The paragraph concerning Cyprus, in the Conclusions of the EU General Affairs Council which was held on 29th of June 2018 in Luxembourg, contains statements based on the premise of “solidarity amongst member states”, confirming once again EU’s previous biased position on Cyprus. Statements on Cyprus in the aforementioned document is unacceptable.

Statements included in the abovementioned Council Conclusions, which solely reflects the views of the Greek Cypriot side, encourage the intransigent position of the Greek Cypriot authority and dissuades both sides from the perspective of a prospective solution. Having admitted the Greek Cypriot side unilaterally as a member state with an erroneous decision aftermath of the referendum on Annan Plan in 2004, EU is expected to uphold an encouraging and supportive position on Cyprus issue rather than repeating this partial standpoint which results in EU itself becoming part of the problem.

It is a well acknowledged fact by all interested parties including the Greek Cypriot side that ownership of hydrocarbons is shared jointly by both sides. Statements by EU overlooking this fact and supporting persistent unilateral acts of Greek Cypriot side impacts adversely the relationship between both sides.

We are determined in protecting our rights.

As is known, Turkish Cypriot side has made numerous calls to the Greek Cypriot side for cooperation on hydrocarbons issue. We have repeatedly warned the Greek Cypriot side who has ignored our calls and persisted on its position that this issue is directly linked to its so called sovereign rights. Unremittingly perpetuating unilateral actions of Greek Cypriot side in spite of our calls and warnings, have compelled us to take the necessary actions in collaboration with Turkey in order to protect our interest and we will continue to do so.

Persistent reluctance of Greek Cypriot side’s to share power and prosperity with Turkish Cypriots, which is recorded also in UN reports, only serves to regress already prevailing low level of trust between both sides. In spite of our appeals for cooperation, repeated unilateral and patronising actions of the Greek Cypriot side leave no choice for Turkish Cypriot side but to take similar steps. Nonetheless, maintaining cooperation between Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides on hydrocarbons issue will not only contribute to the prospect of resolution to Cyprus problem but will also accentuate trust between sides as well as stability and peace in the region. We hereby take this opportunity to reiterate our readiness for cooperation.

As we are currently going through a period of reflection for the way forward for Cyprus issue, our sincere expectation from EU is to take the necessary steps that would create a conducive environment for a “win-win” dynamic that would help establish conditions for building consensus and cooperation in the Island; encourage Greek Cypriot leadership to engage in cooperative actions that would help establish mutual trust and collaboration between two sides and last but not least refrain from any actions which could potentially harm relationship between both sides.