Turkish Cyprus needs Turkey's guarantorship more than ever: Turkish FM
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) needs Ankara's guarantorship "more than ever", Turkish foreign minister said on Sept. 15.
"If there was no Turkey's guarantorship, the rights of Turkish Cypriots would have been exploited. To me, it is needed more than ever," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with the Greek daily Kathimerini.
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 then have seen several attempts to resolve the 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.
Çavuşoğlu said "new options" should be evaluated after the latest negotiation process, the Conference on Cyprus, ended without an outcome in Crans Montana in July 2017.
He noted Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades put forward ideas, such as a federal model in Cyprus.
"Different options should be evaluated. We do not impose any of these different options, and we do not exclude any of them but let's determine what to negotiate [...] and then go for a result-oriented negotiation," the minister said.
Çavuşoğlu added Anastasiades was responsible for the unsuccessful negotiations, saying: "He [Anastasiades] does not believe in political equality. There is an understanding that does not want to share anything with the Turkish Cypriot side.
"We say that what we are going to negotiate this time should be clear at first.”
About Turkey's drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu said Ankara will not relinquish its legitimate rights to oil and gas exploration there.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has similar rights to the resources in the area.
From spring onwards when Ankara sent two drilling vessels -- the Fatih and the Yavuz -- to the Eastern Mediterranean, exploration and research work has continued in defense of the rights of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources in the region.