Following the expiration of the deadline announced in the Navigational Telex issued by Turkey on behalf of our Government regarding the activities of the seismic exploration vessel Barbaros Hayreddin Paşa (BHP), it was expected that the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) would end its unilateral drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, despite our good will efforts, the Greek Cypriot side remains insistent on pursuing their one sided activities in this regard. We regretfully observed that the Greek Cypriot side, through its notifications since 20 November 2014, not only carried its activities to a new drilling site and extended the on-going drilling period until 19 March 2015, but also decided on 30 December 2014 to expand the drilling site and extend its activities up until 29 March 2015. Furthermore, in an official statement on 5 January 2015, the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades continued to set pre-conditions to return to the UN-led negotiations and declared that the Turkish Cypriots may have a say regarding the natural resources of Cyprus only after a comprehensive settlement is found to the Cyprus problem.

As previously declared, the Turkish Cypriot side will not remain unresponsive to the unilateral activities carried out by the GCA which disregard the inherent rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people. In light of these developments, the BHP vessel shall continue its activities in the region within the framework of the licenses given to TPAO. The Navigational Telex announcement concerning these new activities will be published today by Turkey on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It should also be reiterated that with a view to protecting the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people, the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to take all necessary steps within this framework, including commencement of drilling, in cooperation with Turkey.

The Turkish Cypriot side retains its conviction that a mutually agreed cooperation framework to be agreed upon by the two parties is the most appropriate way of carrying out the exploration, exploitation and exportation of the natural resources around the Island. In this context, the proposals put forward by the Turkish Cypriot side in 2011 and 2012 are still on the table.

The Turkish Cypriot side once again renews its call to the Greek Cypriot leadership to refrain from unilateral activities, to return to the UN-led negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem and to help foster a conducive atmosphere for meaningful dialogue.