With the maritime deal between Turkey and Libya, Ankara has shown the world its determination to protect its rights under international law, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.
Erdogan was speaking at a live televised interview with TRT, the country’s public broadcaster.
On November 27, Turkey and Libya’s UN-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli signed a bilateral memorandum.
The memorandum asserts Turkey’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.
Speaking about Turkey’s exploration and drilling activities in Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said that his country is set to buy another drillship and that the country will carry on its activities not only in the Mediterranean but also in the Black Sea and even in international waters.
“Other international actors cannot conduct exploration activities in the areas marked in the memorandum.
“Greek Cypriots, Egypt, Greece and Israel cannot establish a natural gas transmission line without Turkey’s consent,” he added.
Safe zone in northern Syria
On the planned safe zone in northern Syria, Erdogan said both deals reached separately with Russia and the US have failed to yield the expected result.
Turkey aims to settle 1 million Syrians in areas between Tal Abyad and Ras al Ayn in the planned safe zone in northern Syria, the Turkish president said.
Under two separate deals with the US and Russia, Turkey paused anti-terror Operation Peace Spring to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned northern Syria safe zone.
The operation was launched to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to be removed from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The terrorist YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.