Akar: Turkey will protect its rights and interests in the region


Turkey will continue to protect its rights and interests in the Aegean, the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, the country’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Tuesday, adding that Turkish Cypriots have legitimate rights to natural resources off the ethnically-split island.

“Everyone should act accordingly,” Akar was quoted by the country’s state-owned Anadolu agency as saying.

Akar’s comments came as Turkey conducts its “Blue Homeland 2019” exercise, with the participation of frigates, destroyers and fighter jets in the Black Sea, the Aegean and the Mediterranean.

Speaking of the drill, which runs through March 8, Akar said it is “extremely successful.”

“Turkey had the opportunity to show the power of its naval forces to both itself and all the followers of the drill,” he said, according to the report.