Erdogan: Turkey will defend rights in Aegean, East Med

Erdogan: Turkey will defend rights in Aegean, East Med

Turkey will defend its sovereign rights in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday in Ankara’s latest warning against hydrocarbon exploration off the coast of Cyprus.

“We have a duty to protect [our rights],” Erdogan told a meeting of party officials, adding that standing up for its rights has given Turkey its existing “political, economic and social stature.”

“We have been able to achieve this not only by taking action against certain people at home but also by standing up to the world’s biggest economic and military powers,” Erdogan said.

Asked about Turkey’s recent warnings over Cyprus’s offshore drilling, European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas yesterday pointed to the March 22 European Council conclusion urging Ankara to “respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources in accordance with EU and international law.”

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