Turkey-Greece hold consultative talks in Ankara
Ahead of the meeting, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Oct. 5 urged Greece to keep dialogue channels open in bilateral disputes.
Elaborating on the Greek Nautical Geo ship’s attempt to breach Turkey’s continental shelf, Akar said, “Unfortunately, our neighbor Greece has persistently attempted to violate the east of Crete and the south-west of Cyprus.”
“Necessary measures were taken by our relevant elements. It is our most sincere hope that dialogue channels will stay open with our current interlocutors as well as with our previous interlocutors,” he added.
Greece should not be provoked by others against Turkey, Akar said, noting that Turkey has always believed in a peaceful solution in compliance with international law and good neighbor relations.
Akar made the remarks while speaking to the press following a meeting with Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze and Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov.
Although Turkey favors dialogue and a peaceful solution, it will not allow its rights and those of the Turkish Cypriots to be violated, Akar said, noting that any fait accompli would not be tolerated by Turkey.
Also commenting on recent big-ticket arms purchases by Greece, Akar reiterated that Greece should not allow some countries to provoke it against Turkey, noting that such actions would not benefit Greece.
Turkey has never been a threat to any party, but on the contrary, always has been a credible, strong and efficient ally, Akar concluded.
The Turkish Navy pushed a Greek Cypriot research vessel on Oct. 3 for violating its continental shelf in the Mediterranean Sea.
The incident came after the Greek Cypriot administration issued a Navtex (navigational warning) on Sept. 29 for the research activities by the Malta-flagged Nautical Geo vessel in an area including Turkey’s continental shelf.
In a separate incident on Sept. 16, Greece issued a Navtex for “scientific research” by the Nautical Geo research vessel on Sept. 16-22 east of Crete, an area including Turkey’s continental shelf. Turkey issued a counter naval alert on Sept. 20 for its continental shelf area in the area.
France and Greece announced last week a defense and security deal worth around 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion), which includes the Greek purchase of three French warships.
Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos said that the Greek-French defense deal also covers the maritime jurisdiction, noting that under the agreement, “one country will help the other with military means if the need arises.’’
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Oct. 1 that a recent defense deal between Greece and France threatens to harm the NATO alliance.
“Greece’s claims on maximalist maritime jurisdiction and airspace are against international law,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said in a written statement on Oct. 1.