Turkish Cypriots not trying to isolate themselves from international community, official says

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 17.11.2018 00:53

Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said Thursday that Turkish Cypriots will continue to march resolutely toward being a part of the international community despite attempts to isolate them.

TRNC Ambassador to Turkey Kemal Köprülü attended yesterday a ceremony in Ankara, held on the occasion of 35th anniversary of the foundation of the TRNC.

He read out a message from Özersay. It said that the TRNC administration puts a lot of significance on the security and stability of Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish Cypriot Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez also attended the event. He said that the Turkish population living on the island is a primary component and their rights originating from the international law will be protected.

"We will protect all rights, originating from international law, in the TRNC. We won't allow fait accompli projects without Ankara's approval," he said. Cyprus was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south after 1974 military coup was followed by violence against the island's Turkish people, and Turkey's intervention as a guarantor power.

He said that the national resources on the island do not belong to Greek Cypriots only. He added that the TRNC administration would make no concessions on

the legitimate rights of Turkish Cypriots have on the continental shelf.

"Turkish oil exploration activities, authorized by our government, continue on our continental shelf in the Mediterranean. Without a political solution, we regard Greek Cypriot administration authorizations as invalid," Dönmez said.

Turkey has repeatedly stressed that the Turkish Cypriots have rights to the resources around the area. It also denounced the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean. State-owned Turkish Petroleum's (TP) seismic vessels are now carrying out seismic surveys in the Mediterranean.

Dönmez said that there could be no cultural and historical distinction between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, adding that Turkey has also stood by the TRNC against injustices.

"We will continu

e our development efforts in the TRNC and make it a self-sufficient, competitive and sustainable economy. It is our national cause. We don't approve unjust approaches that do not offer a fair solution," he said.

Negotiations over Cyprus resumed after the 2004 U.N.-backed Annan Plan to reunify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities. The reunification talks - brokered by U.N. Special Cyprus Envoy Espen Barth Eide - were launched in May 2015 to discuss a permanent settlement for the divided Mediterranean island. The status of the island remains unresolved in spite of a series of discussions that resumed in May 2015.

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