Since the Greek Cypriot Administration insisted on pursuing their unilateral hydrocarbon exploration activities despite our repeated warnings, Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey are left with no option other than acting the same way they do.

As is known, President Mustafa Akıncı has conveyed a detailed proposal to Mr. Anastasiadis which envisaged establishing a joint committee to co-manage the hydrocarbon exploration activities. The said proposal by President Akıncı will not only benefit our island and the area, but also the EU who is seeking alternatives in terms of energy diversity and security.

While our proposal is still awaiting evaluations of our counterparts, our expectation from the EU was to prompt the Greek Cypriot side to evaluate the said proposal in a serious manner. However, the fact that the EU has, quite the contrary, decided to impose certain sanctions on Turkey is not only unacceptable and unjust but it also is noncontributory to the settlement of the problem.

This position adopted by the EU does not alleviate the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and it certainly does not contribute to the solution efforts in Cyprus. The way out to reduce the tensions and to overcome the deadlocks in our region is not through punishment, but through dialogue based on just cooperation.

16 July, 2019.