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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-09-15

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 176/11 15.09.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Turkey and the breakaway regime decided to delimit their continental shelf
  • [02] Eroglu due to New York
  • [03] Statements by Eroglu after his meeting with President Christofias
  • [04] Threats by Eroglu on oil explorations: "The Turkish warships are standing by in the Mediterranean Sea"
  • [05] Atalay's statements prior and during his illegal visit to occupied area of Cyprus
  • [06] More reactions by Turkish Cypriot politicians on the oil and natural gas exploration
  • [07] Statements by Kucuk on oil exploration and tourism; Statements by Ustel
  • [08] Izcan: "Eroglu's proposals dynamite the negotiations"
  • [09] The population in occupied Lefkosia increased by 12% during the last four years
  • [10] Yildiz said Turkey and Egypt may drill in Mediterranean
  • [11] Erdogan to hold talks with Obama in NY
  • [12] "Turkey, US sign agreement on NATO radar deployment"
  • [13] Poll shows AKP increased its popular support by 3%
  • [14] "Natural gas as a possible reconciliation platform?"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    Main subjects in today's Turkish Cypriot press are Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister's illegal visit in the occupied area, a meeting in Ankara which will determine the actions of Turkey and the breakaway regime against Cyprus' oil and natural gas explorations and news that the drilling platform has reached the drilling area. The papers publish also statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and political leaders regarding the exploration activities, Kucuk's statements from Turkey regarding oil explorations and tourism, Eroglu's travel to New York and statements by BKP leader that Eroglu leads the negotiations to a dead end. Extensive coverage is also given to the opening of primary schools for the new academic year and the problems that they face, along with news about the revision of occupied Lefkosia's town plan due to a rapid demographic change.

    The tension in the Israel-Turkey ties, the completion of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Egypt and reports about his next visit to Tunisia, the forthcoming meeting between Tayyip Erdogan and the President of USA Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish dailies.

    [01] Turkey and the breakaway regime decided to delimit their continental shelf

    According to Illegal Bayrak television (15.09.11, online), the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Turkey and the breakaway regime decided to make an agreement on delimiting the continental shelf between them, if the Republic of Cyprus launches explorations for oil and natural gas in the south of the island.

    In a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry today, it is noted that "technical discussions" were held this morning on the issue at the Ministry between delegations from Turkey and the occupied area of Cyprus. The meeting was held upon an invitation by Turkey.

    The statement said that they decided to make an "Agreement of Delimiting the Continental Shelf between Turkey and the TRNC" in case the Republic of Cyprus launches explorations for oil and natural gas. Moreover, a delegation from Turkey will visit the occupied area of Cyprus tomorrow for contacts. The deputy undersecretary at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources will be the head of the delegation in which officials from the Oil Affairs General Directorate, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be participating.

    Meanwhile, earlier Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.09.11) reported that officials from the foreign ministries of Turkey and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", breakaway regime in Cyprus, would convene in Ankara on Thursday to discuss the unilateral initiatives of the Republic of Cyprus to explore oil in the East Mediterranean.

    According to Turkish Cypriot leader's office, a Turkish Cypriot delegation comprised of officials from the "foreign ministry" and the "economy and energy ministry" would attend the meeting which would take place in Turkey's capital Ankara tomorrow.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (15.09.11) reports on the same issue and writes that the technical committee which is to have contacts in Ankara is composed by Aytug Plumer so-called undersecretary of the "foreign ministry", Serdar Canaltay, "director" of the "Harbor Department", Mustafa Aklaravli, "director" of the "Geology and Metal Department", Cemal Sadetoglu, "deputy director" of the "Map Department" and Mehmet Dana, "A' secretary" and Mustafa Guven "B secretary".

    According to the paper, although the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has announced at the beginning of the week that his special representative Kudret Ozersay, will be heading the "TRNC delegation", the "council of ministers" decided yesterday during its 4.5 hours meeting that Aytug Plumer will be heading the delegation. The paper publishes the issue under the title "Eroglu says others, the government does others".

