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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-03-13
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 49/17 11-13.03.17
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Akinci claimed that the Greek Cypriot side had a fear regarding the upgrading of the status of the breakaway regimeIllegal Bayrak (13.03.17) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci claimed that the Greek Cypriot side had a fear regarding the upgrading of the status of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus".
He also alleged that the United Nations should not bother trying to undertake any initiatives to bring the process back on track if it will choose to act in fear of not offending the Greek Cypriot side.
Speaking in an interview to the illegal TAK news agency, Akinci said that "the Turkish Cypriot side was waiting for the Greek Cypriot side to return to a path of logic and rationality".
"We have expressed our views regarding the Enosis decision clearly. I believe that there is no one left who does not understand the negative impact it has created within the Turkish Cypriot community" he said. Akinci said that the correct step would be overturning this decision.
"This is the logical way to go about it. I hope that this will happen soon", he added. Asked to comment as to whether the claim that the talks were being stalled due to the upcoming referendum in Turkey was true, Akinci said that these claims were truly disappointing.
"People have been making all sorts of remarks undermining our political will and criticizing me for leaving the talks. Luckily Mr. Eide does not believe this. But what is disappointing is that Mr. Anastasiades is misdirecting his people and that the Greek Cypriots believe these claims" he added.
Akinci also claimed that it was the Greek Cypriot side and Greece which had requested breaks or postponements in the talks.
"This happened both in Mont Pelerin and Geneva" he said, adding that Turkey had made no such request to delay or postpone the talks on grounds that they were going to hold a referendum on the 16th of April.
"What Turkey and all the other interested parties are interested in are the contents of a settlement. This is what is going to determine their stance. The basic parameters. These parameters will not change after the referendum. It is wrong to expect such a thing", he alleged.
Touching upon the Enosis vote, Akinci claimed that the first reaction to the decision had come from him the very next day the vote had taken place.
"The whole of the Turkish Cypriot community condemned this decision. Influential groups within the Greek Cypriot community also condemned this decision. The attempt to undervalue our reaction and request for the decision to be overturned, to claim that this is not the real reason for the impasse but the upcoming referendum in Turkey and to say that Akinci abandoned the table because Turkey told him to do so is by far shameful. It means not knowing us. It is to look down upon the Turkish Cypriot side which will be one of the equal founders of a federal Cyprus" he said.
Asked to comment on the Greek Cypriot leader's recent remarks in which he used the terms privileges, as well as majority and minority for the first time, Akinci said that there was no room for such terms or phrases in a federal settlement.
He said that the UN had determined the basis of a federal settlement in Cyprus years ago not on the premises of a majority or minority but on political equality.
"As I have told everyone we are not seeking privileges. We are seeking political equality. This is the sine qua non of a federal settlement" Akinci said.
Also underlining the importance of the sustainability of any settlement to be reached, Akinci complained that the Greek Cypriot side had remained unwilling towards the implementation of a number of confidence building measures.
"The reason for this is the Greek Cypriot side's fear of upgrading the status of the Turkish Cypriot side" he said, adding that there were numerous examples of this during the 22 months of negotiations he had conducted with the Greek Cypriot leader.
Responding to a question regarding the introduction of new modalities to the talks as mentioned by the UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide, Akinci expressed the view that there was a need to take steps to re-establish the trust and confidence between the two sides if the process was to resume.
"We need to understand whether or not they have the willingness to build cooperation on a number of issues which they have been blocking for the past 2 years. Otherwise we are fed up of constantly repeating ourselves at the negotiating table. For example how many more times am I going to explain the Turkish Cypriots well justified position regarding the issue of active participation in decision making. I too agree that this method is insufficient in producing results. Perhaps it would be more useful if the UN played a more active role even if though not as an arbitrator. But if the UN is going to act out of fear of not offending the Greek Cypriots then it should not bother trying to bring the two sides together" he said.
 Yildirim: "It would not be the end of the world if no solution is found on the Cyprus problem"Turkish daily Milliyet (11.03.17) reported that Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, in statements to Turkish journalists on board upon returning to Turkey from the occupied area of Cyprus, evaluated the Cyprus negotiation process and alleged that "if no solution is found on the Cyprus problem it will not be the end of the world".
