Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has stated that, “There will be no step back from Turkey’s stance on hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
In his statements to reporters following the Turkey-EU Leaders’ Summit in Varna, Bulgaria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan noted that Turkey had been criticised some time ago in Brussels regarding hydrocarbon exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, but emphasised that Turkey’s approach would not change.
Erdoğan continued: “The Turkish Cypriots are equal owners of the island of Cyprus, and their rights cannot be ignored. We say that Turkish Cypriots have rights over the natural gas and oil to be explored in accordance with international law”.
He stated that hydrocarbon resources found in the region should be shared equally between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.
“Unfortunately the Greek Cypriot side has different intentions. They keep on saying that they can invite whichever company they want to carry out exploration. We are telling them that this is not right and that the two sides should decide jointly on which international company will carry out the exploration. This is what international law dictates” he said.
President Erdoğan also emphasised that the EU has not been impartial regarding the dispute over natural resources in the region.