The Turkish vice president on Aug. 29 called on the EU for equity amid ongoing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In an exclusive interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, Fuat Oktay said: “Turkey expects equity from the EU, no one should expect Ankara to take a step back based on this equity.”
Oktay further asked: “If the Greek attempts to expand its territorial waters isn’t a cause of war, then what is?” stressing that the country “will protect its rights on every cubic meter in the Eastern Mediterranean waters no matter what.”
“It is insincere for the EU to call for dialogue on the one hand and make other plans on the other, regarding the activities we carry out in our own continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Oktay also said on via his Twitter account.
<blockquote readability="0"> <a href="/ankara-says-eus-demand-to-stop-activities-in-e-med-out-of-line-157787" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> <h5>Ankara says EU’s demand to stop activities in E Med ‘out of line'</h5> <img src="//s.hurriyet.com.tr/hdnstatic/dist/images/placeholder-img.jpg" data-src="//i.hurimg.com/i/hdn/75/650x350/5f492e4bc9de3d1068d448c0.jpg" alt="Ankara says EU’s demand to stop activities in E Med ‘out of line" class="lazy bImage"/><noscript><img src="//i.hurimg.com/i/hdn/75/650x350/5f492e4bc9de3d1068d448c0.jpg" alt="Ankara says EU’s demand to stop activities in E Med ‘out of line" class="bImage" itemprop=""/></noscript> </a> </p> </blockquote>
He added: “We [Turkey] are well aware of peace and diplomatic language, but we will not hesitate to do what is necessary when it comes to protecting the rights and interests of Turkey. France and Greece are among those who know this best.”
Greece disputed Turkey’s current energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.
Turkey – the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean – has sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that Ankara and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.
Ankara has earlier said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the TRNC – which has issued Turkish state oil company Turkish Petroleum a license – and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.
‘Unthinkable for Turkey to give up Aegean, East Med’
Meanwhile, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said on Aug. 29 that it is “unthinkable” for Turkey to give up its “historical interests” in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas.
Greece is playing with fire and is being spurred on by France, Bahçeli said in a written statement.
He said all the countries “sitting at the gambling table” are familiar with each other and are trying to bet on the winner.
“Do not come close to a fire that will burn you,” he added.