We resent the remarks by Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, following the informal meeting of the 27 heads of state or government on 23 February 2018, which merely serves to support the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral activities and unjust claims in the Eastern Mediterranean.

 Donald Tusk’s interpretation of Turkey’s presence and activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, which continue with the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side, as ‘‘illegal violations’’ and his call for the termination of these activities complies neither with the realities prevailing in the region nor with international law. This approach attempts to disregard arbitrarily the rights of Turkey, the country with the longest coast-line in the Eastern Mediterranean, and is totally unacceptable.

Another matter of high concern, as serious as the aforementioned, is the European Union’s (EU) attempt to disregard and ignore the legitimate rights of the Turkish Cypriots. This stance of the EU, namely: ignoring the will of the Turkish Cypriots; disregarding the Turkish Cypriot authorities despite the acknowledgment by all that these resources also belong to the Turkish Cypriots; omitting to mention the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people; and not even uttering their name, constitutes nothing but the continuation of EU’s ever-recurring, inaccurate approach and is a repetition of the same old mistake.

We have all witnessed that bestowing privileges on the Greek Cypriot administration does not support, but rather hinders the efforts either to solve the hydrocarbons issue or to end the isolation directed against the Turkish Cypriots. The unilateral accession of the Greek Cypriot administration to the EU in 2004, without the consent of the Turkish Cypriots, has led the Greek Cypriot administration to become even more intransigent. We are swiftly approaching a similar outcome due to this recent stance of the EU regarding the natural resources. We expect the EU to grasp this reality and – if it truly desires a mutually acceptable and just structure to be established in Cyprus – to abandon this unfair stance.

Even if the EU continues its unjust approach which has tarnished its reputation in the eyes of the Turkish Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriot people will not, under any circumstance, give up their rights. In short, it is unacceptable for Tusk to make a statement which has not even acknowledged the existence of the Turkish Cypriots and have only mentioned the rights of the Greek Cypriot side over the natural resources.

Moreover, the blind and unquestioned support given to the Greek Cypriot side by the EU under the premise of “solidarity” and in utter disregard of the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey has further diminished the reputation of the EU in the eyes of the Turkish Cypriot people. The injustice created by the refusal of the EU authorities to include the Turkish Cypriots in their notion of “solidarity” should come to an end at once.