ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued a warning to Greece, Cyprus and international companies exploring for gas in the Mediterranean not to “step out of line” and encroach on Turkey’s rights.
Erdogan made the warning on Tuesday in an address to legislators of his ruling party as Turkish warships continued to impede a rig from reaching a location off Cyprus where Italian energy company Eni is scheduled to drill for gas.
Turkey opposes the oil drilling, saying it disregards the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots. Many in Turkey also accuse Greece of laying claims on uninhabited islets near Turkey’s Aegean coastline.
“Opportunistic attempts concerning gas exploration off Cyprus and concerning Aegean islets are not escaping our attentions,” Erdogan said. “We are warning those who step out of line with miscalculations in Cyprus and the Aegean.