The Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized Armenia’s remarks on the Eastern Mediterranean.
“We see that Armenia, which attempts to present an opinion on the Eastern Mediterranean, is in fundamental error about world geography and its place in this geography. The issue here is not Lake Sevan, but the Eastern Mediterranean,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy.
After Armenia’s provocative statement about the Treaty of Sevres, its opinion on the Eastern Mediterranean is “a new example of irresponsibility and without limits,” Aksoy added.
Aksoy said it reveals “the insidious alliance against Turkey that landlocked Armenia thinks it has the right to speak on the region,” after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and France.
“No matter what happens, Turkey will protect its rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean stemming from international law. No alliance of evil can afford to prevent that. Those who think otherwise have not learned anything from history,” he added.
He also stressed that Turkey stands by its brother Azerbaijan by all means.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement Saturday saying that it is “carefully watching” the latest developments in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean.
The ministry also said it reiterates its “unconditional support and solidarity” for Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration as it urged Turkey to “de-escalate tensions, respect international law” and suspend all of its activities off Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration’s so-called exclusive economic zones (EEZ).
Tensions have been mounting in the region after Greece’s controversial new maritime pact with Egypt. Greek defense sources announced joint military drills Thursday in the Eastern Mediterranean along with France, which has sought to hem in Turkey’s maritime territory.
The drills follow Turkey’s resumption of energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean on Aug. 10, just after the signing of the Greek-Egyptian maritime pact, which Turkey called illegal. Ankara had temporarily paused the exploration by the MTA Oruç Reis seismic research vessel to allow for diplomatic talks, to no avail.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the natural resources in the area.
Turkish drilling procedures in the Eastern Mediterranean fall under two categories: the licensed areas issued by the TRNC to Turkey and the licensed areas that are issued by Turkey to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) – Turkey’s national oil company.