Yildirim warns oil companies against Cyprus drilling


In what was seen as an indirect threat to Greece and Cyprus, Binali Yildirim, the speaker of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly, Thursday warned international oil companies against energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone, before a settlement is reached on the divided island.

“This is a breaking point,” Yildirim was quoted by the state-run Anadolu agency during a ceremony in Izmir marking the 40th anniversary of the launch of Turkey’s first research vessel.

He said oil companies drilling in the region must “mind their steps,” adding that Ankara will respond to any plans that run counter to the interests of the divided island’s Turkish-Cypriot community and Turkey, Anadolu reported.

“Everyone should know that we will not yield even an inch of our rights and interests at sea,” he was quoted as saying.