Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan paid a one-day official visit to the TRNC yesterday and was welcomed by President Mustafa Akıncı with an official state ceremony. A joint press conference was held, after a one-to-one meeting and a meeting between the delegations.

“It is clear that the Turkish Cypriots, who are unfairly isolated from the world, need Turkey’s support for the development of the country in every field,” President Mustafa Akıncı said in his speech. Akıncı also stated that cooperation between the countries would be further developed in the upcoming period, under the presidency of Erdoğan.

“It is necessary to mention Turkey’s recent international projects which have been hugely successful, especially in the energy sector,” Akıncı said and added that the Anatolian territory, which links Europe and Asia, has become a ‘cooperation cross-road’ for the entire world.

Akıncı added that the opening of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project last month has shown the world that the management of natural resources can be an opportunity for cooperation rather than a source of conflict.

President Akıncı also stated that such a cooperative approach is needed for the hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, and added: “Unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot administration has preferred to make hydrocarbon resources a source of tension”.

Akıncı continued his speech as follows: “As I have mentioned frequently before, the most reasonable route to transport the richness of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean including in Cyprus to Europe is via Turkey. This is not only the most logical choice, but will also create a large area of peace and cooperation in the region.

Unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot Administration continues its stance, disregarding the rights of the Turkish Cypriots over the natural resources, and rejecting a spirit of cooperation. It is out of question for the TRNC to abandon our rights in the Eastern Mediterranean with the support of Turkey. I hope that the Greek Cypriot Administration will change this stance as soon as possible and reach a vision which will create an opportunity to establish a common future.”

President Akıncı also evaluated the UN Secretary General’s appointment of a new temporary mission and said: “We should not consider this appointment as the beginning of a new open-ended process. The Turkish Cypriot side will not be a part of another never-ending negotiation process”.