Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a rally for his political party.

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:40 A.M.) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that Ankara protects its interests not only on its soil, but also on its maritime borders from its three sides.

This came in a Tweet on Friday, after the exploration ship “Fateh” sailed to the Black Sea, to conduct the first excavations, in conjunction with the 567th anniversary of the opening of the city of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople).

Erdogan said: “We will not only protect the interests of our country on our 780,000 square km of land, but also on our maritime borders called the Blue Homeland on its three sides.”

He continued: “The Al-Fateh ship made its way on this glorious day – coinciding with the 567th anniversary of the opening of the city of Istanbul – towards the Black Sea to carry out excavation work, hoping that it would be a good occasion for our country.”

The message appears to be a stern warning to Greece, Egypt, and Cyprus over their recent comments condemning Turkey’s planned exploration of the eastern and southern Mediterranean, two regions Ankara claims are within Turkey’s interest.

Earlier, the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Fatih Donmez announced that the Fateh ship will start the first exploration work in the Black Sea as of next July 15.

The Minister stated that, on the 567th anniversary of the opening of Istanbul, the Fateh exploration ship is sailing for the Black Sea, to conduct the first excavation work on the “Tuna 1” site.

The Fateh ship is one of the most prominent Turkish exploration ships, with a length of 229 and a width of 36 meters, and entered service in 2011.

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The vessel classified among the sixth generation ships is distinguished by its high technology, and it is considered one of the 5 best ships around the world that possesses this high technology.

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