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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-10-09

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW

CONTENTS

No. 194/17 07-09.10.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akdag: "TRNC's request to connect with Turkey is at the table"
  • [02] Akinci alleges that the Greek Cypriot community's mentality should change
  • [03] Akinci said that the development in occupied Keryneia has disappeared the olive groves and caused major problems
  • [04] The CMP will carry out excavation work in the occupied village of Assia
  • [05] Turkey's former permanent representative at the Council of Europe argues that they should support the "Property Commission"
  • [06] Havadis visits Greek Cypriot enclaved persons in occupied Karpasia after the regime's decision to impose "tariffs" on humanitarian aid
  • [07] Teachers from Turkey to be "assigned" in "schools" in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [08] Elcil reacted over "e- protocol" between Turkey and the breakaway regime which exposes personal information of teachers and students
  • [09] A "representative" of the "tourism sector" slams Ertugruloglu for his latest statements
  • [10] Turkey suspends US visa applications after US decision to suspend all non-immigrant visa services; Turkey asks US for 'immediate action' in providing visa services to Turkish citizens
  • [11] Turkey launches operation in Syria 'for security'; Turkish military crosses the border into Syria's Idlib to enforce de-escalation agreement
  • [12] Commentary: "Getting Turkey's new Syria operation straight"
  • [13] Cavusoglu: "Russia has not refused technology transfer for S-400 systems to Turkey"
  • [14] Erdogan's upcoming visit to Serbia to boost trade ties

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akdag: "TRNC's request to connect with Turkey is at the table"

    Under the title "TRNC's request to connect with Turkey is at the table", Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (09.10.17) reports that Recep Akdag, Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus affairs, argued that "regarding TRNC's request to connect with Turkey, Turkey and the TRNC will sit and decide now for a political solution".

    Akdag replied to the paper's journalist Bahar Atakan questions in the Parliament. Akdag referred to the recent statements of self-styled foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu during his contacts in Washington after the failure of the Cyprus talks who claimed that "from now onward, they could only accept a negotiation process on the basis of confederation and not federation" and commented also to Ertugruloglu's statement who noted: "We can now work for the international recognition of the TRNC. Our second option is an autonomous republic like the Franco-Monaco model". Akdag argued: "A statement was declared that 'such thing may happen'. It was announced as an idea. Within the framework of this idea and similar ideas, Turkey and the TRNC will sit and decide now for a political solution".

    Denying allegations that the drinking water, which is being transferred from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus, is being wasted, Akdag claimed that there are 75 million cubic meters of water now in the occupied area of Cyprus and they need only 35 m3 of water as potable. He added that the water has not reached yet all the places, only in 5% of the places has not reached, so they can say that the water has reached in every place. He argued that the infrastructure of most of the "municipalities" has to be renewed and that they are working on new projects, regarding the renewal of the water network. He added that the rest of the 30 million m3 of the water will be used as irrigation in the occupied regions of Morphou and Mesaoria.

    Akdag further argued that if there is an agreement, the Greek Cypriot side can also use this water. He also reminded the project for electricity, adding that there is already an agreement between Turkey's Ministry of Energy and the "TRNC ministry of energy" to transfer electricity from Turkey to the "TRNC". He concluded by saying: "Both the cost of electricity and the price of electricity will decrease. If there is a solution, we may think to give (the Greek Cypriots) also electricity".

    (DPs)

    [02] Akinci alleges that the Greek Cypriot community's mentality should change

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.10.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci has alleged that the mentality of the Greek Cypriot community should change and described as "very important" the ongoing pre-election campaign in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus. In statements during a festival in occupied Komi Kepir village, Akinci claimed: "In the end of it [Translator's note: The presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus] some people who do not even want to hear the name of the solution may come to power. Then the situation will be reassessed. However, whatever will happen on these lands, will happen through negotiations. Whatever will happen, it will happen through discussions and an agreement somehow with the UN and the community in the south. There is no other way. However, this will undoubtedly not happen with the method and the approaches which have been used for years and produced no result".

