The Greek Cypriot side should ‘learn sharing’ in Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish top diplomat said on Sunday.
During his meeting with Turkish Cypriot citizens in the Yeni Erenkoy region of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said nobody can interfere with Turkey’s activities in Eastern Mediterranean.
Cavusoglu said Turkey will continue standing by the Turkish Cypriot people “without any hesitation and without compromising anything”.
Cavusoglu reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot side had proposed to establish a “participative, fair and solution-oriented” joint committee with the Greek Cypriot side, adding that the Greek administration had rejected it.
“We want to warn them from here that no one, no matter whether the EU, Greece or whoever backs you, cannot and will not interfere with our activities here. What you have to do here is to learn to share,” he said.
The minister stressed that a solution to Cyprus issue couldn’t be found for 60 years as the Greek Cypriot “doesn’t know sharing”, adding that Turkish Cypriots and Turkey seek a solution.
“As Turkey, we will continue to increase our utmost contribution to strengthening the economy of the TRNC,” he added.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.
Since spring this year, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels — Fatih and Yavuz — to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.
Turkey’s first seismic vessel, the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa, bought from Norway in 2013, has been conducting exploration in the Mediterranean since April 2017.
Athens and Greek Cypriots have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships’ crew and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.