1.  Akıncı: “We put forth the necessary will 3 years ago for opening of Derinya and Aplıç gates” …
2.  Özersay: “We demand to remove the UN military camp” …
3.  Özersay: “Political equality is not a right to be taken by giving up guarantees” …
4.  Erdoğan: Deadlock in Cyprus issue caused loss of reputation to UN …
5.  Reaction from Turkey to Greek Cypriot Administration …

Akıncı: “We put forth the necessary will 3 years ago for opening of Derinya and Aplıç gates”

President Mustafa Akıncı stated that Turkish Cypriot side put forth the necessary will 3 years ago for opening of Derinya and Aplıç gates, and Turkish Cypriots will continue their efforts on this issue to the end.

In his statement to the press following the weekly routine meeting with Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman, Akıncı said that they have discussed the issues regarding the current stage of the country, Derinya and Aplıç gates and New York contacts.

Adding that during his New York contacts, it was stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready for a framework which aims for a result-oriented and strategic agreement, Akıncı said that he expects that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will take a more active role on the issue.

Expressing that he had contacts with the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission, Federica Mogherini and Foreign Ministers of Germany and Holland, Akıncı said that his views were also expressed to them.

Furthermore, Akıncı mentioned the Derinya and Aplıç gates and said that these issues were not discussed during his New York contacts. Noting that he will have contacts with the UN and Greek Cypriot Leader Nikos Anastasiades on the issue, Akıncı said that it is very important to determine the opening date of the gates together and inform the UN simultaneously. Akıncı added “I believe that these openings will be in the near future”.

Özersay: “We demand to remove the UN military camp”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay stated that the UN military camp in Gazimağusa city centre should be evacuated.

In his statement to Turkish News Agency, Özersay stated that they officially demanded the removal of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force military camp in Gazimağusa, also known as Stephanie Camp, at the meeting held with the UN high level officials during his recent visit to New York.

Emphasizing that the military camp which has been located in Gazimağusa since 1964 and is in the middle of a housing area, in which thousands of university students are living, Özersay added that it is also not convenient to use such an area for military purposes any more. Özersay said: “This camp can be converted to a city park full of trees for public use. We want the UN to leave this area.”

Özersay continued: “Our concern is not to prevent the UN from fulfilling their duties and we informed them that if they so wish we can provide a different area if they want to move this military camp to another place, but we do not want the UN to stay here anymore. In this age, the existence of such a military camp in the middle of the city is wrong in every respect.

Özersay: “Political equality is not a right to be taken by giving up guarantees”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay stated that political equality is not a right to be taken by giving up guarantees.

Özersay was interviewed in a BRT program and made an evaluation regarding his New York contacts and meeting with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“I believe that this visit was quite effective for the visibility of the Turkish Cypriot side,” he said.

Answering a question, Özersay emphasized that he did not want to give unnecessary hope about the Cyprus negotiations and he also said:  “If nothing can be done, pretending that it will be done is telling a lie. I cannot tell a lie, I expressed my opinion.  I didn’t have too much expectation, it will be extraordinary, a sudden surprise, and I don’t think there is a magic wand that will lead us to a solution.”

Expressing that he does not have the opinion that something is happening and a very serious process is coming, Özersay stated that he has observed that there are serious question marks in the UN Secretary-General’s mind.

Erdoğan: Deadlock in Cyprus issue caused loss of reputation to UN

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that the deadlock in the Cyprus issue caused loss of reputation to the United Nations.

Speaking at the closing session of the TRT World Forum in Istanbul, themed ‘Exploring a Just Peace in a Fragmented World’  for which Anadolu Agency is a global communication partner,  Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: ‘The U.N. was established to create peace and harmony, yet unfortunately still cannot find an answer to the issues in our world’.

Erdoğan gave the example of Cyprus and stated that the Cyprus issue hasn’t been resolved since 1974 and underlined that the decisive attempts of the Turkish side for the solution were refused by the Greek Cypriot side again and again especially in 2004 and although South Cyprus refused the Annan Plan by saying no in the referenda they became a member of the European Union.

Reaction from Turkey to Greek Cypriot Administration

The Turkish Foreign Ministry stated that Turkey will never give an opportunity to any foreign country, company or vessel to make any exploration activity in Turkey’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean. The statement is as follows:

“We are concerned that the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA), by ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, has decided to invite international companies for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration within the so-called “License Area Number 7” which the GCA unilaterally delimited.

This decision of the GCA constitutes evidence that the GCA persists in ignoring the equal and inalienable rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot side on natural resources of the Island. Indeed, the Greek Cypriot side, by acting this way, once more demonstrates that they have not given up their position, which caused the closure of the Cyprus Conference in July 2017 without any results, and disregards the fact that the Turkish Cypriot side has political equality and co-ownership of the island.

On the other hand, this decision violates Turkey’s rights in its continental shelf in the region stemming from international law. An important segment of so-called “License Area Number 7” subject to this decision remains within the outer limits of Turkey’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean, as has been registered with the UN.

It is well known that any exploration activity regarding natural resources on Turkey’s continental shelf, the outer limits of which were conveyed to the UN via our Notes dated 2 March 2004 and 12 March 2013, can only be carried out by obtaining Turkey’s permission.

As it has been emphasized by our side regarding this issue, Turkey has never allowed and will never allow any foreign country, company or ship to conduct unauthorized research activities regarding natural resources within its maritime jurisdiction areas.

Turkey will continue to take necessary measures, and will maintain all initiatives and activities, including drilling exercises, with a view to protecting its rights and interests in its continental shelf.  Indeed, some drilling activities are planned on Turkey’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as in the areas licensed to Turkish Petroleum by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

In this framework, we state that no hydrocarbon exploration activity can be conducted on the Turkish continental shelf, based on invalid licenses that the GCA may endeavour to issue. We invite all countries and companies that might be interested in participating in the tender to act with common sense and to duly consider the realities on the ground”.