Turkey's VP Says Maps No Longer Apply in East Mediterranean, Greek Seas

Αssociated Press

FILE- Turkey s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, and Fayez Sarraj, left, the head of Libya s internationally-recognized government, greet each other before their talks in Tripoli, Libya, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (Fatih Aktas/Turkish Foreign Ministry via AP, Pool)

ANKARA -- While Turkey said it wants to negotiate boundaries with Greece in the seas between them, Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay said his country would go ahead with plans to drill for energy off Crete and claim waters near Greek islands.

Oktay said that would be done under a maritime deal with Libya dividing the seas between them, isolating some Greek islands in an agreement that’s not recognized by any other country and with the United Nations so far not reckoning a map of the plan.

“We are tearing up maps in the eastern Mediterranean that were drawn up to imprison us on the mainland. We're making history in Libya,” Oktay said during a speech at a ceremony in central Turkey, said Kathimerini.

He also said Turkey “will strongly support Libyan brothers until peace, tranquility, justice established in country,” which is divided, the UN reckoning a government accepted by Turkey but Greece and other countries supporting rebels. 

Greece has been trying to build an international alliance against Turkey, aligning itself in energy deals with Egypt and Israel, as well as Cyprus where Turkey is drilling for oil and gas in Cypriot waters.