TURKEY

Greek Cypriot side should 'learn sharing': FM Çavuşoğlu

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The Greek Cypriot side should 'learn sharing' in Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish top diplomat said on Sunday.

During his meeting with Turkish Cypriot citizens in the Yeni Erenköy region of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said nobody can interfere Turkey's activities in Eastern Mediterranean.

Çavuşoğlu said Turkey will continue standing by the Turkish Cypriot people "without any hesitation and without compromising anything".

Çavuşoğlu reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot side had proposed to establish a "participative, fair and solution-oriented" joint committee with the Greek Cypriot side, adding that the Greek administration had rejected it.

"We want to warn them from here that no one, no matter whether the EU, Greece, or whoever backs you, cannot and will not interfere our activities here. What you have to do here is to learn sharing," he said.

The minister stressed that a solution to Cyprus issue couldn't be found for 60 years as the Greek Cypriot "doesn't know sharing", adding that Turkish Cypriots and Turkey seek a solution.

"As Turkey, we will continue to increase our utmost contribution to strengthen the economy of the TRNC," he added.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.

Since spring this year, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels -- Fatih and Yavuz -- to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.

Turkey's first seismic vessel, the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa, bought from Norway in 2013, has been conducting exploration in the Mediterranean since April 2017.

Athens and Greek Cypriots have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships' crew and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus' annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since then have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended in 2017 in Switzerland.

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