Ankara, Turkey – Greece’s recent moves to de-escalate a clash with Turkey and Turkish Cypriots over east Mediterranean energy reserves are “unconvincing” and European Union needs to take action that will prompt Greece to heed international law and legislation.
Greece opted not to seize an opportunity that European Union offered it to ease tensions in the region so that EU could start reshaping its fraught relations with Turkey.
Turkey last week ordered the research vessel Oruc Reis back to port after completing what it said was seismic research in east Mediterranean waters.The warship-escorted vessel’s activities in waters where Turkey has jurisdiction prompted a military build-up between the two neighbors and nominal NATO allies.
Greece countered by also sending its warships, and both countries conducted military exercises to assert their claims. NATO stepped in to prevent a potential armed conflict.
Turkey says Greece’s belated moves in recent days to supposedly de-escalate tensions are not convincing in Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
That’s why Turkey has openly asked all European Union member states to live up to their responsibilities to maintain objective and fair Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean policy with Turkey.
These decisions are significant not only as a clear message to Greece, but also to prove the European Union’s credibility.
Turkey continued prospecting for hydrocarbons in waters where Turkey has exclusive rights in respect of international law, while continuing to “dialogue” with its partial opening of an abandoned Maras (Varosha) in the Turkish Cypriot north of war-divided Cyprus.
Turkey says Greece and Cyprus’ Greek Cypriot-led government are flouting the energy rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots by setting maritime boundaries according to their own interests and attempting to exclude Turkey from potential oil and gas reserves in Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey says the EU must be “conscientious, resolute and credible” in its actions and must pursue a leading role on issues that relate to international law and Turkey’s sovereign rights in Aegean and Eastern Mediterrenean.
It’s clear that the ball is in EU’s court and any decisions depend on Greece’s aggressive and provocative attitude against Turkey which EU will evaluate and make decisions accordingly.