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The Policy Of Containment Vis-à-vis Turkey Has Failed, Presidential Commissioner Says

The Policy Of Containment Vis-à-vis Turkey Has Failed, Presidential Commissioner Says

The policy of containment vis-à-vis Turkey has failed, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou has said, citing the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, who addressed recently an event to condemn Turkey’s 1974 invasion of Cyprus. Photiou was speaking on Sunday during a memorial service for the fallen in 1974 from Lymbia, a village in Nicosia District, that was held at the local church.


 
The only way to address Ankara’s unlawful behavior is for the international community to adopt a decisive stance, he said, pointing in particular to the EU, and to send clear massages that Turkey should stop acting the way it does today.
 


The Presidential Commissioner said moreover that Turkey continues to threaten and blackmail Cyprus, while disregarding international law. The megalomania characterizing the Turkish leadership, as well as its aggressive actions in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and beyond, in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Greek maritime area, indicate that Turkey behaves the way it did in the 18th century, during the time of the Ottoman Empire, seeking to remain unaccountable for its actions, Photiou went on.


 
He also referred to the recent example of converting Haghia Sophia into a mosque, saying that this is another example of Turkey’s “policy of disrespect and of its abysmal audacity”.
 


Photiou said that the country is going through crucial times and urged people to stay united. Our highest priority, he went on, is to terminate Turkey’s occupation and reunite our country by concluding a settlement that will terminate the unacceptable status quo and will transform the country into a normal state without guarantees, intervention rights and occupation troops, he concluded.


 
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey’s seismic research vessel ‘Barbaros’ entered Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on July 30, 2020 and the specific area that Turkey has blocked with an illegal NAVTEX. According to the illegal NAVTEX, the area is located southeast of Cape Greco (Famagusta) and includes parts of blocks 2, 3 and 13 of Cyprus’ EEZ.
 


The Republic of Cyprus, has issued immediately an anti-NAVTEX, according to which the Turkish NAVTEX is illegal and violates the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and has taken steps on various levels in relation to the new Turkish provocations.

 

Turkish drill ship “Yavuz” arrived last April in the exclusive economic zone (ΕΕΖ) of Cyprus, after Ankara announced another attempt to drill a well in blocks licensed to European companies. This is the 6th time Turkey attempts to drill within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, this time in an area that covers part of exploration blocks 6 and 7, which have been licensed to ENI and TOTAL. 

 

In a statement on May 15, EU Foreign Ministers deplored the fact that Turkey has not yet responded to EU calls to cease such activities and reiterated their call on Ankara to show restraint, refrain from such actions, and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus, in accordance with international law. EU Foreign Ministers also reaffirmed previous Council and European Council conclusions, notably those of June 2019 and October 2019 on Turkey’s continued illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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