Turkey will not stand for violation of its interests, Erdoğan says

Turkey does not stand for others to violate its interests and has disappointed those who expect it to bow down, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday.

Turkey maintains no interest in the territories and resources of other countries, state-run Anadolu news agency quoted the Turkish president as saying in a speech he delivered via video link for the opening ceremony for a beltway in the northern city of Amasya.

“We do not have our eyes on anyone’s right, law, territory, sea, and natural resources. But, we do not allow anyone to step on our own right, law and interest,” Erdoğan said.

The Turkish president’s statements arrive amid escalating tensions with neighbouring Greece over Turkey's deployment of vessels to search for oil and gas off the divided island of Cyprus, where a number of countries are vying for the rights to hydrocarbon resources, and the reconversion of the Hagia Sophia - the former seat of the Greek Orthodox Church - into a mosque on Friday.

Turkey demonstrated strength in the face of any threat, whether it was in Iraq, Syria, Libya or the Aegean Sea, and “showed its strength and determined stance against them without any hesitation,’’ Erdoğan said.

Turkey maintains military presence in Iraq, Syria and Libya and is accused by critics of an increasingly aggressive neo-Ottoman foreign policy in the region.

“Those who loudly objected to Turkey's steps, could not make any presence in the field because they see the power our country has in every field,” he said.

Turkey was up until recently a country subjected to sanctions, embargos and ultimatums, but has today become a country many are looking to cooperate with, Erdoğan said.