Turkish Cypriot leaders hope meeting leads to agreement

 September 24
UNITED NATIONS — Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci says he expects a meeting Sunday with his Greek Cypriot counterpart and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide a road map for reunification of the ethnically split Mediterranean island.

Cyprus was divided into a breakaway Turkish-speaking north and an internationally recognized Greek-speaking south in 1974 when Turkey invaded in the wake of a coup aimed at unifying with Greece.

Akinci and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades have said they have made progress on many issues, including on how to share power in a possible federation. But more work needs to be done. Akinci met with Ban on Saturday and Anastasiades met with the U.N. chief on Sept. 18.

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90 days is enough to reach a peace deal in Cyprus, says Turkish Cypriot leader

A peace deal can be reached on Cyprus within 90 days if both sides of the divided Mediterranean island are willing and decisive about the issue, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı has said.

“We have come to a point where the willpower, political courage and decisiveness factors weigh more heavily than the time factor. If there is will and decisiveness then 90 days is enough [to reach a peace deal on the island],” Akıncı said in a televised interview on Sept. 15 in response to a question on whether Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades would take a possible resolution to his nation, according to a transcript of the interview published on the Turkish Cypriot Presidency’s website on Sept. 15.

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Turkish Cypriot leader Akıncı hopes for reunification in 2016

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus aims to conclude ongoing reunification talks with Greek Cypriots this year, Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı said Friday.

“The goal is to make this year, 2016, a year of solution,” Akıncı said following a three-hour meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Espen Barth Eide, special representative of the UN secretary-general on Cyprus.

He said the meeting had been very fruitful.

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Greek, Turkish Cypriots have will to overcome differences, Anastasiades says

The leaders of the divided Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on Friday reaffirmed their differences over territory and post-reunification security but also the will to overcome them through dialogue.

“The differences were identified, but also the will to overcome them through  creative dialogue,” President Nicos Anastasiades said after a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

Friday’s meeting was the last one before a summer break. The two men discussed the sticking points of territory, security, and guarantees, which will be revisited during the eight meetings scheduled after the break.

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Turkey reiterates support for peace talks in Cyprus

Turkey reiterated its support for the U.N.-led peace talks in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus on July 20, which marked the 42nd anniversary of the Turkish military intervention on the island, with a reduced military presence in the national day parades.

“The Cyprus issue, which should guarantee the political equality, legitimate rights and security of the Cypriot Turks, and which we see as a national case, continues to be our priority,” said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş during the July 20 Peace and Freedom celebrations in Nicosia on July 20. Read the rest of this entry »

Turks cross to Greek Cyprus for Eid prayers at historic mosque

Hundreds of Turks crossed the “Green Line” dividing the Mediterranean island of Cyprus on July 7 to pray at a mosque in Greek Cyprus, a rare pilgrimage made possible by a 2014 accord.

In searing heat, police escorted a convoy of buses carrying the pilgrims to the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque, a site revered by Muslims as the burial site of the aunt of the Prophet Mohammed.

The visitors then held a prayer service marking Eid al-Fitr, the festival that concludes the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

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Israel gas may flow to Turkey via Turkish Cyprus

The need to transport natural gas found off of Israel to EU markets was one of the main motivations for the normalization deal between Israel and Turkey, reached on June 26.

The numbers tell that the gas factor was more of a pushing factor for Israel than it was for Turkey. It seems that gas from Israel will provide middle term source-diversification for Turkey, besides the more important political meaning that will come with economic interdependence.

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Turkish Cyprus expresses concern over deployment of 3,000 additional troops by Greek side

The foreign ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) expressed concern over the decision of Greek Cyprus to deploy 3,000 additional troops as the negotiations to solve the decades old problem of unification are ongoing.

The statement released by the ministry on Friday said that the decision to deploy 3,000 additional specialist soldiers is not in line with the intense negotiations by the leaders of two administrations, who previously expressed that a solution to the Cyprus problem could be achieved within this year.

The statement reminded that the negotiations foresee that a future union, based on political and sovereign equality of the two communities, would not possess an armed force, while Turkey’s guarantorship would continue.

Noting that it was hard to comprehend the Greek Cypriot Administration’s attitude of increasing its armed forces during the negotiations, the statement said this decision caused the Turkish Cypriot side to question Greek side’s sincerity for a peaceful resolution.

The statement also added the Greek side should remind itself of its expected partnership and cooperation during the negotiations process and avoid actions that could hamper the peace process.

Reunification talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island resumed in May 2015 when newly-elected Akıncı met with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades. Previous negotiations were stalled in October 2014 in a row over gas exploration.

The island has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the northern third and Greek Cypriot administration in the south since a 1974 Greece-backed military coup on the island was followed by Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power.

SOURCE: http://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2016/06/11/turkish-cyprus-expresses-concern-over-deployment-of-3000-additional-troops-by-greek-side

Cyprus unification deal may happen in 2016, government says

After more than 40 years of division, the government of Cyprus is pushing for the island to be reunified in the next six months.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci both understand the need to end the “unacceptable status quo and reunify Cyprus as a federal state and that’s important in itself,” Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said before the the two leaders resumed negotiations for the reunification of the island on Wednesday.

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Greece names Turkey ‘honorary country’ in economy, tourism along with Israel, Russia, US

Greece has named Turkey an “honorary country” in 2016, along with three other countries, in a bid to boost bilateral economic and tourism ties.

Israel, Russia and the United States also took the same status this year.
“In line with this framework and an agreement between the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Greek Trade and Entrepreneurship Confederation, Turkish tourists who visitGreece over this year will benefit from a 20 percent of discount in all businesses that have participated in the program. There are thousands of participants in dozens of touristic areas across Greece,” said the Greek Embassy in Ankara in a written statement at the end of May.

In 2015, more than 1 million Turks visited Greece, while over 800,000 Greek tourists visited Turkey, according to official data.

Every year four countries are selected by Greece as “honorary” and their citizens enjoy additional benefits and discounts at all affiliated sites.

In 2017, the “honorary countries” and regions will be the EU, China, Iran and the Western Balkans, according to the statement.

SOURCE: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/greece-names-turkey-honorary-country-in-economy-tourism-along-with-israel-russia-us.aspx?PageID=238&NID=100172&NewsCatID=349