The ‘TRNC’ has a right to 462,000 square kilometres of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) including continental shelf, territorial waters and maritime areas of jurisdiction, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has said.

Tatar made the claim during a speech at an energy summit in the north where he called for cooperation between the two sides on energy matters, especially the idea of connections to Europe through Turkey.

He said that it was “not logical or practical for the Greek Cypriot side to deny the transfer of energy to Europe through Turkey”.

“Let’s cooperate, let’s connect with Europe by cable through the Republic of Turkey,” he said.,

“The parameters of the game in the Eastern Mediterranean have now changed and the formula that will ensure its fair distribution energy potential is the two-state solution [for Cyprus]”.

He argued that maritime and international law form the basis for the ‘TRNC’ to take its share of the Eastern Mediterranean’s energy reserves, adding that the Turkish Cypriots were entitled to 462,000 square kilometres of Cyprus’ EEZ “continental shelf, territorial waters and maritime areas of jurisdiction”.

He added that Turkey’s Libyan corridor, which has now been opened, was being evaluated together with the ‘TRNC’ and new maps would be created that may become an obstacle to some projects that “southern Cyprus” is trying to promote.

Tatar also claimed that “the Greek side” sees the Mediterranean as a “Greek lake” and was trying to contain Turkey.

“It is important for the Turkish side to raise these issues in a different court and seek its rights,” he added.

He also argued that drilling in the island’s EEZ by the Republic of Cyprus was illegal because there are two separate states in Cyprus and since Turkey is a guarantor power, Cyprus should seek Ankara’s approval for any drilling.

“So, there is a conflict. We’ll see where this conflict leads. If a solution to the Cyprus problem is found, all these riches will be transferred through Turkey at a much better price, in a much more efficient and practical way,” said Tatar. Refusing the transfer through Turkey and opting for Greece just made energy transfers more expensive and difficult. Tatar said the EU did not even respond to his proposal for cooperation.

“Currently, electricity on both sides is fuelled by oil. We know how negatively this affects the environment. Even though the world and European states see positively what we are saying, they do not approve it because they do not recognise the ‘TRNC’,” he said.

According to Tatar, the Cyprus issue must be resolved on the basis of the fair distribution of the reserves in the Mediterranean. “The form of this solution is now two states, because from now on, everyone knows that we will not approve a solution in which the majority will rule the minority on a federal basis,” he concluded.