Turkish President and AK Party Leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that it is not Turkey that is increasing tensions in the Mediterranean, but rather the Greek Cypriot-Greek mentality attempting to disregard Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Erdoğan said: “All Turkey’s actions in the region were on the basis of legitimacy and have been carried out according to the memorandum of understanding with Libya.
The Greek Cypriot side sees the island as their own property and gives privileged licences towards trying to research oil/natural gas, although they have not had such a right in the maritime jurisdiction of the island since 2003. Some of the so-called licenced areas of the Greek Cypriot side clearly overlap the continental shelf of Turkey. Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration are trying to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in respect of the hydrocarbon resources in this geography.
Mentioning that Turkey has always tried to resolve the problem with Greece at the negotiating table with diplomacy, Erdoğan said that any settlement which excludes Turkey and the TRNC and an initiative which violates the law has no chance of success. The way for a settlement in the Eastern Mediterranean is dialogue and negotiation. We expect all our interlocutors to respect the rights of our country and the Turkish Cypriots.”