QA:32 - Statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in Response to a Question (Unofficial Translation)


Turkey’s views regarding the Greek Cypriot attempts that are contrary to international law and legitimacy, to delimit maritime jurisdiction areas and to issue licenses for exploring oil and gas in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea have been duly conveyed to the UN and other relevant international organizations, as well as to the international community, on every occasion.

In this context, it has been registered with our letter of 2 March 2004, which was also circulated as a UN document, that the attempts of the Greek Cypriot side to delimit maritime jurisdiction areas are unacceptable, and that Turkey also has legitimate rights and jurisdiction in areas to the west of the Island of Cyprus beyond the longitude 32° 16’ 18” East. In this vein, it has been stated that the Greek Cypriot endeavours to create de facto situations through unilateral acts in the Eastern Mediterranean would not be accepted.

However, the Greek Cypriot side had continued its attempts and following the adoption by its Parliament of a law identifying 13 oil exploration fields around the Island of Cyprus, called for an international tender on 15th February 2007. The same day, this Ministry issued a press statement, declaring the expectation that those countries and companies which might be interested in oil and gas exploration in the region should act responsibly and not harm the efforts to find a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem within the UN framework.

We would like to draw once again the attention of relevant international organizations, countries and companies to the said Greek Cypriot attempts and to emphasize that Turkey is determined to protect its legitimate rights and interests.

On the other hand, these developments have demonstrated once again the importance of finding a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus question that will also enable all Turkish and Greek Cypriots to benefit jointly from the Island’s resources. In fact, despite the continuing intransigent attitude of the Greek Cypriots, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots have not spared any effort in this regard.