Brussels, Belgium – Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made assessments of developments in the Eastern Mediterranean at the European Parliament’s (EP) Foreign Relations Committee, where he was connected by video conference method. “Instead of blindly supporting Greece and Greek Cypriots, the EU should do what is expected of itself. The EU’s borders start from Greece. No. EU borders start from Turkey. We have clearly seen this with the asylum seeker crisis,” he said. “We are ready for dialogue without preconditions. If Greece is ready, we say we will meet,” he said.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was in Senegal as part of official contacts, spoke about Turkey’s Eastern Mediterranean policy by videoconferencing his session on the Eastern Mediterranean at the European Parliament’s (EP) Foreign Relations Committee.
“Let’s see if Greece is ready”
Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu stated:
- We are ready for dialogue without preconditions. If Greece is ready, we say we will meet.
- Turkey’s position is in accordance with the decision of its international institutions. According to international law, islets cannot be decisive in maritime rights between countries. But Greece is trying to declare each island within the Exclusive Economic Zone (Mone) with an expansionist approach to this situation.
- Representatives of Germany and the EU, especially German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have asked us to give diplomacy one last chance. We have also suspended our planned activities with a serious decision despite the public as a last gesture of goodwill.
- Turkey and Greece held several meetings with the participation of German representatives. We agreed to release a statement in August. But Greece said it was withdrawing from the deal shortly before the announcement was released.
- I can say that Greece is not open to cooperation and dialogue. Everyone was baffled by Greece’s last-minute withdrawal from the deal. Greece has lost credibility here.
“The EU has become a party to this incident”
Cavusoglu said that the EU prefers to be a party rather than a mediator in the eastern Mediterranean crisis, saying: “the EU has become a party in the dispute in this case. How can you be a mediator if you are a party? It seems that the EU does not have the authority of the Court of Justice in this regard by its own decision. The EU is no longer faithful to its own law,” he said.
“EU borders start from Turkey”
- We understand the EU’s principle of solidarity, but in the name of this principle, our sovereign rights cannot be ignored.
- Instead of blindly supporting Greece and Greek Cypriots, the EU should do what is expected of itself.
- It is said that the borders of the EU start from Greece. No. EU borders start from Turkey. We have seen this clearly with the asylum seeker crisis.
“Why are existing resources not shared fairly ?”
Responding to the words of EP members who took part in the meeting aimed at Turkey, Cavusoglu said: “Why are the existing resources not shared fairly?” he asked me. ” We are ready for dialogue that will serve a fair distribution of resources, “he said. ” Can someone ask Greece why it refuses fair sharing? Why isn’t a commission established within the UN? In our bilateral talks, the Greek Minister accepts the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, but they do not agree when it comes to reaching a decision,” he said.
Answer to EP member
Responding to an EP member’s criticism of Hagia Sophia’s construction of a mosque, Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said: “Hagia Sophia has been returned to its original state under the law of foundations, as it actually belongs by the High Judiciary. It remains open to the visit of every visitor of all faiths. We are aware of our responsibilities in the dimension of human heritage,” he said.