Turkey “will take all necessary steps to protect our rights in the Mediterranean and Aegean,” its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said on Monday.
“With our four drilling rigs and our two seismic vessels, we are determined to continue our activities in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, without any interruption,” Erdogan said, speaking at the conclusion of a cabinet meeting in Ankara.
His comments come a day before a NATO summit in Madrid, where Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to respond decisively if Erdogan raises issues with Greece.
Erdogan also said he will do “whatever is necessary for our country’s rights and interests” at the summit.
He would provide documents and visuals on “terror groups,” including Kurdish militant groups and the network of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen blamed for a 2016 attempted coup in Turkey, to show his counterparts the “hypocrisy” on terror.
Ankara has objected to Sweden’s and Finland’s bids to join NATO, citing what it considers to be a lax approach to groups Turkey deems national security threats, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and its Syrian extension.
Turkey has demanded the two Nordic countries extradite wanted individuals and lift arms restrictions imposed after Turkey’s 2019 military incursion into northeast Syria.
“We will tell them clearly that it is not possible to expect a different attitude from Turkey unless this picture changes,” he said. [Reuters, Ekathimerini]