    (AK)

    [02] Eroglu due to New York

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 14.09.11), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will be flying to New York on Saturday morning to have various of contacts within the framework of the United Nation's General Assembly session. He is expected to return on Sunday the 25th of September.

    During his New York visit, Erolgu will be accompanied by his special representative Kudret Ozersay, his spokesman Osman Ertug and the member of the Cyprus negotiations team Gunes Onar.

    [03] Statements by Eroglu after his meeting with President Christofias

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.09.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has said that the special representatives of the community leaders met yesterday morning and discussed the proposals of the sides on the issue of the citizenship trying to achieve convergence. In statements yesterday after his meeting with President Christofias within the framework of the Cyprus talks, Eroglu noted that the leaders discussed the same issue during their meeting in the afternoon.

    Eroglu said that during their meeting tomorrow the leaders will enter into the economy chapter and added that they will meet several times during the process until 21 October. He noted that they discussed the chapters of territory and property in the past, completed the issue of citizenship yesterday after a two-day discussion and took up the governance and power sharing in four days. Eroglu said that they will discuss the EU chapter after they return from New York. "In any case, after the discussion of the EU chapter, we will try to assess until 21 October whether there will be convergence on some issues", he added.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Threats by Eroglu on oil explorations: "The Turkish warships are standing by in the Mediterranean Sea"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (15.09.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu hosted Turkish Cypriot journalists at a dinner last Tuesday and briefed them on the latest developments as regards the Cyprus problem and the negotiations process prior to his visit to New York.

    In a conversation with the journalists, Eroglu said that the explorations for oil and natural gas in the open sea of Cyprus are not accepted and added that he has told President Christofias that the Greek Cypriots should abandon this effort. Eroglu noted that Turkey will never allow such an effort and added: "Ships of the Turkish Armed Forces are standing by".

    Eroglu alleged that his statements on the issue of the citizenship [in a possible federal state] have not been published correctly in the press and pointed out that what he had said was that everybody who will vote in the referendum should be accepted as citizen.

    Referring to the same dinner, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (15.09.11) reports that Eroglu noted that what he said was that all "citizens" registered in the "register" of the regime should become citizens of the "new state". Eroglu said that the tripartite summit in October is crucial and noted: "I guarantee that I will be at the negotiating table until the end of October? The UN Secretary-General should decide what will happen after the summit to be held in the end of October".

    The paper writes that Eroglu is worried about the internal developments in the occupied area and that because of the "disorganization" of the self-styled government people tell him that they wish they had not voted for him. Eroglu said he is not informed by the "government" on the new "laws" which it prepares and added that he reads these "laws" in the papers.

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.09.11), Eroglu said also that he is worried about the internal problems which exist in the occupied area of Cyprus and the course of the "country". He noted that the internal problems increase and that he continuously receives complains by the people. Eroglu pointed out that the internal problems weaken him at the negotiations table during the efforts of reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. He argued that discipline existed in the National Unity Party when he was the president of the party and added that the "MPs" and the "ministers" should cooperate. If they do not, "early elections" wait at the door, he said. Asked whether he sees "early elections", Eroglu said that these "elections" will not happen in 2011 because only few months remained until the end of the year. Asked whether there will be "elections" next year, Eroglu replied that this depends on the developments.

    The paper writes that referring to the explorations for oil and natural gas by the Republic of Cyprus, Eroglu alleged that President Christofias behaves in a hard manner against Turkey in order to secure the support of the nationalist circles in the government-controlled area of the island. Asked whether there will be a war because of this issue, Eroglu argued that they do not want a war and added: "There will be no war, but Turkey will defend its interests of course". He recalled that many wars in the world happen because of oil.

