WORLD

Erdoğan says they will not allow anyone to allocate "a single cent of Turkey" for terror groups

Speaking at an opening ceremony in the northern Black Sea province of Rize on Saturday, 's Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed in his remarks that Turkey would not allow "a single cent" of the country to be allocated for terrorist organizations.

Turkey's said on Saturday that all mayors "misusing municipal facilities" would face the same consequences like three HDP-member mayors, who were recently for allegedly aiding the PKK terrorist group.

Speaking at an opening ceremony in the northern Black Sea province of Rize, stressed that would not allow "a single cent" of the country to be allocated for terrorist organizations.

Erdoğan added that Ankara would continue to oversee this issue and act if needed.

Earlier this week, the mayors of the cities of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van were suspended. They are facing terrorism charges.

The mayors -- Adnan Selçuk Mızraklı, Ahmet Türk, and Bedia Özgökçe Ertan -- are from the opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), a party Turkey's government has accused of having links to the PKK terror group.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

- EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
Referring to the Turkish presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, he underlined that Turkish seismic and drilling vessels continued to carry out their activities in the region.

"When we find petroleum or natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean all those who now oppose us will line up at our door," said Erdoğan.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.

Since spring this year, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels -- Fatih and most recently Yavuz -- to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the right of Turkey and the TRNC to the resources of the region.

Turkey's first seismic vessel, the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa, bought from Norway in 2013, has been conducting exploration in the Mediterranean since April 2017.

Athens and Greek Cypriots have opposed the move, threatening to arrest the ships' crews and enlisting EU leaders to join their criticism.

In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus' annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

The decades since then have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended in 2017 in Switzerland.

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