Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) met in the capital Ankara on Sept. 24 and later issued a statement. The council was chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Presidential Complex and lasted for over four hours.
“It has been once again emphasized that Turkey will not make a concession with regards to its rights and interests on land, sea or in the air, as has been the case up until today,” the statement read.
The council said that 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.
“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.
“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.
Turkey has alarmed the European Union by stepping up its gas exploration off Cyprus and claiming rights to waters also claimed by Greece and Cyprus.
The dispute has brought to a head a host of other tensions, from Turkey’s involvement in Syria and Libya to what the EU says is growing authoritarianism under Erdoğan.
Turkey does not recognize Cyprus, an EU and euro zone member, which was split after a Turkish invasion triggered by a Greek-inspired coup in 1974. A Turkish Cypriot state in north Cyprus is recognized only by Ankara.