Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkır has said that Turkey was ready to withdraw its seismic survey vessel ‘Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa’, if the Greek Cypriot side accepts that natural gas belongs to both peoples of the island.
He also said that now there is a new government in Greece, steps towards a solution could be taken more easily. Bozkır, who was holding contacts in Brussels, was speaking to the press about the Cyprus issue.
Bozkır added that he found Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ meeting with representatives of Turkish Cypriot civil society organizations when he recently visited Cyprus, to be a very positive development. He said, “for the first time he met with representatives of Turkish Cypriot civil society organizations. I see this as a positive point of view. I hope positive steps will be taken in Cyprus after April.” Bozkır also stressed that natural gas on the island belongs not only to south Cyprus but to the whole island.
Pointing out that the ‘Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa’ lies off-shore Cyprus to register the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. He said: “If the Greek Cypriot side accepts this then we can withdraw the Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa vessel. So there would be progress on the negotiations and in that case reaching a conclusion seems highly possible to me.”