Hydrocarbon exploration activities by the Greek Cypriots are one-sided, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on Saturday, ‘World Bulletin’ reports.
The TRNC has announced that a Bahama-registered ship, SAIPEM 10000, began hydrocarbon exploration in Block 9, in an area southeast of the island which Greek Cypriots have single-handedly declared an exclusive economic zone.
“We are worried over the Greek Cypriot Administration’s one-sided hydrocarbon exploration activities in the so-called exclusive economic zone,” said the ministry.
The TRNC, in cooperation with Turkey will send a seismic exploration ship to conduct exploration in the regions for which the Turkish Petroleum Corporation has given exploration licenses.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry backed TRNC’s statement which was published on Friday.
“On the Turkish Cypriot side, we are of the belief that until a comprehensive settlement is reached, the exploration, extraction and processing of the natural resources around the Island, which is co-owned by the two peoples, should be carried out through the mutual cooperation of the two sides rather than through unilateral initiatives,” the TRNC said.
According to the TRNC’s announcement, based on the results of the data received from the seismic exploration, the intention is to place drilling platforms in the relevant areas.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry stressed that the main aim is to reunify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.
The island of Cyprus has remained divided into Greek and Turkish sides since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish peace mission to aid Turkish Cypriots in the north in 1974.