Ankara, Turkey – Turkey is determined to defend its rights across the “Blue Homeland,” the country’s defense minister, Hulusi Akar, said, invoking national doctrine that envisages Turkish control over the waters of the eastern Aegean and the northern Mediterranean.

“We have no claims on anyone’s land or sea. Nevertheless, we will not back down on our rights,” Akar said.

“We are determined and capable of defending our rights across the ‘Blue Homeland’ as well as Cyprus,” he said.

Akar also reiterated messages that the Greek military “harassed” Turkey’s research vessel TCG Cesme in the Aegean Sea.

“I am once again stressing that such behavior is far from a gesture of good neighborly relations,” Akar said.

The Turkish defense minister furthermore accused Greece of seeking to turn its disputes with Turkey into EU-Turkey or even US-Turkey disputes.

“This is neither legal nor moral. It has no practical value whatsoever,” he said.