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Oil Exploration is causing Tension in Cyprus between greek and turkish sides.

Cyprus map (Photo Credit to Wikipedia)

There is tension between the greek side of Cyprus and the turkish part of the island. The possibility of finding oil near the greek side of Cyprus is the main source of tension between both sides.

Recently an agreement was signed between the greeks and the President Derviş Eroğlu of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.  But the agreement  “only provides for making seismic surveys. If  the greek cypriots  find gas or oil, both parts will need a new agreement,” said Hussein Ozgkiourgkion, head of foreign policy in the turkish cypriot government in the northern part of  the island.

At the end of this month the President ofthe greek Republic of Cyprus (southern part of the Island) and communist leader Dimitris Christofias is expected to fly to New York for two days of meetings with the President of the unrecognizedTurkish Republic of Northern Cyprus  Dervis Eroglu and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Over those two days, the UN intends to propose ways of achieving convergence in the chapters in which the positions for an agreement of the two sides are still apart and set a date for a broader meeting, involving Turkey and Greece, that would agree the final details of a settlement plan.

However, Christofias popularity sinked in the last year and his government has been weakened by the greek cypriot public opinion.

The cypriot turkish leader Eroğlu,  said recently in New York, that there are steps to be taken against the Greek Cypriot Sector’s starting oil drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean. Eroğlu said that Christofias’ starting exploration activities as if challenging Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side, indicates that in fact he does not intend to reach a settlement.  Eroglu threatened Christofias by saying  ” I wish that he (Christofias) understands his mistake but obviously he will continue his mistake. We also have steps to be taken. We are getting ready to take these steps.”  The deadline seems to be the end of october.  In NY , Eroğlu said that they are determined to continue intensified negotiations until the end of October as they have promised the UN Secretary General Ban Ki- Moon.

Turkey invaded Cyprus ,in July 1974,  in response to a greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus. More than one quarter of the population of Cyprus was expelled from the occupied northern part of the island where  greek cypriots constituted 80% of the population. There was also a flow of roughly 60,000 Turkish Cypriots from the south to the north after the conflict.The Turkish invasion ended in the partition of Cyprus along the UN-monitored Green Line which still divides Cyprus today. In 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) declared independence, although Turkey is the only country which recognises it.