Turkish Deputy PM urges Greek Cypriots to restart negotiations
NICOSIA - Anadolu AgencyTurkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç urged Greek Cypriot authorities to "turn back from the wrong way" and return to the negotiation table, as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus celebrated its 31st anniversary on Nov. 15.
"It is naturally not possible to let Greek Cypriot side to act like it is the only owner of the island," Arınç said in a speech in Lefkoşa, reiterating the Turkish Cypriots' rights over natural resources in the east of the Mediterranean.
Arınç also urged Greek Cypriot authorities to put their "sincere efforts" in action under a process chaired by the UN.
Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu, on the other hand, said that this day was one of the happiest in the republic's history, in a speech during celebrations in the capital Nicosia.
"Establishing a state was an investment in the future of Turks and the most valuable legacy to leave for future generations," said President Eroğlu.
He also stated that the Greek Cypriots' main reason to suspend negotiations was hydrocarbon resources.
The Greek Cypriot administration suspended talks in October in retaliation for Turkey's warship mission to monitor oil-and-gas exploration activity off the Cyprus coast.
Turkey and the government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have strongly opposed any unilateral move by the Greek Cypriot administration to explore any hydrocarbon resources around the island, saying that its natural resources should be exploited in a fair manner under a united Cyprus.