Turkey has announced that it will start drilling operations in the Eastern Mediterranean next month.
During his speech at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Turkey’s vice president, Fuat Oktay, was adamant about Ankara’s rights in the region and that a new drilling rig is set to begin operations.
“We are resolutely defending our rights, as well as the rights and interests of our Turkish Cypriot brothers and sisters in the Eastern Mediterranean against any provocation and illegal actions,” he said. “Hydrocarbon resources in the Mediterranean are not only a Greek Cypriot game.”
Oktay also raised the ante further by claiming that the city of “Varosha is the territory of the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.’ They [the Greeks] should know that.”
Meanwhile, regarding the restrictions that the US might place on the sale of F-16 fighter jets, especially with regards to overflights above the Greek islands, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that “when we discussed these issues with [US President] Mr Biden, he did not put such a condition concerning Greece.”
“On the contrary, in our long meeting, we talked about the fact that as NATO member countries we should protect each other’s rights,” he said, stressing that he “will make every effort regarding the F16s.”
Erdogan expressed his dismay against those in the US House of Representatives who are opposed to Ankara’s purchase of F-16s, while he did not hide his hope that elections in Congress in November will bring a change in the balance of power.
“We will see what the November midterm elections will bring. There are indications that the Republicans will have more clout in the Senate and will again have more clout in the House of Representatives,” he said.