Turkey will continue protecting its rights and interests in the Mediterranean without any compromise, the country’s National Security Council said on Tuesday.
“Negative approaches of some actors, who met on the common ground against Turkey, regarding Turkey’s legitimate and legal steps in the Mediterranean were evaluated, and it is stated that protection of our country’s rights and interests in land, sea, and air will continue without any compromise,” the council, headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said in a statement issued following its meeting.
Turkey is a guarantor nation for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.
In 1974, following a coup aimed at the annexation of Cyprus by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.
Fight against terrorism
The council said Turkey will resolutely continue its fight against terrorism with its operations both inside and across the border.
“The commitment to continue multi-dimensional works to protect the territorial integrity of Syria, to clear the region of terrorist organizations and return of Syrians to their countries was reiterated,” it added.
Since 2016, Turkey has launched three successful anti-terror operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable peaceful settlement by locals: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
Regarding current developments in Libya, the council said Turkey will continue providing military consultancy to Libya’s legitimate government.
Libya’s internationally recognized government, also known as the Government of National Accord, has been under attack by renegade Gen. Khalifa Haftar’s forces since April 2019.
Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Libya’s new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to the military offensive by Haftar’s forces.
The meeting also underlined the success of Turkey’s health, economy, food, technology, public order and security during the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Since first appearing in China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 188 countries and regions.
The US, Brazil, Russia and several European countries are currently the hardest hit in the world.
The pandemic has killed over 376,800 people worldwide, with more than 6.31 million confirmed cases, while recoveries surpassed 2.72 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.
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