President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said no project in the eastern Mediterranean can be realized without Turkey’s participation, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“Having the longest coastline on the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey has a say in every project in the region,” Erdoğan told a press conference on Wednesday after the inauguration of the TurkStream pipeline with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Turkey has been conducting natural gas exploration off Cyprus despite objections from the European Union, Greece and the Greek Cypriots.
Ankara says it has a right to protect the interests of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), a self-declared state in the northern part of the divided island.
“I want to reiterate my call to [Mediterranean] countries: Let’s avoid conflict and cooperate in the region,” Erdoğan said.
Apart from Greece, Egypt and Israel also oppose Turkey’s drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean.