TRNC becomes strategic center in Eastern Mediterranean, PM Tatar says
by Daily Sabah with AA
ISTANBULDec 17, 2019 - 2:13 pm GMT+3
by Daily Sabah with AA
Dec 17, 2019 2:13 pm
Over the course of the 45 years since its creation, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has become a strategic hub at the heart of the Eastern Mediterranean, the nation's prime minister said Monday. "The TRNC now has an extremely important status in the Eastern Mediterranean in terms of Turkey’s tranquility, security and peace," said Ersin Tatar, adding: "Therefore, it is our duty to strengthen the TRNC and increase its prosperity." The speech occurred at the opening ceremony of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency's (TİKA) 62nd international office in the country's capital. Stressing the importance of TİKA's Nicosia (or Lefkoşa) operations, Tatar said the state-run aid agency would add value to his country with its experience and knowledge, outlining that this would take the form of cultural studies designed to protect Turkish Cypriot heritage.
Turkey, as a guarantor nation for the TRNC, is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean via the use of two drilling vessels. Ankara has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling operation's in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the region. In 1974, Ankara intervened as a guarantor power to Cyprus in response to a coup aiming at bringing about the island's annexation by Greece. This culminated in the formation of the TRNC in 1983. The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute come to naught. The latest, held with the participation of the guarantor countries – Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. – came to an end in Switzerland in 2017, with no progress in sight.
Speaking at the same event, Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said TİKA had gained international prestige thanks to its strong institutional structure, achievements and unique works. "TİKA is an institution which takes the humanitarian and conscientious approach bore of the spiritual values of the Turkish nation, and transforms them into concrete actions and projects," said Ersoy. The agency, he said, would be more active in the TRNC since opening an office in Nicosia. The opening ceremony was attended by TRNC Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay, TRNC Environment and Culture Minister Ünal Üstel, Turkish Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Serdar Çam, Turkey’s Ambassador to the TRNC Ali Murat Başçeri, and several other politicians.