The Minister of Economy and Energy Özdil Nami has said that the Turkish Cypriot side was not to blame for tensions arising from the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
He said that the source of the tension was the Greek Cypriot side’s insistence to continue with its activities and one-sided steps.
The Economy and Energy minister’s words came during the opening session of the Mediterranean Economic Forum being held in Mersin, Turkey.
Pointing out that there are significant natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, Nami said that Egypt and Israel had already started to exploit these reserves.
He added that data from surveys had begun to show that there was also natural gas off the coast of Cyprus.
“Such discovery of course has started to raise tensions which we are not to blame for. The source of the tension is the Greek Cypriot side’s insistence to continue with its activities and one-sided steps. We are repeatedly stressing that these resources belong to all Cypriots. No one can hand the Greek Cypriots the monopoly of managing these resources” he said.
Nami added that the Turkish Cypriot side continues to show all efforts to preserve the peace on the island.
“It is our right to expect the other side to respect our rights and interests” said Nami, calling on all concerned sides from refraining from taking one sided steps and to seek the Turkish Cypriot side’s approval in any steps taken.