Paris, Ankara ease rhetoric over tension in east Med
As diplomatic efforts have paved way for dialogue over dispute surrounding the eastern Mediterranean, France has voiced messages aimed at calming the tension down, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan welcoming “sincere calls” for diplomacy and reiterating Turkey’s aims to solve the problems via dialogue.
“We intend to give diplomacy as much space as possible by heeding every sincere call and to solve the problems that everyone can win through dialogue. We will continue to defend every single drop of water and inch of land of our country with this vision,” Erdoğan said on Twitter on Sept. 19.
“The Republic of Turkey is an old and ancient state with 2,000 years of history. Without getting caught in any complexes, we carry out all the processes we go through in a dignified and mature manner, and we never care about persistent provocations,” he said.
His remarks came after French President Emmanuel Macron on Sept. 19 called on Turkey to reopen a “responsible dialogue” on the eastern Mediterranean.
“In Ajaccio, we sent a clear message to Turkey: Let’s reopen a responsible dialogue, in good faith, without naivety. This call is now also that of the European Parliament. It seems to have been heard. Let’s move on,” Macron said in a tweet in Turkish on Sept.19.
Tensions have recently escalated over the issue of energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean when Greece disputed Turkey’s energy exploration in the region, trying to box Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.
Meanwhile, Turkish and Greek military delegations have held technical meetings at the NATO headquarters in Brussels to discuss ways to reduce the risk of an incident amid rising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.
Positive rhetoric prevailed by the parties of the eastern Mediterranean, including Turkey, Greece and France, ahead of an EU Summit on Sept. 24-25 where the tension will be on the agenda.