    Kibris reports that Kudret Ozersay, Eroglu's special advisor, briefed the chief editors of the newspapers on the ongoing Cyprus negotiations.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Atalay's statements prior and during his illegal visit to occupied area of Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.09.11, online) reported on statements by Turkey's deputy prime minister Besir Atalay, speaking to reporters yesterday before flying to the occupied area of Cyprus characterized Cyprus' initiatives to determine its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and oil explorations in the East Mediterranean as a serious risk.

    Atalay claimed that Greek Cypriots are not sincere about a solution on the island, since they "create new problems," and added: "Turkey is determined to take every measure to take Turkish Cypriot people's peace and prosperity under guarantee, and will continue to stand by Turkish Cypriots under every circumstance, will never leave them alone."

    Atalay said the Greek Cypriots should give up their initiatives "that posed a risk for a settlement", and if Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots reached an agreement by the end of this year, they could establish a "new partnership state". "And this state can undertake rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) in the second half of 2012, and a new and constructive atmosphere, particularly in Turkish-EU relations, can be created," he said.

    Atalay alleged that Turkey was supporting the process that aimed to reach a settlement in ongoing Cyprus negotiations till the end of December 2011 and to hold two referenda in January. "However, the Greek Cypriot administration should also be good willed for a settlement," he said, claiming that if a common future was foreseen between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, this could not be possible by "unjustly isolating" the Turkish Cypriots. Moreover, Atalay said Turkey was planning to complete the project to bring potable water to Cyprus with pipelines till March 2014, and more energy and infrastructural projects were on the way. He defined Cyprus as Turkey's national cause, and said Turkey considered Turkish Cypriots an indispensable part of Turkish nation.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (15.09.11) reports that Besir Atalay replying to questions of reporters regarding Cyprus' natural gas exploration during his illegal visit in the occupied area said the following: "We are monitoring everything. We have also taken precautions, as safety, the Eastern Mediterranean is no one's field. Turkey has taken serious measures, both in terms of safety and in terms of the area having economic interests. These [measures] are temporal, taken in connection to the atmosphere developed the past days with Israel. We are following everything with great sensitivity."

    Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister is expected to meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, and other "executives" as well as representatives of NGOs during his four-day visit to the occupied area.

    [06] More reactions by Turkish Cypriot politicians on the oil and natural gas exploration

    Under the title "Turkey is not joking", Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (15.09.11) reports on statements by several politicians in the occupied area of Cyprus who evaluated the initiatives of the Republic of Cyprus to explore oil and natural gas in the East Mediterranean.

    Commenting on the issue, Ozkan Yorgancioglu, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) expressed the belief that the initiatives of the Republic of Cyprus to launch oil and natural gas explorations in an area which is defined as "exclusive economic zone", before the solution of the Cyprus problem will affect negatively the solution. Yorgancioglu said that this problem should be solved through dialogue adding that if the sides intensify the tension by taking steps, this might have undesirable results.

    On the same issue, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, leader of the Democracy and Trust Party (DGP) has stated that whatever Turkey will decide to do is related to the issue of whether the Greek Cypriot side is too thrilled about it or not. He claimed: "I do not consider that the Greek Cypriot side will accept the risk of such a crisis with Turkey. The initiatives of the Greek Cypriots will determine the developments. The determination of Turkey is clear. Everyone should know of its limitations, Greek Cypriots are not strong enough. I also, do not consider that Israel is to move to this end on behalf of Greek Cypriots. It is the Greek Cypriot side which is trying to create an unnecessary crisis here. I consider that nobody wishes for a war to take place in the region and I believe that at the end there will be a consensus".

    Speaking in his turn, Bengu Sonya, secretary general of the Democratic Party (DP), commenting on the issue of oil and natural gas, alleged, inter alia, that the Republic of Cyprus is playing a dangerous game and that they are making a mistake. Sonya argued that he also considers the EU responsible for this adding that the EU is behaving irresponsibly on the issue especially in a period that the negotiations continue. Sonya further said that this initiative by the Republic of Cyprus is irrational and foolish.

    Turgay Avci, chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), stated, inter alia, that Turkey is not bluffing and added that Turkey is determined to protect not only the rights of the Turkish Cypriots but also to protect their rights in the Exclusive Economic Zone.

    On the other hand, Huseyin Angolemli, "MP" with the Social Democracy Party (TDP) commenting on the issue stated that a lot of things have been said by the sides adding that a war atmosphere has been created towards the issue. Angolemli then wondered whether Turkey will attack Israel and added that whatever is said and stated, is because Turkey wants to be the leader in the Arab world.

    (AK)

    [07] Statements by Kucuk on oil exploration and tourism; Statements by Ustel

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 14.09.11), self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, during his contacts in Gaziantep, replied to reporters' questions over the Cyprus Government's plans for oil and natural gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean. Kucuk alleged that these initiatives were made with the aim of changing the agenda at a time when calls have been intensified for the resignation of the President Demetris Christofias following the explosion at the naval base and worsening economic situation in the country.

    Calling on the Greek Cypriot side to use common sense, Kucuk said it is clear that the "TRNC" (breakaway regime) and, as guarantor power, Turkey will take necessary measures on the issue.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.09.11) reported that self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk said Tuesday that they had a share in precious substances to be found off the coast of Cyprus.

    Speaking as part of activities to promote tourism in south-eastern province of Gaziantep on Tuesday, Kucuk said that the breakaway regime will not let the Greek Cypriot side waste the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. "We will overcome all problems with Turkey's support. We will carry our economy and growing tourism further", Kucuk added.

    "We have clean beaches and sea. We have a bed capacity of more than 18,000. 13 touristic facilities in the TRNC [breakaway regime] have 5 stars. Our cuisine and restaurants also contribute to tourism in the TRNC," Kucuk said.

    Also speaking in Gaziantep, self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture, Unal Ustel, said that the year 2011 was declared as the Year of "TNRC" in Turkey.

    "As a ministry, we are trying to promote Turkish Cypriot tourism in big Turkish provinces," Ustel said.

    "You can enter the TRNC with an ID card and without a need for a passport. There are three flights to the TRNC from Gaziantep per week. It takes only 55 minutes to reach the TRNC from Gaziantep. We would be happy to receive more residents of Gaziantep in the TRNC. Your visits will strengthen the ties between our two countries," Ustel concluded.

    [08] Izcan: "Eroglu's proposals dynamite the negotiations"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (15.09.11) reports that the general secretary of United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan issued a written statement blaming Eroglu for plunging the negotiations into a dead end. He described as unacceptable Eroglu's statements after the negotiations that all "TRNC citizens" without a population census will be given the citizenship of the common state and added: "This proposal drives the negotiations to a slope and dynamites the process."

    Izcan argued that Eroglu's proposal is not new, but has also been put forward by Talat and asked: "Eroglu or any other government official in the north of Cyprus, do they know how much is the population, how many TRNC citizens of Turkish origin are there, or how many TRNC citizens live abroad? No they don't! They don't even know how many citizenships they have distributed and still continue to do so."

    Izcan also said that if this proposal is implemented after a solution, it will be the biggest blow in to the Turkish Cypriots struggle for social existence and added that this is something that neither the UN nor the Greek Cypriot side could accept.

    [09] The population in occupied Lefkosia increased by 12% during the last four years Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.09.11) reports that the population in occupied Lefkosia increased to 80 thousands in 2010 and therefore the city development plan has to be revised.

    According to information by the so-called department of city development, Lefkosia was expected to reach 80 thousands the year 2020; however it reached this number ten years earlier.

    The paper writes that the population in occupied Cyprus was 256.644, according to the census conducted in 2006; and therefore the population in occupied Cyprus is estimated to have reached 287.433 in 2010. It is estimated that the population in occupied Lefkosia increased by 12% reaching to 80.433 in the year 2010.

    [10] Yildiz said Turkey and Egypt may drill in Mediterranean

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 14.09.11) publishes the following news report by Ankara Anatolia News Agency:

    "Turkey intends to cooperate with Egypt in searching for natural gas in the Mediterranean, given the latter's experience in deep-water drilling, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz says on an official visit to Egypt

    (?)

    'Egypt and Turkey can work together on the fields of oil and [natural] gas, we evaluated this issue and need some more time [for further steps]. We can search together in the Mediterranean,' said Yildiz, not giving details on the project while speaking to journalists. The minister also emphasized Egypt's experience in deep-water drilling.

    The minister, who is currently in Egypt accompanying Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said he had met with Egypt's ministers for oil and electricity during his visit, which he said had been 'extremely fruitful'. He also said Turkey signed two memoranda with Egypt on energy cooperation. 'One of them is about joint projects in third countries, the other regards electricity'.

    (?)

    'We import natural gas from five countries and oil from 11. Egypt can be the sixth country that exports natural gas to Turkey,' the minister said, adding that Egypt produces about twice the amount of energy Turkey consumes.

    Moreover, Yildiz said he expected the 1,200-kilometer Arab Natural Gas Pipeline to be completed by the end of this year, adding that the pipeline would have two routes. One pipeline flows from Azerbaijan to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan via Turkey and the second from Egypt to Turkey, he added. (?)"

    [11] Erdogan to hold talks with Obama in NY

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 14.09.11), reports the following:

    "Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet in New York next week, with Iraq expected to be high on their agenda, a senior Turkish official said Wednesday.

    The meeting, which will occur on the side-lines of the U.N. General Assembly, was requested by Washington and is likely to be a 'lengthy' one, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said on CNNTurk. He added that Turkey's efforts to curb Kurdish militants based in northern Iraq and possible complications in Iraq in the wake of the U.S. military's looming pull out, would be discussed in detail. Atalay said there was 'nothing more natural' than for Turkey to assume a more active role in neighbouring Iraq after the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

    'We may have some demands from the United States as they are pulling out, and they may have assessments concerning Turkey,' the minister said, adding that Ankara had no plans 'at the moment' to set up a buffer zone inside northern Iraq to thwart the infiltration of members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    Erdogan and Obama are also likely to discuss the simmering crisis between Turkey and Israel, the unrest in the Arab world and a Palestinian plan to seek statehood recognition at the U.N. General Assembly."

    [12] "Turkey, US sign agreement on NATO radar deployment"

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 14.09.11) with the above title reports, inter alia, the following:

    "Turkey and US officials have signed a memorandum on the deployment of US radar as part of a NATO-backed missile defence system designed to protect European members of the alliance from missile threats.

    According to the memorandum, the X-band radar system will be deployed at a military base in the eastern province of Malatya, private NTV television reported on Wednesday adding that the agreement was signed by Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu and US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone at the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday morning.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed that the radar system would be deployed in Kurecik, Malatya. 'The site surveys and relevant legal arrangements have been finalized, and accordingly a military installation in Kurecik has been designated as the radar site,' a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.

    (?)

    The Turkish and US governments say the radar system will help spot missile threats coming from outside Europe, including potentially from Iran. The system, provided by the United States, is to become operational later this year."

    [13] Poll shows AKP increased its popular support by 3%

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 14.09.11), under the title "Poll shows support for government's Israel policy", reports, inter alia, the following:

    "A recent poll of Turkish public opinion has shown that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) increased its popular support by 3% since the general elections held in June and received appreciable support for its policies towards Israel.

    (?)

    In a poll recently conducted by the Sonar research group, 84% of the participants thought Turkey was right in regard to last year's deadly raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, while 3.27% stated that Israel was right in attacking an aid flotilla on international waters. Additionally, 2.27% said both parties are right in their own way, 2.63% said they are both wrong and 7% of the participants did not express an opinion.

    Sonar's poll shows that 48.63% of the people who participated in the survey approve of the government's latest policies towards Israel, 37.07% said they do not approve of the latest policies and 14% did not express an opinion.

