Turkey: Gas feud may raise Cyprus partition option

Turkey's deputy PM says Cyprus' partition an option if Greek Cypriots don't share gas deposits

Associated Press
Turkey: Gas feud may raise Cyprus partition option
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A Turkish parachutist with a Turkish flag flies over a military parade in the Turkish occupied area of the divided capital Nicosia, Cyprus, Saturday, July 20, 2013. The parade was part of the celebrations marking the 39th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern area of the island. Cyprus was split into Greek Cypriot south and Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded in response to a coup by supporters of union with Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- Turkey's deputy prime minister says Cyprus' formal partition may come up as an option in renewed talks to reunify the ethnically divided island if Greek Cypriots don't share newfound gas deposits with breakaway Turkish Cypriots.

Besir Atalay was speaking Saturday at celebrations marking Turkey's 1974 invasion of Cyprus that followed a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Turkish Cypriots declared independence in 1983 but only Turkey, which maintains 35,000 troops there, recognizes it.

Turkey strongly objects to a search for mineral deposits by the government in the Greek Cypriot south which is internationally recognized, but not by Ankara.

Greek Cypriots say both sides can share in the potential bounty after a reunification accord is achieved.

Long-running peace talks that stalled last year are expected to resume this autumn.

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