Press Release By Turkish Mfa Regarding The International Tender For Off-shore Hydrocarbon Exploration And Exploitation Opened By The Greek Cypriot Administration , 18.05.2012
No: 140, 18 May 2012, Press Release Regarding the International Tender for Off-shore Hydrocarbon Exploration and Exploitation Opened by the Greek Cypriot Administration
It is understood from the press reports that 15 international companies/consortiums, most of which are medium sized, ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriots have bidden for the second round of international tender for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation opened by the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA).
As it will be recalled, our Ministry made a comprehensive press statement on 15 February 2012 regarding this tender. We fully maintain our views expressed in this statement. As it was already mentioned in this statement, the Turkish Cypriots, like the Greek Cypriots, have equal and inherent rights over the natural resources located on the whole continental shelf of the Island. Disregarding this reality is not acceptable both to Turkey and TRNC.
The two peoples of the Island should jointly decide on how to use the off-shore natural gas and oil resources. TRNC President Eroğlu’s proposal made on 24 September 2011 to this end is still valid and on the table. Unilateral steps contrary to this approach will only lead to tension. Turkey will continue to take all measures to protect the Turkish Cypriots’ rights and interests. In this framework, Turkey strongly supports the statement made by Mr. Hüseyin Özgürgün the Foreign Minister of TRNC on 17 May 2012.
Certain parts of the maritime areas in the west of the Island included in the so-called tender opened by GCA overlap with Turkey’s continental shelf in the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey, as was already declared before, will not allow any activity over these areas.
On the other hand, most of the maritime areas in the south of the Island included in this so-called tender overlap with the licence areas given to the TPAO by TRNC. Any activity of international oil companies in these areas in future would bring them into confrontation with TRNC and TPAO and caused undesired tension. Turkey, as was already declared before, acting upon its responsibilities as a motherland and a guarantor power, will give every support to TRNC.
Hence, it goes without saying that any activity of international oil companies in these areas will definitely lead to new problems. Therefore, like TRNC, Turkey also urges the countries concerned and the relevant oil companies to act with common sense and particularly refrain from any activity in these areas which are disputed especially due to the Cyprus issue, and withdraw from the said tender.
In spite of all our warnings, in case these companies enter into cooperation with the GCA in the field of natural gas, ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, this will lead to a tension in the region and the responsibility will rest upon these companies.
Moreover, as it was stated by our Prime Minister, those companies cooperating with GCA will in no way be allowed to take part in Turkey’s future energy projects.
Our views are also brought to the attention of the relevant countries through diplomatic channels.