Ankara, Turkey – The “determination and firm stance” displayed by Turkey in the “face of blackmail and threats” is what eventually compelled Greece to agree to a discussion on de-escalating tension in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Greece has realized that the language of threats has not worked in the Eastern Mediterranean and that Turkey would not bow down to banditry or blackmail,” Erdogan reportedly told an awards ceremony in Ankara in comments that come as Greek and Turkish military delegations meet at NATO headquarters in Brussels to discuss a “de-conflicting” mechanism.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that while the “messages coming from the Greek prime minister in the past two to three days have been more moderate,” Greek officials continue to “maintain their maximalist attitude.”

“Instead of expecting more from us, Greece can turn this period into an opportunity by taking positive steps. We say that Greece should not miss this opportunity, which it did by signing an agreement with Egypt before,” Cavusoglu said, referring to the maritime borders accord signed by Greece and Egypt in early August.