Greek Cypriot administration
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar reiterated Sunday the hardline stance on drilling inside Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Stance expressed Saturday by the country's foreign ministry.
Akar told Anadolu News Agency that Ankara is determined to protect its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea under international law.
Turkey rejects the statement by EU's High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini calling on Turkey "to show restraint, respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone and refrain from any such illegal action to which the European Union will respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus."
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on Jan. 2 warned that it will take action against the Greek Cypriot administration if it continued to stop travelers from crossing their mutual border.
Turkish Presidential Spokesman İbrahim Kalın has stated that the United States’ 6th fleet has not yet arrived off the island of Cyprus, after the Greek Cypriot administration claimed that the U.S. navy will be in the eastern Mediterranean for the protection of Exxon’s drilling vessel from a potential Turkish intervention.
The Greek Cypriot administration will not be permitted to continue engaging in unilateral natural gas exploration activities in the Mediterranean without the consent of Turkish Cypriots, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Kudret Özersay has said.
Turkey has reiterated its determination in not abandoning its rights and Turkish Cypriots’ rights over the rich hydrocarbon reserves off Cyprus to unilateral actions of the Greek Cypriot administration, as news reports suggested Turkish warships have blocked a rig around the island that belongs to Italy’s energy firm ENI.
Turkish EU Minister Omer Celik said on Monday that Turkey's relation with EU was not "a relation of neediness but a win-win relation", Anadolu Agency reported.
Speaking to lawmakers during a 2018 budget debate, Celik said that there was a consensus in parliament for Turkey's EU membership. "This is pleasing for the country's interests," he said.
In 2004, the UN negotiated the Annan Plan for Cyprus. The Turkish side had accepted the return of the Güzelyurt (Morphu) region which was almost entirely inhabited by Greek Cypriots before the division of the island.