We will send in the army if need be: Turkish Vice President

Fuat Oktay

Fuat Oktay

Turkey continues to provoke its illegal drilling activities in Cyprus' territorial waters, threatening with ‘sending in the army’ if necessary.

The warning came from Turkish Vice President, Fuat Oktay who reiterated that his country will do whatever it considers necessary, as "we are accountable only to our nation" he said speaking to Turkish lawmakers during a debate on the 2020 budget.

"If necessary, Turkey sends troops, drilling rigs in the Eastern Mediterranean and launching a cross-border operation, doing whatever is needed," he said characteristically.

At the same time, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry expressed its disappointment with the US arms embargo on Cyprus, saying that "they will have no other outcome than obstructing the solution of the Cyprus problem and paving the way for dangerous tension".

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the 2020 defence spending bill passed by the US House of Representatives and Congress contains ‘hostile elements’ against Turkey. "Members of Congress whose domestic policy is under the influence of hostile circles to Turkey continue to undermine the vision of improving our relations with the United States," the statement said.

According to the statement, "the unfair obstruction of Turkey's participation in the F35 program, despite fulfilling all its obligations, the re-opening of sanctions in our country regarding the supply of S400s, as well as the inclusion and of the Turkish Stream program under this law shows that Congress's disrespectful and irrational hostility to decisions we make as a sovereign state continues."

"As far as efforts to lift the 'South Cypriot administration' of US arms embargo on Cyprus, they will have no other effect than to hinder efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem and pave the way for a dangerous tension," it continued.

The statement added: "We remind once again that threats and the language of sanctions will never prevent Turkey from taking decisive steps for its national security. There is no doubt that the necessary measures will be taken against these plans against Turkey. "

On Tuesday, the US Congress voted to end the embargo on the island, which was imposed in 1987 with the aim of preventing an arms buildup that would obstruct diplomatic efforts at a peace settlement. In response, Turkey warned that this move undermines efforts to reunite the Mediterranean island and creates a “dangerous escalation.”