On 5th May, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Turkey is determined to protect Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea under international law.
“Along with the rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean under international law, as a guarantor country, Turkey is determined to always protect the rights of the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and not to allow the fait accompli,” Akar told Anadolu Agency.
The Minister’s remarks came a day after the Greek Foreign Ministry called Turkey to stop drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Akar called on Greece for common sense and cooperation and added that the energy resources in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean should serve as a bridge for peace, dialogue and mutual development.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also issued a statement on May 4 to reject the remarks made by the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini regarding Turkey’s hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Turkey’s hydrocarbon-related activities in the Eastern Mediterranean region are based on its legitimate rights in accordance with international law. As we previously stressed on many occasions, having the longest coastal line in the region, we will protect our own rights and interests within our continental shelf, as well as those of the Turkish Cypriots around the island of Cyprus,” the Ministry said.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.