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Erdogan slams Macron over remarks on Turkish drilling in Mediterranean

Christian Fernsby |
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Emmanuel Macron over his remarks asking Turkey to stop its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

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"The French president wants us to withdraw from the searches in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea," Erdogan said at a meeting in Istanbul.

"We are a guarantor in Cyprus, Greece is a guarantor, the United Kingdom is a guarantor, but who are you?" he said of Macron.

"If you make such a statement on behalf of the Total company, show your attorney agreement," the Turkish leader remarked, accusing Macron of acting on behalf of the French oil and gas company.

Speaking at a summit of the European Union in Malta last week, Macron voiced solidarity with Cyprus and urged Turkey to "stop its illegal activities in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone."

Ankara argues that some of the gas fields claimed by the Greek Cypriots overlap with the exclusive economic zone of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots living in the northern part of the divided Cyprus island.

According to Erdogan, Turkey has been conducting drilling activities in locations reserved for it.

"Turkey has not chosen to watch what is happening there, but rather to struggle for its own benefits," he said.

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