Turkey’s Foreign ministry claims that research for oil and gas off the shores of Cyprus “does not contribute to stability in the area” and may potentially change a certain “delicate balance” concerning the division of the island.
The foreign ministry’s note refers specifically to the start of the search for oil and gas by Exxon Mobil on Block 10 of the Republic of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EZZ).
(Turkey refers to the Republic of Cyprus, which it does not recognize, as the “Greek-Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus” and to the Turkish-occupied breakaway northern Cyprus as the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” [TRNC] which only Turkey recognizes).
Turkey will, in response, begin similar explorations to areas in which the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” has licensed Turkey’s state oil company TPAO to explore.
Natural resources around Cyprus do not belong to one side but to both, Turkey’s foreign ministry says, adding that apportioning those resources is a fundamental part of the Cyprus issue and thus to be solved diplomatically.
The Turkish ministry says that it and the “TRNC” will take the necessary steps to ascertain the rights of the Turkish-Cypriot people, who are the joint owners of the island.