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Turkey slams France for setting red lines in Mediterranean dispute

Turkey's MTA Oruc Reis seismic vessel, which is escorted by Turkish navy, is seen offshores of Eastern Mediterranean on August 10, 2020. [Ministry of National Defense - Anadolu Agency]
Turkey's seismic vessel, alongside the Turkish navy, is seen at the Eastern Mediterranean on 10 August 2020 [Ministry of National Defense/Anadolu Agency]

Turkey's Foreign Ministry on Sunday slammed French President Emanuel Macron over his setting of red lines for Turks in the Mediterranean.

"Those who think they drew a red line in the Eastern Mediterranean are challenging our country's resolute stance," a ministry statement said.

On Friday, Macron said he had adopted a "red-line policy" in the region, backing Greece against Turkey over the exploration for energy resources, Anadolu reported.

"If there is a red line in the region, it belongs to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots based on international law," the Turkish Foreign Ministry stressed.

"The period of determining their imperialist understanding by drawing lines on maps is over," the statement added, according to Anadolu, which said it referred to France's colonial past.

READ: Turkey announces military exercises in Eastern Mediterranean

"Turkey is powerful enough to deter anyone who attempts to seize its rights and interests by deploying an 'armada'," the statement said.

Yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "Turkey will not allow piracy or banditry in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions."

Turkish Foreign Ministry said that disputes over rights in the Mediterranean should only be resolved through dialogue, hailing Pope Francis' call to do so.

"I follow with concern the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean area and I appeal for constructive dialogue and respect for international law to resolve the conflicts that threaten the peace of the peoples of that region," the Pope said on Twitter.

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