Turkey warns Greek Cypriot administration over claims on natural resources

Turkey on Friday warned the Greek Cypriot administration against staking exclusive claims on natural resources of the divided island.

A Foreign Ministry statement accused the Greek side of failing to accept Turkish Cypriots as politically equal partners and disregarding their “inalienable rights as co-owners of the island”.

It asked the Greek Cypriot administration to “refrain from acting as though it were the sole owner of the Island’s natural resources and to cease its hydrocarbon-related activities”.

During his visit to the U.S. earlier this week, Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades reportedly met with representatives of a hydrocarbon company that took part in an international tender held by his administration.

On March 17, the administration approved contracts with several companies for offshore hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation within what it calls an “exclusive economic zone”.

“This attitude shows that the Greek Cypriot Administration is still not able to grasp the win-win-based potential for economic cooperation” on the island, the Ministry statement said.

Ankara “will take all necessary measures to protect its interests” in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), the statement added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turkish population and Turkey’s intervention to protect them.