Yildirim stated also the following: "My opinion is that the Greek Cypriot side's will was not sincere from the outset. It considers the Turkish Cypriot side as minority. And if you consider them as minority, how would you establish a fair and equal partnership between the two communities? While you discuss and negotiate for all issues of the Cyprus problem, the Parliament receives a decision for the celebration of the 1950 Enosis plebiscite every year on February 10. What this does it mean? That all things you support are extinguished overnight. Therefore, if there is not a serious approach in this current stage, it will be impossible to have progress. There is a de facto situation right now. If there will be a solution, let it be. But if not, it will be against the spirit of our martyrs to accept the approach "for a solution at any cost" or the approach that "we are obliged to a solution or that we are sentenced to a solution". Consequently, the solution to be found should be fair and should safeguard the equality of the two communities under the federal structure. All sides in Cyprus should live in security under guarantees. The next day of the solution should protect Turkey's rights and provide the four freedoms to the Turkish citizens. The EU made negative statements to this matter and made this issue very interesting. For example, what will happen in the next day of the solution? Turkey will enter Cyprus with visas? All this issues needs serious solutions. […]", Yildirim said.
Referring also to the hydrocarbon resources in the island, Yildirim alleged that the unilateral evaluation of the hydrocarbon resources in the island by the Greek Cypriot side and prior to the solution of the Cyprus problem is contrary to the international law.
"Our stance on this matter is clear. The evaluation of the hydrocarbon resources in the island should be made jointly by both communities and for the benefit of both right after the solution of the Cyprus problem, a solution that will be accepted by both communities. Otherwise, the unilateral evaluation of the hydrocarbon resources will create new problems. Thus, we call on the Greek Cypriot side and all sides which cooperate with it to take into account the problems that may arise", Yildirim further argued.
 Eide says that a new methodology is needed in the Cyprus talksTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.03.17) reported that UNSG's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide and UNSG's Special Representative in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar have met with Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots at Buyuk Han in the occupied part of Nicosia.
In statements to illegal TAK news agency, Eide said that it will not be possible for the negotiations to succeed without a change of methodology. Reiterating the belief that the leaders will return to the negotiating table, Eide noted that making use of time is more important than returning or being at the table and added that they are working on a method which will be focused on the most essential issues rather than the less important ones during the last stage of the process.
Eide expressed also the view that as long as the crisis in the negotiations continues, the time, which is valuable, decreases and added that as long as the concern of the supporters of the "yes" [to a solution] increases, the supporters of "no" are strengthened.
Replying to a question, Eide said that both leaders told him that they want to continue the negotiations and added: "Two sides are needed for being able to tango. Mutual understanding is a must. While the one side takes steps, steps by the other side are also needed".
Asked to comment on the criticism that the Turkish side wanted to abandon the negotiating table and used the decision of the Cyprus House of Representatives on the 1950 plebiscite to do so, Eide expressed the view that things are not so and that this was an undesirable development which happened outside the control of the two leaders. He recalled that President Anastasiades has many times described the decision as "wrong" and that Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci said that he was satisfied with the fact that President Anastasiades thinks that the decision was wrong, but added that the decision has to change.
 "Competitiveness report" of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce revealedIllegal Bayrak television (11.03.17) broadcast that the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce revealed its 9th competitiveness Report at a forum on Friday.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, "Turkey's ambassador" to the breakaway regime Derya Kanbay, "finance minister" Serdar Denktas, foreign ambassadors and business representatives attended the forum.
Delivering the opening speech at the forum, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce Fikri Toros said that the negative developments that have taken place across the globe have also affected "Northern Cyprus' economy" and added that along with 2016 serious problems were also left behind.
Touching upon the Cyprus problem, Toros said that factors that led to the Cyprus problem should not be repeated and added that in order for a permanent solution to be found to the Cyprus problem, alongside the Cyprus negotiation process, dialogue and empathy should be developed between the communities.
Akinci for his part said that the occupied area of Cyprus is not a part of the global markets but that it had come to where it is today through the fields of tourism and education.
Alleging that there was only a small difference between south Cyprus, as he called the Republic of Cyprus and the "TRNC" and that this could easily be closed, Akinci said that regardless of whether or not a solution is reached on the island, to be able to compete provides an additional motivation for everyone.
Denktas said that although global competitiveness was being discussed everyone was forgetting that the "TRNC" is not a part of that market. He said that "due to the Turkish Cypriot people being perceived as a minority it was remaining within a small market".
 Ozgurgun describes Erdogan's statement on the territory as a "very serious change" in Turkey's policy on CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.03.17) reported that Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has referred to the so-called Taiwan model" and "Gibraltar model" for the occupied area of Cyprus.
