Turkey rejects oil, gas as collateral for Greek Cypriot bailout

Turkey has strongly reacted to a possible Greek Cypriot plan to put 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.

In a statement on Saturday 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.

"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 was 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.

In a phone conversation Saturday with his US counterpart, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also conveyed Turkey's objections to the Greek Cypriot plan, saying, "Turkey will not accept Greek Cypriot administration's use of its economic dire straits as an excuse for 'a fait-accompli.'"

Copyright © 2013 Anadolu Agency