Feb 19 2018

Turkish ‘cold-blooded’ stance stops Cyprus gas clash

The “cold-blooded approach” of Turkey and Turkish Cyprus is preventing a conflict over the unilaterla exploitation of gas reserves by Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Kudret Özersay said.

The Greek Cypriot government will no longer be permitted to continue with natural gas exploration without the permission of Turkish Cyprus, he said, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

“They cannot continue before the Cyprus issue is settled, or, if it would not be possible, without reaching an understanding with the Turkish Cypriot side,” Özersay said in a written statement on Monday.

“Unfortunately, Greek Cyprus’ membership to the EU occurred in the same manner. We are intent on not allowing a similar development to take place on the issue of natural gas,” he said, according to the newspaper.

The ethnic Greek part of Cyprus joined the European Union on May 1, 2004 without the Turkish Cypriot community in the north of the island after Greek Cypriots voted against uniting the island in a public referendum approved by the Turkish side.

Natural gas exploration off the island has become a point of contention with both Greeks and Turks laying claim to undersea territories where the gas is present.