Addressing a conference at Aydin University in Istanbul, Ozgurgun claimed that "there is no territorial concession in Cyprus" and reiterated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement that a territorial adjustment in Cyprus could take place only by connecting occupied Kokkina area through land [with the Turkish Cypriot constituent state] in return for giving the occupied fenced off city of Varosha. "We were extremely satisfied with this statement", he said adding that this statement relieved both the National Unity Party (UBP) and himself. He alleged:
"After this statement our official policy now is not to give land in Cyprus. There is not any territorial concession in Cyprus. There could be only an exchange of closed Varosha within the framework of what Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said in a manner by which Kokkina is connected by land. […] Therefore this is a very serious change. This statement of Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in the character of a revolution for the first time. Because, until today, the Greek Cypriot side has been at the table thinking that it will take territorial concessions in the talks, which have been going on for 57 years in Cyprus".
Referring to the claims regarding the implementation of the "Taiwan model" in the occupied area of Cyprus, Ozgurgun alleged:
"Now the negotiations seem to have been blown up. Then what will happen? The TRNC will continue. There is no other way, no other method".
Claiming that the "TRNC" is a "legitimate state", Ozgurgun alleged: "Either they will recognize us or they will not recognize us, we will continue our way. What will the model be? The Taiwan model is an option. On the other hand, there is the proposal for the Gibraltar model. […]".
 Ertugruloglu claimed that the Cyprus talks have endedTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (13.03.17) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, harshly criticized the diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the Netherlands, by claiming that "Hitler's mentality has haunted Europe" and claimed that this chauvinist mentality has pleased also the Greek Cypriots who support "Enosis" (translator's note: the unification with Greece).
Commenting on the incident with Turkey's Family and Social Policies Minister in the Netherlands, where the Turkish Minister was barred from entering Rotterdam, Ertugruloglu said: "Such things have not been seen in the civilized world before. Especially the behaviour towards the woman Minister cannot have any kind of pretext".
Asked to comment whether the tension between Turkey and the EU will affect or not the Cyprus talks, Ertugruloglu alleged: "The tension with the EU countries will not affect us, because the negotiation process has ended. As Turkey's Prime Minister Yildirim said 'the tyres burst'. For this reason, we cannot talk that there will be an impact on the negotiating table".
Meanwhile, Ertugruloglu further claimed that they should negotiate with the Greek Cypriot side as "state to state", in an interview at the private Diyalog TV, which was published at the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (12.03.17). He further alleged that the Turkish Cypriot "people" own a state and it has a name "TRNC". Ertugruloglu alleged that at least 20 countries could be able to recognize "TRNC" if they have followed a more active way, claiming that Turkey's support is a condition. He explained that Washington and London won't recognize them but there are other countries that they could.
 "While everything, including Cyprus, is 'taking a break' because of Turkey's referendum…"Under the above title in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (13.03.17), columnist Ali Tekman reports that the referendum on the constitutional amendments in Turkey has become a turning point not only for the sociopolitical life in the country itself, but in Ankara's external relations as well. The columnist notes that at the same time the referendum has caused great tension reaching the limits of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Europe.
"The international public opinion has almost focused on this constitutional referendum", argues the columnist noting that what he is interested about is how the problems between Ankara and the West will influence the Cyprus problem. He adds, inter alia, the following:
"[…] It is obvious that they do not influence positively. Just like everybody waits for the referendum in Turkey to take place in order for everything to be materialized, it is as if the solution process in Cyprus waits for the same thing. As I have said in the beginning of my article, while things were not like this at first, after the date for the referendum was set, everything, including the solution process in Cyprus, was related to this, as if this happened automatically. In my view, the following understanding was developed in the actors involved around the solution of the Cyprus problem: 'The referendum on the constitution in Turkey has been turned into an important vote of confidence for the administration there and the result has been very closely related to the steps to be taken by Ankara'.
In the beginning I did not estimate that this would happen, but the negative escalation in the relations between Ankara and the West has inevitably started to influence the perspective for a solution in Cyprus, because of the elements which are EU members. It is understood, that not only the EU but the UN also thinks like this, even though it does not state it openly and prefers 'not to act too much' until the referendum on the constitution in Turkey is held. The steps by the sides in the direction of dissolving the negative climate, which was created because of the decision on celebrating the 'enosis plebiscite, have taken 'compulsory leave' for a while. […] The process for a solution in Cyprus 'has taken a break' in this or that manner because of the referendum on the Constitution in Turkey. […]"
 Self-styled minister of national education and culture took part in a conference in Erzurum with Erdogan's sonIllegal Bayrak television (11.03.17) broadcast that the self-styled minister of national education and culture Ozdemir Berova took part in a conference in Erzurum titled "The TRNC's past, present and future".
