Turkey Resolute in Continuing to Drill in East Mediterranean, Erdogan Says



Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. File photo

Turkey is determined to continue to explore hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared on Thursday.

Ersin Tatar, the prime minister of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, was on an official visit to Ankara when Erdogan reiterated his position that Turkey will claim rights to any fossil fuels found off the island. The Turkish president’s remarks were made in the press conference that followed their meeting.

“No project ignoring Turkey or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus can be realized in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency.

The Turkish leader’s statement came after French President Emmanuel Macron requested that Ankara cease its aggressive behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean and the US State Department asked for the removal of the ship “Yavuz” from waters off the Karpasia Peninsula in northerm Cyprus.

Two Turkish oil drilling ships, the Fatih and the Yavuz, are currently operating in the area, accompanied by the “Barbaros,” an exploration vessel from Turkey.