Erdogan says Turkey to continue as planned in East Med, Aegean

Erdogan says Turkey to continue as planned in East Med, Aegean

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said that Ankara intends to carry on with the “work it has started in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean,” according to the state-run Anadolu Agency.

“We will not hesitate to exercise our sovereign rights, as in the example of Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, which we reopened for worship,” Erdogan reportedly added, referring to the historic Greek Orthodox basilica that he had converted from a museum into a mosque earlier this month.

The context of Erdogan’s comments was not clear, but they come hours after the Turkish seismic survey vessel Barbaros sailed toward Cyprus following a Turkish navigational telex reserving parts of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone for hydrocarbon explorations.

Earlier this week, Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, had said that Ankara would suspend research for oil and gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean and off the coast of the Greek island of Kastellorizo.

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