Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Turkey intends to explore the East Mediterranean for oil and gas, in an interview with Greek newspaper Kathimerini.
Cavusoglu considered the 2013 Egyptian-Cypriot agreement on utilization of natural sources in East Mediterranean’s economic zone to be invalid.
He explained that his country submitted a request to cancel the agreement, claiming that it “violates the Turkish continental shelf at latitude 32, 16, and 18 degrees.”
Cavusoglu added that “Turkish Cypriots have undeniable rights on the island of Cyprus.” He then emphasized that “no foreign entity, company or vessel can carry out any illegal scientific research or exploration of oil and gas in the continental shelf of Turkey and its maritime areas.”
Turkey invaded the north of Cyprus in 1974 and declared it the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”
The Cypriot island, which is financially and politically linked to Turkey, has not been recognized by other nations as under Turkish sovereignty, while the state of Cyprus, which controls almost two-thirds of the island, obtained international recognition from the United Nations.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm