President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that “Greece is slowly accepting the status quo in the Eastern Mediterranean following the Turkey-Libya deal on maritime boundaries.
Ankara’s “resolute stance has led the rest of the countries in the region, but mainly Greece,” to accept the status quo that Turkey wants in the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan told members of his AKP party in the Turkish Parliament on Wednesday.
He claimed further that Europeans have no jurisdiction in the region.
“Following the agreement we have with Libya in the Mediterranean, we are gradually strengthening the changing balances in favor of our country and the EU has no power to take any decision on Libya,” he claimed.
He reiterated that Turkey has purchased its third offshore drilling ship that will arrive in Turkey in March and begin drilling in 2020. He did not specify the drilling location, however, Turkish newspapers claimed on the same day that seismic research vessel Oruc Reis will conduct research in Block 15 south of Crete.
Prompt was the response by Athens, with the Greek Foreign Ministry to rebuke Erdogan’s claims.
“As we have repeatedly stressed, illegal actions produce no legal effect,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Greece, along with the international community, both rejects and condemns Turkey’s illegal moves in the region. Moves that continue to undermine regional peace and security, creating, among other things, pretexts for violation of the arms embargo in Libya and for the attempt to usurp the sovereign rights of countries in the region.”
“Unfortunately, in this, too, Turkey continues to be a minority of one,” the statement concluded.
Later on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told state broadcaster TRT that “Ankara is ready to agree with Athens as long as there is a compromise on a fair sharing of the Eastern Mediterranean.
“We say to Greeks personally, President Erdogan personally told Mitsotakis,” we can make a similar agreement with you [ probably such as with Libya?] , as long as you are ready to compromise. Don’t play games behind our backs. Learn to share in the eastern Mediterranean. Everyone has rights here, “Cavusoglu claimed in his interview.
He referred to talks between Erdogan and Mitsotakis, the Turkish FM said that “they said the foreign ministers should make preparations for the issues of the Turkish minority in Thrace, the mosque in Athens, the Greek minority in Istanbul.”
The statements by Erdogan and Cavusoglu accompany the talks on Confidence Building Measures in Athens between military delegations of the two countries.
Despite the talks allegedly aiming to ease tension, Turkey continues to send its fighter jets to violate Greek air space, with F-16s to have conducted 34 violations on Wednesday.
PS We know that Turkey always wanted to ‘share’ the Aegean Sea, now it has expanded its ambitions into the Mediterranean. The greed for power has clouded the mind of its leadership. Or the president is so weak, has lost contact with reality and has advisers who feed him with lies.
On the other hand, Greece should have better objected the posting of geographic coordinates of the TR-Libya deal by the UN and do not just underestimate the issue saying “this is a plane bureaucratic issue, meaning it is not recognition of the deal.” So the ocuntry sends the wrong message to Turkey, and Erdogan makes his misinterpretation.