TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Statement
As it is known, the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (GCA) has been escalating the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean for a while with the hydrocarbon-related research it has carried out with the Maltese-flagged and Italian-owned ship NAUTICAL GEO. As a matter of fact, with a new NAVTEX published today (20th October), the Greek Cypriot Administration announced that the ship in question will start a new search on the south of the island, this time in an area that includes TRNC licenses, on October 21-23.
The Turkish Cypriot people, one of the two co-owners of the Island of Cyprus, also jointly own the hydrocarbon resources in the seas around the Island. This is a natural reflection of the sovereign equality and equal status gained by the Turkish Cypriot people in 1960. For this reason, we strongly condemn this research, which the Greek Cypriot side announced that it would do without the approval of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
While this is the case, we will not be a spectator to the usurpation and violation of the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people by the Greek side through unilateral actions and fait accomplis. In the face of these unilateral activities of the Greek Cypriot side, in order to protect our rights, Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) will continue to work on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people in the license areas given by our State in 2011.
The primary preference of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has always been to deal with this issue with the option of cooperation and reconciliation. Our proposal on the island and its surrounding natural resources dated 13 July 2019 and Turkey’s call for the Eastern Mediterranean conference, which aims to bring together all relevant parties, including us, are important opportunities that will allow the issue to be resolved within the framework of diplomacy.
On this occasion, we would like to remind once again of our calls to the Greek Cypriot Administration, which has escalated the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and destabilised the region.
Source (Turkish): TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs