Turkey won't let fait accompli in Cyprus, E Med: Defense minister
GİRNE- Anadolu Agency
Aboard the frigate accompanying the Yavuz drilling vessel in the Eastern Mediterranean, Hulusi Akar and commanders were briefed about Turkey's activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean seas.
"We have defended the rights of our own, and the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to the end and will continue [to defend]. Nobody should test our strength," Akar said.
“We won't turn a blind eye to a fait accompli in Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Aegean.
“We won't let any decision against our rights over this issue to be taken in any way,” Turkey's defense chief reiterated.
Akar also stressed that Turkey will not watchmaking any move while the Greek Cypriot side carrying out natural resource exploration and drilling activities.
Akar on Aug. 10 arrived the TRNC to inspect the troops and to hold a series of talks with the Turkish Cypriot officials accompanied by Turkey's Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler and chiefs of the army, navy and air force.
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 spring this year, 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.
Turkey's first seismic vessel, the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa, bought from Norway in 2013, has been conducting exploration in the Mediterranean since April 2017.
Athens and Greek Cypriots have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships' crews and enlisting EU 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 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.
‘Turkey to continue drilling’
Turkey will resolutely continue its drilling activities in Eastern Mediterranean, Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Aug. 11.
“Now, Fatih, Yavuz, and Barbaros drilling vessels are in the region. Oruç Reis is sailing to the region. Our determination at this point is extremely certain," Oktay told reporters following the Eid al-Adha prayer in Istanbul.
"Without any hesitation, Turkey will continue to defend rights of its own and Turkish Cypriots," he said.
UN chief hails TRNC leader's hydrocarbon offer
The U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed a proposal by Turkish Cypriot leader on the administration of hydrocarbon resources, according to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) presidency on Aug. 11.
Guterres said in a letter to the TRNC President Mustafa Akıncı that all moves to ease tensions are welcomed, the presidency said in a written statement.
On July 13, Akıncı offered Greek Cypriot administration leader Nicos Anastasiades that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots would cooperate on hydrocarbon resources around the island as equal partners of the island and share the income from these resources.
Guterres stressed that he believed the need for a solution of the hydrocarbon problem in the open seas is a strong incentive for a lasting solution on Cyprus.
He also appreciated Akıncı's commitment to a lasting solution on the island and his efforts to take more confidence-building measures.
Akıncı's proposal was rejected by the Greek Cypriot parties.