Erdoğan says Greece sowing chaos in Mediterranean

Erdoğan says Greece sowing chaos in Mediterranean

Erdoğan says Greece sowing chaos in Mediterranean

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Aug. 24 that Turkey's navy will not back down as Greece sows chaos in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

"The ones who throw Greece in front of the Turkish navy will not stand behind them," Erdoğan said after a cabinet meeting.

He added Athens does not have the right to broadcast advisories known as a Navtex in areas claimed by Ankara, calling Greece's Navtex alert a“spoiled act” that endangers coastal, navigational safety of all ships in the region.

"From now on, Greece will be responsible for all conflicts in the region, and will be at disadvantage," he said.

The Turkish ship Oruç Reis and the vessels accompanying it will not retreat from their activities in the region, he said.

Turkey on Aug. 23 issued a Navtex (navigational alert) announcing a four-day extension to the Oruc Reis' energy exploration.

Navtex is a maritime communications system that allows ships to inform other vessels about their presence in an area, as well as other information.

Turkey resumed energy exploration earlier this month in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.

Greece and other countries have tried to box in Turkey’s maritime territory and energy exploration rights, despite no country having a longer coastline on the Mediterranean.

Natural gas discovery prelude to more good news

Erdoğan also said that Turkey's discovery of natural gas reserves in off the Black Sea coast is a prelude to upcoming good news from the Mediterranean.

There is substantial evidence that the natural gas discovery foreshadows a much bigger gas find, and hopefully the good news will continue, he said.

Erdoğan announced on Aug. 21 that Turkey discovered its largest-ever natural gas reserve in the Black Sea with a capacity of 320 billion cubic meters, stressing that initial findings reveal that this reserve stands as just a part of even bigger reserves in the same area. 

“Turkey has discovered its biggest natural gas [reserve] in Turkish history in the Black Sea. Our drilling ship, Fatih, has found 320 billion cubic meters natural gas in our Tuna-1 area,” Erdoğan said in an address to the nation.

Turkey, heavily dependent on foreign energy resources, has long been exploring the hydrocarbon reserves in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean through the deep-sea drillings since the early 2010s.

It has accelerated its explorations after it purchased three drilling ships, Yavuz, Kanuni and Fatih under a new energy policy launched in 2017.   

After the discovery in the Black Sea, Turkey’s next target is to find the hydrocarbon reserves in the Mediterranean, Erdoğan previously said, informing that the Kanuni drilling ship will start its works in the region after its maintenance works will be concluded at the end of 2020. 

Turkey's fight with terrorism 

The kind of mentality which sides with terrorist groups instead of supporting democratic countries has come into U.S. politics, said Erdogan, in reference to Turkey's fight against YPG/PKK terrorists. 

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s terrorist Syrian branch.

Despite the YPG’s terrorist status, the US has supported it as a supposed ally against ISIL in northern Syria.

"A mentality which looks the other way when our country is being attacked by terrorists and hopes to see the results when we face a coup is a stain on the name of democracy," Erdoğan said, referring to recently controversial remarks by U.S. Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden. 

In a video clip that went viral, Biden said: "We can support those elements of the Turkish leadership that still exist and get more from them and embolden them to be able to take on and defeat Erdoğan. Not by a coup, not by a coup, but by the electoral process."