Turkey has hit out at South Cyprus over its announcement of a new tender for further hydrocarbon exploration offshore Cyprus.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Greek Cypriot administration was challenging the right of Turks on the island at a time when the two sides are negotiating over a possible reunification.
The ministry said that Turkey would not allow foreign companies to explore for hydrocarbons.
“The Greek administration’s decision to open a tender on the one hand disregards the Turkish Cypriot side’s equal rights and interests on the island’s natural resources and on the other hand violates our country’s continental shelf rights in the region,” the statement said.
At the Davos meeting, earlier this year, the two community leaders stated that both sides should cooperate on energy.
President Akinci said newly found hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean would act as “a source of peace, stability and cooperation rather than conflict and tension.”
President Anastasiades stated that both communities should cooperate on energy matters. The discovery of hydrocarbons in the region had opened up new possibilities for cooperation, he said.
Cyprus became divided after a military intervention by Turkey as guarantor in 1974, in response to a brief military coup staged by Greece.
Negotiations are ongoing in order to reunite the island under a federal model.