Turkey to EU: ‘Turkey will not pull back’

Tensions between NATO members Greece and Turkey escalated again.

Both sides are staging navy drills.

In a message on NAVTEX, the international maritime navigational system, Turkey said it would carry out “gunnery exercises” from Saturday until September 11 in a zone off the southern Turkish town of Anamur, north of the island of Cyprus.

Ankara said on Thursday that military exercises would take place on Tuesday and Wednesday in a zone further east.

The EU’s warning to Turkey

The European Union and Greece have called on Turkey to immediately halt energy exploration in the disputed waters.

The EU warned Turkey on Friday that it could face new sanctions if tensions do not defuse.

Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay sat down Saturday in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency to discuss the latest developments in Eastern Mediterranean, regional and international issues, and the country’s foreign policy.

Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay, Archived photo

He stressed that Ankara “expects fairness [from the EU].

AA: When Turkey resumes exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, do you have different goals there? Do you plan to do something else? Why does Europe react so actively?

FO: Unfortunately, we do not remember Europe supporting Turkey for any issues in favor of Ankara, standing by Turkey and Turkish people, but it [Europe] rather reacted to such issues.

‘We do not cause an accident, we do what is necessary’, Turkey’s Vice President said

He added; the issue that says “We extend [Greek territorial waters] to 12 miles” And we say: “Come on, extend it if you can. When you increase it to 12 miles — our parliament has an authority that it is a cause of war. It is a structure that we stand behind today and this authority is still valid today.

Oktay: Nobody should expect Turkey to pull back in line with this fairness. We want this to be respected.