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Greeks withdraw from TANAP inauguration in protest to Erdogan’s remarks

The Greek delegation withdrew from inauguration ceremony of the TANAP gas pipeline in West Turkey following provocative remarks by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In his speech, he said that the Agreement with Libya will be implemented and the Turkish ships will not be withdrawn from the East Mediterranean Sea.

As reaction to these statements, the delegation led by Deputy Energy Minister, Dimitris Economou, withdrew in a symbolic act of protest. The Greeks reportedly left the ceremony after contacting the Greek Prime Minister.

In Athens, Energy Minister, Kostis Hadjidakis, fully backed the Greek delegation saying that “for one more time Erdogan appeared very provocative.

Erdogan’s Speech

The Turkish President spoke of a “policy of threatening language and blackmails” regarding sharing of energy resources in the East Mediterranean. With Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt to have signed a series of energy agreements, Turkey feels it has been left out of the game.

With regards to the two drilling vessels and the two seismic survey vessels Erdogan said among others that “the ships will continue to perform their duties.”

“Turkey will not allow a violation of its law or the interests of Turkish Cypriots,” he stressed.

“Some [circles] are applying to a threatening language and blackmailing policies regarding the sharing of sources in Eastern Mediterranean. No country is above international law. No one can reach anything with the ‘I did it, so it happened’ logic,” Erdogan said.

“Turkey will not bow down to these,” he added.

“I am calling on all parties in the eastern Mediterranean. Let’s make energy a tool for cooperation, rather than conflict. Do not apply to ways which will make the region pay” he said.

He added that Turkey will not withdraw its ships from the region because it angers some circles.

“Turkey will not let others crush its and Turkish Cyprus’ interests,” he said.

Referring to a recent agreement inked with Libya on maritime zones in the Mediterranean.

Libya’s internationally recognized government and Turkey on Nov. 28 signed an agreement on maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean Sea.

“Now, they are attacking Libya,” Erdogan said. He also added that once the Turkish Parliament passes the agreement, the current situation will have a different dimension.

Read also: Greece gives ultimatum to Libya’s ambassador to disclose content of the Agreement with Turkey

TANAP pipeline

urkey and Azerbaijan formally marked the completion of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) on Saturday, a milestone in a major project to help reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

TANAP comprises the longest stretch of the $40 billion Southern Gas Corridor, a series of pipelines that will carry gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to Europe.

The $6.5 billion TANAP crosses the breadth of Turkey, east to west, and could transport up to 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Azeri gas a year. Europe is allocated 10 bcm, with 6 bcm earmarked for the Turkish market. Capacity could be increased to 31 bcm with additional investment.

The pipeline connects to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is still under construction and will then transfer up to 10 bcm gas to Greece, Albania and Italy.

The inauguration marking the completion of the transfer infrastructure to Greece as well as the whole TANAP pipeline was held on Saturday in the Turkish town of Ipsala on the Greek border. TI was attended by Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and delegations from several neighboring countries.

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One comment

  1. The Turks and Greeks have much more in common than not. Greece should give up its notion that Europe will ever treat it fairly and be a better neighbor with Türkiye.