Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay said that the struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean is not a resource-sharing fight, but beyond the resource-sharing fight, it is essentially a geopolitical, geostrategic and geo-economic struggle in the region.
In his presentation at the seminar entitled “Eastern Mediterranean Energy Policies and its Reflections on the Cyprus Problem” Özersay said that the future of Turkish Cypriots should not be viewed through the negotiation processes only to solve the Cyprus problem.
Özersay stated that the determinations to be made on this would be incomplete and misleading and in order to make more sound analyses for the future of Turkish Cypriots and for healthier determinations for the present and future of Turkish Cypriots, it is necessary to abandon putting the Cyprus problem at the forefront and to look from another perspective.
Özersay continued his speech as follows:
“Turkish Cypriots are actors in the buffer zone or in negotiations during the negotiation process, with their negotiating position. We are actors because we are a potential founding partner in the future of the Cyprus problem but this is an issue which will enable us to become actors also when Cyprus negotiations collapse. Because everybody accepts that the Turkish Cypriots have the right in this region. It is extremely important that the Turkish Cypriots are also actors that need to be addressed in this respect.
Özersay said that the exclusive economic zone is not a self-existent right and that it is a right if it is declared, stressing that the continental shelf is not so, and even if you do not declare, it is a right that exists. Referring to the recent sea delimitation agreement between Libya and Turkey, Özersay said that the Eastern Mediterranean region is not only the area from the east to the west of the island of Cyprus but is a very large area therefore the mentioned regulation is in relation to the west of the Eastern Mediterranean basin.
Minister Özersay stated that the natural gas activities and actors have changed and diversified according to those before the year 2000, therefore the needs and the steps to deter the other parties have been changed and diversified. Emphasizing the importance of a regional cooperation Minister Özersay said that it is important to cooperate on natural gas.
Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay finally said: “Perhaps today we do not have the instruments to persuade the Greek Cypriots to accept a federal partnership based on sharing without the help of the world and international actors. But today now we have instruments that will force the Greek Cypriots to make dialogue with us regarding cooperation and these are already being used.”