Senior Turkish officials said the EastMed gas transport project is simply a pipedream doomed to fail as it excludes Turkey and violates international law.
Turkish officials also argued the pipeline is not commercially feasible while pointing out that Turkey is the most viable route for transporting gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said: “Any project disregarding Turkey, which has the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Turkish Cypriots, who have equal rights over the natural resources of the island of Cyprus are doomed to fail”.
Aksoy dismissed the project as another set of “futile steps” aimed at excluding Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots from exploiting gas reserves in the region.
He argued that Turkey is the most commercially feasible and secure route for the utilization of natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and their transfer to consumer markets in Europe, including Turkey.
“Refusing to cooperate both with us and Turkish Cypriots in spite of this fact is actually a direct manifestation of some countries pursuit of futile political motivations instead of cooperation,” said Aksoy.
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has also come out against the agreement. Party spokesperson Omer Celik, in a post on his Twitter account, said Turkey is the only country acting within the law in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to stand up “against those who are trying to build a prison for us in the Mediterranean.”
“The Supreme Assembly (Parliament) gave a historical answer today to this unlawful siege first with the agreement we made with Libya and by approving the motion to send troops to Libya”.
Zafer Ates, deputy director-general for Energy and Multilateral Transport at the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Turkey plans to carry out five drillings in 2020 and aims to conduct 21 more by 2023 in marine areas licensed by Turkish Cypriot authorities in the occupied north of Cyprus.
Speaking at an energy conference organised by Ankara University he claimed that Egypt is also opposed to the EastMed pipeline “after Turkey exhibited its determination with the recent agreement with Libya, this pipeline would inevitably pass through the Turkish continental shelf”.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades joined the ceremony at which their respective energy ministers signed the deal in Athens on Thursday.
They said the pipeline was not against any third country and anyone was welcome to join as long as they respected international law.