    Expressing the view that there is no need for the Turkish Cypriots to conflict with the UN or other international organizations, Akinci alleged: "We will continue our way as a determined people and as TRNC which know what they want and defend their rights. [] Let no one think that one day we will turn into a community ready to become a minority of the Greek Cypriot state in the south. Let no one make this wrong calculation. We will exhibit an approach, which is appropriate for the Turks of Cyprus who know what they want, do not distance from their pro-peace identity and know to register their rights on the negotiating table. This is what we should do and we will do it in close consultations with Turkey, with which we have always had close relations until today. []"

    Arguing that the only target of the Turkish Cypriots is to live on "their lands" in security and equality as a free community, Akinci alleged: "We do not have designs on anyone else's rights. Therefore, a pro-peace language deriving from Ataturk is appropriate for the Turkish Cypriots and not screams of war. We will follow until the end Ataturk's word saying 'peace at home, peace in the world'. If there is a problem, we will search for its solution through discussions and not fighting. Cries for war are not necessary. [] Since 1920, the Turks of Cyprus have been developed as a democratic, secular community committed to Ataturk's principles. We will protect this wealth we have and develop it further. []"

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Akinci said that the development in occupied Keryneia has disappeared the olive groves and caused major problems

    According to Turksih Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (8.10.17), speaking during the opening of the 16th Olive Festival organised by the "Girne municipality", Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that "Keryneia is a very beautiful town; however, we have caused a major damage to the town. With high storey buildings and with cement, the olive groves have disappeared. This is a bitter reality".

    Akinci further noted that the "master plan" for the occupied area of Keryneia Agios Epiktitos is important to the region, adding that the implementation and the inspections being carried for the "master plan" are very important.

    (DPs)

    [04] The CMP will carry out excavation work in the occupied village of Assia

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 07.10.17), the Committee of Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) is carrying out excavation work in the occupied village of Assia.

    The Turkish Cypriot member of the Missing Persons Committee in Cyprus Gulden Plumer Kucuk announced that they had unearthed the remains of 79 people in the occupied village of Afania and that they were carrying out excavation work in the occupied region of Assia to find missing's remains.

    She reminded that research had been carried out in the occupied region of Assia previously and that they had discovered the remains of 79 missing persons in wells in the Afania region which is close to "Ercan" (occupied Tymbou).

    Kucuk said that the identification process of the missing has taken place and it is believed that some of the missing persons in these areas were moved to the Assia region, therefore excavation works is to continue to take place in this region.

    The work of the CMP will continue in the Assia region as of the start of the week.

    The primary objective of the CMP is to enable relatives of missing persons to recover the remains of their loved ones, arrange for a proper burial and close a long period of anguish and uncertainty and it is hoped that the healing of old wounds will in turn favour the overall process of reconciliation between both communities.

    [05] Turkey's former permanent representative at the Council of Europe argues that they should support the "Property Commission"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (09.10.17) publishes an interview with Daryal Batibay, Turkey's former permanent representative at the Council of Europe, who had reportedly "exerted great efforts" in order for the "Immovable Property Commission" to become Turkey's and the "TRNC's" [Translator's note: The breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] "biggest gain internationally".

    Batibay, who retired in 2011, argued, inter alia the following in this interview:

    "[] A strong means was obtained by the Turkish side with the Immovable Property Commission. However, unfortunately, we are not able to effectively use this means. Both a person who believes in the solution and a person who does not believe in the solution must support the Immovable Property Commission, because in both cases the commission will secure serious contributions to the current state. []

    I want to make a call on all political parties in the assembly to, with a joint proposal, renew the Immovable Property Commission's term of duty which will be completed in the end of the year and solve its financing problem. For the financing problem, the Value Added Tax, which has been discussed for years and is implemented in the entire world, should enter into effect now. []

    I know the allegations that Varosha is EVKAF's property and the decision of Famagusta District Court. Why these allegations had not been brought onto the agenda for many years? The issue of Varosha will deal a blow to the Commission. Because the applications submitted to the ECHR [saying] that the there is no effective local remedy in the TRNC for the properties in Varosha, will bring onto the agenda the revision of the Demopoulos case decision. []"

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Havadis visits Greek Cypriot enclaved persons in occupied Karpasia after the regime's decision to impose "tariffs" on humanitarian aid

    Under the title "Shame coming after 42 years", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (09.10.17) reports that because of the decision taken by the breakaway regime's "government" to impose "tariffs" on the supplies and the humanitarian aid sent to the enclaved Greek Cypriots and Maronites, these persons received only medical aid this week for the first time during the last 42 years.

