Unilateral steps by Greek Cypriot side ‘unacceptable’: Turkish Cypriot leader

New tension escalates again in region as Greek Cypriot administration announced drilling program to explore hydrocarbon resources.

Unilateral steps by Greek Cypriot side ‘unacceptable’: Turkish Cypriot leader

It is “unacceptable” that the Greek Cypriots take unilateral steps in the Eastern Mediterranean, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus said on Tuesday.

The remarks by Ersin Tatar were regarding the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral steps in exploration of hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“These kinds of issues are handled though cooperation, solidarity, and law in the world. The Greek Cypriots should stay away from researching wealth without an agreement on (the island of) Cyprus,” Tatar told Anadolu Agency.

The Greek side’s attitude towards the exploration of hydrocarbon resources is not “correct,” Tatar said, adding that such studies are risky without an agreement on Cyprus.

He said it was a “great injustice” that the Greek Cypriot administration behaved as if the so-called Republic of Cyprus belonged only to itself and carried out activities by ignoring the Turkish Cypriot people.

The Greek side should consider Turkey’s warning, he urged, warning that if the tension escalates, things will get worse than before.

“I don’t think anyone would benefit from such tensions,” he added.

He went on to say that if any gas is found in the region, Turkey is the safest route to transfer this gas to Europe.

A new tension started to escalate again in the region as the Greek Cypriot side announced a drilling program, which will start in the so-called exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that the excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region – including maritime disputes – through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue, and negotiations, warning the Greek Cypriots not to take unilateral steps.

Hüseyin Demir