FM Ertuğruloğlu gives interview to AA
The Turkish Cypriot people are not alone or desperate, Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said during an interview with the Anadolu News Agency published on Thursday.
Ertuğruoğlu said that they will respond in kind to all steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side.
He also said that there was no going back for the Turkish Cypriot side from its policy in favour of a two-state solution based on sovereign equality and international equal status.
Pointing out that the UN was currently engaged in a process to see whether or not there was common ground to restart a new process, the TRNC foreign minister said that no such ground currently existed.
“The ball on the Cyprus Issue is in the international community’s court,” said Ertuğruloğlu, noting that progress could only be achieved as and when the international community ends its 60-year-long discrimination against the Turkish Cypriot people and acknowledges the realities on the ground.
“There can be no productive talks or negotiations on the island as long as one side is recognized as the so-called Republic of Cyprus and the other a community,” he said.
The foreign minister also said that he did not perceive the absence of the negotiations as a disadvantage.
He added that the reason why there were no negotiations were because the west refused to acknowledge the reality that there is two sovereign states on the island that have equal international status.
“It is out of the question to say that we’re ruined or done. Reuniting as partners with the Greek Cypriots is not our only option. We continue to look to the future with hope because what is most important for us in this world is that we have our own state and the support of motherland Türkiye,” Ertuğruloğlu said.
Also commenting on the launch of drilling by the Italian and French energy companies ENI and Total in block 6 in the Greek Cypriot side’s so-called Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the TRNC Foreign Minister said that the move did not come as a surprise or shock for the Turkish Cypriot side because they were all too familiar with the Greek Cypriot side’s domineering mentality.
He said that all moves and steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of hydrocarbons will be responded in kind.
“Turkish Cypriots are not alone or desperate. The Greek Cypriots will not be successful in creating the Eastern Mediterranean they desire due to Türkiye’s presence in the region,” Ertuğruloğlu said.
He pointed out that although Türkiye did not have any rights or claims over block 6 where the current drilling is taking place the Turkish Cypriots had a stake.
“No effort or initiative that excludes Türkiye or ignores the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people and Türkiye will be successful. Common sense dictates that all stake-holders should come together and agree on the fair distribution of the region’s resources. We have been voicing this view for years but the Greek Cypriot side is refusing to learn its lesson,” Ertuğruoğlu pointed out.
On the latest debate concerning Maraş, the TRNC Foreign Minister said that the EU had once again issued a statement under the influence of the Greek Cypriot side.
“The EU has been falsely informed that a new beach was being opened in the fenced-off town. As you all known this is not true. Unfortunately we have an EU which supports the Greek Cypriots like they support a football team,” he complained.
Ertuğruloğlu said that the Maraş initiative will continue and that what was important was reopening the town to settlement by offering former residents to return to their properties but under Turkish Cypriot administration without any detriment to their property rights.