LEADING NEWS SOURCE FOR TURKEY AND THE REGION

TURKEY tr-diplomacy

'Don't attempt to test Turkey's past'

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 9/6/2011 12:00:00 AM |

Turkey’s energy minister on Tuesday said no one should attempt to test either the Turkish government or the country’s past, in reference to Greek Cyprus’ intentions to explore for natural resrouces under the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Turkey’s energy minister on Tuesday said no one should attempt to test either the Turkish government or the country’s past, in reference to Greek Cyprus’ intentions to explore for natural resrouces under the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

“That would be a risky move,” Minister Taner Yıldız said during an interview on private channel CNNTürk while commenting on the Greek Cyrpiot decision regarding the East Mediterranean.

Yıldız’s comments were in response to pervious remarks by the Greek Cypriot foreign minister, who said, “Turkey would not dare to do anything.”

Minister Yıldız said no oil exploration could be conducted in the area, because the region’s borders remained undetermined and that Greek Cyprus’ idea to explore for oil and gas was akin to Turkey sending the Turkish Petroleum Corporation, or TPAO, to explore for oil in Thessalonica without striking any agreements.

“I say this noting that we, too, could have rights in a Mediterranean whose exclusive economic zones and borders are as yet undetermined. They cannot conduct explorations just by signing deals with firms,” he said.

The Turkish Cypriot president on Monday said the Turkish side would not refrain from taking steps in oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean if the Greek Cypriots pursue their efforts to do so, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Northern Cyprus President Derviş Eroğlu said Turkey and northern Cyprus were closely monitoring developments and assuming a determined attitude.

“It is a huge mistake just to take action with the will of only Greek Cypriots regarding an issue that closely concerns the whole island’s future and that can affect the permanent status, i.e. the oil and gas issue,” Eroğlu said, adding that the East Mediterranean was a “semi-closed” sea according to international law, and therefore all countries should consent to such an initiative.

Taking natural resources under the authority of the “federal government” is one of the rare issues on which the Turkish and Greek sides of the island reached a compromise during ongoing negotiations. “Therefore, natural resources will not belong to only one of the founder states. On one hand the Greek Cypriots agree with us on the negotiation table, on the other hand they claim that they can sign agreements that control the future of natural resources and the sovereignty of a new partnership,” he added. In 2010, the Greek Cypriot administration and Israel signed an accord demarcating their maritime borders to facilitate the search for mineral deposits in the East Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, Eroğlu and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias were expected to hold the seventh meeting of intensified talks on Tuesday.

MOST POPULAR

MOST COMMENTED

AcerPro S.I.P.A HTML & CSS Agency