Home Page >> North Cyprus 20 January 2020, Monday 15:46

We didn't issue these licenses for nothing: Deputy PM Özersay

We didn't issue these licenses for nothing: Deputy PM Özersay

Turkish and TRNC officials have issued messages in response to statements made by the Greek Cypriot side branding Turkey a ‘pirate state’ for new drilling planned off the coast of Cyprus.

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Turkish and TRNC officials have issued messages in response to statements made by the Greek Cypriot side branding Turkey a ‘pirate state’ for new drilling planned off the coast of Cyprus.

Turkey on Sunday condemned a statement by EU foreign policy Chief Joseph Borrell critical of Turkey’s energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“The EU, acting under the pretext of union solidarity, should first of all end its unrealistic, prejudiced, and double standard policies,” Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Aksoy stressed that the Yavuz proceeded to license area G south of the island to conduct its third drilling operation in line with the licenses granted to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation in 2011 by the Turkish Cypriot authorities.

“In this licensed area, as the co-owners of the island, Turkish Cypriots have as many rights as the Greek Cypriots. Should oil and natural gas be found in this area, both parties will share the revenues together,” he said.

In a separate statement on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay defended drilling activities set to take place in block G, south of Cyprus by Turkish Petroleum.

Özersay said that the Turkish Cypriot side had stated months ago that it would be taking such steps.

“Of course, we will be conducting drilling activities which the TRNC licensed to Turkish Petroleum. We didn’t issue these licenses for nothing,” he said.

Foreign Minister Özersay pointed out that everyone acknowledged that Turkish Cypriots had rights in the said areas.

He added that Turkish Petroleum will be drilling in areas it sees fit just as energy firms granted licenses by the Greek Cypriot side do the same.

“It has become inevitable for all the parties involved to cooperate as soon as possible for resources in and around Cyprus as well as the Eastern Mediterranean,” said Özersay.

He argued that it was necessary for all involved parties to come together to discuss the issue without waiting for a solution to the Cyprus Problem in order to achieve regional stability and peace.                  

 “As we have been saying for the past two years, the solution to this issue requires cooperation before a political settlement on the island,” he added.

Özersay said that expecting Turkish Cypriots to wait for a solution in order to benefit from the island’s resources was unacceptable.

“If Greek Cypriots are carrying out these activities before a solution is reached than Turkish Cypriots can also take such steps. It is only their natural right,” he said.

He added that the Greek Cypriot leadership was reluctant to share both political power and wealth with Turkish Cypriots.

“Its unilateral activities on hydrocarbons are proof of this,” he noted.

The TRNC Foreign Minister concluded by warning the Greek Cypriot side not to mock the Turkish Cypriot side with its actions.

source: BRTK


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