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Friday 14 August 2020

Erdogan Accuses Greece of “Malicious” Attitude

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ANKARA (Ruptly) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Greece of having a “malicious” attitude in the Mediterranean on Thursday, amid escalating tensions between Ankara and Athens over the exploration of energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.

“In the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey has done what it has done so far on the basis of legitimacy and according to memorandums of understanding with Libya”, Erdogan said while speaking at the Extended Provincial Heads Meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). “It’s not Turkey that’s escalating tensions in the Mediterranean, it’s a Greek mentality that’s trying to ignore Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”

Greece recently signed a maritime delimitation agreement with Egypt, significantly overlapping with Turkey’s continental shelf claims that were previously ratified with Libya. Greece claims part of the area is over its own continental shelf and has demanded that the Turkish ships withdraw. Turkey counters that it’s entitled to conduct research in the area. Greece placed its military on alert, and sent warships to the area off Turkey’s southern coast.

The Oruc Reis seismic research vessel, which last month conducted seismographic surveys near Kastellorizo, is reportedly carrying out additional surveys in the waters of Greece’s continental shelf claims and the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus.

Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warmly thanked France Thursday for boosting its military presence in the eastern Mediterranean, where Greek and Turkish warships are closely shadowing each other over a Turkish energy exploration bid in waters Athens claims as its own. Mitsotakis tweeted that French President Emmanuel Macron was “a true friend of Greece and also a fervent protector of European values and international law.”

View online : Greece, Egypt & France align against Turkish moves in East Mediterranean

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