Turkey will make no concessions in the eastern Mediterranean, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared as France announced that it would join naval exercises in the region amid a mounting stand-off over hydrocarbons.
Speaking at the commemorations for an 11th-century battlefield victory by Seljuk Turks over the Byzantine empire, Mr Erdogan warned that Turkey would do “whatever is politically, economically and militarily necessary” to protect its rights.
Turkey “will take whatever it is entitled to” in the Mediterranean and other maritime regions, he said, adding: “Just as we do not covet anyone else’s territory, sovereignty or interests, we will never make concessions on what belongs to us.”
Mr Erdogan took aim at Greece, which along with Cyprus has led calls to impose EU sanctions on Turkey in retaliation for what Athens says is its illegal drilling activities in an area rich with natural gas reserves.
He added: “We want everyone to see that Turkey is no longer a country whose patience, determination, capability and bravery can be tested. If we say we are going to do something, we do it. We will pay the price, whatever it is.”