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Peace Talks Ruined as Turkey Starts to Drill for Oil and Gas in Northern Cyprus

Back in 1974 Turkey invaded the Greek island of Cyprus and took control of the north, claiming the region as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; a claim that is not recognised by any nation other than Turkey itself.

Last year the internationally recognised government of Cyprus licensed the Texas-based Noble Energy to start exploring an offshore block for natural gas, discovering what is thought to be one of the largest finds in years. Turkey was outraged, wanting the find for themselves.

The Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan claimed that allowing Noble Energy to drill the gas would destroy the peace talks encouraged by the UN to reunite the island. From then on Turkey sent its own seismic research vessels to explore the Cypriot waters as close as ten miles from the original drill site, always accompanied by naval vessels.

 Turkey have now announced that they have started to drill for oil and gas in the north of Cyprus, a move that is expected to inflame tensions with the Greek Cypriots, and ruin chances of finally re-uniting the island; not that the reunification of Cyprus was around the corner. Since the UN persuaded the two factions to renew talks last year, the Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu have made little progress.

The continuous dispute and Turkey’s actions have hindered their efforts to join the EU.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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  • Eric Martin on May 18 2012 said:
    Listening to attacks on Turkia from idiot savage Americans who have history of invading countries for no reason like Cuba and Iraq is hilarious.

    No reason for invastion= Well, we know the Jewish hawks in the Bush administration.
  • nickolas panhaniotis on May 11 2012 said:
    what can i say! Turks,problems are where their is action their always be reaction,turkey never want Balkan christian to be free independent country & when 3 little Balkan country got together & kicked Turks out of Europe guest who paid the price? christian of today turkey, want to explain about Armenia genocide or Istanbul program had install for Greeks or Assyrian christian.THE FACTS Kurds make 20% population of today turkey ,forget autonomy on Parliament rights to represent large minority group like around would JUST BASIC!!!! can not speak kurdish language in schools or public area or seek Parliament rights & mistreatment of kurds form police,village guards & miltary.Mean while little cyprus has 82 % population of greek who happen to be first indigenous people of island rich history have to give half of every thing turks!!!!
  • Pieter on May 07 2012 said:
    This article is poorly researched and is a demonstration of sloppy journalism. It is akin to writing an article about the illegal invasion of North America by Europeans and the need for all white settlers to leave or the illegal invasion of South America by the Spanish and the need for all Hispanics to leave South America. Cyprus was not a Greek island but had a significant Turkish population. There is little point in commenting any further because it would be wasted.
  • Philip Andrews on May 06 2012 said:
    I'm always amazed by the way non-Greeks and non-Turks get so worked up about situations that either don't really concern them or they don't understand.

    For starters anyone can 'claim' genocidal/ethnic cleansing intentions and realities without being able to prove anything conclusively. From Armenians to Native Americans genocide has been a fact of life for humanity for all of recordedv human history. Not justifying it just stating a reality.

    Now history. Ottoman Turks ruled Balkans for 600 years as well as most of East Med and ME. They mostly brought stability and prosperity in that time. They DIDNT forcibly convert Christians ti Islam or they would have lost their tax base (only non Muslims wre taxed). Tax wwas main source of income. Turks werent any more or less 'barbaric' than anyone else. Greeks amongst others only seriously rebelled twice in 600 years (Cretan Uprising, Orloff Rebellion)before the 19C/20C nationalist uprisings inspired by external powers. So they must have been at least content. (Phanriot Rule etc.)

    1821 Greeks became dependant on Bavaria for king and administration, and GB for cash. Becane bankrupt more than once. From about 1900 to 1950 were in almost contunual external/internal conflict. 1912 against Ottomans. Then Greeks invaded Turkey in 1919. Ataturk with help of Bolshevik supplies saved Turkey (Turkish War of Independance). Greeks went severly downhill from then esp. after pop exchange.

    All manner of nasties perpetrated vby both sides in 1821, 1912, 1919-22. So Cyprus is just an extension of all this. Except that Turkey has become large and succesful while Greeks have become bankrupt unsuccresful 'permanent' revolutionaries.

