Turkey will take necessary measures for security in East Med – foreign minister


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the country will take the measures necessary to protect its vessels in the eastern Mediterranean region, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Saturday.

“Turkey is the guarantor state for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC),” the minister was quoted by Anadolu as saying.

The breakaway Turkish-Cypriot enclave TRNC, established after a Turkish incursion into the Mediterranean island in 1974 following a coup attempt to unite Cyprus with Greece, is only recognised by Turkey.

Turkey tried everything but the Greek side did not want to make a deal, Çavuşoğlu said, referring to ongoing tensions over the potentially rich hydrocarbon reserves in eastern Mediterranean.

“Turkey proposes that there be no unilateral activity regarding explorations for natural gas, and a commission to allocate the revenue,” the minister said. “But they don’t want to cooperate, so I was forced to send over my vessels.”

Gas drilling vessels Fatih and Yavuz have operated inside Cyprus’s EEZ since May. Turkey has sent two warships to the region to escort the drilling vessels.

Turkey maintains that the Turkish Cypriots has a right to a share the revenue from natural gas reserves off Cyprus, while the Cypriot government says the matter will be resolved after a peace deal is established in the divided island.

Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) partially overlaps with Turkey’s continental shelf, according to Ankara.