Dashing Greek government hopes of a political resolution of the case of two Greek army officers who were captured by Turkish forces at the Greek-Turkish borders at Evros, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said today that the Turkish judiciary, which is totally controlled by the government after a series of purges, will deliver justice.

Yildirim also criticised the Greek government’s move to take the issue, which he called a «serious diplomatic matter» to the EU as an EU-Turkey issue, sarcastically describing it as “intelligent”, as it will not in the least affect EU-Turkey relations. He said Ankara is by now accustomed to Greece taking all Greece-Turkey differences to the EU, according to a report by the Haberler website.

Cyprus oil, gas exploration

As for the ongoing oil and gas exploration in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, most recently by a partnership between the oil giant ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, Yildirim reiterated Turkey’s position that any permission to conduct drilling must have the prior approval of the Turkish occupation regime in northern Cyprus, and by extension Ankara.

Under international law, the government of the Republic of Cyprus is the sole authority with the legitimacy to exercise sovereign rights on the island, with the exception of the British sovereign bases.

According to the terms of the treaty sealing Cyprus’ 2004 accession to the EU, it stipulated that entire island has acceded, and that EU law is suspended in the occupied area pending a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

In response to reports of the presence of the US Sixth Fleet in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, Yildirim said Ankara’s response would correspond to the “provocative activities”.

Turkish troops have illegally occupied nearly 40 percent of the island ever since Ankara’s invasion in 1974.


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