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Chances for a Greek-Turkish dialogue? This is never going to happen

Turkey has proposed a dialogue with Greece to solve bilateral issues. At the same time, it threatens with a hot pursuit should Athens try to prevent Turkey’s planned drilling for hydrocarbon south of the island of Crete

No one will dare stopping our drilling. These are our sovereign rights that we will defend. If they want escalation, they will get the answer,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Cavusoglu was replying to a question about what Turkey would do if the Greek Navy would prevent research and drilling in areas where Greece’s sovereign rights were being challenged.

Turkey claims its Exclusive Economic Zone extends to south of Crete following its controversial agreement on maritime borders with Libya in last November.

“Greece is not going to start a dialogue with Turkey if it does not change its provocative behavior,” Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos told Alpha TV.

“All I am saying – what the Greek government is saying – is that you cannot be called to start a dialogue in conditions of blackmail or of direct questioning of the country’s sovereign rights. We do not want such a dialogue,” he stressed.

“If [Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglou] considers that this is the way to invite the other to dialogue, we find it a strange and although we really believe that the channels of communication should indeed remain open, this dialogue should not be [the result of] blackmail. In other words, lets discuss what we demand and what you should probably give us. I’m sorry, but things are not like that. Thanks,” said Panagiotopoulos.

Describing Turkey as a “troublemaker” and “bully” Panagiotopoulos added “We have said that we want dialogue, we want dialogue but not on these terms.”

The Defense Minister underlined that if Turkey proceeds, as it has announced, with exploratory drilling in the sea south of Crete, this will mean a violation of Greece’s sovereign rights and will not be tolerated.

PS But there is one more, more significant reason for which even if a Greek-Turkey dialogue starts it is programmed to certainly fail, with or without Italy’s mediation as Ankara proposed.

For Greece the only issue on the table is the continental shelf. Turkey, in contrast, has a long list of topics that starts with the Muslim Minority in Thrace and ends to at least 16 Greek islands in the Aegean for which it claims that their sovereignty is disputed.

No to mention Erdogan’s vision to overhaul the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) that determined the borders between the two neighboring countries.

End of the dialogue story.

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One comment

  1. I believe that Greece is 100% right on this issue , the bully’s in Turkey should stop their nonsense .