“Do they want to test our determination? We are challenging Greece to set foot on Imia. If that happens, we will defend them to the death,” Bulut said speaking on Turkish state television TRT.
According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) the Turkish political adviser also warned of a similar strike in the Eastern Mediterranean if anyone tries to extract gas and oil without Ankara’s permission.
Bulut said that no energy company will be able to drill for oil or hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean – meaning Cyprus‘ exclusive economic zone – unless it has the approval of Ankara.
Bulut pointed out that Italy’s’ ENI energy company “is trying to enter the EEZ of Cyprus with two Italian frigates and for three weeks the Turkish navy does not allow them to approach”.
“Do you see the audacity?,” Bulut said. “The Greek Cypriots hold an auction and the Italian frigates come and try to put a drill ship in the territorial waters of Cyprus.
“If you have the guts, come on. I say it clearly. In any field in which we do not give permission, in any attempt or provocation, personally, our chief of staff (Erdogan) will give the command to strike. No one should have a doubt about it,” he stressed.