Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu: “We shall move within the given rules of engagement”
Regarding tension arising from South Cyprus, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu, said: “Rules of engagement have been conveyed by the Prime Ministry to the Office of Commander in Chief and by the Chief of Staff to the Commander of Naval Forces. In case of any conflict we will move within the given rules of engagement.”
Bostanoglu said that they are closely and carefully watching all the developments in and around the seas and mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Bostanoglu said: “Turkish Naval Forces has been closely protecting and supporting Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa Research Vessel. At the same time they are watching the drill ship rented by the Greek Cypriot administration from a distance of 900 Km. The order we have at present is not to go within 900 km. Therefore no disturbing or harassing incidence has occurred.”
When asked which engagement rules are going to be used if Greece and Israel warships come across in Eastern Mediterranean Bostanoglu recorded: “Rules of engagement have been conveyed by the Prime Ministry to the Office of Commander in Chief and by the Chief of Staff to the Commander of Naval Forces. We will move within the given rules of engagement in case of any conflict. Our Naval Forces will continue its activities of situational awareness in this region.”
Eide : “EEZ is not a part of territorial waters therefore everyone can enter into EEZ including warships”
UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said : “Cyprus has sovereignty rights for specific economic activities within its EEZ however anyone including warships can enter the EEZ . There may be even 10 warships in a given area. It is true that you cannot establish a platform and make drilling within another county’s EEZ. However occupation is out of question. You can occupy a country or its territorial waters. EEZ is not a part of territorial waters.”
Eide called on to all sides to turn natural gas into a real incentive rather than an impediment for a solution.
Eide gave an interview to the Weekly Greek Cypriot newspaper Kathimerini and said that there are ways to discuss the hydrocarbon issue now, before anyone loses prestige or gives concessions from their main thesis. Eide said: “If the natural gas issue cannot be solved, tension will escalate, you will see more warships and no one ever knows what could happen in those situations. I don’t believe there is bad intension however you frighten those who want to invest in Cyprus.”
Eide pointed out that: “Hydrocarbons are natural richness which belong to the whole island and I believe that it will be under the jurisdiction of central government after unification. Since everyone agrees on what will happen in future we have to concentrate on this point because natural gas or oil is not a present issue but is an issue of future. The revenue will come out 10-12 years after the unification of the island. Therefore, it will be good if we work, think about and develop ideas on long term management of natural gas.”