Özersay’s comments followed Greece‘s newly elected Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis‘s earlier statement targeting Turkish army presence in the island, as he is paying a two-day working visit to the Greek Cypriot sector in his first visit abroad after taking the top office in Greece.
In a joint news conference with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on July 29, Mitsotakis said there would not be a solution to Cyprus issue as long as Turkish military forces stay on the island.
Özersay said if Mitsotakis is after an illegal activity, he should look at the unilateral steps of Greek Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean which usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.
The visit of Mitsotakis on the island comes amid tensions with Turkey and the TRNC over energy exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, with Turkey sending out two ships to seek out underwater resources.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.
The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. — came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.
Hurriyet Daily News