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Turkey: Cyprus? What Cyprus?

TAGS: Diplomacy, Cyprus, Turkey

Turkey has disdainfully rejected a proposal by the European Union's High Representative Josep Borrell to broker talks between it and the Republic of Cyprus, calling it “far from being serious” and reiterating that it does not recognize the “Greek-Cypriot administration” as representative of the Republic of Cyprus.

The full statement by Hami Aksoy, spokesman for Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to a question about Borell's proposal, made during his recent visit to Cyprus, is as follows:

“The said proposal is far from being serious made by the same EU which always ignores the existence of the Turkish Cypriots and has never referred to their equal rights over the natural resources of the Island in any of its statements.

As we have repeatedly emphasized, the interlocutor of the Turkish Cypriots on hydrocarbon resources is the Greek Cypriots until a comprehensive settlement is reached in the Island. Therefore, the counterpart of the Foreign Minister of Greek Cypriot Administration is definitely not us, but the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, H.E. Mr. Kudret Özersay.

If a solution is desired in the Eastern Mediterranean, as a first step, the two peoples of the Island should come together and establish a joint cooperation mechanism for the exploration and exploitation of the hydrocarbon resources, including revenue sharing, as soon as possible. The Turkish Cypriot authorities’ proposal of 13 July 2019 provides the necessary ground to this end.

The delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas in the west of the Island of Cyprus will only be possible after the settlement of the Cyprus issue. Turkey will never sit down with the Greek Cypriot Administration ever which has usurped the title of Republic of Cyprus and does not represent the Turkish Cypriots.”

Turkey is the only country in the world that recognizes the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” formed in 1983 on the territory of the island occupied by Turkish troops since 1974.

Turkey had invaded Cyprus in response to a coup orchestrated by the military dictatorship then ruling Greece aiming to unify Cyprus with Greece.

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