Turkish has criticised South Cyprus for signing agreements with international energy companies for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration in what Ankara considers to be its own continental shelf.
A consortium of France’s Total and Italy’s Eni on Wednesday has been licensed to explore for oil and gas in a new area off Cyprus’s southern coast. But the Turkish Foreign Ministry said a part of the agreed area lies on its continental shelf, and the deal was an infringement by the Greek Cypriot administration (GCA) on the rights of Turkish Cypriots.
“We continue our strong warning that the unilateral acts of the GCA, which aim at usurping the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, do not contribute to peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean”, the spokesman for the ministry, Hami Aksoy, said in a written statement.
Turkey is in dispute with South Cyprus and Greece over potentially rich reserve of hydrocarbons in in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ankara says the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has a right to a share in the reserves, while the South Cyprus government says any proceeds from gas drilling will be shared fairly after a peace deal is established.
Recently President Nicos Anastasiades offered to open an account for the Turkish Cypriots to hold, in escrow, a proportion of any gas revenues to be made accessible before a settlement, in exchange for Turkey recognising South Cyprus’ EEZ.
Ahval, Cyprus Mirror