No: 83, 23 March 2013, Statement Regarding the Claims of the GCASC on Hydrocarbon Resources in the Eastern Mediterranean

The idea of the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (GCASC) to offer the natural resources of the island as collateral for a solidarity investment fund or any other borrowing scheme to be established due to its current economic crisis, ignoring the inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriots who are co-owners of the Island, is a dangerous manifestation of the illusion of being the sole owner of the Island, which may lead to a new crisis in the region. The views of the Presidency of the TRNC, expressed in the statement of 21 March 2013 are shared. The Turkish side is committed both to protecting the rights and interests on its own continental shelf and to maintaining its support to the Turkish Cypriot side.
The Turkish Cypriot side has made two calls of cooperation to the Greek Cypriot side for an equitable sharing of the natural resources, on 24 September 2011 and 29 September 2012. The Greek Cypriot side, however, has not responded positively to these calls up to date. It is not acceptable that the Greek Cypriot side uses the economic crisis it is facing as an opportunity to create new fait accomplis.

In this context we see merit in once again reiterating Turkey’s views regarding this subject:

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side, desire a negotiated settlement in the Island. Turkey’s vision for the Island and the Eastern Mediterranean is one of joint prosperity, stability and security. Economic problems, like political conflicts can be overcome by creating an atmosphere of peace, reconciliation and cooperation in the Island.

The two founding peoples of the Island must jointly decide what kind of a future they want and with the participation of their Motherlands must establish a new state of affairs. There is no longer any time to lose.

The Turkish side is expecting the negotiations to begin immediately with a spirit of joint prosperity and security.

It is not our preference that the problem we are facing should lead to a crisis. We sincerely believe that it should constitute an opportunity and a new beginning for peace and a lasting settlement.

The Turkish Cypriots will never become a minority in a Greek Cypriot state. Turkey will not allow this in any way. However, Turkey will respect the preferences of the two peoples on the Island. As this preference could be for establishing a new partnership – of which the parameters are well known – if the Greek Cypriots are to act unilaterally regarding the natural resources in the south of the Island and if they do not desire a partnership with the Turkish Cypriots, it could also be for the negotiation of a two state solution.

The only way to exploit the natural resources of the island before any settlement flows through an agreement in line with the proposals made by the Turkish Cypriot side in 2011 and in 2012, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and thus through getting the clear consent of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the sharing of these natural resources.

Based on this understanding, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are ready to work with Greece and the Greek Cypriots.