A change of paradigm had taken place in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ foreign policy aimed at becoming a decisive actor in the international arena, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay has said.
Özersay’s was delivering a speech at the “Security, Energy Strategies and Global Power Relations” conference held yesterday, organised by the Cyprus Science University.
The Minister of National Education and Culture Cemal Özyiğit and the Minister of Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu also delivered speeches at the conference.
Stressing that security and energy policies could not be read independently from the global economy and world politics, the TRNC Foreign Minister said “the concept of security is changing. We are moving away from the conventional concept of security and entering a new concept”.
Stating that migration, the risks created by migration, economic crises as well as energy and energy security all needed to be taken into account when establishing or determining foreign policy, Özersay said that recent developments regarding water and electricity will determine the positions to be adopted by the TRNC.
In regards the issue of hydrocarbons, Özersay said that the TRNC after 2011, was showing a determination of being a influential player on the issue within international relations.
“Rather than just reacting to steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side and energy firms we are now in a new paradigm where we taken certain pre-emptive steps and work to make them feel that we are their collocutors. The TRNC together with Turkey is determined to become a decisive actor. This is our new foreign policy understanding”, he added.
Also speaking, the Minister of National Education and Culture Cemal Özyiğit pointed out that Cyprus was at the centre of energy production and distribution networks.
He said that it was unrealistic to expect the super powers to stay out of the region.
“There is a battle for domination here”, he added, stating that the island was big enough for everyone.
“That is why we desire a lasting, honourable, just peace where our equality is respected and we are able to exercise our rights. We want this not only in Cyprus but for our region and the world. Energy resources should be used not for conflict but to help build co-existence”, he said.
The Minister of Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu for his part said that the hydrocarbon activities in the region were having a negative effect on the island’s tourism.
“We are calling on the Greek Cypriot side to abandon its one sided efforts and to take joint steps with the Turkish Cypriot side. We should act carefully on the issue of tourism as the whole of the island will be affected”, he said.