By Burak Bir
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey will not bow to threats and blackmailing over Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish president reiterated on Monday, stressing that the county will not allow any "imperialist expansionism" on the sea, either.
"Turkey will not accept plans and maps that aim to confine country to its coasts off Antalya," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Workshop on Eastern Mediterranean at Akdeniz University via a video message.
He also said that any plans and maps excluding Turkey from its rights on Eastern Mediterranean are "unacceptable".
Recalling his offer on holding an international conference on Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said that related issues will only be solved by bringing all the actors in the region together around the same table.
"Our country has never sided with tension in the Eastern Mediterranean issue, but rather with peace, cooperation, fairness, and the establishment of justice," he said.
Amid recent tensions in the region, Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration have increased their pressure on other EU members to impose sanctions on Turkey during the upcoming EU leaders summit.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, and stressed that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Ankara has sent several drill ships in the past weeks to explore for energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue, and negotiation.