Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised interview on Sunday that Turkey will not only conduct research on hydrocarbons but also drill in the Mediterranean sea area east of Crete.
Using a map to indicate the location, he stated “I want to show you something…This point here is the point where Turkey meets Libya. This belt that you see passes east of Crete. The northern section of the border here is Turkey and the southern section is Libya. What are these? These are continental shelves. We can say that we can conduct our seismic research here and then after our seismic research we can drill here.”
Pointing to the location of the significant hydrocarbon deposits in the eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said that Turkey could cooperate with major international companies in the region.
Referring to the recent deal Turkey inked with Libya seeking to delineate its maritime zones, Erdogan said it would be enforced following its approval in the Turkish Parliament. He added that the accord protects the interests of both Turkey and Libya and that Ankara will not permit unilateral actions in the region.
Last week, European Union leaders completely rejected the new Ankara-Tripoli deal as legally invalid.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Sunday warned again that Greece will not accept any violation of its sovereign rights.
In an interview to the German newspaper Bild, Mitsotakis reiterated that the Ankara-Tripoli deal is is “illegal and invalid,” but also expressed confidence that “things will not get out of control.”