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Turkey calls on EU to respect rights in East Med

Turkey on Thursday urged all institutions, especially the EU, to respect its principled stance on the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the rights and interests of Turkish Cypriots.

A statement issued after the country's National Security Council meeting said Ankara's "attitude and actions" in the Eastern Mediterranean were part of its stance on the side of "rightness, fairness and justice" in every regional and global dispute.

The council was chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential complex and lasted for over four hours.

"All institutions, especially the European Union and the states involved in the disputes are urged to respect our country's [Turkey's] principled stance and rights and interests of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [in Eastern Mediterranean],” the statement read.

It also noted that Turkey has not and will not compromise its rights and interests on land, sea or in the air.

"Countries acting against international law, particularly on arming islands under demilitarized status, and agreements have been invited to reason," said the statement.

"Turkey is always in favor of dialogue on every platform for fair sharing of natural resources in the region," it added.

Tensions have recently escalated in a dispute on energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Greece, with France's support, has disputed Turkey's energy exploration, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

Turkey, the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean, has sent drill ships with a military escort to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also have rights in the region.

To reduce tensions, Turkey has called for dialogue to ensure fair sharing of the region's resources.


The statement also said the council was briefed on anti-terror operations at home and abroad targeting all terror groups, including the PKK/YPG, FETO and Daesh/ISIS, posing a threat to the unity, solidarity and survival of Turkey.

It also noted that Turkey would maintain its attitude towards peace and prosperity for Syria and Libya, where it supports counter-terrorism and stability in the framework of legitimacy.

The international community has also been invited to take concrete steps against illegitimate, terrorist organizations and their supporters. 

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