    The paper notes that this aid had been sent according to the provisions of the 3rd Vienna Agreement signed on 2 August 1975 [by late Rauf Denktas on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots] and that the aged Greek Cypriot enclaved persons, who have established their lives according to "this system", are sad and offended.

    The paper publishes the provisions of the 3rd Vienna Agreement, which it names as "Vienna Agreement on Voluntarily Exchange of Population". Havadis reporter visited Greek Cypriot enclaved persons, who rejected the allegation [put forward by the breakaway regime to justify its decision] that they were selling the humanitarian aid they received. The paper took pictures of the supplies in the aged Greek Cypriots' houses.

    "The majority of the Greek Cypriots are over 80 years old, some of them are paralyzed, many of them cannot walk without support", notes the paper adding that the aged and sick enclaved Greek Cypriots live with their assistants, who are paid by the government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Teachers from Turkey to be "assigned" in "schools" in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.10.17) under the title: "167 teachers from Turkey", reports that the Turkish Ministry of National Education has announced in its website that 167 teachers from Turkey would be "assigned" in 18 "school units" in the "TRNC".

    According to the paper, the announcement in the Turkish Ministry's website calls for teachers who are interested to be appointed to "schools" in the "TRNC" to submit their applications between the period 16-23 October.

    Reacting over the above issue, the former "chairman" of the "Turkish Cypriot secondary school teacher's trade union", Tahir Gokcebel wondered which is the reason of sending teachers from Turkey, while there are hundreds of Turkish Cypriot teachers who are unemployed.

    The paper underlined further that the "big number" of the teachers to be send from Turkey will be assigned in "religious schools".

    (AK)

    [08] Elcil reacted over "e- protocol" between Turkey and the breakaway regime which exposes personal information of teachers and students

    Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper (07.10.17) reported that the "general secretary" of the "Turkish Cypriot teacher's trade union", Sener Elcil, condemned, in a written statement, the so-called minister of natural education and culture Ozdemir Berova, to follow the practice of "providing to Ankara data about the teachers and students in the TRNC".

    Elcil referred to the "e-education protocol" which was "signed" between the "ministry of education" of the breakaway regime and the Ministry of Education of Turkey, according to which personal information of teachers and students will be sent to Turkey for the application of the protocol.

    Elcil described the "signing of the protocol" as the move aiming to "speed up the assimilation and integration policy with Turkey".

    (AK)

    [09] A "representative" of the "tourism sector" slams Ertugruloglu for his latest statements

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (08.10.17) under the front-page tittle: "Tourism is passing through peace", reported on statements by "representatives" of the tourism sector in the occupied area of Cyprus, who reacted over the latest statements by so-called prime minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu.

    Ertugruloglu has stated in a press conference last Friday that "if the Greek Cypriot side continues insisting on its unilateral oil exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, they are ready to response and to give the necessary reply. "If it is necessary, they would be hit", Ertugruloglu, inter alia, said.

    Describing Ertugruloglu' statements as a "rhetoric of war", the "chairman" of the "Turkish Cypriot hoteliers' union", ("KITOB"), Fethi Ozbogac, argued that the way Ertugruloglu speaks affects negatively the "tourism sector" in the "TRNC".

    Ozbogac claimed that Ertugruloglu' statements were "unfortunate" and provided as an example the latest "dispute of worlds" between Turkey and the Netherlands, which had a negative effect on Turkey's tourism. "Dialogue is the way for solving problems", Ozbogac said, calling for "rhetoric of war" between the "politicians" not to be experienced again. "All kind of war rhetoric's no matter why, where or when are expressed, damages the image of Cyprus and its tourism", Ozbogac further said.

