Turkey will resolutely continue to protect its own and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ (TRNC) rights in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration are engaged in “unilateral and provocative activities” that threaten regional peace and stability, the ministry said in a statement.
“The main cause of the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean in recent years has been Greece’s and the Greek Cypriot administration’s maximalist maritime jurisdiction area claims and unilateral acts that ignore Turkey's and the TRNC’s rights and interests,” read the statement.
The ministry condemned Greece’s recent attempts to violate the continental shelf and the Greek Cypriot administration’s planned move to launch research activity on Oct. 3 with an Italian-owned and Maltese-flagged ship.
The Greek Cypriot administration also plans to commence a new drilling operation in the south of the island in November, the statement said, adding that these actions breach TRNC’s rights and violate Turkey’s continental shelf.
“All necessary steps are being taken against these unilateral acts of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, both on the ground and at the table,” the ministry asserted.
“Also, it is being brought to the attention of third countries that they should not be part of these unilateral acts.”
The ministry pointed out that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the European Union to convene an “inclusive conference” on the Eastern Mediterranean last year.
The TRNC also made a detailed proposal to the Greek Cypriot side in July 2019 regarding hydrocarbon resources, it added.
“Despite the fact that all these proposals are on the table, Greece and the Greek Cypriot have been attempting to engage in unilateral and provocative activities in recent months by increasing the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean,” read the statement.