TRNC Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami, has reacted to the call made by the Foreign Ministers of South Cyprus, Greece and Egypt on Turkey to end its illegal seismic explorations in the South’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
In statements to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Halkin Sesi’, Nami said that they are currently exerting “a very intense effort” to lessen the tension created in the area adding that “unfortunately it is not possible to say that Egypt and Greece are positively contributing to these efforts”.
Nami stated that the decision of Greece to send warships to the area would not help to improve the current climate and criticised Egypt’s stance arguing: “We find strange the fact that now Egypt made such a call on the Turkish side, while it made absolutely no step in the direction of supporting the efforts for a comprehensive solution and said absolutely nothing as regards the Greek Cypriot leader’s leaving the negotiating table”.
Moreover, Nami called on all the sides concerned to act knowing the “realities” on the island and on President Anastasiades to return to the negotiating table. He said:
“All sides concerned should make their calls knowing the realities of Cyprus, acknowledging that both Turks and Greeks have equal rights on the island’s natural resources and all the issues could be solved only at the negotiating table. We hope that the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades, who has caused all these tensions, to return to the negotiating table the soonest and materialise the comprehensive solution with us speedily. The neighbouring countries’ duty is to support this process and not to unnecessarily send their warships to the area and make a show [of power] against Turkey”.
Nami argued that if Greece has power, it should use it in the direction of bringing the Greek Cypriot side back to the negotiating table.
Meanwhile Bayrak Television has reported that Turkey’s EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkir stated that the South’s EEZ is not a concept that can be declared by the single statement of a country, but has to come off as a result of a mutual agreement between two states. He was commenting on the statements of the British Prime Minister David Cameron on the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ
Bozkir stated that those who accept the existence of an island called Cyprus which is 40 miles away from Turkey, should not underestimate the fact that Turkey is a large country facing the Mediterranean which also has an EEZ.
He also said that all the resources that exist or will exist on the island belong to the whole of the island. Therefore Turkey does not accept the Greek Cypriot administration, which dominates only half of the island, as the owner of all the island’s resources.