    (AK)

    [10] Turkey suspends US visa applications after US decision to suspend all non-immigrant visa services; Turkey asks US for 'immediate action' in providing visa services to Turkish citizens

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 09.10.17) under the above title reports that the Turkish Embassy in Washington said on Oct. 8 that it suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all Turkish diplomatic facilities in the U.S. in retaliation for the latest decision by the U.S. Embassy in Ankara to suspend all non-migrant visa services at its diplomatic facilities in Turkey.

    "Recent events have forced the Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of the Turkish Mission facilities and personnel. In order to minimize the number of visitors to our Embassy and Consulates while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa service at all Turkish diplomatic facilities in the US," a statement by the Embassy read. "This measure will apply to visas in passports as well as e-Visas and visas acquired at the border," it added.

    The response came hours after the U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced that it had suspended all non-immigrant visa services at its diplomatic facilities in Turkey.

    "Recent events have forced the United States Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of Turkey to the security of US Mission facilities and personnel. In order to minimize the number of visitors to our Embassy and Consulates while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa services at all U.S. diplomatic facilities in Turkey," the Embassy said in a statement issued on its Twitter account.

    The U.S. move comes at a moment when relations between the two allies are going through severe turbulence, amid the arrest of Istanbul Consulate staff member Metin Topuz late on Oct. 4 over espionage charges and alleged links with some leading members of the Gulen network, accused of being behind last year's failed coup attempt.

    On the same issue, the HDN (online, 09.10.17), under the title "Turkey asks US for 'immediate action' in providing visa services to Turkish citizens", reports that the undersecretary of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the morning of Oct. 9, following the U.S.'s decision to halt visa services in the country, according to sources.

    During the meeting, two general directors of the Ministry asked the U.S. official to secure "immediate relief" to the unjust treatment of Turkish citizens, sources told the Hurriyet Daily News.

    Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Umit Yalc?n spoke on the phone with U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass late on Oct. 8, following the U.S Embassy statement announcing suspension of visa services.

    Sources say Ankara's suspension of all non-immigrant visa services at Turkish diplomatic facilities in the U.S. in retaliation at the U.S. visa move will go into effect late on Oct. 9. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has already removed the e-visa application section for the U.S. from its official website.

    [11] Turkey launches operation in Syria 'for security'; Turkish military crosses the border into Syria's Idlib to enforce de-escalation agreement

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 08.10.17), Turkey has announced the beginning of a new military operation into Idlib province in Syria as part of a deal with Russia and Iran, in an attempt to create de-escalation zones and also prevent Syrian Kurdish groups from building a "terror corridor" along the Syrian border toward the Mediterranean Sea.

    The Turkish Armed Forces on early Oct. 8 shelled positions in jihadist-controlled Idlib in support of the advance of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters on the ground, a day after Ankara announced the start of an operation there.

    "The [operation] process, which began yesterday and started to be implemented today, is continuing together with the Free Syrian Army without any problems," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his address at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) strategic planning camp on Oct. 8.

    Erdogan underlined that the operation into Idlib, just like the Euphrates Shield Operation, is part of Ankara's strategy to eliminate security threats at their source.

    "When we don't go to Syria, Syria comes to us," he said, referring to security problems that Turkey has suffered in recent years because of the presence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) along the border as well as three million Syrian refugees in the country.

    "Let's not fool ourselves. We should be aware of the reality. We have a 911-kilometer border with Syria. And there is very serious preliminary work in the making of a state. We were already late [in stopping this]. But if we remain silent then this will happen," he said, referring to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria. The YPG has already expanded its territories in recent years while fighting against the ISIL with support of the United States.

    "We are obliged to break this terror corridor from the east toward the Mediterranean. We cannot tolerate this. Otherwise we'll suffer from another Kobane [incident]. We don't want that and we won't allow it," Erdogan said.

