As the dispute in the eastern Mediterranean stemming from the unilateral actions of the Greek Cypriot side continues, the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry criticized the stance of the European Union.
"The blind and unquestioning support given to the Greek Cypriot side by the EU under the premise of ‘solidarity' and in utter disregard of the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey has further diminished the reputation of the EU in the eyes of the Turkish Cypriot people," the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry said.
Commenting on the remarks of the president of the European Council on Feb. 23, the foreign ministry stressed, "Donald Tusk's interpretation of Turkey's presence and activities in the eastern Mediterranean, which continue with the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side, as ‘illegal violations' and his call for the termination of these activities complies neither with the realities prevailing in the region nor with international law."
It is underlined in the statement that Turkish Cypriot people will continue to seek their just rights and added, "It is unacceptable for Tusk to make a statement which has not even acknowledged the existence of the Turkish Cypriots and have only mentioned the rights of the Greek Cypriot side over the natural resources."
The eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power. Turkey has been repeatedly saying that it won't allow the Greek Cypriot government to proceed with a "unilateral" offshore gas search as long as the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to the natural resources of the island are being ignored.
Meanwhile, last week, Italian energy company Eni's drillship was forced to halt its drilling activities off the Cyprus Island after allegedly facing Turkish resistance. The energy firm said that planned drilling for the search of gas off the island could be put on hold until Turkey can be convinced to allow the company's rigs to explore for gas near the site.