Turkey on Monday criticized a number of foreign diplomats' expressions of support for Greek Cypriots' unilateral hydrocarbon exploration in the eastern Mediterranean at a recent conference.

The ambassadors' remarks supporting unilateral exploration at the conference in the Greek Cypriot administration were "unwarranted," said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy in a statement.

"We recommend that representatives of the relevant countries do not overstep their authority," Aksoy stressed.

Aksoy said it is unacceptable that the Greek Cypriot side persists in acting as though it were the sole owner of the island and continues its unilateral hydrocarbon exploration in the absence of a just and lasting settlement on Cyprus.

"With these activities, the Greek Cypriot side disregards the inalienable rights on natural resources of the Turkish Cypriots, who are the island’s co-owners," he added.

Aksoy said this attitude is far removed from any spirit of compromise and demonstrates that the Greek Cypriot administration has failed to grasp the win-win potential for economic cooperation that could result from a settlement that both the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey have been making the "utmost" effort to achieve.

"The authorities of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Turkey have, from the very beginning, been issuing the necessary warnings with regard to these irresponsible steps taken by the Greek Cypriot administration and voicing their justified concerns and indignation," Aksoy said.

He said Turkey is determined to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots and to continue supporting them.

Aksoy added that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, at a joint press conference last week during his visit to the TRNC with Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci, once again openly stressed Turkey's determination to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people.