Erdogan interviewed by Turkey’s TRT and illegal BRTAnkara Anatolia news agency (20.07.11) reported on statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that Turkey would not allow any party to have any expectations regarding the natural gas potential in Eastern Mediterranean.

Speaking at a joint live broadcast by Turkey’s state television TRT and illegal BRT television, Erdogan, upon a question on Turkey’s growing investments in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, said that Turkey aimed at transferring water to the “TRNC” in three years and might consider building an energy line, “if necessary”, although the country has no energy problem at the moment. Erdogan said that apart from water and energy issues, areas needing rapid improvement in the “TRNC” were agriculture, stockbreeding and higher education.

Commenting on the natural gas issue, Erdogan said that some parties had certain expectations on such a matter, and continued: “These expectations cannot be brought to life in the Eastern Mediterranean despite Turkey’s presence.” “Nobody can take such a step that excludes Turkey or the TRNC in this region,” the Prime Minister noted. Erdogan also said that the “TRNC” currently needed to take several system-related steps and Turkish officials could particularly help the country with state planning procedures.

Erdogan noted that the “TRNC” needed investors and Turkey encouraged its entrepreneurs to invest in this country. “If our hopes are for a more developed TRNC, confidence and stability are the key factors to achieve this goal,” he said and added: “If such a mean is provided, investors will come here”.

In addition, Erdogan said that Turkey was seeking for a solution to the Cyprus question. “We are after finding a solution to Cyprus question but the Greek Cypriot party is after obstruction,” Erdogan said and added that Turkey would support any compromise that would be reached by the Cypriot leaders. “What we say is a fair, comprehensive federative structure with equal status and based on two founder states principle. A Turkish Cypriot founder state and a Greek Cypriot founder state. Nobody should expect anything from us if this does not happen,” he said.

Erdogan added that Turkey kept its promise during the referendum process but the Greek Cypriot party did not. He argued: “Although 75% of its people voted ‘no’ in the referendum, the Greek Cypriot party was awarded and accepted to the EU. On the other side, 65% of Turkish Cypriots voted ‘yes’ and fulfilled the requirements of the European Union, but northern Cyprus was isolated. We are sorry as our honesty is not returned.”

“As long as northern Cyprus maintains its upright position, Turkey and the TRNC will act hand in hand and northern Cyprus will be in a stronger position. I am telling about it in political, military, economic, cultural and commercial sense,” he noted.

When asked: “Talks are accelerating. Particularly, the second half of 2012 will be a landmark. What will happen if the Cyprus question cannot be solved till that day? Can the EU take the risk of losing Turkey?”, Erdogan said: “If the EU puts the rotating presidency of southern Cyprus into practice, we will freeze our relations with the EU for six months. We will not have any talks till the matter is over.”

A journalist referred to statements by Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias in which he described words of Erdogan as “threatening and provocative”, and asked if he had any response to the Greek Cypriot party, Erdogan said: “My message to the Greek Cypriot party is evident. They rejected the Annan plan with 75%. What do they expect from us? Do they expect us to say to them ‘go and take the whole of Cyprus’? Everything is left behind from now on. This is a landmark. We are still saying that we can sit and negotiate everything with them. Let us sit together with the countries having guarantor status and negotiate, don’t delay us.”

Referring to the same interview, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (21.07.11) reports that Erdogan said that Ankara’s support to the breakaway regime increased from 400 million US dollars to 900 million US dollars since AKP came in power in Turkey. He noted that 500-kilometer long double highways have been constructed in occupied Cyprus within a period of nine years and added that whatever is made in Turkey, the same will be made in the occupied area of Cyprus.

Referring to the issue of the “citizenship” of the breakaway regime, Erdogan said that many countries in the world give their citizenship to people who are born there and gave examples of the double citizenship practice. He noted that the “citizenship” could be granted to investors and to qualified personnel. He said that the occupied area of Cyprus needs investments and therefore Turkey encourages investments.

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