World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey will defend its rights in the eastern Mediterranean, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday.
"The Eastern Mediterranean Sea cannot be closed to Turkey or Turkish Cypriots. We will not hesitate to defend our rights in the restricted economic zone of the sea and Cyprus island," he said.
On the occasion of a visit from the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Ozkan Yorgancioglu, Davutoglu called for the resumption of settlement talks in Cyprus.
"Our call is clear: Intense negotiations that will lead to a solution, and immediate peace," he said.
As an alternative option before a permanent settlement on the island is reached, Davutoglu proposed the establishment of a joint committee to share out the island's natural resources so as to promote peace on the island.
The Greek-Cypriot administration suspended the most recent talks with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus over the island's future on Oct. 7 after Turkey sent an oil and gas research vessel on a mission off the Cyprus coast.
The move to send a research vessel, with two navy ships, was intended to show that Turkey objected to the Greek Cypriot administration's plans to unilaterally exploit hydrocarbon resources off the island. Both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have called for a fair division of such resources between both sides.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was also not included in a meeting of Egypt, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration in Cairo last week, in which a natural gas strategy for the Eastern Mediterranean region was discussed. A statement after the three-way meeting called on Turkey to "cease its operations within the maritime boundaries of Cyprus."
Davutoglu said that the resources on Cyprus belong to all people of the island, so one side does not have the right to monopolize the energy resources off the island's coast.
For his part, Premier Yorgancioglu called on the Greek Cypriot side to put an end to their "escape from the negotiating table."
He emphasized that the solution to the problem is clearly stated in a joint declaration that brought both sides back to the negotiating table in February after a two-year hiatus.
Yorgancioglu emphasized the importance of having the Greek Cypriot side immediately return to the negotiating table, so that a permanent settlement for the island may be achieved, one which will be of much greater benefit for the Greek Cypriots as well as for supporting peace in the wider region.
"It is vital to maintain stability on the island to ensure its economic development," he added.
President Erdogan visits July 15 Martyrs' Monument near the July 15 Martyrs Bridge
Over 100 Turkish lawmakers were inside parliament when it was bombed 3 times during 2016 defeated coup
FETO orchestrated a defeated coup on July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured
Salt Lake turns red due to seasonal rise in algae, which also attracts flocks of hungry flamingos
Events marking 2016 defeated coup attempt will be held throughout the day, says Binali Yildirim
Terrorist reportedly responsible for death of teenager last year, says Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu
Turkish representations in Netherlands, Serbia, Guinea, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Bosnia hold events
Spain clearly showed it favored democracy and Turkey after July 2016 defeated coup, says Turkish ambassador to Spain
Turkey stronger, more resilient, more effective with new system of government, writes presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin
Palestinian diplomat says on night of July 15, 2016, Turkey gave the whole world a lesson in democracy
Turkish Airlines CEO says its first flights from Istanbul’s new airport will be to Turkish Cyprus, Azerbaijan this fall
Presidential spokesman speaks to reporters after first Cabinet meeting under new presidential system
President Erdogan will join march on July 15 Martyrs' Bridge in Istanbul
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election on June 24 marks Turkey's transition to presidential system of government
Turkish embassy in Islamabad hosts event in memory of victims of July 15, 2016 defeated coup