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Turkey Continues to Escalate in Eastern Mediterranean

Turkey Continues to Escalate in Eastern Mediterranean

Monday, 12 August, 2019 - 09:45
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar addresses a meeting of his country's ambassadors, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. (Turkish Defence Ministry via AP, Pool)
Ankara - Said Abdelrazek
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar reiterated the country’s keenness on its rights and those of the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in the wealth of the Eastern Mediterranean.

"We have defended the rights of our own, and the people of TRNC to the end and will continue to defend. Nobody should test our strength," Akar said during his visit to the frigate accompanying the Turkish drilling vessel Yavuz.

"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 minister affirmed.

Fatih and Yavuz vessels continue their tasks in the Mediterranean Sea near Cyprus.

“We are in favor of peace and good neighborhood in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean, and Cyprus. We are sincere and we stand behind our words,” said Akar.

“When we say ‘peace’ they perceive our statement as a weakness. When we say ‘we will get what is our right when necessary’ they perceive it as a threat,” he said adding that Turkey’s neighbors need to look at the situation objectively.

“To date, we have fulfilled our responsibilities in the scope of guarantee and alliance agreements and we are determined to do so. To continue this, the existence of the Turkish Armed Forces on the island is a must, and everyone should know that.”

Turkey will dispatch a third drilling vessel to the Eastern Mediterranean end of August, stated Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez.

Moreover, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed a proposal by President of Northern Cyprus Mustafa Akinci on the administration of hydrocarbon resources. Guterres said in a letter on Saturday to Akinci that all moves to ease tensions are welcomed.

On July 13, Akinci offered the Greek Cypriot side to set up a joint committee on hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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