'The reckless behaviour of Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration by receiving support from several European states has become a threat and danger primarily for themselves… As Turkey, we will not make the slightest concession from our theses neither in the eastern Mediterranean or any other region and will defend our rights up to the end', Erdogan said at a ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) parliamentary group meeting, as quoted by the Daily Sabah newspaper.
On October 18, Turkish media reported that the Turkish Naval Forces had stopped a Greek vessel from "harassing" a Turkish research ship in the eastern Mediterranean, where the Republic of Cyprus is situated. Prior to that, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that a research vessel owned by the Turkish Petroleum International Company started seismic research in the area.
Gas reserves off the Cyprus coast were discovered by the US Noble Energy company in 2011. Cyprus then granted oil and gas exploration licenses to French Total, Italian Eni and US ExxonMobil.
Ankara has been opposing offshore oil and gas exploration off the coast of Cyprus by foreign companies, claiming that it violates the rights of the Turkish community living on the island. Turkey also said that it would start exploratory drilling in the area at the request of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, that was proclaimed on the island in 1983 following Turkey's invasion and has not been recognized by any state except for Turkey.