Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay made a statement regarding the Yavuz drilling vessel which started drilling at G zone in South Cyprus. Stressing that it was expressed a few months ago that this step would be taken by the TRNC, Özersay said “As the TRNC, we will conduct drilling at the zones which were given licence to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation. We have not given these licenses for the sake of conversation. No one can deny the fact that the Turkish Cypriots also have rights within these zones. Therefore, as South Cyprus has been conducting drilling with the licences given to their companies, the TRNC will also conduct drilling through the licenses given to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation”.

Furthermore, adding that cooperation of all parties on the issue of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean is inevitable, Özersay stressed that all related parties have to come together before reaching a solution for peace and stability in the region. “As the Greek Cypriot side conducts works before reaching a solution, the Turkish Cypriots also have equal rights. This is our most natural right” Özersay said.

Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot leadership does not want to share administration and the wealth, Özersay said that the Greek Cypriot Administration’s refusing political equality is the proof of not wanting to share administration, and their usurping the natural resources as one sided is the proof of not wanting to share the wealth.

Özersay also stressed that the Greek Cypriot Administration should not attempt to taunt the Turkish Cypriots. If they conduct drilling works unilaterally before reaching a solution on the Island, we as the Turkish Cypriots have the same right. On one hand, they have been conducting drilling works and on the other hand they express that the Turkish Cypriots can have their rights if a solution is reached. This is absolute nonsense and an attempt to taunt the Turkish Cypriot side.

PRODUCT OF HEGAMONIC AND EGO-CENTRIC MENTALITY

East-Med gas pipeline project signed by the Greek Cypriot administration, Greece and Israel is a new example of the hostile and provocative attempt aiming to exclude Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey from the energy equation in the region. Concerning such activities, the attitude and intention rather than economic considerations are more important. The Greek Cypriot administration’s attempts to constantly exclude and isolate the Turkish Cypriot people in all fields of life and its denial of the Turkish Cypriot people’s right of say in the decisions regarding the future of the island are outpourings of the Greek Cypriot side’s ego-centric mentality which sees itself as the sole decision making authority in Cyprus.

GREEK CYPRIOT LEADERSHIP PRESUMES ITSELF AS THE SOLE OWNER OF THE ENTIRE ISLAND

Statements of Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades demonstrate, yet again, his real intentions. The intention of the Greek Cypriot leadership is to act as the sole authority on the entire island in disregard of the Turkish Cypriot people. The actions of the Greek Cypriot leadership put forth its insincerity regarding the settlement of the Cyprus problem and, in fact, show clearly that it is utilizing the negotiations and all the process within negotiations as a screen to hide its insincerity about a negotiated settlement. The Greek Cypriot leadership which does not regard the Turkish Cypriot people as its equal partner and attempt to defer their rights after a settlement, which itself is preventing, should bear in mind that the Turkish Cypriot people will not compromise on its equality, sovereignty and rights or bow down to those who disregard these.

The Greek Cypriot side should acknowledge that the Turkish Cypriot people will never give up its sovereignty. The Greek Cypriot leadership should understand that the island of Cyprus is not a Greek island and the Turkish Cypriot people are not represented by the Greek Cypriot side. As it is clearly stated in many Cyprus settlement plans, sovereignty emanates equally from both peoples of the island and that it cannot be used unilaterally by one of the sides.

THE SAID ACTIVITIES ARE AIMED AT CREATING IMPRESSIONS

2000-kilometer-long East-Med gas pipeline project, signed by the Greek Cypriot administration, Greece and Israel, which will cost over 10 billion Euro, cannot go beyond creating impressions. This agreement is a new effort by the Greek Cypriot leadership to escalate the tension both on the island and in the region. In fact this project is criticized and labelled as a “fantasy” project even by the Greek Cypriot political parties. The Greek Cypriot leadership’s mentality shows that it has no intention of deescalating the tension on the island and the region, or to cooperate. Instead the said administration is acting in delusion basing its actions on the wrong assumption that it would create a balance of power.

Our statement regarding the Greek Cypriot leadership’s unwillingness to share power and prosperity totally echoes this mentality of the said leadership. This mentality, in an attempt to create wrong perceptions and score political points, will not hesitate to escalate the tension both on the island and in the region. We will stand up to these provocations and continue our efforts for a stable region and cooperation. We reiterate that the Turkish Cypriot people will neither give up on its quest for cooperation nor compromise on its rights and sovereignty. Our call to the relevant parties and the international community is for them to stress the necessity for cooperation and even take steps in order to initiate cooperation for the sake of stability in the region which is already fragile.

