The TRNC will become be regarded as a Taiwan model by the world in future, Minister of Economy and Energy Sunat Atun has said.
The country’s status will change after the discovery and use of existing energy and natural resources and establishing energy links to the mainland, he said.
Addressing a conference in Istanbul, Atun also asserted that the withdrawal of the Turkish army from Cyprus will mean “surrendering these lands”. “This does not concern only the inhabitants of the island. It is also an issue which is closely relevant to the defence of Turkey’s southern borders and its security”, he said.
Noting the importance of water in the energy field, Atun argued that now they are working on global projects with Turkey and recalled that they transferred water from Turkey to the TRNC with undersea pipelines. South Cyprus had also been taken into consideration regarding this project, he noted. “But at the same time it means very important political power” said Atun. “In its continuation, this could produce solutions to the water problems of the region by being extended to Israel and Jordan”, he asserted, describing it as “a project of global character”.
Referring to the issue of electricity, Atun said that they are working on this project and that transferring electricity from Turkey with undersea cables will bring sustainability to the TRNC economy.
He also referred to the search for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean and recalled that they have given the rights to Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) to carry out such searches for a period of 30 years. Atun said: “The searches carried out on land were replaced by seismic explorations at sea. We assume that during the last months of 2017 or in the first months of 2018, a drilling platform will come to the TRNC’s territorial waters in the Mediterranean, drilling will be carried out and we will reach the gas reserves in that area and claim our rights which the Greek Cypriot side tries to usurp”.
Referring to the Israeli natural gas, Atun said that this should be transferred to Europe through a pipeline from the drilling platform and said that the only way for this to be feasible is a pipeline through Turkey. “in order to realise this, they will be connected to our drilling platform and from there to Ceyhan”, he claimed.
Atun also asserted that all these projects bring the TRNC into the energy equation, increase Turkey’s power in this corridor and move the Cyprus problem from the political to the energy axis.