Erdogan Tells Cyprus Not to Test Him on Gas

Turkish president issues his warning after Greek Cypriots accused the military of obstructing an Italian vessel exploring for natural gas

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey, February 13, 2018
\ HANDOUT/ REUTERS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned Cyprus not to “overstep the mark” in the eastern Mediterranean, after Greek Cypriots accused the Turkish military of obstructing an Italian vessel exploring for natural gas.

Turkey, which does not have diplomatic ties with Cyprus, says some areas of Cyprus’s offshore maritime zone fall under the jurisdiction of Turkey or Turkish Cypriots, underscoring tensions in the broader eastern Mediterranean over competing claims for offshore resources.

“Our warships and security units are following all developments in the region with the instruction to do whatever is necessary,” Erdogan told members of his ruling AK Party in parliament.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades declined to comment on Erdogan’s remarks, but said there was no cause for worry.