March 27, 2023

TRNC Foreign Minister Ertuğruloğlu evaluates the developments in Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus 
The Turkish Cypriot people are not alone or desperate, Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said during an interview with the Anadolu News Agency published on Thursday.

Ertuğruoğlu said that they will respond in kind to all steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side.

Noting that the Turkish Cypriot side opened a new page in the Cyprus issue after the conference ended in Crans Montana in 2017, Ertuğruloğlu said that from now on, they focused on a two-state solution based on sovereign equality and international equal status. 
Pointing out that the UN was currently engaged in a process to see whether or not there was common ground to restart a new process, Ertuğruloğlu said that no such ground currently existed.  
Ertuğruloğlu said that if there were to be new negotiation processes in the Cyprus issue, it could be under the conditions of two sovereign equal states and equal international status, and added that there is never any question of taking a step back from this.  
Stating that the ball on the Cyprus issue is in the international community’s court, Ertuğruloğlu noted that progress could only be achieved as and when the international community ends its 60-year-long discrimination against the Turkish Cypriot people and acknowledges the realities on the ground.  
The Minister also said that he did not perceive the absence of the negotiations as a disadvantage and added that the reason why there were no negotiations were because the west refused to acknowledge the reality that there are two sovereign states on the island that have equal international status. 
Furthermore, Minister Ertuğruloğlu noted that reuniting as partners with the Greek Cypriots is not the only option and said “We continue to look to the future with hope because what is most important for us in this world is that we have our own state and the support of Türkiye,”  
Also commenting on the launch of drilling by the Italian and French energy companies ENI and Total in block 6 in the Greek Cypriot side’s so-called Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Ertuğruloğlu said that the move did not come as a surprise or shock for the Turkish Cypriot side because they were all too familiar with the Greek Cypriot side’s domineering mentality. 
Ertuğruloğlu said that all moves and steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of hydrocarbons will be responded in kind. The Greek Cypriots will not be successful in creating the Eastern Mediterranean they desire due to Türkiye’s presence in the region. He pointed out that although Türkiye did not have any rights or claims over block 6 where the current drilling is taking place the Turkish Cypriots had a stake.  
The Minister pointed out that any attempt that disregards the Turkish Cypriot people and disregards Turkey’s rights and interests will not be successful, and that there is only one reason for this, all stakeholders should come together and evaluate how this wealth can be shared fairly. 

On the latest debate concerning Maraş, the TRNC Foreign Minister said that the EU had once again issued a statement under the influence of the Greek Cypriot side.

“The EU has been falsely informed that a new beach was being opened in the fenced-off town. As you all know this is not true. Unfortunately we have an EU which supports the Greek Cypriots like they support a football team,” he complained.

Ertuğruloğlu said that the Maraş initiative will continue and that what was important was reopening the town to settlement by offering former residents to return to their properties but under Turkish Cypriot administration without any detriment to their property rights.

Noting that 3.5 percent of Maraş is currently opened, Ertuğruloğlu said that public spaces are evaluated without interferring with any personal property, and that the expansion will continue in time to cover the entire of Maraş. 

Source: TRNC Public Information Office

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