Turkey reacts to Nicosia over gas

Turkey has reacted strongly against a possible Greek Cypriot plan to use oil and gas exploration rights around the eastern Mediterranean island as collateral for an international bailout package it desperately needs to protect its economy from going bankrupt.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry warned that the Greek Cypriot plan would risk a fresh crisis in the region, saying such a move would ignore the Turkish Cypriots’ equal rights to the hydrocarbon resources of the island, in a statement on March 23.

“Possible plans to put the island’s joint resources as collateral for ‘a solidarity fund’ or any other loan agreement is just another reflection of the Greek Cypriot illusion that it is the sole owner of the entire island and it risks a fresh crisis in the region,” the statement said.

The statement also said Turkey would continue to protect the country’s and the Turkish Cypriot interests and rights in the Mediterranean and based on this understanding, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots were ready to work with Greece and the Greek Cypriots.

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