Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has said “We have defended the rights of our own, and the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to the end and will continue [to defend]. Nobody should test our strength”,
Akar was paying a visit to the frigate accompanying the drillship ‘Yavuz’ offshore Cyprus.
“We won’t turn a blind eye to a ‘fait accompli’ in Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Aegean.
“We won’t let any decision against our rights over this issue to be taken in any way,”, the defence minister said.
Akar also stressed that Turkey will not stand by and watch while the Greek Cypriot side carries out gas exploration and drilling activities.
The Turkish defence chief arrived in North Cyprus on Saturday to inspect the troops and to hold a series of talks with Turkish Cypriot officials. He was accompanied by Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler and chiefs of the army, navy and air force.
Since spring this year, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels ‘Fatih’ and most recently ‘Yavuz’ to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the rights of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.