Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar on Tuesday hailed Turkey's stand seeking equal rights on the resources in the Eastern Mediterranean between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.
“Turkish government’s determination, stance and self-sacrifice is important for us. Our joint efforts with Turkey are to protect the rights of Turkish Cypriots,” he said at a press conference.
He said that Turkey’s stance as a guarantor country, at this point is consistent with international law and has the support of Turkish Cypriot people.
He said a message must go to the world that there are two equal communities [on Cyprus].
“People from both sides (Turkish and Greek Cypriot) have equal rights on resources in the region,” he said.
Tatar stated that the TRNC had a positive approach to the proposal of setting a common committee on hydrocarbons. But, he lamented that Greek Cypriot side does not have a similar approach.
Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said the issue of hydrocarbon resources should contribute to peace, tranquility and prosperity in the island.
“Unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot side has unilaterally continued its discourse and actions behaving as the sole judge of the island,” Donmez said.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has similar rights on the resources in the area.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’s annexation to Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded.
Since then, there have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.
At this point, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and our government continue to support the protection of the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots on every platform, Donmez added.
Reporting by Muhammet Ikbal Arslan in Lefkosa
Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur