Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay on Saturday accused the European Union of being “insincere” and warned that Turkey “will protect its rights over every cubic meter in the Eastern Mediterranean waters no matter what.”
“We [Turkey] are well aware of peace and diplomatic language, but we will not hesitate to do what is necessary when it comes to protecting the rights and interests of Turkey. France and Greece are among those who know this best,” Oktay said in an interview with the state-run Anadolu Agency.
“If Athens’ attempts to expand its territorial waters isn’t a cause of war, then what is?” Oktay asked, referring to Greece’s plans to extend its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea and indications that similar moves may follow in other maritime areas.
In comments a day after EU foreign ministers said they will consider further sanctions against Turkey over its illegal oil and gas surveys in the Eastern Mediterranean, Oktay said that “Turkey expects equity from the EU” and that “no one should expect Ankara to take a step back based on this equity.”
“It is insincere for the EU to call for dialogue on the one hand and make other plans on the other, regarding the activities we carry out in our own continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Oktay also said via Twitter, according to Anadolu.