Ankara, Turkey – Turkey further escalated tension with Greece threatening to withdraw from exploratory contacts between the two sides. Greece violates persistently the demilitarized and unarmed status of the Aegean islands according to the 1923 Lausanne Treaty.

Turkey said that diplomatic efforts between the two countries could be destabilized by perceived Greek provocations, in an indirect but definite reference to the exploratory talks.

Turkey asked Greece to be unambiguous and reiterated that Turkey will not retreat from its “Blue Homeland” doctrine, which envisions Turkey’s influence over a large stretch of the Mediterranean.

Tension between Greece and Turkey has once again escalated following an accusation by Turkey of an open harassment of its research ship Cesme by Greek fighter jets in the Aegean Sea. Greece has rejected the allegations.