Feb 13 2018

Turkey’s Erdoğan raises threat of military intervention over Cypriot gas

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a meeting of his parliamentarians on Tuesday that Turkey would respond to drilling for natural gas in Cypriot waters and Greek attempts to take control of disputed islets in the Aegean in the same way as it has acted in two military operations in northern Syria, state news agency Anadolu said.

“Let them not think that the search for natural gas in Cypriot waters and opportunistic initiatives relating to islets in the Aegean have slipped our attention,” Erdoğan said.

“We will destroy their calculations just as we are destroying those who made the wrong calculations on our southern border with the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations and soon the steps we will take in Manbij and other regions.”

The Greeks and Greek Cypriots would stop swaggering when they saw the Turkish military with its ships and warplanes approaching, Erdoğan said.

"We recommend that foreign companies operating in Cypriot waters not trust the Greek (Cypriot) side and become a tool for business that exceeds their place and powers."

Erdoğan also reminded the United States that it was a partner of equal weight with Turkey in the NATO alliance.

"No-one (in NATO) has the right to use ISIS (Islamic State) as an excuse because everyone is acting together against ISIS,” he said. “Those who say 'if they hit us we will respond harshly' have clearly never received an Ottoman slap."