By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur
ANKARA (AA) - The consent of the Turkish Cypriots was not sought while the UN Security Council adopted extension of the mandate of the Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a period of six months, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday.
“The most important deficiency of the extension of the mandate of UNFICYP with this Resolution is that the consent of the TRNC [the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] is not sought, in contrast to the UN’s established practices,” the ministry said in a press release.
“In the Resolution, the fact that the wording regarding the settlement of Cyprus issue was drafted in a way to straitjacket all parties to discuss different alternatives for a negotiated settlement, contradicts the need for new ideas as called for by the Secretary-General in the past,” the ministry added.
The ministry said the real cause of the Cyprus issue is the Greek Cypriot side’s “unwillingness to share the power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots”, stressing that “a common ground and a joint vision based on political equality” will be a real and result-oriented negotiation process between the two sides.
“As the co-owner and political equal of the Island, the Turkish Cypriots will never accept a minority status,” the ministry said.
The ministry also stressed that the resolution does not refer to the July 13 cooperation proposal of the TRNC, while it calls for a reduction of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“The TRNC authorities have made constructive proposals to the Greek Cypriot side in 2011, 2012 and most recently on 13 July 2019,” it said.
“These proposals of the Turkish Cypriot side, all supported by Turkey, prove that it is the Turkish side who is making determined efforts, whilst these efforts are not reciprocated by the Greek Cypriot side,'' the ministry 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 this spring, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels -- the Fatih and the 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 Pasa, bought from Norway in 2013, has been conducting exploration in the Mediterranean since April 2017.
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 have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus 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.