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son Bilal Erdogan and the Erzurum Governor Seyfettin Azizoglu also attended the conference.
Speaking at the conference Berova claimed that in the past ten years Turkey had increased its initiatives and had taken a more proactive and persistant stance on the Cyprus problem.
Alleging that in order to understand the Cyprus problem there is a need to know the history of Cyprus very well, Berova claimed that the Greek Cypriots idea or expanding Greece known as Megali Idea still exists today.
He alleged that the decision by the Cyprus House of Representatives to celebrate the Enosis plebiscite "showed just how much the Greek Cypriot side was uncomfortable with the Turkish existence on the island".
Referring to the statement made by President Nikos Anstasiades that if there are two separate communities within a country and one of these communities is a minority it is impossible to think about political equality, Berova claimed that he did not believe that the Greek Cypriot side would accept a bi-communal federal solution to the Cyprus problem or that an outcome could be reached at the Cyprus talks that are still continuing.
Bilal Erdogan for his part noted that during his university years he had written a thesis on the Cyprus problem and that he was following the developments closely.
He said that the support given by Turkey to the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" would continue and added that "we will continue to support our brothers in the TRNC in the best possible way and protect their political reputation at all platforms".
 Erdogan: "Europe's mask has come off now"Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.03.17) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Europe's mask has come off and its real face has been revealed to the world following recent bans on Turkish ministers by Germany and the Netherlands.
Speaking at the International Benevolence Awards ceremony inside the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul, Erdogan said the recent events in Europe show some of the "signs of increasing fascism, racism, and Islamophobia" in that part of the world.
He termed the ban on Turkish ministers who only wanted to meet their expat community as "a manifestation of Islamophobic developments". "The West has thrown off its mask in the past days," Erdogan said.
He thanked France for not "getting involved in such games".
Reiterating his previous comparison of such moves to Nazi-era practices, Erdogan said the Netherlands "went too far by not allowing the consul general outside the consulate [to meet Turkey's female family minister]."
"If you are sacrificing Turkish-Dutch relations for an election, you will pay the price," he added.
Later, speaking at a rally in western Kocaeli province, Erdogan called on the international community to raise their voice and impose sanctions on the Netherlands.
"I call on all EU institutions and all institutions working to protect democracy, human rights and rule of law to raise their voices against Netherlands and even impose sanctions on it," he said.
"Netherlands acted like a banana republic as opposed to an EU member and a state of law," he added.
 Turkish Foreign Ministry: "Dutch move to cancel Cavusoglu's flight unacceptable"Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (on-line http://www.mfa.gov.tr/default.en.mfa posted the following on 11.03.17:
"The visit today (11 March) by our Foreign Minister Mr. Mevlut Cavusoglu to the Netherlands to meet with the Turkish community living there and with our diplomatic representatives has been cancelled due to the various obstructions of the Dutch Government.
The Dutch Government has from the very start of this process adopted an approach incompatible with diplomatic practice and customs and used every means to prevent this visit from taking place. Responding the request of the Dutch authorities, we had agreed to hold this meeting at the residence of our Embassy in The Hague instead of Rotterdam. However, after the refusal of the unacceptable demand of the Dutch side to provide them with the list of participants to attend the meeting at a diplomatic mission, the Dutch authorities around noon time cancelled the flight permission given to our Foreign Minister.
Turkey and the Netherlands are two friendly and allied countries with uninterrupted diplomatic ties for 405 years. The two countries have never at any time taken a hostile attitude toward one another in the course of their ties over more than four centuries. The shame and responsibility for this unacceptable and dangerous act, in our deep rooted diplomatic relations, belong to the Dutch Government. We condemn this hostile and prejudicial mentality.
This stance of the Dutch authorities who on every occasion reiterate their commitment to democracy and freedoms is an affront to the democratic rights and honor of the Turkish community in the Netherlands. The Dutch Government with the obstructions it created has tried to take hostage nearly half-a-million of our citizens and to deny their most fundamental democratic rights. The prevention of a peaceful meeting on the pretext that it would disrupt public order indicates the incapacity and the fear of the Dutch authorities who always emphasize to us how they embrace the Turkish community in the Netherlands. It should be known to all that nothing will break the legal, human and fraternal bond between us and our citizens.
