Coalitions falls in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet

ANKARA (AA) – The coalition government in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) collapsed after the People's Party (HP) announced its withdrawal on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay, who is HP leader as well, announced his party's decision to withdraw from the coalition on Wednesday, according to Turkish Agency Cyprus (TAK).

At a news conference, Ozersay said the party members will decide on whether they will continue as an opposition party or make negotiations to form a government.

He said the reason behind their withdrawal was the property rentals of the ministry of finance and "confidence crisis".

Ozersay added he does not exclude the possibility of snap elections.

Earlier Wednesday, Minister of Finance Serdar Denktas had resigned from his post.

Prime Minister Tufan Erhurman also announced that he will submit government's resignation on Thursday.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’ annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. — ended in 2017 in Switzerland.

Turkey, TRNC defy unilateral moves on natural resources

             By Burak Bir</p>    <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are always against any unilateral action on natural resources, according to an official statement.</p>    <p>Turkey and TRNC supports cooperation among all the parties on natural resources, the Foreign Ministry of TRNC said on Tuesday.</p>    <p>“The Greek Cypriot side, which continues to take unilateral steps by rejecting our call for cooperation, cannot disguise its own usurpation attempts,” read the statement.</p>    <p>“Turkey and TRNC are against any unilateral action on natural resources and support that all parties must cooperate,” it added.</p>  <p>It is nothing but an attempt of Greek Cypriot administration to cover its actions to usurp the rights of Turkish Cypriots when it calls the “consistent efforts” of Turkey and TRNC to preserve their rights an “invasion,” the statement said.</p>    <p>&quot;Greek Cypriot administration should look at its own unilateral actions if they want to see an invasion,&quot; it added, referring to Greek Cypriot's statements on Turkey's hydrocarbon drilling activities.</p>    <p>The steps taken by Turkey and TRNC on hydrocarbon resources are called “peaceful and consistent” in the statement.</p>    <p>Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power

Turkish Cypriot leader, Turkish foreign minister meet

             By Muhammet Ikbal Arslan</p>  <p>LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) - Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci on Saturday received Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister. </p>  <p>&quot;As a guarantor country [for Cyprus], we are committed to protecting all the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots,&quot; Cavusoglu said on Twitter.</p>  <p>Delegations from both sides were also present at the closed-door meeting in the Turkish Cypriot capital Lefkosa, which lasted about 45 minutes.</p>  <p>In 1974, after a coup was launched aimed at Cyprus’ annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.</p>  <p>The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all of which ended in failure. The latest attempt, in which guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. took part, ended in 2017 in Switzerland.</p>  <p>In 2004, a plan by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was accepted by Turkish Cypriots but rejected by the Greek Cypriots in dual referendums held on both sides of the island.</p>  <p>Talks have focused on a federal model based on the political equality of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides, but Greek Cypriots’ rejection of such a solution, including the Annan plan, led to the emergence of other models.</p>  <p>In a recent report, current UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said &quot;new ideas&quot; may be needed for a settlement on the island.</p>  <p>* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur 

Int’l Police Football Tournament kicks off in Istanbul

                By Hilmi Sever</p>    <p>ISTANBUL (AA) - Groups for the International Police Football Tournament, which will be held in Istanbul, are unveiled on Monday.</p>    <p>Turkey will face Azerbaijan, Italy and Qatar at the group stages.</p>    <p>Top two teams from each group will advance to the next round.</p>    <p>The final will be played on Saturday, April 6 at 4.30 p.m. local time [1330 GMT] at Galatasaray’s Turk Telekom Stadium.</p>    <p>During the tournament, which will be held as part of the 174th anniversary of the foundation of Turkish Police Department, foreign teams will have an opportunity to see the historical and touristic places of Istanbul.</p>    <p>&quot;Sports activities are the common point that brings people together -- regardless of religion, language, race and gender -- anywhere in the world,&quot; Atalay Bahar, deputy police chief of Istanbul, said at the opening ceremony.</p>    <p>Bahar said that the tournament will strengthen Turkey’s friendship with the other seven countries.</p>    <p>&quot;The world needs the unifying power of sports,&quot; he added. </p>    <p><br>

