Erdogan Vows to Give Greece 'Answer It Deserves' over East Med dispute

Marco Green
October 16, 2020

Turkey on Wednesday vowed to give its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Greece the "answer it deserves" over their energy dispute in the contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean.

The European Union said it would review the possibility of sanctions on Turkey at a European summit in December. Those talks were last held in 2016.

Those tensions had flared up over the summer, triggering fears of a confrontation between the two historic rivals and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Turkey said on Wednesday it was restarting operations of a survey ship that it withdrew last month.

Commenting on his arrival for a European Union summit in Brussels, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he would inform his colleagues "about Turkey's new provocations against Greece and against Cyprus".

"Unfortunately Turkey appears to remain constant in its provocative and aggressive behavior", he said.

According to the Greek newspaper, the Turkish leader did not give any detail on what the alleged promises may have been but criticised the Greek government for recent military exercises in the Aegean sea that coincided with a Turkish holiday.

He warned that plans that disregard the interests of Turkey and the breakaway northern Cyprus would not succeed. It had been abandoned since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

The Turkish official continued: "When the plane carrying Minister Dendias broke down in Iraq, Greece sent another plane and asked Turkey for authorisation to use its airspace, and we granted the second plane permission without delay".

The Turkish foreign ministry said the plane carrying Dendias - a backup after the first plane malfunctioned - "took off from Iraq without submitting the necessary flight plan".

This was preceded by Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy claiming that Greece's actions, specifically its "pirate agreement with Egypt" on the creation of an exclusive economic zone (EEZ), violated Ankara's own continental shelf rights and "demonstrated that it was not sincere and honest about dialogue".

"The plane in question took off from Iraq without presenting a flight plan".

"It is one more provocation in a series of provocations from the Turkish side", Petsas told reporters, adding, "but we will remain on the fact that various explanations were given by the Turkish side, and we hope this phenomenon, and this event, will never be repeated again in the future".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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