Nicosia has categorically rejected Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s claims that the Republic of Cyprus does not recognize the Turkish Cypriots’ rights and that it is threatening peace, stressing that if anyone is threatening peace this is Turkey.
Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Saturday that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in an interview with Reuters tried to give the impression that his country sought solutions in accordance with the law. However, what was totally absent from his positions and his argumentation was international law, said Prodromou.
“We categorically reject his unsubstantial claim that South Cyprus does not recognize the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and the law, and that ‘it is threatening peace’.
If anyone is threatening peace this is Turkey that intervenes with state-owned research and drilling vessels, accompanied by warships, in the EEZ or even in the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus”, Prodromou said.
He noted that the fact that South Cyprus is acting in accordance with the international law, which the Turkish President seemed unable to understand, is also evident from the clear positions of both the EU and the US, Russia and the international community in general which support its sovereign rights against Turkey`s interventions.
“It is also evident from the fact that the Republic of Cyprus, on the basis of international law, is cooperating with other neighboring states, such as Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, as well as with very important international companies that always act in accordance with the international law and not illegally”, he added.
The Spokesman noted that by exploiting its natural resources, South Cyprus acted on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots.
Prodromou said that the Turkish President’s claim that “there are areas around Cyprus that have been designated where Turkey can carry out explorations” was completely unjustified and arbitrary.
He also rejected Erdogan’s claim that northern Cyprus did not become a member of the EU in 2004, describing it as “absolutely baseless” and pointed out that the Turkish President should know that South Cyprus became a member of the EU in 2004 and therefore the whole island has joined the Union.
Prodromou added that if Turkey agrees to a solution of the Cyprus problem and abandons its expansive policy, then Turkish Cypriots as Cypriot citizens will fully participate in the European Union.
He also pointed out that tens of thousands of Turkish Cypriots have been granted the Cypriot citizenship and they hold documents of the Republic of Cyprus; therefore, they are already European citizens.
“If anyone wants to deprive Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, of their internationally recognized rights, it is Turkey, who according to its claims and what is shown on the maps of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying to usurp 44% of the Cypriot EEZ”, the Spokesman said.
Concluding, he said that the Turkish President must put an end to the Turkish side’s expansive actions in the fenced-off area of Famagusta, and stop the interventions of Turkish vessels in Cyprus’ EEZ that are contrary to international law.