Decisions will not affect Turkey’s activities in Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish Foreign Ministry evaluated the conclusions adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council.  In the written statement, it was noted:

“The conclusions adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council yesterday (15 July) will in no way affect Turkey’s determination to continue its hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

These conclusions demonstrate how prejudiced and biased the EU is with regard to Cyprus as they make no reference to the Turkish Cypriots, who have equal rights over the natural resources of the Island, in total disregard of their existence in Cyprus.

These conclusions are the latest example of how the Greek Cypriot-Greek duo abuse their EU membership for the sake of their maximalist positions and how other EU countries are instrumental to this end.

As we have repeatedly emphasised in the past, our hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean have two dimensions: the protection of our rights on our continental shelf, and the protection of the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots, who are co-owners of the Island, with regard to the hydrocarbon resources of the Island.

Within the first dimension, it is not possible for Turkey to start talks with the Greek Cypriot Administration to delimit maritime jurisdiction areas before the settlement of the Cyprus issue, because the so-called Republic of Cyprus is not a real state in the eyes of Turkey and TRNC, as it has not been representing the Turkish Cypriots since 1963. The Republic of Cyprus, which was founded on the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, ceased to exist in 1963. The reason why the Cyprus issue has remained unresolved up until today is the Greek Cypriots’ non-acceptance of the Turkish Cypriots’ political equality since 1963. The interlocutor of the Greek Cypriot Administration is the TRNC, not Turkey. It is not possible for the EU to understand and make a constructive contribution to the Cyprus issue unless it acknowledges these facts, and regards the Turkish Cypriots, not as a minority, but as the co-owner of the Island.

As to the second dimension, the solution is only possible if the rights of the Turkish Cypriots are guaranteed. In this context, the comprehensive cooperation proposal of Turkish Cypriots, made on 13 July 2019, which is also fully supported by our country is an important opportunity for a solution.

The EU’s preference for taking decisions against Turkey, rather than making use of this opportunity and encouraging the two sides to come together on the Island with regard to the hydrocarbon resources is ineffective, unrealistic and unconstructive behaviour.

Our country will continue to protect both its own rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots with determination, and will further boost its activities to this end. The EU, which has not kept its promises to the Turkish Cypriots since 26 April 2004, has no words to say to us in this regard.

It is also revealing to observe that these decisions were taken on a very important day for the Turkish people, the third anniversary of the heinous coup attempt of 15 July 2016”.