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Cavusoglu: 2020 showed Turkey’s determination to protect own interests

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Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday that Turkey’s ongoing activities in the Eastern Mediterranean had demonstrated its determination to protect its legitimate interests in the region.

“In the Eastern Mediterranean, we raised our flag with the Oruc Reis, the Barbaros and the Yavuz, and we showed that nothing can happen in the area that does not involve us,” Cavusoglu told a foreign policy evaluation meeting for 2020 in Ankara.

“We showed our enemies and our friends what we are capable of,” he said.

In the same meeting, Cavusoglu backed the idea of a two-state solution on Cyprus, which has been divided since Turkey invaded the northern part of the Mediterranean island in 1974.

Cavusoglu also said Turkey, although not yet a member of the European Union, was still a part of Europe. Referring to the recent European Council conclusions, which fell short of imposing hard sanctions on Turkey over its unlawful activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, he said that although Ankara was not fully satisfied with the conclusions, common sense appeared to have prevailed at the summit.

Cavusoglu slammed recent US sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems as an attack on Turkey’s sovereign interests. He added that Ankara and Washington had agreed to set up a joint working group on the issue.