The Dutch Government has taken this grave measure in conflict with democratic and diplomatic mores entirely for domestic political considerations. The statements made in the wake of these repressive measures by the leader of a political party that is anti-Islam and xenophobic, racist and populist clearly point to those behind these decisions. Turkey and the Turkish community in the Netherlands are too big and too strong to be sacrificed for the concessions by the Dutch Government to a political movement that calls for a reduction in the number of certain ethnic and religious groups in the Netherlands and for the bombing of mosques. This situation poses a distinct threat to the Dutch and the European peoples who believe in European values and democracy.
To protest this decision by the Dutch Government, the Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ankara was summoned to the Foreign Ministry. We informed that we did not wish the Dutch Ambassador who is presently on leave outside of Turkey to return to his post for sometime. Our Dutch counterparts have been told that this grave decision taken against Turkey and the Turkish community in the Netherlands will bear serious consequences in the diplomatic, political, economic and other fields of our relations.
We declare solemnly to the public that we will react as we deem appropriate without harming our long-standing friendship with the Dutch people."
In addition, Turkish Yeni Safak newspaper (12.03.17) reported that Cavusoglu stated the following on the issue: "The move of the Netherlands goes against the Vienna Agreement. I wonder if Europe will criticize this fascist act of the Netherlands".
Speaking to reporters in France ahead of a public appearance in the northeaster city of Metz, Cavusoglu said Turkey was waiting to see whether European countries would voice criticism of the "fascist act" by the Netherlands.
 Turkish Family Minister says she witnessed 'inhumane treatment' in the NetherlandsTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (12.03.17) reports that Turkish Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Beytul Sayan Kaya has said she witnessed "inhumane treatment" from the Dutch authorities after being barred from entering Turkey's Rotterdam consulate and deported to Germany.
Sayan Kaya said their "most basic needs were not provided" and charge d'affaires, five members of her team were detained, while members of the press were attacked by police dogs and horses.
"I once again condemn the Netherlands," Kaya told a press conference at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, accompanied by Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.
Albayrak described events as "a night of shame for European democracy."
 Turkish Opposition on the Netherlands crisisTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (12.03.17) reports that Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader urged the government to suspend ties with the Netherlands, a day after a row over Dutch ban on Turkish ministers escalated tensions between the two countries.
Speaking at the rally in southern Adana province on Sunday, Kemal Kilicdaroglu said the party "will give every kind of support".
"If a minister of the Republic of Turkey is not allowed to enter her own consulate or embassy, please suspend [our] relations with the Netherlands," he said.
Turkey's National Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahceli also criticized the Netherlands, saying the Dutch move had blackened European values on freedom of speech and expression.
In a written statement, he added: "Turkey, with its government and the opposition, is an indestructible, impenetrable, impassable stronghold. The Turkish nation stands in solidarity against persecution."
 Turkey says it does not want Dutch envoy to return to post for a whileAnkara Anatolia news agency (13.03.17) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry said late March 11 that it has conveyed to the Netherlands its wish for the Dutch ambassador to Ankara to "not return to his post for a while," amid a row over the Dutch government's decision to cancel Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu's flight permit.
"It has been notified that we do not wish for the Dutch ambassador, who is currently on leave outside of Turkey, to return to his job for a while," read a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry late on March 11, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The decision comes hours after the Dutch Foreign Ministry said it had canceled a flight clearance for Cavusoglu on March 11 on grounds of "security" and "public safety."
 Turkey, Russia agree to establish joint investment fundTurkish Yeni Safak (12.03.17) reports that Turkey and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint investment fund in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties and investment flow.
The agreement was signed during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's official visit to Moscow, according to a written statement from Turkey Wealth Fund, TVF.
Each country is to invest up to $500 million in the Turkey-Russia Joint Fund, the statement said.
Mehmet Bostan, TVF chairman and CEO, said the joint fund was one of TVF's first international initiatives, and "hopefully the beginning of a long-lasting cooperation" between the two establishments.
"We believe that the Turkey-Russia Investment Fund will accelerate the development of economic relations between two countries.
"Turkey Wealth Fund and the Russian Direct Investment Fund will pursue profitable investment opportunities both in Turkey and Russia in an effort to contribute to economic growth and prosperity," Bostan said.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said the agreement would give impetus to the development of Russia-Turkey relations.