The decision taken by the United States to lift the arms embargo, which has been imposed on the Greek Cypriot administration since 1987, so as to prevent, inter alia, negative implications on the negotiations to reach a settlement on the Cyprus problem, would certainly harm peace and stability in Cyprus as well as the Eastern Mediterranean in general. This decision, undoubtedly, reinforces the Greek Cypriot administration’s disposition, which ignores Turkish Cypriots and particularly their rights at sea, and frequently causes escalation of tension in our island and the region. The motive behind Greek Cypriot administration’s constant attempt for rearmament is obvious. We are very concerned of the fact that the Greek Cypriot leadership is given a pat on the back despite its actions which threaten the peace in the region.

THE UNITED STATES HAS REVEALED ITS POSITION

The “National Defence Authority Act of 2020” of the US Congress, which entails lifting of the arms embargo imposed by the United States on the Greek Cypriot administration, on the condition that Greek Cypriot side cooperates with the US on anti-money laundering inspections and that Russian military vessels’ access to Greek Cypriot ports for refuelling and servicing are denied, has been adopted by the House of Representatives and is sent for the Senate’s approval.

If this bill is signed into law upon its adoption by the Senate followed by the approval of the President of the United States, this will not only reveal that the USA is insincere about a negotiated settlement on the island, but it will also mean that the United States is lending support to instability as well as the status quo on the island which is deemed as “unacceptable” by the international community.

SUPPORTING THE GREEK CYPRIOT LEADERSHIP’S EFFORTS TO TURN THE GREEK CYPRIOT ADMINISTRATION INTO AN “ARSENAL OF ARMS”

The United States, with this decision, would also contribute concretely to the Greek Cypriot leadership’s efforts to turn South Cyprus into an “arsenal of arms” ready to explode at any given moment. This would, undoubtedly, exacerbate the hostile stance of the Greek Cypriot leadership, who is persistently intransigent as regards a negotiated settlement, recklessly carries out activities which escalate tensions on the island and the region, and aggravates the inhuman isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people, further harming the relationship between the two peoples on the island.

We would like to express openly and clearly that the Island of Cyprus does not belong to the Greek Cypriots; the Island of Cyprus is not an island under the administration of the Greek Cypriots and any decision regarding the future of the Island cannot be taken by the Greek Cypriots in disregard of the Turkish Cypriots.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council, hiding behind the mask of EU solidarity, has, once again, disregarded the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people with its decision taken yesterday. The Turkish Cypriot side has long maintained a well-intentioned policy based on cooperation regarding the hydrocarbon resources around the Island of Cyprus, which belong to both Peoples. As we repeatedly reiterate, we have been making proposals for cooperation regarding these resources to the Greek Cypriot leadership since 2011. Last July, through our new proposal, we took a step towards deescalating tensions stemming from the provocations caused by the unilateral activities of the Greek Cypriot side, as well as towards taking joint decisions regarding these resources. This cooperation proposal was also rejected by the Greek Cypriot side and unilateral steps persisted. It is blatantly clear who is being provocative and maximalist regarding this issue.

THERE ARE TWO SEPERATE WILLS, TWO SEPERATE PEOPLES AND TWO SEPERATE ADMINISTRATIONS ON THIS ISLAND

 It should be noted that EU solidarity cannot act as a justification for overlooking the rights of the Turkish Cypriot People. The half-state that is the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus, which was admitted as a full member of the EU before a settlement on the island and despite its violation of the Copenhagen criteria, is neither legitimate nor the bearer of all rights over the island. The referenda on the Annan Plan, the most comprehensive UN settlement plan in the history of the Cyprus negotiations, also show that there are two separate wills, two separate Peoples and two separate administrations on this island. These realities cannot be disregarded under the guise of “solidarity”.

THE DECISION OF THE COUNCIL IS UNACCEPTABLE

We would like to express openly and clearly that the Island of Cyprus does not belong to the Greek Cypriots; the Island of Cyprus is not an island under the administration of the Greek Cypriots and any decision regarding the future of the Island cannot be taken by the Greek Cypriots in disregard of the Turkish Cypriots. Decisions regarding the future of the island, including those on how the Cyprus issue will be resolved through negotiations, are taken by the two Peoples who share the Island. All decisions taken to the exclusion of the Turkish Cypriots, including the Council’s decision, which contains elements in violation of international law, are unacceptable.

