Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has reacted to the latest remarks made by President Mustafa Akıncı regarding the playing of the Ottoman Janissary March by the Turkish seismic research vessel ‘Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa’ in response to a warning from the Greek Cypriot coast guard.
He described Akıncı’s remarks as “unfortunate”.
In a written statement issued today, Ertuğruloğlu said that the Republic of Turkey was the guarantee of peace in Cyprus.
Reminding that the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa was carrying out seismic research in the Eastern Mediterranean with the permission granted by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the TRNC Foreign Minister said that President Mustafa Akıncı’s reaction to the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa’s actions at a time when the Greek Cypriot Administration itself was displaying insincere actions was unacceptable.
He said that the Greek Cypriot side was totally ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people whilst conducting hydrocarbon exploration off the coast of the island.
“The Greek Cypriot side, as in the past, has ignored all our calls to either carry out joint hydrocarbon exploration or to suspend all such activities until a settlement is reached,” he said, adding that despite these propositions the Greek Cypriots continued to conduct these activities unilaterally.
Pointing out that the TRNC shall continue to defend its own interests in cooperation with motherland Turkey, the TRNC Foreign Minister said that he was shocked to hear President Akıncı’s remarks regarding the response the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa gave to warnings from the Greek Cypriot coast guard on grounds it had violated its EEZ.
“I was shocked with President Akıncı’s remarks as he referred to the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa’s response to the warnings which had played the Ottoman Janissary March as the beating of war drums,” he said.
“No one has the right to portray Turkey or the Turkish Cypriot people who have always desired and worked for a settlement on the island as warmongers,” Ertuğruloğlu added.
The TRNC Foreign Minister also said that the Greek Cypriot side proved that it did not see the Turkish Cypriots as their equals with the actions they displayed outside of the negotiations.