Letter from Turkish President Erdoğan to EU leaders

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a letter to the heads of European Union (EU) organisations and the leaders of member states where he communicated Turkey’s approach towards the Eastern Mediterranean and proposals for the solution of problems.

According to information from an AA correspondent, in the letter sent to EU member states, except for Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration, Turkish President Erdoğan reminded that the Turkey-EU relations and their progress were always a matter of priority for his country and significant progress was achieved during his term in office.

Noting that there were compelling challenges in the over-60-years history of the Turkey-EU relations, Erdoğan continued as follows:

“Recently, our relations stand in the face of another novel challenge due to the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. With this letter, I would like to lay out our approach towards the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey’s proposals for the solution of problems. Our Eastern Mediterranean policy has two main objectives. The first one is the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas in an equitable, just and fair way in the Eastern Mediterranean in accordance with international law and the protection of our sovereign rights and jurisdiction over our continental shelf. The second one is securing equal rights and interests for Turkish Cypriots over the hydrocarbon resources of the Island of Cyprus, as the co-owners of the Island.

In line with these objectives, Turkey wishes that the Eastern Mediterranean becomes a region where all parties cooperate, hydrocarbon resources are shared equitably and fairly, and where peace and stability prevail. We wish that, in the same manner, coal and steel become the starting point of the EU, hydrocarbons will lay the ground for the settlement of the Cyprus issue and constitute a basis for the formation of a wider EU.”

Emphasising that the root cause of the ongoing tension in the Eastern Mediterranean was not by Turkey but Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration, President Erdoğan’s remarks continued as follows: “The current situation stems from Greek/Greek Cypriots’ attempts to disregard Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, their unilateral steps and faits accomplis and EU’s indifference to developments since 2003. The Greek Cypriot Administration, which became a member of the EU before the settlement of the Cyprus issue, ignored the Turkish Cypriots and signed so-called maritime delimitation agreements with neighbouring countries in 2003, 2007 and 2010, announced licence areas in 2007, carried out international tenders and conducted its first drilling operation in 2011.”

Source : TRNC Public Information Office