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POLITICS > Turkish FM warns Greece on steps in Aegean

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Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (2nd R) visits Bet Israel Synagogue in İzmir. ‘Negotiation channels with Greece are present,’ FM says. AA photo

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (2nd R) visits Bet Israel Synagogue in İzmir. ‘Negotiation channels with Greece are present,’ FM says. AA photo

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has warned Greece not to take unilateral steps concerning the dispute over natural resources in the Aegean, saying such steps would prompt Turkey to take counter measures.
When reminded of news reports suggesting Athens had been planning to start digging in disputed areas of the Aegean Sea to search for natural resources, Davutoğlu said the issue was being followed very closely.

“Negotiation channels with Greece are present,” he said, adding that such issues were being discussed during meetings between himself and Greek counterpart, Dimitris Droutsas.

“Unilateral steps should be avoided during such critical periods, because currently there is a positive atmosphere between Turkey and Greece,” Davutoğlu said.

The minister also noted that the next meeting of the High-Level Strategic Partnership Council between the two countries would likely be held in March.

“While Turkey-Greece relations have gained momentum, it is important that we take all steps together and as part of these negotiations,” he said.

“I hope no need will be felt for this. There is already a mechanism functioning with Greece,” Davutoğlu said, in an apparent reference to exploratory talks between the two neighbors. More than 50 rounds of talks have been held since 2002 in order to find a way to solve the problems stemming from the absence of a border between Greece and Turkey in the Aegean Sea.

January/08/2013

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READER COMMENTS

Notice on comments

Cilginbebek Ms

1/11/2013 4:52:51 PM

@ Pawel: Need I remind you that Greece falsified the status of its economic condition together with Goldman Sachs Greek Director in order for it to gain EU membership! South Cyprus misappropriated EU aid for the entire island and it's Turkish Cypriot residents to help mainland Greece. Turks and Turkey do not need to falsify their economic standing as outside sources verify it and investments are pouring in as our markets are not saturated. Greeks haven't any markets to saturate.

Cilginbebek Ms

1/11/2013 2:45:16 AM

A country that continuously depends on "loans" from other countries to exist and operate is not in my opinion a "sovereign" country. As for respect, countries and people respect others who stand for something and don't take things lying down. Hence, the defamatory comments issued by Greeks and lackeys against Turks and Turkey. Same can be said about the USA. People may not care for them but respect them because of their military might and brawn.

Hellenas in London

1/10/2013 9:58:59 PM

Greece is entitled to practise its sovereign rights as prescribed by International Law, specifically definining its naval territory and EEZ. A prime example of such practise is Turkey's arrangements with its neighbours in the Black Sea.

Cilginbebek Ms

1/10/2013 4:43:06 PM

@ Pawel: The only natural resources Greece has is talk. Turkey can sustain itself on natural resources. Turkey holds the deed to many oil producing countries including Cyprus, North Iraq, etc. If Turkey wants to it can pull out its cards. Turks are survivors, not Greeks. Turks don't exist or depend upon a welfare or socialist government. It is based on capitalism. Turkey has reknowned economists, not Greece or South Cyprus. And projections about Turkish economic success were made by outsiders.

Pawel Bury

1/10/2013 11:56:34 AM

Part 2: @Cilginbebek, Greek crises will come to en end one day. Natural resources will help a lot. In fact much of the drilled gas will be owned by the lenders. Do you think that they are going to let anyone (ie Turkey) to interfere? Furthermore, what makes you think that Turkish economy will be better than Greece's, 20 or 30 years from now? If you knew how economy works you would not be so arrogant. Since reports on your economy are censored in Turkey, it's not entirely your fault.

Pawel Bury

1/10/2013 11:45:33 AM

Part 1: @Cilginbebek, Greece & Cyprus is going to drill gas cause EU wants it. And there's nothing anyone can do. That also goes for Turkey who as you probably remember last year was threatening Cyprus exactly the same way. EU countries have allies that can depend on. Turkey has no natural resources so she can only beg for a pipeline to go through her. American French and Israeli companies are already working for Cyprus and Greek fields. Turkey can only sit and watch as she did with Cyprus.

Cilginbebek Ms

1/10/2013 1:21:35 AM

@ Bury: Do the EU countries depend on Greeks and Greek politicians? Hmmm. Germany was mocking Greek's government workers after they visited the country. Two thirds of Greece's work force work for the government. You cannot repay "loans" on marketing greek salad and four months of tourism my friend. As for your pipe dreams about natural gas making Greece rich, do you honestly think Israel is going to allow that or Turkey. Plus other countries have natural gas as well. Greeks are good for myths.

Pawel Bury

1/9/2013 9:43:24 PM

@Cilginbebek, this is just wishful thinking. EU will never depend on unstable Turkish politicians to handle it's natural resources. Since Israel wants to sell their own gas to Europe and there are many European resources in Cyprus, Creta and Ionion Sea, they will built a pipeline from Israel and Cyprus fields, to Creta, Ionion and finally to Italy or Greece. It's the fastest way by far with zero sabotage danger since it's going to be under the sea. Turks can keep getting gas from elsewhere.

Cilginbebek Ms

1/9/2013 5:31:12 PM

If Greece and South Cyprus think Israel who was a long standing ally with Turkey is going to go against Turkey for you, you are seriously miscalculating there intentions. The only viable route to funnel the natural gas is through the North of Cyprus through Turkey which is 40 miles away. Israel is trying to bluff in order to reinstate alliance with Turkey its number one choice. Israel knows South Cyprus will use any revenue generated to repay its debt whilst Israel will reap all the profit.

Cilginbebek Ms

1/9/2013 3:52:07 AM

A few years ago, there was a piece of rock that barely resembled an island in the Aegean within Turkish waters. Someone placed a Greek flag on it, then Turkey asked that it be taken down. Greece refused and Turkey issued a warning "or else". The next day, all the Greeks were going to the grocery stores stock piling water, flour, sugar, etc all the basic food supplies for fear of retaliation or war by Turkey. Turkey just sat back and laughed. Now the Greeks don't have any money to do that.
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