Turkey's president says he will not permit what he called the seizing of natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking at a naval ceremony Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would never accept such attempts "excluding our country and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus."
Turkey and the Greek Cypriot government in Cyprus – who do not have diplomatic relations – are both planning hydrocarbon research in the Mediterranean Sea for natural gas reserves.
A Turkish ship began explorations for oil and natural gas this week off the coast of southern Antalya province. The first drilling location is not within disputed territories near Cyprus.
Off the divided island of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots in northern Cyprus, who are supported by Turkey, say any offshore resources that Greek Cypriots tap into must be shared.