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.