Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay stated that the Greek Cypriot side and the oil-natural gas companies will, at some stage, have to accept the Turkish Cypriot side as their counterpart and commence discussing the sharing of prospective natural resources with them. Özersay emphasised that it is not possible for the said parties to, on the one hand, accept the fact that the resources in the seas belong to the two peoples on the island and, on the other, continue to disregard the Turkish Cypriot people.
Özersay issued a written statement on the crisis regarding the hydrocarbon and maritime jurisdiction zones around the island.
Özersay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated the following:
“Sometimes crises bring with them some opportunities. The most recent crisis on the hydrocarbon and maritime jurisdiction zone did not result in a conflict due to the restrained approach of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and we, anyhow, do not want such an outcome. The Greek Cypriot leadership has to understand that unless there is a settlement of the Cyprus question or, in the absence of a settlement, it comes to an agreement with the Turkish Cypriot side on the exploitation and sharing of these natural resources, we will not allow it to proceed with its unilateral activities. It is neither fair nor acceptable to deliberately procrastinate a solution while taking advantage of the status quo. The Greek Cypriot side’s European Union membership had, unfortunately, also unfolded in this manner and, as known to all, this led to the Greek Cypriot side’s distancing itself from reconciliation and settlement, thus making the Greek Cypriot side even more uncompromising. We have no intention of allowing unfolding of a similar scenario as regards the sharing of oil and natural resources.
The Greek Cypriot side, on the one hand, admits to the fact that we are one of the co-owners of these resources and, on the other, disregarding us, they attempt to proceed unilaterally on the matter. This is both unfair and, at the same time, against international law. If you accept the presence of one’s rights, then you have to honour those rights. When you acknowledge that a person also has rights in a property, you either give them back her/his property or compensate them; the same applies to the hydrocarbon resources. Since we are the co-owners of these resources and the Greek Cypriot side acknowledges this, then they have to ask for the consent of the Turkish Cypriot people and accept them as their counterpart before taking any steps on the matter. They cannot escape from this.”