Turkey blasts EU over sanctions plan, vows to continue drilling in east Med.

The Turkish foreign ministry on Monday blasted the EU over its plans to sanction Turkey for its unauthorised gas drilling in the eastern Mediterranean and said the country would continue drilling in the region.

Turkey will not bow down to threats and step back from its rights in the region, the ministry said in an official statement.

The EU on Monday adopted a framework for imposing sanctions on Turkey for its gas drilling off the coast of the divided island of Cyprus, however, did not indicate the people and entities it would target.

“We have consistently stated since 2004 that we will not allow for our rights to be unilaterally seized. It is truly noteworthy that a real chance for cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean has been taken hostage through unrequited and incomprehensible support for an invalid administration by the EU, disgregarding international law, ’’ the statement said.

Turkey has long argued that it is drilling in the region within its territorial rights.  Ankara maintains parts of Cyprus’s EEZ lie on its own continental shelf, and objects to the internationally recognised government of the partitioned island exploiting resources that it says the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is due a share of.

The ministry said that it would continue to protect the "rights and interests of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean as determined by international law, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, despite all of the EU’s inapprehensible steps’’.