Erdogan Blames Greece, Greek Cypriots For Raising Tensions In Eastern Mediterranean

Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration are to blame for the recent escalation in tensions in the eastern Mediterranean region, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 13th August, 2020) Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration are to blame for the recent escalation in tensions in the eastern Mediterranean region, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

“It’s not Turkey that is increasing tensions in the Mediterranean, but rather the Greek Cypriot-Greek mentality attempting to disregard Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu agency during a commemorative event for the ruling Justice and Development Party.

The president reiterated Ankara‘s willingness to engage in dialogue with Athens over the recent tensions, adding that Turkey has never looked to escalate the situation. Turkey‘s prospective hydrocarbon drilling in the Mediterranean Sea would never violate the territorial integrity of another nation, the agency also cited Erdogan as saying.

At the same time, Erdogan criticized Athens‘s claim of maritime rights off the Greek island of Kastellorizo, which is located just one mile off the Turkish coast, the agency said.

Tensions have escalated in the eastern Mediterranean as Turkish vessels begin conducting seismic surveys of the seabed in advance of potential hydrocarbon drilling.

Turkey’s Oruc Reis vessel has begun surveys in Greek-claimed waters following the signing of a new maritime border deal by the Greek and Egyptian governments. Ankara has rejected the treaty, calling it void.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Cypriot President have made numerous protests to the European Union over Turkey‘s planned hydrocarbon drilling activity and have called on Brussels to take decisive action.

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