Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) signed two cooperation protocols on Thursday to meet the energy needs of the TRNC.
Speaking at the signing ceremony for establishing petroleum products trade and mobile power plant facilities between Turkey and the TRNC, Turkey's Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said it stands by the TRNC in terms of energy and natural resources and values the energy supply security of the TRNC as much as it does for Turkey.
Regarding the country's production and exploration licenses in the region, Donmez noted that the national oil company, Turkish Petroleum, has undertaken three drillings and conducted two and three-dimensional seismic research, reporting no discoveries to date.
Ankara last year sent several drillships to explore for hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its rights in the region, as well as those of the TRNC.
'Our main approach here is that Turks living on the island have equal rights with those living in the south [under the Greek Cypriot Administration] so the north [Turkish Cypriots] can benefit from the island's resources as the south does,' he said.
- TRNC's electricity costs to decline with new protocol
TRNC's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Energy Erhan Arikli also affirmed that the protocol would allow for a reduction in high electricity costs in the TRNC.
'The TRNC needs to be a country that can avail of cheap and clean energy under the best circumstances,' he said.
On Feb. 20, Turkey ratified an energy cooperation agreement between Turkey and the TRNC, which was signed on Oct. 11, 2016 in Istanbul.
The agreement covers the construction of an interconnected power line between Turkey and TRNC as well as the renewal of electricity infrastructure, development of electricity supply security, cooperation on renewable energy, the application of electricity regulations as well as exploration of new oil and natural gas resources.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu