Turkey’s foreign minister reiterated Wednesday that Turkey is determined to protect Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Either the wealth is fairly shared, a common solution is found, or Turkey will continue to defend Turkish Cypriots’ rights,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a news conference in the capital Ankara.
Underlining that Turkey will keep on its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cavusoglu said: “No country or international institution has the right to comment on this issue.”
The Turkish-flagged drillship Fatih launched offshore drilling operations this May in an area 75 kilometers (42 nautical miles) off the western coast of the island of Cyprus.
Athens and the Greek Cypriot administration have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships’ crews and enlisting European Union leaders to join their criticism.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also has rights to the resources in the area.
Turkey’s top diplomat also voiced hope that the new government in Greece will help Turkey to maintain its relations with Greece more constructively in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
He underscored that Turkey wants to resolve the disputes with Greece in the Aegean, instead of escalating tensions.