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No: 170, 14 June 2013, Press Release Regarding the Second Drilling Activity of the Greek Cypriots

It has been reported that the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) has started its second drilling activity to verify hydrocarbon resources within its so called Exclusive Economic Zone in the Block 12.

Turkey strongly supports the statement made by the Foreign Ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on 13 June 2013 on this issue.

The above mentioned drilling activity is a continuation of the irresponsible, provocative and unilateral steps of the GCA, acting as if it is the sole owner of the Island, which violates the inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriots over the natural resources as the co-owner of the Island. The Greek Cypriot side, by continuing to proceed with unilateral steps towards exploitation of the natural resources in the south of the Island, proves that unfortunately they are not willing to re-establish partnership with the Turkish Cypriot side. We can no longer allow the Cyprus issue to procrastinate which has already lasted for 50 years. As outlined in the Ministry’s statement dated 23 March 2013, negotiation of a two state solution is also possible if the GCA’s priority were to be the sole owner of these resources.

Unfortunately, the calls of the Turkish Cypriots for cooperation for an equitable sharing of the natural resources of the Island despite the unilateral acts of the Greek Cypriot side have not been responded so far. Turkey will continue to support the Turkish Cypriot side’s activities to protect their equal and inherent rights over the natural resources around the Island. In this respect, Turkey will provide necessary assistance for the completion of seismic researches and proceeding with drilling phase within the license areas granted to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) by the TRNC in the south of the Island.