World, Europe

‘Turkey won’t let fait accompli in Cyprus, E Med, Aegean’

Turkey not to just watch while Greek Cypriot side conducting exploration, drilling activities, says defense chief

Sarp Ozer   | 11.08.2019
‘Turkey won’t let fait accompli in Cyprus, E Med, Aegean’

GIRNE, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Turkey will not let a fait accompli in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean, and Cyprus, the nation’s defense chief said on Sunday. 

Aboard the frigate accompanying the Yavuz drilling vessel in the Eastern Mediterranean, Hulusi Akar and commanders were briefed about Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean seas.

"We have defended the rights of our own, and the people of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to the end and will continue [to defend]. Nobody should test our strength," Akar said.

“We won’t turn a blind eye to a fait accompli in Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Aegean.

“We won’t let any decision against our rights over this issue to be taken in any way,” Turkey’s defense chief reiterated.

Akar also stressed that Turkey will not watch making no move while the Greek Cypriot side carrying out natural resource exploration and drilling activities.

Akar on Saturday arrived the TRNC to inspect the troops and to hold a series of talks with the Turkish Cypriot officials accompanied by Turkey's Chief of General Staff Yasar Guler and chiefs of the army, navy and air force.

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.

Turkey’s first seismic vessel, the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa, bought from Norway in 2013, has been conducting exploration in the Mediterranean since April 2017.

Athens and Greek Cypriots have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships’ crews and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’ annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended in 2017 in Switzerland. 

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev

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