Here are the groups:

Group A: Azerbaijan, Italy, Turkey, Qatar

Group B: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Spain

*Writing by Beyza Binnur Donmez

UPDATE – Cavusoglu meets Turkish Cypriot counterpart in Antalya

             </p>                <p>UPDATES WITH CAVUSOGLU MEETING UN SPECIAL ENVOY TO CYPRUS</p>  <p>By Muhammet Ikbal Arslan</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - Turkey’s foreign minister met Monday with his counterpart from Turkish Cyprus in the Mediterranean Antalya province. </p>  <p>Mevlut Cavusoglu met Kudret Ozersay, deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), who was in Antalya to attend the opening ceremony of TRNC Consulate.</p>  <p>Later on Twitter, Cavusoglu said the two officials discussed &quot;bilateral issues and recent developments on Cyprus issue&quot;.</p>  <p>Cavusoglu also met Jane Holl Lute, UN special envoy to Cyprus: “Emphasized at our meeting with Ms. Jane Holl Lute, the official assigned by the #UN Secretary-General, that all options are on the table for a permanent solution in Cyprus; yet, in any case, political equality of the Turkish Cypriots is a must!” he wrote on Twitter </p>  <p>*Writing by Sibel Morrow and Sena Guler

Turkey favors 'peaceful solutions' in E. Mediterranean

             </p>                 <p>By Sarp Ozer</p>    <p>TURKISH FRIGATE GEDIZ (AA) - Turkey sides with peaceful solutions for the problems in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus, Turkish defense minister said on Tuesday.</p>    <p>“Our aim, efforts and basic approach are the same in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus. We are in favor of solving the existing problems through peaceful means,” Hulusi Akar said during inspections at the Blue Homeland military drill that is conducted in the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, and Mediterranean at the same time.</p>    <p>“In this context, we are in favor of applying basic principles of good neighboring relations,” Akar said.</p>    <p>Stating that the Eastern Mediterranean had an increased value thanks to new energy resources found in the sea, he said: “We always stress that everyone needs to be aware of provocative activities in order to prevent tensions and conflicts.”</p>    <p>“Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] has rights to natural richness around the island,” Akar said, adding that no decision or deal in the region excluding Turkey would be valid or lasting.</p>    <p>He reiterated that Turkey would not allow fait accompli in the region.</p>    <p>“Everyone needs to understand well and act accordingly that people living in the TRNC need to take share from these richness, and they have right over them.”</p>    <p>The natural resources in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean Seas, as well as Cyprus, are &quot;strategic goals and national issues&quot; for Turkey. </p>    <p>Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.

'Greek Cypriots not contributing to Cyprus issue'

            By Murat Demirci</p>  <p>LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) - Turkish Cypriot presidential spokesman on Thursday accused the southern Greek Cypriot side of not contributing to the Cyprus issue.</p>  <p>In a written statement, Baris Burcu pointed to &quot;a groundless July 4&quot; discussion brought up by the Greek side, adding: &quot;Everyone including the UN knows that there is no such document dated July 4.&quot;</p>  <p>Burcu said the only document from the failed 2017 Crans Montana peace talks in Switzerland was Guterres Framework dated June 30.</p>  <p>&quot;As [TRNC President] Mustafa Akinci stated before, if [Greek side] is to play a role from now on, it will have to be handled without trivializing or distorting the issue.&quot;</p>  <p>The Guterres Framework is a one-page document which included five major topics such as territory, political equality, property, equal treatment and security guarantees. </p>  <p>Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades claims that he suggested a change to the original framework on July 4.

However, such an amendment does not exist and is not accepted by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or the UN.

Burcu refuted a high-level meeting on July 4 as attributed by the Greek side and continued: "No common understanding has been reached during negotiations at the date. Therefore, [the Greek side] is on a fool's errand trying to present the Guterres Framework based on non-compromised negotiation.

