Erdoğan: Rights and interests of the TRNC in the East Med have been ignored
Date Added: 13 May 2024

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an interview to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini ahead of the visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Ankara.

In response to a question about hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, President Erdoğan said, “In your question, you mentioned an agreement between Cyprus and Israel. There is an assumption that the whole island of Cyprus has made an Exclusive Economic Zone delimitation agreement with Israel. The agreement, which we do not recognize, was made between the Greek Cypriot Administration in South Cyprus and Israel.”

“The rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is the main element of the island, were ignored. On the other hand, in our opinion, energy is not an area of conflict, but an area of cooperation. For this, it is more than enough to approach the issue with a positive perspective” said Erdoğan.

He also pointed out that Türkiye advocates and constantly calls for equitable, fair and inclusive sharing of hydrocarbon resources.

Stating that it is difficult for an energy platform in the region, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean, to be successful without Türkiye’s involvement, Erdoğan noted that it is possible to convene the Eastern Mediterranean conference and create a solution ground with a “win-win” understanding.

Stating that their calls on this issue have remained unanswered until today, Erdoğan said “I have emphasized on every occasion that our proposal, which has a significant potential for a healthy dialogue in the region, should be adopted by other actors. I believe that such a step would facilitate cooperation and contribute to resource diversity and security.”

“Unfortunately, steps that ignore the rights of Türkiye and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have poisoned the atmosphere on this issue until today. If this is abandoned and the desired dialogue is established, we are ready to put our hands under the stone for a permanent solution. Nothing can be achieved with tension. It should be understood that indulging in provocations does not benefit anyone and ways should be sought to meet reasonably,” said Erdoğan.