey came sixth in 1993 in Slovakia, 13th in 1999 in Portugal, second in Mexico in 2007 and fourth in 2009 in Thailand.   Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated the volleyball team by sending a letter to the chairman of the Turkey Volleyball Federation, Erol Ünal Karabıyık.  President Abdullah Gül and Turkish Parliament Speaker, Cemil Çiçek, also sent congratulatory letters to the volleyball team.

TRNC News ...
TRNC Minister of Economy and Energy, Sunat Atun, said in a statement that the first payment for electricity sold to the Greek Cypriot side of the island has been made.  Negotiations have taken place over the last 2 days with the Greek Cypriot  Electricity Authorities and the contract has been extended.   Dr Atun said that the excess amount of electricity produced in the TRNC will be transferred to the Greek side for another 6 months and that this would not create any problems in the TRNC.

In Turkey ...
Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announces Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games

The ruins of Ani, the ancient Silk Road city once called the ‘City of the Rich,’ are expected to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  Turkey’s Culture Ministry has carried out a number of restoration projects to revive the old city in Kars and fulfill the conditions required for inclusion on the UNESCO list - more on Ani Silk Road Ruins 

The number of flamingos in Turkey has reached a record number, with 16,000 juvenile flamingos now residing at Tuz Lake alone thanks to the heavy rainfall over the winter.  “This number has been the largest baby population among West African and Mediterranean countries. The water overflowed from dams and made it possible for flamingos to breed in Tuz Lake, which had completely dried out a couple of years ago,” according to Süreyya İsfendiyaroğlu, Science Coordinator of Doğa (Nature) Association - more on Flamingos in Turkey


TRNC News...

TRNC Prime Minister, İrsen Küçük, said that the TRNC economy was doing quite well despite the global economic crisis and estimated that a 4 percent growth can be achieved by the end of this year.  He also said that his government aimed to achieve a number of other goals in the field of health, tourism and education, as well as state infrastructure by 2012, raising the standard of living in the country.The PM was speaking at his party’s gathering in Lapta on 9 August.   He said that the UBP has succeeded in improving the economy with a series of austerity measures adopted in consultation with Turkey.  The Prime Minister also gave information concerning the government’s plans and projects to improve the state’s motorway infrastructure and safety standards.

Members of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade are holding meetings in the TRNC with the aim of establishing commercial cooperation between the two countries.  The Chinese delegation was received by Prime Minister, İrsen Küçük, on 10 August.  The Minister of Public Works and Communications, Hamza Ersan Saner, Finance Minister, Ersin Tatar, and the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Ünal Üstel, were also present at the meeting.

PM  Küçük made reference to the development of light industry in China and expressed the belief that cooperation could be established between the two countries in a number of commercial fields. Speaking on behalf of the Chinese delegation, the Council’s Chairman responsible for the Eurasian Region, Wang Chunrong, spoke of plans to  launch bilateral cooperation and said that they aimed to open a regional common market which will be supported by light industry.

In Turkey...
Turkey sends aid in Somalia -
Air transport carrying 50 tons of humanitarian aid supplied by the Turkish Red Crescent Society (Kızılay), the Directorate of Religious Affairs and the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) arrived in Somalia. The aid will be distributed to Somali families. According to the United Nations, there are 12 million people facing death in the Horn of Africa.

A new Tsunami Early Warning System
for the North Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean was carried out on 10 August and a test message was sent to 31 countries in the region from Istanbul’s Kandilli Observatory - more on Tsunami early warning system for Mediterranean

NEWS - 1 AUGUST 2011
Cyprus Talks...
The meeting between the two Cyprus Leaders arranged for 5 August has been postponed at the request of the Greek-Cypriot negotiating team.  The UN and Turkish Cypriot negotiating team agreed to the request and the meeting will be rescheduled for when the talks recommence after the Leaders’ planned two-week break from the negotiations which commences next week. Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, commenting on the Cyprus negotiations process, stated that Turkey gives great importance to the continuation of the Cyprus negotiations process at the same speed, despite the political turmoil and economic crisis being experienced in South Cyprus.

Regarding the resignation of the government in South Cyprus, the Turkish Foreign Minister said:  “The Cyprus negotiations process must continue as stated within the UN parameters and therefore should not be affected by the temporary political crisis or economic crisis being experienced in South Cyprus”.  Dr Davutoğlu was speaking at a joint press conference with Kazakhstan Foreign Minister, Yercan Kazıkhanov,  following their meeting at the Turkish Foreign Ministry on 4 August.

Previously, the Cyprus Leaders had met on 2 August for their third meeting on governance and power-sharing under the new intensified phase of the negotiations process.  Speaking to press after the meeting - which was held at the Chief of Mission’s residence in Nicosia - Alexander Downer, the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus, stressed the need for confidentiality in the talks to help “maximize the opportunity for reaching agreement”.

In Turkey...
The Kaman Kalehöyük Archaeology Museum in the Central Anatolian province of Kırşehir opened to wide acclaim in 2010 - thanks to a dynamic Turkish-Japanese partnership - and is now eyeing continental awards for excellence, according to its Manager - more on Kaman Kalehöyük Archaeology Museum

18.10.2011 Greek Cyprus as well as Turkey are watchful

Greek Cyprus as well as Turkey are watchful

Any Turkish military activity near the coast or in the space is being keenly monitored by the Greek Cyprus. This is to make the exploration of natural gas and oil EEZ area safe from any unwanted activity.
The Turkish exploration boat Piri Reis has also started sailing early this morning after technical problems in the engine.
Turkish military ships are becoming quite cautioned after the exploration has started in Mediterranean water.