"It's obvious that these kind of unfruitful discussions of the Greek side are not making any contributions to the Cyprus problem. Our expectation is that the Greek side should leave these out and clarify their vision of Cyprus' future."

Burcu said if, during the meeting on Feb. 26, Anastasiades presents his decentralized federation model, which suggests expansion of the founder states' authorizations, Akinci would sincerely and constructively contribute to his opinions.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the collapse of a 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the UK.

Northern Cyprus offers condolences to Turkey over crash

            By Murat Demirci</p>  <p>LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) – The Prime Ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) offered its condolences Monday to Turkey over a military helicopter crash that martyred four soldiers.</p>  <p> “We wish mercy from Allah for the soldiers who were martyred when a helicopter crashed in Istanbul’s Cekmekoy district,” it said in a message posted on one of its social media accounts.</p>  <p>Talip Atalay, head of the Department of Religious Affairs of Northern Cyprus, also extended his condolences to Turkey, saying he shared the pain of the Turkish Armed Forces and the Turkish nation.</p>  <p>At least four soldiers were martyred Monday when their helicopter crashed while attempting to make an emergency landing in a residential area of Istanbul’s Cekmekoy district at 6:51 p.m. local time (1551GMT).</p>  <p>The cause of the crash is unknown.</p>  <p> 

Turkey, N. Cyprus to cooperate on data flow, migration

             By Orhan Onur Gemici and Murat Demirci</p>      <p>LEFKOSA (AA) - Officials from Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) inked Thursday a cooperation deal on data sharing and migration in the capital of latter.</p>    <p>Following a meeting between delegations behind closed doors, Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Aysegul Baybars signed the cooperation protocol.</p>    <p>In his speech, Soylu said that the agreements signed &quot;added one more brick to the building of brotherhood&quot; between Turkey and TRNC.</p>    <p>&quot;What makes us free and powerful, what makes us independent is the will of unity we have,&quot; he said, calling the friendship between Turkey and TRNC as an exceptional example.</p>    <p>Soylu also underlined that TRNC will never be alone and the two countries will maintain their unshakeable unity. </p>  <p>Baybars, on her turn, pointed out the importance of the protocol for the development of cooperation between Turkey and TRNC.</p>    <p>She emphasized that the protocol will boost the cooperation in data flow, combat against international crime and migration issues between the two &quot;close and neighboring&quot; countries.</p>    <p>Any kind of cooperation is an &quot;important step&quot; on prevention of crime in TRNC and ensuring the security in Turkey, Baybars said. </p>  <p>&quot;We are signing two protocols on technical, judicial and administrative cooperation,&quot; she added.</p>    <p>Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after a 1974 Greek Cypriot military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.</p>    <p>The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of negotiations over the years, including the Crans-Montana talks in 2017, which ended in failure.

Political equity a must in Cyprus negotiations: Spox

                             By Murat Demirci</p>  <p><br></p>  <p>LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (AA) - Turkish Cypriot presidential spokesman said Wednesday the resumption of negotiations in Cyprus depended on Turkish Cypriots' political equity and active participation in the decision mechanism.</p>  <p>In a written statement, Baris Burcu pointed out that Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades held a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Mustafa Akinci, and mentioned his will to meet in person.</p>  <p>&quot;It is of no doubt that Turkish Cypriots' political equity and participation to the decisions are accepted in order to restart the Cyprus negotiations while remaining faithful to the past agreements,&quot; the statement read.</p>  <p>It noted Akinci told Anastasiades he expected to listen to concrete proposals on expanding the authorization power of the founding states, and both leaders agreed to maintain negotiations to meet in late February under the host of Elizabeth Spehar, UN special representative in Cyprus.</p>  <p>Cypriot leaders last gathered in late October under Spehar's hosting in the buffer zone, patrolled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.</p>  <p>Within the framework of the Cyprus negotiations, a conference was held in Switzerland's Crans-Montana in July 2017. However, the Cyprus Conference could not reach a result.

The Eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.