In statements shortly before leaving for Japan and the G20 summit where he will meet with Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Erdogan, talked about the ongoing developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, arguing that “Turkey and ‘northern Cyprus’ has rights in the region”.
“I say it all the time: Greece has a right to speak, it is a guarantor, like Great Britain, but we too. As for the issue of the seas, the resources that exist there belong equally to those living in Cyprus. But if you say that we will do so under the control of southern Cyprus, we can not approve it. The southern side and the north will sit around a table and decide the distribution, although nothing has been found. Drillings continue. We started drilling. Now they understand that we are serious. Of course, we know how to share. Our principle is ‘win-win’”, he underlined.
Earlier the Greek Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis had met with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar on the sidelines of the NATO Defense Ministers’ meeting in Brussels, where he had the opportunity to expose the Greek positions on Turkey’s movements in the Aegean and the Cypriot EEZ.
“We want to avoid tension, but we will not give up our sovereign rights”, he said after his meeting with minister Akar.
According to a statement from the Turkish Ministry of Defense, “Minister Akar underlined the importance of solving the problems in the context of good neighborly relations, peace and friendship, based on international law”. Moreover, provocatively, it is reported that he stressed the need not to jeopardize “national interests and rights in the Aegean and the Mediterranean and to avoid provocative statements and behaviors”.