Turkey promises reciprocal response to new Greek Cypriot drilling – Greek City Times
Oktay had a meeting Friday in Ankara with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar who was in Turkey.
According to northern media, Oktay, commenting on the announcement earlier in the week that the Exxon Mobil / Qatar Petroleum consortium is expected to start work from late November to early December on Cyprus’s offshore block 10, said Turkey would return the the same.
“If the Greek Cypriots start drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey will too,” Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said. “
“We understand that they are trying to escalate tensions,” Oktay said. He added that it would be unthinkable for the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey to remain inactive.
“We have already said it very clearly. This means that we will start the drilling work. That would be the answer. We can’t think of any other answer, ”Oktay said.
Ankara, which does not recognize the continental shelf / exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, has in the past carried out drilling activities off the island, claiming that it operates in the waters of its own continental shelf or in areas where Turkish Cypriots have rights.
Okaty also sent the message to the Greek Cypriot side that they planned to see through the announcement from the north of the opening of the Varosha fenced area in Famagusta.
“We are opening Maras (Varosha) in the service of humanity,” he said. Oktay said that was the decision of the Turkish Cypriot side and that Turkey has supported him and will continue to do so.
He also said Tatar Turkey supported his proposal for a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem, arguing that it was no use wasting time again with studies and solutions that lead nowhere.
“You presented your proposal to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and expressed it openly to the whole world. I would like to express once again that we fully support your proposal, ”Oktay said.
Tatar, referring to Varosha’s openness, reiterated that this was a decision that does not contradict UN resolutions when it concerns human rights.
He said Varosha beaches belong to Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots also have access rights.
Tatar announced in July, during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the north, that 3.5% of the fenced area of Varosha, or about five square kilometers, would be demilitarized and open for settlement.
This decision was welcomed by Turkey whose army controls the fenced area of Varosha, which, according to UN resolutions, should be under UN control.
Tatar called on Greek Cypriot refugees to demand the return of their properties through the Real Property Commission (IPC) set up by Turkey in the north. The IPC is an internal remedy aimed at dealing with Greek.
Source Cyprus Courier