Top Turkish politician threatens Greece and Cyprus over oil exploration in East Med

23 November 2018
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Binali Yıldırım, Turkey’s Speaker of the Grand National Assembly said Turkey would not relinquish a centimetre of its legal rights and interests in the waters of the Mediterranean.

Addressing an event on the oil drilling vessel “Koca Piri Reis” at a University in Smyrna (Izmir), Mr Yildirim warned that Turkey would react if it felt its interests were being jeopardised in the Mediterranean.

Claiming Greece and Cyprus were violating international law, he indirectly urged the large oil companies to “be aware of their limitations” and refrain from conducting oil research in the region.

He went on to point out that the interests of “Northern Cyprus” coincided with those of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, threatening that the latter could swiftly intervene if it deemed it necessary.
In a strange interpretation of International maritime law, the Turkish politician claimed the sea was a common property and heritage of humanity. “Therefore, exploitation, appropriation by only one country, one community, has nothing to do with national and international law”, he said.

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