    How many Greeks cdoes it take to create a succesful nation? None, they haven't managed it yet. How many Greeks does it take to create 3 political parties/ideologies/philosophies? 1+1 spinning furiously to create the illusion of 3 while someone else pays the bill... Sorry if that's unPC but its also reality...

    (My grandfather was a Cretan who fought in Turkey and told it as it was. He ended up admiring Ataturk and hating the Greek mess.)
  • Nick Mason on May 05 2012 said:
    Kudos to the article author, Mr Charles Kennedy, this article rightfully slams Turkey for her behavior on the Cyprus issue.

    Turkey is a military occupier of a large portion of Cyprus - a European country, a peaceful country and a democratic country. Since 1974, Turkey has used a powerful propaganda and nationalist lobby to excuse the continuing occupation as a safeguard against the "evil" Greek Cypriots and attempts to ethnically cleans the Turks from Cyprus.

    In fact, 38 years has passed, Turkey has been the ONLY ONE doing the ethnic cleansing, and the Greek Cypriots are right to press ahead with hydrocarbon explorations that lie legally and morally within their sovereign territories.

    Now Turkey is stoking tensions in the Mediterranean by invading the Nicosia Flight Information Region on a daily basis with her fighter jets, and pursuing oil interests EVEN SOUTH OF THE ISLAND, where she has no legal claim whatsoever.

    Attention all foreign investors - ditch Turkey - she is a loose cannon run by a psychopathic regime that undermines world stability. Cyprus is a rock upon which the West still holds the true values of freedom, peace and stability on her eastern flank.
  • Philip Andrews on May 05 2012 said:
    Greeks in Greece are holding elections on Sunday. These elections are likely to produce a 9(!) party Parliament, in the middle of the deepest existential crisis the Greeks have confronted in 200 years of so-called independance (actually their 'dependance' merely shifted from the Ottomans to the European Great Powers). Instead of pulling together under a national leader, they will most likely either become deadlocked in coalition politics or 'helped' by a German inspired military intervention. If the latter, they will stabilise, leave the euro/EU and forge their own path into the unknown. If the former then more of the same misery on life support.

    Either way they will be in no condition to influence events in Cyprus. The Turks will do what they will. 11 million bankrupt Greeks and a few hundred thousand Greek-Cypriots cannot take on the might of 70 million economically sound and succesful Turks and win.

    Its about time Greeks stopped fantasising abvout 'i Megali Idea' that caused the 1922 Catastrophe, and by extension the 1974 Cyprus invasion, and the fantasy of Enosis with Greek Cyprus and came to terms with the real power in the region-Turkey.

    If the Turks wanted to they could probably take the whole of Cypruse in 24-48 hours anyhow. When the US 6th fleet was at the other end of the Med... Then pull back and dictate terms.

    Greeks, forget 1821 it didn't work out... Just get real.
  • michael on May 04 2012 said:
    How Did the Greek Cypriots Persecute the Turks of Cyprus Between 1963-1974?
    Starting in December 1963, for the next eleven years the Turkish Cypriots had to seek survival in violent and traumatic conditions. Nearly 30.000 Turkish Cypriots who were forced out from their homes became refugees in enclaves which corresponded to a mere 3% of the territory of Cyprus. In these enclaves the Turkish Cypriot people lived under what the UN Secretary-General called, in his reports to the Security Council, "veritable siege", with no freedom of movement and deprived of basic necessities to survive. The Greek Cypriots, with Greek military assistance, raided isolated Turkish villages and attacked the Turkish Cypriot quarters of the different towns. The armed campaign led to the destruction of 103 Turkish Cypriot villages along with all the mosques and holy places. Hundreds of Turkish Cypriots were murdered, wounded and taken as hostages. In the course of the violence that erupted in 1963, over 200 Turkish Cypriots went missing. Due to immense human suffering, thousands of Turkish Cypriots fled from the island. Those who managed to survive were deprived of their salaries, their land, and their other means of livelihood. The Security Council discussed the situation and decided to dispatch a UN peace-keeping force. This force which was stationed in the island in March 1964 could not however secure the return to normal conditions since power was already in the Greek Cypriot hands.

