The Minister of Economy and Energy Özdil Nami stated that Turkish Cypriots have equal rights to all blocks in the Eastern Mediterranean, where the Greek Cypriot Administration is currently conducting hydrocarbon exploration activities.
In a statement to the Anatolian News Agency, Nami confirmed that Turkish Cypriots have as much right as Greek Cypriots to the natural resources of the island, and added that “the use of these resources must be handled in such a way as to provide economic benefits to both sides”.
Nami stated that the Greek Cypriots were ignoring Turkish Cypriot calls on the issue, and were using international recognition as a pretext to legitimize their unilateral steps.
Nami indicated that necessary initiatives are taking place in order to eliminate the growing tensions regarding natural gas exploration in the region. He said that the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to defend its rights and interests on the basis of international law, whilst refraining from actions which would further escalate tensions.
Stating that neither Turkey nor the Turkish Cypriot side triggered the tensions, Nami added that “we always react proportionally to the steps taken by the Greek Cypriots. We gave a necessary and reasonable warning period, but our patience does not mean that we will remain unresponsive forever.”
Nami stressed that this issue, and similar experiences, have further shown the important need to finding a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem. He reiterated that the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades, who left the negotiating table and refused the compromise package, did not accept the hand of friendship at the Conference on Cyprus in Switzerland in July.
Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot leader should behave more responsibly, Nami called once more for Anastasiades to take a calmer approach, and to stop taking measures in order to get a reaction from the Turkish Cypriot side.
Nami also evaluated the Cyprus negotiation process and stated that: “there is no longer a negotiation on the table where we will repeat past methods. That chapter is now closed, and a new methodology and a new approach are needed.”
Source: TRNC Public Information Office