Turkey plans more drilling off Cyprus

Turkey plans more drilling off Cyprus

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu threatened Thursday that Turkey will start seismic surveys and drilling inside the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Cyprus.

In addition, the representative of the ruling AK Party officially announced the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Cyprus on July 20, which also coincides with the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

During his visit Thursday to Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, Cavusoglu met with Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar to prepare for Erdogan’s impending arrival on the island.

In the joint press conference, Cavusoglu referred to the drillings that Turkey has already conducted and said the island’s resources must be shared fairly.

“What must happen is a fair distribution of revenues. The European Union and the United Nations take the necessary steps for equitable distribution. Otherwise, we will take our own steps, as we have done in the past. Let no one doubt that,” he said, adding that in “the areas that the TRNC [the breakaway Turkish-Cypriot state, recognized only by Ankara] has granted us licenses, we will continue our activity, as we have done so far.”

Cavusoglu also showed indifference to relevant decisions on Cyprus by the UN Security Council, saying, “The expiration date of these decisions has passed.” 

“There are two equal, sovereign peoples on the island, which have two different, independent states. Whether it is recognized or not, whether this situation is liked or not, this is the reality,” he said.

Despite the European Union’s warning about the status of the fenced-off town of Varosha in the Turkish-occupied north of the island, Cavusoglu said that it “will open in a transparent and legal way, there will be no violation of UN resolutions. And property rights were not violated. That is why we support all the steps that the TRNC will take.”

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