The stance displayed by the EU regarding the fight against terrorism of the Republic of Turkey, which has lost tens of thousands of people over a period of years due to grave problem, is unfortunate, given that this fight is undertaken within the framework of international law, with a view to protecting its territorial integrity and security in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which includes the right to self-defence, as well as UN Security Council resolutions on terrorism. Today, terrorism is one of the major global issues plaguing all humanity and, as such, the fight against terrorism should be the common goal of all countries. With this understanding, we fully support Turkey in its rightful endeavour and hope that this operation will be completed successfully in the shortest possible time.

 

 

GREEK CYPRIOT LEADERSHIP’S ATTEMPT TO MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO IS FUTILE

The ongoing work related to the decision of our Government regarding the closed area of Maraş (Varosha) are being undertaken within the framework of international law, as well as with due consideration of the rights of the Evkaf and former inhabitants of the said area. While the closed area of Maraş has remained abandoned to its fate for the past 45 years, due to the intransigence of the Greek Cypriot leadership, with this decision, a step has been taken to bring it back to life. The work coordinated by our Ministry on behalf of our Government is continuing decisively.

THE GREEK CYPRIOT LEADERSHIP IS HARMING ITS OWN PEOPLE

 The Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus is continuing its efforts to maintain the status quo, deemed unacceptable by all relevant parties. As the inventory survey, commenced with the decision taken by our Government, move forward, the Greek Cypriot leadership has taken yet another initiative towards preventing the said work. In this regard, the UN Security Council, which made a statement recapping resolutions that are not binding in any way, has been put in a position serving the status quo. Moreover, one of the resolutions referenced in the statement has lost all validity as a result of rejection by the Greek Cypriot side of the packages brought to agenda within the scope of confidence building measures on numerous occasions. It should be emphasized that these attempts of the Greek Cypriot leadership are not merely limited to ensuring the continuation of the status quo. The Greek Cypriot leadership due to its fear of losing its propaganda tools is resolute on taking initiatives which harm its own people – ie. former inhabitants of the fenced area of Maraş who have conveyed to us, on various occasions, that they welcome our Government’s decision. The work coordinated by our Ministry in line with the decision of our Government will continue decisively in line with international law, taking into consideration the rights of former inhabitants of the closed area of Maraş.

THE TWO SIDES ALONE CAN DECIDE ON THE BASIS OF THE NEGOTIATIONS

We deem it wrong that the UN Security Council has referred in its statement to a specific settlement model, particularly at a time when a possible unofficial five-party meeting is on the agenda with a view to determining whether there is a common vision regarding the settlement of the Cyprus issue. It should be borne in mind that the two sides alone can decide on the basis of negotiations towards finding a settlement to the Cyprus issue.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay met with the UN Undersecretary for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix within the framework of his New York contacts.

The meeting was held at the UN Headquarters.

In his statement following the meeting, Özersay said that the issues related to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus were discussed with Mr. Lacroix and they also exchanged views.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay who is continuing his contacts in New York attended the Ministers Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization.

Özersay addressed his collocutors at the meeting held at the UN Headquarters. Foreign Ministers and representatives from Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan attended the meeting.

Following the meeting, Özersay said “I gave a speech at the Foreign Ministers Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization of which the TRNC is an observer member and expressed our views for regional cooperation and developing economic relations. We will continue to spend efforts to make our voice heard at all possible international platforms”.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay met with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in New York. 

Özersay has continued his contacts in New York and met Qureshi at the UN Headquarters. The relations of the two countries and regional issues and also the situation of Pakistani citizens studying and working in the TRNC were also discussed at the meeting.

At the meeting, Özersay said: “There are Pakistani nationals in our country who are working or students and are even citizens. We had a very fruitful meeting with Qureshi in which we discussed these issues at the UN Headquarters. Contact with him will also continue later on.”

Within the framework of his New York contacts, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay met with the Secretary-General of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yusuf el-Useymin, in which TRNC is an observer member.

Relations between the TRNC and the OIC were evaluated at the meeting which was held at the UN Headquarters and they also exchanged views regarding the latest developments reached on the Cyprus issue and regional developments.