The illegal presence of Turkish seismic vessel ‘Barbaros’ in South Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for seismic explorations is not the way for the Turkish Cypriots to demonstrate their will for a solution to the Cyprus problem, Turkish Cypriot columnist Tumay Tugyan wrote in ‘Yeni Duzen’ yesterday. Amongst other things she wrote:
“Even though both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side are trying to “crown” Anastasiades’ leaving the table with an accusation by the international community against the Greek Cypriots and not us, events are not really developing as we had hoped.
This is obvious, because the reason for Anastasiades’ leaving the table is valid in the eyes of the international community! Yes, everyone is making calls on Anastasiades saying that ‘the negotiations must continue’, but no one is making and no one will make the Greek Cypriot side sit in the seat of the accused. Because, whether we like it or not, the right and authority of the Republic of Cyprus, which legally continues to exist and is accepted as the only legal state on the island, to carry out hydrocarbon explorations in this area is accepted by the international community. And without an agreement, we, the Turkish Cypriots, will not be able to benefit from these rights and authorities. As long as we are not reconciled with this reality, absolutely no political step taken by both us and Turkey will make us right.
Our only interest is the solution. And the place where the solution will be found is at the negotiating table. Sending ‘Barbaros’ to the area as retaliation for the Republic of Cyprus’ drilling works is, at the very most, a ‘satisfaction’ and it brings us no gain – it is a loss. Because, every activity, which TPAO [Turkish Petroleum Company] carries out in the area, will lead us a little further away from the negotiating table.
Anastasiades is making a mistake by leaving the negotiating table. And we, as the Turkish Cypriot side, are obliged to do not only what we can, but more than we can to correct this mistake and make him sit at the negotiating table again.
We have to do this. We are not showing our will for a solution by saying ‘we want a solution, see we did not leave the table’. The way to prove this comes through constructive steps in the real sense. And this way is unfortunately not ‘Barbaros'”.