No: 105, 6 April 2017, Press Release Regarding The Greek Cypriot Administration’s Signing Of Exploration And Exploitation Contracts With Some Hydrocarbon Companies

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 06.04.2017

The Greek Cypriot Administration, in total disregard of the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, has signed exploration and exploitation contracts with some international hydrocarbon companies and consortiums on the 5th and 6th of April. We find it as worrying as it is unacceptable that the Greek Cypriot side persists in acting as though it were the sole owner of the Island and continues with its unilateral activities, particularly in a period when they should be displaying strong political will towards establishing a new partnership with the Turkish Cypriot people.

We fully agree with the points made concerning this issue in yesterday’s statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and we share the justified concerns and outrage felt by the Turkish Cypriot side.

It will be recalled that in the past, we have also repeatedly drawn attention to the problematic nature of activities carried out by hydrocarbon companies in maritime areas over which the Turkish Cypriots have rights. Furthermore, a significant segment of one of the relevant areas, namely block number 6, falls within Turkey’s continental shelf. Foreign companies shall never, under any conditions, be permitted to carry out unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in our maritime jurisdiction areas.

Companies cooperating with the Greek Cypriot Administration on its unilateral hydrocarbon activities are disregarding the will of the Turkish Cypriots, the Island’s other founding people. This stance will also be taken into consideration when evaluating their future involvement in joint energy projects with Turkey. On the other hand, it should be kept in mind that following a settlement, the sides constituting the new state will jointly assess the validity of agreements signed with the Greek Cypriot Administration in the field of energy.

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side desire a negotiated settlement on the Island of Cyprus. The only way to utilize the Island’s natural resources prior to a comprehensive settlement, on the other hand, would be through arrangements for the joint exploitation of the resources with the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side and the fair sharing of potential revenues.

We reiterate our call on the Greek Cypriot side to take into consideration the inalienable rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, their future political partners, on the Island’s natural resources, and to cease any unilateral activities that could lead to a failure of the efforts aiming towards a comprehensive solution.

We strongly emphasize that Turkey will continue to take all necessary measures to protect its rights and interests in its continental shelf as well as the rights and interests of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Mehmet Vakur Erkul Ambassador
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