No plan without Turkey in Med, says minister

No plan without Turkey in Med, says minister

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
No plan without Turkey in Med, says minister

An offshore oil platform off the coast of Guiana is seen in this file photo. Yıldırım says Turkey is the security insurance for the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus and adds that ‘the approval of Turkey has to be obtained’ for gas drilling. AFP photo

Israel would step over the line by threatening Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a Turkish minister said Nov. 4 while evaluating the Israeli president’s visit to Greek Cyprus on Nov. 3 to discuss natural gas exploration in the maritime region.

“Israel would not dare threaten Turkey,” said Binali Yıldırım, Turkey’s minister of transport, maritime and communications told the Daily News at the Ericsson Academy opening ceremony in Istanbul.

“Turkey’s road map on this matter is already certain, “said Yıldırım, adding that there would be no project formed and run in the Eastern Mediterranean “without Turkey’s consent.”

Yıldırım said Turkey was the security insurance for the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus and “the approval of Turkey has to be obtained” for oil and gas drilling in the region.

“We are not going to threaten anybody and we’re not going to be afraid of threats. What we have to do really is to bring it to the international level and behave like responsible countries, too,” Israeli President Shimon Peres said, the Associated Press reported Oct.4.

A tripartite summit among U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Eroğlu and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias took place in New York on Oct. 30 and 31. The next summit will take place in January 2012.

Following a meeting at Çırağan Palace in Istanbul with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu said northern Cyprus continued its pursuit of a solution at the Cyprus talks held in New York.

“We want negotiations, ongoing for 43 years, to be concluded and a lasting agreement to come out,” Eroğlu said at a press conference after the Istanbul meeting.

Eroğlu said they were continuing with good will and made constructive proposals at every meeting. “We will keep seeking solutions for Cyprus. I hope talks will be concluded at the next summit in New York,” he said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said peace on the island would be a part of the peace in the East Mediterranean region. He said they hoped the Greek Cypriot administration would approach the negotiation process with this perspective, stating that peace, tranquility and stability would be restored.

Davutoğlu said the U.N. secretary-general would call the two parties to talks again in January and this was a pleasing development. He added that it would be the “end game.”

“If the term ‘end game’ is used, we are happy with this result as we have insisted on this since the Geneva talks,” Eroğlu said “We propose that negotiations will not last forever and there should be an end to this in the Greentree summit.”

Additional AA report from Istanbul was used in this story.