    According to the Sonar poll, the AK Party increased its approval rating by 3%, receiving 52.82% support. On the other hand, the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) votes decreased to 22.37% with a record fall of 3.6%. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) increased its votes by 1 percentage point, receiving 14.1%.

    The survey shows that 52.56% of the participants find the government successful and 5.7% stated that they find it successful to some degree. When asked what Turkey's most pressing issue was, 70.83 of the participants answered terrorism.

    The AK Party increased its support by 15% in this survey over Sonar's previous survey, conducted in August 2010, while the CHP's support decreased by 9%."

    [14] "Natural gas as a possible reconciliation platform?"

    Energy consultant Peter Wallace publishes the following article in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 14.09.11) with the above title:

    "A lot has been a lot written recently on the planned drilling by Noble Energy Inc. in Block 12 in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). However, not much seems to have been written about possible obstacles and technical expertise questions that go beyond the regional ownership and rights issues and other political misalignments.

    The need for cooperation between Turkish and Greek Cypriots should be broadened from the political level to technical matters. The region could do well from drawing from the Norwegians' ability to strategically exploit their North Sea reserves and their early understanding of the need to identify their need to confront national administrations and import technically formidable expertise. Norway has become one of the world's leaders in offshore oil and gas technology and exploitation.

    Thus, it is this importation of expertise that appears to have far been overlooked, and I have only read a small number of articles that have addressed the problem. Although the ownership and drilling rights issues are hugely important, the practical matters of what will happen, if the drilling that is being planned confirms the size of the estimated subterranean reserves, seems to have been forgotten. High-level governmental agreements are vitally important for the transfer of specialized knowhow.

    Since time is of the essence, the sooner such agreements are formalized the better. Estimates of reserves in the two primary fields in the Levant Basin are believed to be in the region of 24.5 trillion cubic feet (Leviathan 16 tcf and Tamar 8.5 tcf). To put this volume in perspective, this amount of gas is 694 cubic kilometres or the same volume as nearly 10 billion shipping containers.

    For any sensible exploitation to take place, Israel and Lebanon would need to cooperate and the Greek and Turkish Cypriots would need to put aside, for a while, their past differences so that all of the parties could jointly recognize that the entire region could benefit from the discovery. Consider also that the amount of gas estimated so far is equal to half the known reserves of the United States, which has a population of almost 310 million, and then consider that the total population of the territories claiming ownership rights to the two main fields in the Levant Basin is only around 13 million people.

    If there were any sense to any of this, then the parties should now be considering what their options are and start considering the most beneficial method of exploiting this huge amount of gas.

    Some recent articles have mentioned the possibility of exporting the gas via a pipeline to the European Union mainland. If this pipeline needed to be routed through Turkey because of the depth of the Mediterranean between Cyprus and mainland Greece, then an amicable relationship between Turkey and Greek Cyprus must be formed.

    Another option would be to build a liquefaction plant to produce Liquefied Natural Gas, or LNG, but the size, the scale, and the costs of building a plant big enough to handle the volumes of gas involved are immense. In today's money, an estimate of costs for a plant capable of producing in excess of 10 million tons of LNG per annum, and coming on stream in about eight to 10 years' time, would be in excess of $10 billion. And to put this sum in perspective, the 2010 GDP for Cyprus was $25 billion.

    It is these long-time frames on projects of this scale which dictate that the governments involved should form an international committee of experts to begin considering what the options are. Planning for a project of this scale needs to start right now as a plant big enough to handle the volumes of gas involved can take up to 10 years ? and sometimes longer ? to complete. There are also the issues of funding and investment, as well as the need to seek customers, which can take time, but can also have a major influence on the size, scale and type of plant that would be needed to process the gas.

    The respective governments also need to consider new legislation for natural gas imports and exploitation that attract investment rather than frightening it away. Big oil and gas financial interests will only arrive in the region if there are financial incentives to encourage investment. Any agreements with companies involved in the exploitation should also have provisions in their contracts to train government and private-sector employees." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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