Ankara, 22 Aug. 2019 (Anadolu)
Turkey will “resolutely” continue to explore hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
Erdogan’s remarks came at a press conferences in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, following his meeting with Ersin Tatar, Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Erdogan pinned the blame on the irreconcilable attitudes of the Greek Cypriot side for the lingering Cyprus dispute.
He said a solution to the issue would be possible only if the Greek Cypriot side steps forward for a “sincere and realistic reconciliation base.”
Turkey’s president also warned: “No project ignoring Turkey or Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus can be realized in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
“Those who once sought to seize the island by shedding the blood of Turkish Cypriots pursue same goal through political and economic attacks today,” Erdogan said.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.
Since spring this year, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels — Fatih and most recently Yavuz — to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.