Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a press release regarding the activities of the drilling ship Yavuz. It was stated that Turkey will continue to defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.
“As is known, our drilling ship Fatih has begun its activities in last May, in the west of the Island of Cyprus, where our Government has granted licenses to the Turkish Petroleum in 2009 and 2012 within our continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean notified to United Nations. Our second drilling ship Yavuz, deployed in the south of the Karpas peninsula, will operate on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots within the license areas granted by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to the Turkish Petroleum in 2011.
We find it quite odd the Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Dendias’ statement in an interview regarding Turkey’s off-shore activities in the Eastern Mediterranean which are being carried out in compliance with international law. In fact, the title “spoiled child of Europe” belongs to Greece. And the hellion of Europe is the Greek Cypriot Administration, which became a member of the EU against international law and thus destabilized the Eastern Mediterranean together with Greece for years. Being a member of the European Union, allegedly representing the entire Island does not give the Greek Cypriot Administration the right to usurp the legitimate rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots.
With this understanding, we also reject the statements made by the Greek Foreign Ministry and the EU officials declaring Turkey’s aforementioned activities as illegal. It is an exemplary point of concern that these statements do not ever mention the Turkish Cypriots and as such ignore their very existence in the Island despite the fact that they are one of the co-founders of the Republic of Cyprus, whose rights have been usurped since 1963.
The European Union has become an actor of this play of unlawfulness staged by the Greek Cypriot-Greek partnership against the rights of the Turkish Cypriots who are the co-owners of the Island. It has thus become clear that the European Union will not be able to assume the role of an honest broker in the negotiation processes towards the settlement of the Cyprus issue.
As she protects its own continental shelf rights in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey will continue to defend Turkish Cypriots’ rights and interests around the Island, insofar as the Greek Cypriots do not involve Turkish Cypriots in the decision-making mechanisms, including the revenue sharing on hydrocarbon resources, and guarantee their rights.
In this context, we fully support the recent statements of the Turkish Cypriot Authorities who granted licenses to Turkish petroleum in 2001 which indeed constitute the legal and legitimate basis of the operations of our drilling ship Yavuz”.