Tensions between the two states escalated after Turkey initiated seismic surveys for energy resources in the disputed waters near Cyprus. Both the Greek and Turkish militaries have been mobilised over the recent row sparking fears of an armed conflict.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cautioned Greece against turning down the idea of conducting talks on the ongoing eastern Mediterranean dispute, promising that otherwise, Athens will witness Ankara’s determination to protect its interests in the region.
“They’re either going to understand the language of politics and diplomacy, or in the field with painful experiences”, he said.
Erdogan went on to assure that Turkey possesses sufficient “political, economic, and military power” to “tear up the immoral maps and documents imposed” on the country, in an apparent reference to the lack of international recognition of its claims to patches of water off the Cypriot coast.
Turkey Accuses Athens of ‘Lying’ About Botched Talks
The president’s comments come in the wake of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accusing Greece of “lying”, when it said it never agreed to technical talks with Turkey on the Mediterranean issue, which had been earlier announced by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. He claimed that Athens initially agreed to take part in these talks organised by the NATO chief, but later backtracked on their position. Greek officials said they would agree to negotiations with Turkey only if the country withdraws all of its military vessels from the disputed waters.