"RDIF has been in close contact with the Turkey Wealth Fund since its foundation. The common approach in investment processes will further promote economic cooperation," he said, adding RDIF and TWF were already in talks on a number of potential joint investment projects.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors.
Turkey Wealth Fund (TWF) is the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Turkey and it was established in 2016. TWF's mission is to develop Turkey's strategic assets, to grow their value and thereby to provide funding for Turkey's priority investments.
In addition, the paper also reports that Erdogan and his Russian counterpart agreed to remove work permit sanctions against Turkish nationals and businesses.
"Erdogan raised this issue today," he said, adding they especially discussed the situation of the Turkish workers in construction sector.
"We agreed on the date when this [sanction] will be removed. This ban will be lifted as soon as possible," Putin said.
He added technical issues remained in this regard, saying: "We will continue to solve other issues."
 Cavusoglu speaks with UK FM Johnson, NATO chief Stoltenberg over the phoneTurkish daily Sabah (13.03.17) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held phone conversations with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and his British counterpart on Monday.
According to diplomatic sources, Cavusoglu spoke with Stoltenberg and British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.
Details of the phone calls have not been revealed.
 Turkey said seeking alternative air defense system outside NATO, with RussiaHurriyet Daily News (13.03.17) published the following article by Fikret Bila under the title: "Turkey's message behind the search for S-400":
"There is no doubt that everyone would prefer resources and technology to be directed toward welfare and the civilian economy rather than the defense industry and war equipment.
It should be the ideal of every contemporary person and country to produce tools that assist life, rather than spend money on arms. However, facts unfortunately do not fit ideals. Defense is a necessity for all countries. Humankind has never been able to form a society or model that does not need a defense system. Efforts remain limited to philosophy books.
So defense continues to be a requirement and Turkey's need has recently increased. The threats that Turkey is facing call for further development and strengthening of the country's defense force. In particular, the threat against Turkey's national unity and territorial integrity has grown with the Syrian civil war.
It is this concern that now determines Ankara's Iraq and Syrian foreign policy. The same concern lies behind its adjusting of its Syrian policy, standing up to the U.S. over the Syrian Kurdish PYD-YPG issue, and converging with Russia.
The U.S. meanwhile, has further fueled Turkey's concerns. In an issue that Ankara defines as a national threat and a matter of survival, the Obama administration adopted a particular stance alongside the PKK-PYD-YPG front.
This stance from the U.S. is one of the key reasons why Ankara has recently been increasing its economic and military cooperation with Moscow.
Ankara has had to rethink due to the lukewarm stance of the U.S., NATO and EU countries against the heavy blows that Turkey is exposed to domestically and internationally.
Turkey, under constant missile threat, has a long NATO border, but Patriot air defense systems have been slow to be installed and were the first to be dismantled. NATO weapons, even heavy ones, are now circulating in the hands of PKK-PYD-YPG. Military explosives that are in the inventory of NATO countries are used in the middle of Istanbul. The apparent indifference of the West against the bloody July 15, 2016 coup attempt and finally, the U.S.-YPG military cooperation, have all directed Turkey toward alternative searches.
The search for an alternative air defense system outside NATO became clearer during President Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Moscow last week.
Erdogan recalled that Turkey has been looking for air defense systems for a long time; proposals were taken from the U.S., France, China and Russia. He said works and talks were ongoing with Russia, adding that 2-400s were included in these works.
Upon criticisms that Turkey's inclination toward purchasing S-400 or other non-NATO defense systems would not comply with the NATO concept, Erdogan responded that "the fact we are member of NATO does not mean we are not independent." He reminded that Greece was using Russian missiles.
"Everyone can form their own defense system. If we cannot provide these means within NATO, then we have to take care of ourselves. We can be a NATO member while also working with Russia," he added.
There is no economic, political or military gain for the U.S., the EU and NATO in pushing Turkey toward Russia. Knowing this, Moscow is trying to reinforce the closeness it has caught in relations with Turkey and reflect it in the economic and military fields.
Compared to the U.S., Russia is acting more carefully and sensitively regarding Turkey's sensitivities. The U.S., the EU and NATO should take this message from Turkey very seriously."
 The ruins of the Basilica of Agia Trias are in a bad conditionTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.03.17), under the title "Disrespect to the historical heritage" reports that the mosaic floor of the ruins of the Basilica of Agia Trias Basilica at the occupied village of Agia Trias are falling apart due to neglect.
The paper reports that although the historic place is one of the most frequently visited by tourists, is not been preserved.
(DPs) TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION