In a warning issued on Wednesday, Ömer Çelik, the spokesman of Turkey’s ruling AKP party stated that Greece and Cyprus should refrain from taking any actions against the drilling vessel “Fatih” (Conqueror) in the eastern Mediterranean.
Çelik added that Turkey’s natural resources exploration will take place based on legal grounds, noting that the “Greek Cypriot Administration,” as he called the Republic of Cyprus, has unilaterally declared its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Çelik said that the block number 7 belongs to Turkey. This position is disputed by Cyprus, which has already invited foreign energy forms to explore the area.
As for Greece’s stated intention to expand its territorial waters, Çelik said that Turkey will respond strongly, escalating tensions once again.
According to Turkey’s Hurriyet daily, the country’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Fatih Dönmez, had warned a day prior that Turkey “will protect its rights and the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [as he called the occupied northern part of Cyprus] until the end and against those who attempt to take unilateral, illegitimate steps that are unfair to Turkey.”
AK Parti Sözcüsü Ömer Çelik: Yunanistan'ın karasularının kademeli olarak artırılmasıyla ilgili en ufak çabaya, Türkiye tarafından en sert cevap verilecektir pic.twitter.com/iaqGTeY94v
— Star Gazetesi 🇹🇷 (@stargazete) October 31, 2018