Turkish Cypriots should be natural gas partners

The recent discovery of natural gas resources around Cyprus triggers further disputes, this time over share of prospective revenues

The recent discovery of natural gas resources around Cyprus triggers further disputes, this time over share of prospective revenues

ANKARA - Turkey will not be a partner in Cypriot natural gas, "Turkish Cypriots will be", said the Turkish energy minister on Monday, in response to a statement by Greek Cypriot administration leader on Sunday.

Nicos Anastasiades had said that Turkey would be a "customer not a partner" in natural gas - the discovery of which, off the coast of Cyprus, is enough to supply Europe with gas for over two years.

Turkey believes that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should share fairly the revenues of natural resources all of which belong to the two sides, within the exclusive economic zones, Yildiz told reporters.

 "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is an independent state and the partner of the Greek side for the project."

"[However] Turkey is the best destination for Cypriot natural gas and Greek Cypriot leader also remarked on this point in his statements", said Yildiz. 

The Cyprus island remains divided into two sides, Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north after a Greek Cypriot coup followed by a Turkish peace mission in 1974. 

- Kurdish politicians demand a share from revenues of local oil production in southeastern Turkey

In response to mayor of Diyarbakir, Gulten Kisanak's suggestion on Saturday that the Kurdish people should have a share of the revenue of locally produced oil in the province, Yildiz said that it is not acceptable for one group to demand extra rights above the rights of the state. 

If Diyarbakir demands a share, then Antalya should demand a share from tourism revenues which it is famous for, Black Sea region from its nut production, and Marmara from its trade revenues, said Yildiz. "Turkey puts its all revenues all together and the citizens share it fairly between them".

The statement by Kisanak had prompted a heated debate over accusations of an agenda from Peace and Democracy Party, (BDP) mayors and politicians, for more autonomy for the southeastern provinces. This is allegedly part of a hidden agenda for the establishment of a Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey.

- The privatization projects in energy

" We will stick to our privatization agenda of 16 coal and gas powered thermal plants in 2014 and 2015, even if there are two elections in these years," said Yildiz.

Turkey privatizes its thermal plants, mines and electrical production and distribution companies as a part of the bid aimed at liberalization of the energy market. The future privatization projects also include the coal mines of Konya-Karapinar, Afsin-Elbistan, Eskisehir-Alpu. The income from the privatizations goes to the government investments in energy and payment of government debt.

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