The European Union’s steps against Turkey would not yield any result on Cyprus issue, Turkish foreign minister said on Friday.
“The steps that it [EU] would take towards us would be useless, it would backlash,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference alongside his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis in Ankara, Turkey’s capital.
On Wednesday, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “Despite our best intentions to keep good neighbourly relations with Turkey, its continued escalation and challenge to the sovereignty of our Member State Cyprus will inevitably lead the EU to respond in full solidarity as agreed by #EUCO.”
Cavusoglu said the EU should not “stand behind the wrong” for the so-called solidarity, and added that Turkey would take additional steps in case of any move against itself.
“No one can prevent it,” he warned, stressing that Greek Cypriots have been violating Turkish Cypriots’ rights by continuing drilling activities without ensuring the latter’s share.
He reiterated that Turkey only then started its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean as the guarantor country, when the warnings did not bear any result.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’s annexation by Greece, Ankara intervened as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.
Since this spring Ankara has sent two drill ships — Fatih and Yavuz — to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.
The Turkish-flagged drill ship Fatih launched offshore drilling operations this May in an area 75 kilometers (42 nautical miles) off the western coast of the island of Cyprus.
Athens and southern Cyprus have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships’ crews and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.
Cavusoglu also thanked his Swiss counterpart for always hosting the negotiations on Cyprus issue and iterated that Ankara is always in favor of a lasting solution on the island.