Turkey to continue gas drilling work around Cyprus: Foreign minister
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
“Turkey will not allow unilateral activities [in the Eastern Mediterranean]. We need to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots with actual steps,” Çavuşoğlu said at a symposium entitled “Law and Politics in the Eastern Mediterranean” at Ankara University.
Turkey on many occasions has contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling activity for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to resources around the area.
“We will continue drilling activities around the island. We are not trying to fight with anyone. Our aim is the fair sharing of resources.
However, everyone should know we will not let the rights of Turkey, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] and Turkish Cypriots be violated in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he added.
Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after the 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turkish people and Turkey’s intervention as a guarantor power.
In 2017, after two years of negotiations, the latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure.
Çavuşoğlu said Ankara has made efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue for many years.
“It does not make sense for Turkey to sit down again just to re-start Cyprus talks,” he said.
“Results are needed,” the foreign minister said.
Kudret Özersay, TRNC deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, said the TRNC desires to turn Cyprus into an energy and electricity hub.
Özersay said a paradigm change is needed for the Greek Cypriots’ defense and military cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
He added that the Greek Cypriot administration is seeking more cooperation with Egypt, Israel, and Greece.
“Our desire is to end migrant problems and humanitarian crises, and also to use trade and the economy in an interdependent way. This is the ideal way,” Özersay said.
He added that economic interdependence would reduce the risk of instability and clashes.