An autonomous northern Cyprus dependent on Turkey is an option, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said on Tuesday, the Hürriyet daily reported.
Ertuğruloğlu reportedly said in a round-table meeting in Washington on Tuesday that a “Monaco-like” (in relation to its dependence on France) autonomous system, dependent on Ankara in defense and international issues, could be an option for the Turkish side of the divided island of Cyprus
Addressing Greek Cyprus’ unilateral activities for exploration and drilling hydrocarbon reserves in the Mediterranean off the island, Ertuğruloğlu vowed that Turkish Cyprus would “shoot those ships if necessary.”
Negotiations between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders to reunify the island broke down in Switzerland on July 6 after the United Nations failed to broker a compromise deal.
The Cyprus dispute has always been considered a red line of Turkish foreign policy. The Turkish military had intervened on the island in 1974 to end atrocities being perpetrated against the Turkish Cypriots. The state established after Turkey’s intervention, the KKTC, is recognized only by Turkey.