Turkey, World

Any activity in Turkish continental shelf needs permit

Foreign minister warns Incirlik and Kurecik bases in Turkey may come into question in case of US sanctions

Sena Guler   | 11.12.2019
Any activity in Turkish continental shelf needs permit


Turkey will not allow any activities within its continental shelf without permission granted, the foreign minister said on Wednesday.

“Within our continental shelf, no one can conduct activity without our permission, if it happens, we will prevent it, of course,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a televised interview with local news broadcaster, A Haber.

On Nov. 27, Turkey and Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) seated in Tripoli signed a bilateral memorandum.

The memorandum asserts Turkey’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.

On the objections from other countries to the memorandum, Cavusoglu said that Turkey can ink similar deals with any other country in the Mediterranean, excluding the Greek Cypriot administration as Ankara does not recognize it.

“We can cooperate with everyone. The deal we signed is in line with the international law and it protects Turkey’s rights under the international law,” Cavusoglu added.

He added that the memorandum also came as an answer to Greece and some other countries in the region who tried to single out Turkey.

“We have specified the western borders of our continental shelf. With whom did we do that? With Libya,” he said, adding that Ankara would cooperate with Tripoli if they want to carry out joint activities in their continental shelf.

US sanctions

Turning to possible sanctions by the U.S. against Turkey, Cavusoglu ruled out imposition as a means to achieve a goal.

“The U.S. Congress members should understand that they cannot achieve anything by imposition,” he said.

He also warned that in case of U.S. sanctions, the Incirlik Air Base and Kurecik Radar Station, where U.S. soldiers are stationed, in Turkey would come into question, without elaborating on the case.

Turkey has rebuffed suggestions from U.S. leaders that it leaves the Russian S-400 system inactivated in order to avoid possible U.S. sanctions.

The S-400 is seen as one of the most advanced missile systems in the world, capable of tracking several targets simultaneously. 

He reminded that Turkey is a partner of F-35 fifth-generation joint strike fighter program, and the jets do not interfere with Russia’s S-400 air defense system.

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