Erdoğan says Turkey won't stop drilling for offshore gas in the E. Mediterranean
Turkey will continue drilling for offshore gas in the Eastern MediterraneanEastern Mediterranean despite objections from Athens, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday.
"We are not going to cease our oil exploration activities because the Greeks and the [main opposition Republican People’s Party] CHP) object to it," state-run Anadolu news agency quoted Erdoğan as saying during an opening ceremony for a park in İstanbul.
Erdoğan’s statements arrive as Turkey prepares to step up its operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, an area of contention between Greece and Cyprus over energy drilling.
Ankara says the areas west of Cyprus that Greece and the Greek Republic of Cyprus have claimed lie on Turkey’s continental shelf and opposes Greek Cypriot drilling since it “infringes on the rights” of the island’s Turkish Cypriots, whose administration is only formally recognized by Turkey.
"We are not going to give up defending the rights our North Cypriot brothers and sisters over energy resources just because the CHP is disturbed. We are going to continue our works until the end and give our nation the good news that they have been waiting for," the Turkish President said, responding to CHP’s criticism of Ankara’s drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean.