Turkey welcomes Turkish Cypriot president's proposal
ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey on July 13 welcomed and fully supported Turkish Cypriot president’s joint use of hydrocarbon resources with the Greek side.
“The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Mustafa Akıncı, presented a new comprehensive cooperation proposal, prepared by the Turkish Cypriot side, for the exploration and management of hydrocarbon resources around the Cyprus Island to the Greek Cypriot side through the U.N. We welcome and fully support this cooperation proposal,” Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"The proposal aims at creating a cooperation mechanism between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, as the co-owners of the Island on hydrocarbon resources over which they have equal rights. As such, the proposal envisages cooperation including revenue sharing and enables two sides to benefit from hydrocarbon resources simultaneously," it added.
If accepted, the proposal will contribute to the development of peace and cooperation as well as to form a basis for solution of Cyprus issue, the ministry said.
Turkey called all interested parties, including the U.N., EU and particularly the guarantor countries, to take this opportunity by supporting this proposal and to encourage co-operation on the island's hydrocarbon resources.
“Turkey is determined to protect the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the island's natural resources as well as its own continental shelf rights in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said the statement.
Turkey will continue its determined and principled stance on protecting Turkish Cypriots rights, until those rights are guaranteed, it added.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.
Since this spring, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels- Fatih and most recently Yavuz- to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.
The Turkish-flagged drillship Fatih launched offshore drilling operations this May in an area 75 kilometers (42 nautical miles) off the western coast of the island of Cyprus.
Athens and Greek Cyprus have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships’ crews and enlisting European Union leaders to join their criticism.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’ annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded.
The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus 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.