'Turkey's regional rights cannot be violated': Erdogan

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday Turkey will never allow its rights in the region to be violated by other countries.

"Countries who think they can act despite Turkey and even against Turkey are gravely mistaken," Erdogan told lawmakers of his Justice and Development (AK) Party at the parliament.

Erdogan said Turkey does not have any claim on the rights or interests of any other country.

"But, we will never allow anyone to violate our rights, laws, and interests [in our region]," Erdogan said.

"Everybody should know that no deed done in this region against Turkey can succeed. This is also valid for the Cyprus issue and in the Aegean," he added.

Turkey has repeatedly warned the Greek Cypriot Administration about its unilateral hydrocarbon-related research in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources around the area.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

In 2017, after two years of negotiations, the latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure.