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16 April 2014, Wednesday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Davutoğlu: Greek Cyprus dependent on Turkey to sell gas

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FOREIGN MINISTER AHMET DAVUTOĞLU (PHOTO: TODAY'S ZAMAN)
28 March 2013, Thursday /TODAY'S ZAMAN, ANKARA
The Greek Cypriot administration will have to rely on Turkey to export the natural gas it hopes to extract from eastern Mediterranean fields, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in remarks published on Thursday.

The foreign minister also reiterated that if Greek Cyprus insists on using hydrocarbon reserves off the island to overcome its debt crisis without the consent of the Turkish Cypriots, Turkey is ready to discuss a two-state solution on the island in order to claim the rights of Turkish Cypriots to the reserves.

“There is nowhere that the gas could go except Turkey,” Davutoğlu told journalists on his plane en route to Tbilisi. He said Turkey itself needs energy and would also be the best transit option if Greek Cyprus opts for exporting the gas to Europe. “Which country [in the region] is energy-hungry? If they decide to sell it to Europe, where will it go through? An undersea pipeline through Crete to Greece may be considered but there are big fault lines in that terrain; it is not feasible,” he said. “So, they are obligated [to cooperate with Turkey.]”

A deal last week between Turkey and Israel to mend fences may also isolate the Greek Cypriots in their plans to export the gas through a route circumventing Turkey. Analysts say the reconciliation deal is likely to pave the way for direct energy cooperation between Turkey and Israel, which also has gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean -- circumventing Greek Cyprus.

Turkey is concerned that the Greek Cypriots could use the gas in a potential deal with Russia or the EU to secure bailout loans. The idea was reportedly discussed in talks between Greek Cypriot and Russian officials in Moscow last week but the discussions produced no deal. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has also cast doubt on the inclusion of hydrocarbon reserves in a loan deal, saying there are concerns regarding commercial viability and questions stemming from Turkish objections.

“If Greek Cyprus insists that those reserves are theirs, this would implicitly give the right to north Cyprus to say that the reserves in the north belong [exclusively] to the Turkish Cypriots. In such an event, it absolutely requires discussing a two-state solution,” said Davutoğlu.

“This is the first time in 30 years that Turkey has openly talked of supporting a two-state solution,” Davutoğlu also said. “We don't put it [two-state solution] on the table as a threat. We put it forward as positive leverage. But it is not possible for us to accept an understanding that 'all resources belong to us'.”

Davutoğlu said there are three options: the immediate resumption of talks for a comprehensive political settlement between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots within a set timeframe; or if this were to fail, the establishment of a joint committee of Turkish and Greek Cypriot representatives to decide on how to share the hydrocarbon reserves between the two communities in the absence of a political settlement; and finally a two-state solution that would mean permanent partition of the island.

Turkey has long warned the Greek Cypriot government against unilateral moves to extract natural gas and oil reserves off Cyprus, saying the Turkish Cypriots, who run their own state in the north of the island, also have a say on these reserves.

‘Russian base in Cyprus a dream'

Davutoğlu also dismissed prospects that Greek Cyprus could offer military bases to Russia, again in return for a loan deal, saying this is against international law.

“We are a guarantor state in Cyprus and we don't have a military base there. As far as international law is concerned, this [Russian bases in Cyprus] is not possible,” he was quoted as saying by the Star daily. “We don't take such allegations seriously.”

Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish north and a Greek Cypriot south since 1974, when Turkey sent troops in the aftermath of a Greek-inspired coup to unite the island with Greece. In 2004, a UN plan to reunite the island, backed by Turkey, collapsed because it was rejected by the Greek Cypriots in a referendum. Talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders to reach an agreement on a reunification plan have failed to produce any breakthrough. The talks are on hold as Greek Cyprus' newly elected leader, Nicos Anastasiades, is focused on the debt crisis.

 
 
COMMENTS
Turkey is not aguarantor in Cyprus since the use of Napalm bombs in the Tillyria Area in 1964.This in not a behaviour of a guarantor and the 1974 occupation of the northern part of Cyprus with the violations of human rights the killings of innocent civilians the raping of women etc.Turkey because of...
Stephanos Constantinou
davitoglu has all the world answers just ask and he gives what a smart fellow
andrew
Whoever believes that there is any validity to the so called treaty of guarantee, in the way it was drafted in the case of Cyprus, when Cyprus itself is by fact a fully fleshed independent UN and EU member State, is absolutely clueless about international law. The Treaty of "Guarantee" is by fact o...
Nicos Hadjipetrou
Senol, no, that is invalid. Its black and white, Turkey is occupying Cyprus. Whatever gaurantorship Turkey thought she had, does not extend to occupying Cyprus.
steve
@steve, you can simply google this fact. Here let me help you do your research. The Treaty of Guarantee was designed to preserve Bi-communal consociationalism and independent state of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus and the guarantor powers (the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Greece) promised to prohibi...
Senol
Davutoglu is a nincompoop just like his understudy-Bagis. Nobody in Brussels takes them seriously.
Yaacov
Athens has tersely and categorically rejected Turkey's invitation to a four way chat between Turkey, Greece, the Republic of Cyprus and the occupied by Turkey pseudostate on the premise that the Republic of Cyprus is an autonomus nation and EU member and as such has no need for any sort of "guaranto...
Thessalonian
Senol, cant you see through the lies and that Turkeys so called gaurantorship is actually an occupation of another Country known as Cyprus? Can Russia just say that she is a gaurantor as a reason to invade and justify an occupation of third of Turkey? its compeltely Pitiful..............
steve
Hasbara detacted!
faith
The usual "Everybody needs us but we dont need anyone because we are strong Turks"-rethorics. Zer-problems? I would call it Total confrontation. Not a single week is passing without threats, slamming, insults etc. No wonder none of the people dealing with foreign policies seem to have any real conta...
Droko
here we go again, Turkish this Turkish that. The fact of the matter Steve, Paul and Dimitrious is that Turkey is still a guarantor of Cyprus as well as Greece
Senol
Look, Turkey had on several occasions invited both Turkish Cyprus and greek cyprus to solve their differences under the UN umbrella, but greek cyprus denied to solved the issue. Can anyone understand why the greeks are not utilizing the golden chances given by Turkey?
Golden Chances
This man couldn't speak the truth if his life depended on it. What a collosal failure as FM!
Abner Doubleday
Turkey's foreign policy leadership continue to act like rogue pirates in the region. Nobody is impressed, Mr. Davutoglu.
Christoph
"“We are a guarantor STATE IN CYPRUS and we don't have a military base there" what does he mean? There should not be 40,000 Turkish troops in Cyprus guaranteeing another state there. It is a Turkish military base however he dresses it up.
Steve
For a man reputed to be smart, intelligent and innovative thinker, I am afarid Mr. Davutoglu has little to offer. All his talk about "zero problem with neighjbors" has resulted ... in zero results with neighbors. I have been a great admirer of intellectuals, but I have come to dread now intellectu...
Hamasdegh
"We are a guarantor state in Cyprus and we don't have a military base there. As far as international law is concerned, this [Russian bases in Cyprus] is not possible,” D-oglou and Co don"t have have base there, they just have 35.000 occupation forces. By the way this occupation forces are distribut...
dimitrios macedon
"Davutoğlu also dismissed prospects that Greek Cyprus could offer military bases to Russia, again in return for a loan deal, saying this is against international law." So is invading and occupying a third of the Republic of Cyprus for 40 years while bringing in hundreds of thousands of illegal settl...
Paul
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