    As part of the Enosis strategy, Greece had secretly sent 20.000 troops to the island in collaboration with the Greek Cypriot leadership. A military junta had assumed power in Greece and differences developed between the junta and the Greek Cypriot leadership over the method of achieving annexation. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'etat took place in Cyprus, planned and executed by Greece, as a short-cut to Enosis. A puppet Greek Cypriot government was formed under a Greek Cypriot gunman. The coup staged by the military junta in Athens resulted in further bloodshed in the form of massacres of Turkish Cypriots and through clashes between anti- and pro-coup Greek Cypriot factions.

    During the events of 1974 more Turkish Cypriots went missing who remain unaccounted for until today. The Greek Cypriot leader Makarois, barely managing to escape, appeared on 19 July 1974 in the Security Council to accuse Greece of an act of invasion and occupation.
  • Andy on May 04 2012 said:
    You are mistaken in your facts. Turkey did much more than "save" the Turkish Cypriots. They invaded a country, displaced 200,000 refugees, of which 2000 are still unaccounted for, used Napalm, and to date have systematically altered the demographic landscape of the island by importing over 150,000 settlers from mainland Turkey. If they were "just" in doing so do you not think some other country in the world would agree with Turkey and recognize them as a seperate country? Give me a break. Turkey has always been at the forefront of barbaric, expansionist gunboat diplomacy. They have always maintained hostile relations with their neighbours and always favour the sword over the pen. Freedom of speech, religion, and minority rights for Kurds and Christians wishing to practice their faith in Turkey yet remain a dream. Charles Kennedy's article is correct in what he states. Turkey has always been the puppet regime of the U.S., and still has yet to get it's house in order. And they want to become part of Europe? They are neither politically, diplomatically or geographically part of Europe, period. They threaten their nieghbours and Israel, insult political leaders of Europe, and threaten Cyprus with their navy? They should start behaving like a civilized country, until then they should look East for allies instead. Shame on them!
  • Philip Andrews on May 04 2012 said:
    This is from the Turkish viewpoint;

    'But Turkish Cypriot officials point out that on September 24th, Eroglu proposed a plan to the Greek side via the UN secretary-general to resolve the hydrocarbon crisis before it gets out of hand.

    "According to that plan, all activities related to hydrocarbon reserves would be mutually and simultaneously suspended until an agreement, and a tripartite ad-hoc committee would be formed with the participation of two sides, as well as the UN, to jointly manage those reserves and to allocate the resulting revenues in order to finance an eventual comprehensive settlement," Ergun Olgun, former undersecretary of the Northern Cyprus presidency, told SETimes.

    The Cypriots' rejection of the plan, Turkish Cypriot officials said, forced them to initiate their own inland and offshore projects.'

    Greeks and Greek Cypriots have a history of rejecting Turkish proposals out of hand without offering alternatives.

    And if anyone mentions the Turkish invasion of Cyprus as a reason for this, the Turks will counter with the Greek invasion of Turkey in 1919-1922. People in this region (Med/ME) have long memories...

    Now can we all begin again please...?
  • Cynical on May 04 2012 said:
    I can hardly believe you made NO mention whatsoever of the events that prompted Turkey to 'invade' the island.

    In fact I don't think I've ever read a shorter or more one sided summing up of the situation on Cyprus!
  • Cemil F on May 04 2012 said:
    Dear Charles,
    you must first confirm the actual facts of history before publishing a article.
    Turkey intervened in 1974 to save the Turkish Cypriot population from the systematic ethnic cleansing at the hand of the Greeks and Greek Cypriots, who's aim was ENOSIS with the Greek Mainland.
    Turkey, as a guarantor signature had every legal right to intervene to save the Turkish Cypriot population.
    I suggest you do some research before you publish a article in future
  • Benyamin on May 03 2012 said:
    In a show of aggression the illegal Turkish drilling of enthically cleansed land, began in the home town of the Current President of the Republic of Cyprus, Dimitris Christofias.He fled the village with nothing but the clothes on his back as Turkey napalmed the northern part of the island! Now Turkey has declared it will steal the gas and oil hydrocrabon wealth of the islanders.Turkey must be stopped!

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