We have learned that the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) has called for a new international tender for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation licence within its so-called exclusive economic zone.
At a time when negotiations for a comprehensive settlement aiming to establish a new partnership in Cyprus have reached a critical phase, the tender decision of the GCA disregards, on the one hand, the equal and inalienable rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot side on natural resources of the Island and, on the other, violates Turkey’s rights in the region stemming from its continental shelf.
Examining the so-called licence areas in the aforementioned tender, we observe that an important segment of the area number 6 remains within the outer limits of Turkey’s continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean, as has been registered before the UN.
As it was strongly emphasized by the previous statements of the Ministry regarding this issue, Turkey will never allow foreign companies to conduct unauthorized hydrocarbon research activities within its maritime jurisdiction areas, and will not hesitate to take all necessary measures to protect its rights and interests in its continental shelf.
Moreover, it is concerning for all sides that the Greek Cypriot side continues to act as if it were the sole owner of the Island, ignoring the fundamental rights on natural resources of the Turkish Cypriot people who are co-owners of the Island and making decisions unilaterally involving such resources at this very moment when it needs to clearly demonstrate its will for establishing a new partnership with the Turkish Cypriot people.
In this framework, we invite all countries and companies that may consider to conduct hydrocarbon exploration works on the basis of invalid licences that the GCA may endeavour to issue, to act with common sense and take the will of Turkish Cypriots, the other founding people in the Island, into consideration and not to take steps that will negatively affect the settlement process of the Cyprus issue.