The Eastern Mediterranean is "an issue" for 82 million Turks, Turkey's Energy Minister Fatih Donmez has said, declaring that the country will not back down in its demands.
With the completion of its program in 2023, Turkey will have the capability to store 5.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas, Donmez said, noting that this would constitute the largest storage capacity in the world.
He added that this would be "one of the best answers to those who oppose the just activities of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean," referring to the country's search for hydrocarbons in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.
"Turkey is never without an alternative," he said. "The legal rights of Turkey and [the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus] can never be a matter for bargaining."
He added that the Eastern Mediterranean "is not only an issue of our own ministry and other competent ministries." "It is above all an issue for the 82 million," he said, referring to Turkey's population. "It is an issue of the homeland, an issue for Turkey, a struggle against those who are bothered by the existence of Turkey."
Turkey will never back down from its demands in the Eastern Mediterranean, he added.