16-07-2019 17:29:47

“EU's approach to ‘only deepen division’ on Cyprus Island”

Party spokesman Ömer Çelik held a press conference at party’s headquarter in Ankara

The EU decision to sanction Turkey will “only deepen division” on Cyprus Island and has no effect on Turkey, Party spokesman said on Tuesday.

Ömer Celik's remarks came a day after the EU Foreign Affairs Council adopted conclusions on the Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The council decided to suspend negotiations on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and agreed not to hold the Association Council and further meetings of the EU-Turkey high-level dialogues for the time being.

"It is clear that their approach will not serve nothing more than to deepen the division on [Cyprus] island. These sanctions will have no effect on Turkey," Celik told

He said Turkey's drilling vessels Fatih and Yavuz would continue their duties on the Eastern Mediterranean.

"Turkey will continue defending its sovereignty rights within its continental shelf," Çelik added.

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 resources in the area.

Since this spring, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels -- Fatih and most recently Yavuz -- to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.

Turkey’s first seismic vessel, the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa, bought from Norway in 2013, has been conducting exploration in the Mediterranean since April 2017.

Athens and Greek Cypriots have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships’ crews and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.