    Erdogan also vowed that Turkey "will not allow itself to be threatened" through incidents in both Iraq and Syria, citing the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) recent independence bid.

    "Both our hearts and arms are open to those who show friendship to us. But to those who feed enmity towards us I should repeat: 'We may come suddenly one night,'" he said, echoing a popular nationalist phrase.

    Turkey's diplomatic moves are also continuing with the start of the Idlib operation. In his address to the AKP camp, Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m underlined that Ankara is in close cooperation with Russia during the operation and vowed to "provide security in Idlib."

    Meanwhile, the paper (online, 09.10.17) reports that the Turkish Armed Forces has stated that Turkish soldiers have crossed the border into Syria's Idlib province as of Oct. 8 to conduct scouting activities there.

    Ankara had announced the beginning of a new military operation into Idlib as part of a deal with Russia and Iran, in an attempt to create de-escalation zones and also prevent Syrian Kurdish groups from building a "terror corridor" along the Syrian border toward the Mediterranean Sea.

    The military added that the mission was being conducted "as per the rules of engagement."

    [12] Commentary: "Getting Turkey's new Syria operation straight"

    Columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 09.10.17), under the above title, tries in the following commentary to examine the alliances between Turkey, USA, Russia and the Syrian regime inside Syria:

    "President Tayyip Erdogan received applause last week in Parliament when he recited the lyrics of a famous Turkish love song 'I may come without warning, one night' referring to a possible military operation into northern Iraq if the Kurdish autonomous government there does not step back from its decision for independence from Iraq.

    A week later, a Turkish military-backed operation started into Syria on Oct. 7 to fight against al-Qaeda affiliated groups in the city of Idlib, near the Turkish border. So the talk was about Kirkuk in Iraq, but the walk is about Idlib in Syria. Why? Idlib is a Syrian city 38 km west and 40 km south of the Turkish border. It is so close that it is within firing range of Turkish F?rt?na (Storm) howitzers. The city was taken under control on July 23, 2017 by a group called "Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham," affiliated with al-Qaeda like its predecessor the Nusra front. At the time, media outlets close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were talking about the possibility of a Turkish military operation into Syria, but directed to the Afrin region because of the increased activity of outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) affiliates there.

    On July 29, Brett McGurk, U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or DAESH, accused Turkey of "assisting al-Qaeda in Syria" at a conference in the Washington-based Middle East Institute think tank. ()

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned McGurk's statement and asked for a correction. No correction was made, but just two months after the exchange of words the Turkish army started its second major Syria operation in two years - the target being the al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist elements in Idlib. In the meantime there was the Astana agreement on Sept. 15 between Turkey, Russia and Iran. Accordingly, the aim was to create another "de-escalation" zone in Idlib, where the three countries, with the approval of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, would have 500 troops each to control the ceasefire between pro and anti-Assad armed groups.

    The Idlib operation actually intends to secure a corridor for Turkish troops to go into Idlib, and the fight with Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham, or al-Qaeda, is being carried out by the Free Syria Army (FSA) under the protection of the Turkish and Russian military. Like the Euphrates Shield Operation in 2016, it would not be possible for Turkey to carry out a military operation in Syria without Russian (and indirectly, Syrian) consent. The idea is that after the FSA clears the part of Idlib still under al-Qaeda control, Turkish troops will go into the city as ceasefire observers. Perhaps that is the reason why National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief Hakan Fidan posed for the cameras together with Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar in the operation room for the move: The FSA has been supported by the MIT (together with the CIA until earlier this year).

    Is it confusing? Yes. And that is how it should be. Because this is the confusing outlook when you try to get the facts straight: - It was Turkey's NATO ally, the U.S., which complained about increasing al-Qaeda activity in Idlib. It is the same ally which is currently cooperating with the YPG - the Syrian branch of Turkey's archenemy, the PKK - against ISIL. The PKK is also designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S.- It was Turkey (with U.S. help) that supported the FSA against the al-Assad regime in Syria. It was the U.S. that withdrew from anti-Assad efforts in order to cooperate with Russia, al-Assad's biggest ally, in order to wage a joint fight against ISIL and al-Qaeda terrorists.- The MIT joint program with the CIA failed because the U.S. decided to drop anti-Assad activities and focus instead only on ISIL. However, most of the FSA fighters, and also many jihadist rebels, refused to drop their anti-Assad targets in favour of fighting against al-Qaeda and ISIL.- Turkey is now doing what the U.S. would have liked it to do some months ago: The FSA has been convinced to fight against al-Qaeda and ISIL only, dropping the anti-Assad fight from being a priority with the backing of Turkey.

