Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Statements

01 March 2007
Fact sheet March 2007
Turkey threatens Cyprus over oil exploration

Turkey's outbursts and threats regarding the right of the Republic of Cyprus to explore for oil in conjunction with Lebanon and Egypt, in the undersea areas surrounding the island, are both unfounded and potentially dangerous.

Turkey and demographics changes – ‘ours is all right, his is not

Once again, Ankara displays its arrogance that there is one rule for Turkey and one rule for everyone else. Recently, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul charged that the Kurds are changing the demographics in the north of Iraq, yet he conveniently ignored the fact that Turkey has changed the demographics in the illegally occupied north of Cyprus.

Turkey creates an enemy, is ‘angered’ when he is murdered

Although there are many reasons why Turkey is unsuitable for membership of the European Union, it took the murder of the Turkish-Armenian editor, on the street in front of his newspaper's office, to highlight one of the most serious.

Solution to Cyprus division simple

There is a simple solution to the "Cyprus problem": implementation of the Three Rs – Removal of the Turkish army, Repatriation of the Anatolian colonists, Return of all refugees to their homes and properties, without restrictions, preconditions and discrimination.

Orange area indicates prospective oil field to the south of Cyprus

Turkey threatens Cyprus over oil exploration

Turkey's outbursts and threats regarding the right of the Republic of Cyprus to explore for oil in conjunction with Lebanon and Egypt, in the undersea areas surrounding the island, are both unfounded and potentially dangerous.

The 120 mile-wide seabed separating Lebanon and Cyprus is believed to hold significant crude oil and natural gas deposits. The exclusive zone agreement signed with Lebanon is designed to mark the underwater areas where each country can carry out exploration and exploitation work once oil or gas is discovered.

A similar agreement signed between Egypt and Cyprus allows for the joint exploitation of potential undersea oil and gas fields between those two countries.

In its bellicose outbursts, Turkey is insisting that both it and the illegally occupied north of the island have so-called 'legitimate' rights to any oil around the island.

Though it seeks membership in the European Union, Turkey does not recognize the EU member and universally recognized Republic of Cyprus, which represents all Cypriots, in the eyes of the international community. By maintaining the fiction that the north is a legitimate regime, Turkey holds the view that laws on the issue by the Republic of Cyprus or agreements made by other interested parties have no validity.


Turkey and demographics changes – ‘ours is all right, his is not

Once again, Ankara displays its arrogance that there is one rule for Turkey and one rule for everyone else. Recently, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul charged that the Kurds are changing the demographics in the north of Iraq, yet he conveniently ignored the fact that Turkey has changed the demographics in the illegally occupied north of Cyprus.

In an announcement of the Foreign Minister's agenda on his recent visit to America, it was reported that he was going to seek the aid of President Bush to prevent the forthcoming referendum on the status of Kirkuk by the Kurds on the grounds that "the Kurds have altered the city's demographic structure by bringing in more than 100,000 of their kinsmen." The Kurds intend to make Kirkuk their capital.

Yet, in contravention of all international laws, Turkey has imported more than 120,000 Anatolia peasants into the occupied north of Cyprus, to change the demographics of the area.

Turkey's objection to the alleged action of the Kurds is because the additional Kurds would affect the outcome of the referendum, completely ignoring that the imported Anatolians in the occupied north also affected the outcome of the 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan, in Cyprus.


Turkey creates an enemy, is ‘angered’ when he is murdered

Although there are many reasons why Turkey is unsuitable for membership of the European Union, it took the murder of the Turkish-Armenian editor, on the street in front of his newspaper's office, to highlight one of the most serious.

Hrant Dink was murdered in broad daylight on January 19, and his funeral brought more than 100,000 people onto the streets – the largest number of mourners in recent Turkish history.

The police may have apprehended the 17-year-old assassin, but it was the Turkish State that was the real killer. By persecuting Dink via the infamous Article 301 of the Penal Code, which makes it a crime to "insult Turkishness," the State made Dink an "enemy of the State." Thus, it was easy for the nationalists to assume that they can kill an "enemy" with impunity

Dink's "crime" was that he referred to the virtual destruction of the Armenians, by the Ottoman Turks, from 1915 to 1922, as a genocide, which Turkey denies.

As long as Turkey pursues academics, historians, journalists, and writers on the nebulous grounds of "insulting Turkishness," there can be no true freedom of the press and freedom of speech in Turkey.


Solution to Cyprus division simple

There is a simple solution to the "Cyprus problem": implementation of the Three Rs – Removal of the Turkish army, Repatriation of the Anatolian colonists, Return of all refugees to their homes and properties, without restrictions, preconditions and discrimination.

No one wants a reunified Cyprus more than the Republic, itself. All Cypriots should be allowed to enjoy the same benefits of European Union membership as do all other European citizens. However this can only become a reality when
Turkey stops keeping Cyprus as a hostage of its expansionist foreign policy.

While Turkey continues its illegal military occupation of European territory (37 per cent of the Republic of Cyprus) the European door should should be firmly closed and the major EU nations should make this clear.

No one wants to deny Turkey entry into Europe, but first it must start abiding by EU Law and human rights principles. So far it has shown absolutely no intention of doing so.