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Cavusoglu says no plan in East Med has chance of success without Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday no plan in the eastern Mediterranean has any chance of success without Turkey, as he reiterated the country’s determination to defend its rights and interests in the region.

“No one should expect Turkey to abandon its right to the resources [in the Eastern Mediterranean], and initiatives [in the region] excluding Turkey have no chance of success,” Cavusoglu told the 12th Ambassadors’ Conference in the capital Ankara, according to Anadolu news agency.

Cavusoglu said Cyprus was a national matter for Turkey and accused the Greek Cypriot side of preventing a solution to the island’s division.

“There is a problematic mentality on the island, which does not view the Turkish Cypriot community as equal,” he said.

He accused the EU of supporting Cyprus’ efforts in the region to “seize” common wealth and warned that Turkey would never allow such a thing.

“To date, they have not accepted political equality. Where there is no political equality there must be sovereign equality, and will be sovereign equality,” the Turkish foreign minister said.

“Turkish Cypriots will not sit at the table simply to negotiate,” he added.

To Cavusoglu, the election of Ersin Tatar as Turkish Cypriot leader signalled just that. However, a substantial number of Turkish Cypriots oppose Ankara’s diktats and insisting on resolving the island’s division on a federal basis.

Turkey has consistently contested Cyprus’ drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, arguing that Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area. But Ankara has also staked claims in various areas, including the island’s south.

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