    The difference is that Turkey is carrying out this operation with Russia, not the U.S.- A ceasefire in Idlib will mean a ceasefire between the FSA and al-Assad regime forces. Turkey is supposed to maintain control over the FSA, while Russians is supposed to control the regime forces and Iran is supposed to control the Shiite and Nusayri militias loyal to Damascus. The Idlib operation has once again turned Turkish public attention to Syria, in a manner that does not disturb either Russia or the U.S., though antagonism with the U.S. over the PKK remains in place.

    Meanwhile, the ongoing Iraq crisis over the recent Kurdish independence vote is still continuing, but it is seemingly cooling down. Baghdad and Arbil have decided to talk, following Russian, American and French mediation efforts, using the joint pressure of the Turkish, Iranian and Iraqi governments as leverage.

    In Syria too, the outlook indicates that the distance and antagonism between Erdogan and al-Assad is cooling, despite the strong rhetoric that both of them have used against each other in the past. This development is largely a result of the Russian presence, rather than that of the U.S."

    [13] Cavusoglu: "Russia has not refused technology transfer for S-400 systems to Turkey"

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 09.10.17), Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said that Turkey and Russia have agreed "in principle" on joint production of the S-400 anti-ballistic missiles in the short and medium term, denying that Moscow has refused the transfer of technology to Turkey.

    "We have not officially received anything negative on this. [Russian President Vladimir] Putin himself has told us that we can take joint steps for joint production. So the technology will be upgraded as well And if the Russians do not look positive at this then we'll make the agreement with another country," Cavusoglu told daily Aksam on Oct. 9.

    "The agreement we have reached at the moment is about purchase," he added, stressing that Turkey urgently needs the systems for defence of the country's airspace. "We wish we could find the opportunity for protection of our entire airspace, with our NATO allies," Cavusoglu said.

    "If anti-Russia countries do not want Turkey to purchase the S-400 system then they should give us [equivalent systems]," he added.

    Putin's aide, Vladimir Kojin, had earlier said Russia would not provide the transfer of technology to Turkey.

    Cavusoglu also described Turkey's ties with Iran as "strategic". "Our relations with Iran are cautious on certain matters. For example, we do not find Iran's Syria policy to be correct, but in other areas our relations are good. We have brought our relations with Iran to a strategic level," he said.

    [14] Erdogan's upcoming visit to Serbia to boost trade ties

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.10.17), the Turkish and Serbian business communities have high hopes from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's upcoming visit to Belgrade on Tuesday.

    The Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Marko Cadez told Anadolu Agency that certain amendments to the free-trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries are on the cards during the visit. "The amendments to the FTA were harmonized last week and will become official during the upcoming visit of the Turkish state and business delegation to Serbia," Cadez said.

    According to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), the trade volume between the two countries has been continuously growing since the FTA was signed in 2009; it shot up to nearly $900 million in 2016 from $362 million in 2009. But Cadez said there still remained "an enormous untapped potential in both countries". Further liberalization of trade in agricultural and food products will help increase bilateral trade, he added.

    Turkey's export to Serbia stood at $442 million while its import from the country was more than $284 million in January-August 2017, TurkStat data reveals.

    Erdogan will visit Serbia between Monday and Wednesday to discuss bilateral relations including trade. He is scheduled to meet his Serbian counterpart and the country's Parliament Speaker. The two countries' leaders are also expected to attend a Turkey-Serbia business forum.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy/moi/pio/pio2013.nsf/indexel/indexel?OpenDocument

    (DPs / AM)

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