Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Sunday stressed the importance of protecting Turkey’s rights in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking at an award ceremony in the capital Ankara, Akar was quoted as saying by the semi-official Anadolu Agency that “We will continue to protect our rights and benefits in Aegean, in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in the ‘blue homeland’.”
The concept of the blue homeland refers to Turkey’s determination not to allow any action in the waters surrounding the country without the explicit approval of Ankara.
Last November, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Greece and Cyprus against “reckless” actions in the eastern Mediterranean.
“As Turkey, we will not make the slightest concession neither in the eastern Mediterranean or any other region and will defend our rights up to the end,” he has warned.
Turkey has consistently challenged the Cypriot government’s drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to hydrocarbon resources in the area.