As Cyprus marked the 58th anniversary of its independence from the United Kingdom on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued fresh threats against Athens and Nicosia.
“I have to repeat that in Cyprus and the Aegean no move can be made without Turkey,” he said, warning that “those that try to ignore us in this region place their existence in jeopardy.”
His remarks came after repeated statements by Ankara that Turkey will begin drilling for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean – with Nicosia fearing that it could be planning operations within Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Turkey has warned Cyprus not to drill for hydrocarbons within the island’s EEZ before Turkish Cypriots are also included in its plans. Nonetheless, energy giants ExxonMobil of the US and France’s Total plan to begin drilling in Cyprus’s EEZ within the month.