BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 P.M.) – Turkish Vice President Fuad Oktay said on Wednesday evening that his country “will not give up an inch of its land or a drop of its territorial waters to anyone, not just Greece.”
Oktay said, during an interview with the Turkish CNN channel, “We have our own continental shelf that we are drilling inside. Just as Turkey is drilling in the Black Sea, it does so within its continental shelf in the Mediterranean and does not need permission or approval from anyone.”
He explained, “Turkey will continue exploration and seismic research activities in the Mediterranean as well as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” adding that “Turkey will not give up an inch of its lands or a drop of its territorial waters to anyone, not just Greece, especially with regard to the rights of future generations. We will not give it to anyone, no matter what it costs. ”
The Turkish Vice President added, “We say very clearly, just as Turkey has not interfered in the exploration activities of any country, we do not accept interference by anyone in our affairs. We only do work related to our rights, in our lands and our blue homeland.”
The U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, called on Athens and Ankara to reduce tension and stop the escalation in the eastern Mediterranean around the maritime borders and energy reserves in the region, after harsh statements from the ruling party in Turkey.
The eastern Mediterranean region is witnessing tensions between Ankara and Athens and a show of naval power, in light of a dispute mainly revolving around the sharing of gas reserves that have been discovered in recent years.