Turkey summons Greek envoy on despicable news headline, says FM

Turkey summons Greek envoy on despicable news headline, says FM

ANKARA- Anadolu Agency
Turkey summons Greek envoy on despicable news headline, says FM

Turkey summoned Greece's envoy on Sept. 18 for a despicable headline in a Greek newspaper about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to Ankara’s foreign minister.

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the Foreign Ministry had a harsh response to Greek Ambassador Michael-Christos Diamessis for a vulgar headline in Greek newspaper, Demokratia, about Erdogan. 

Çavuşoğlu told Anadolu Agency that it was natural for news outlets in both countries to criticize each other's politicians - sometimes severely – but under the principle of freedom of the press, insults should not be evaluated this way.

This shows the level to which the newspaper has sunk, he added.

Çavuşoğlu expressed approval of a statement about the headline by the Greek Foreign Ministry, which he said strongly condemned the incident.

However, he stressed that there is no point in embarking on new initiatives in Cyrpus which are doomed to fail.

"We can't start again where we left off. It's not possible for us to start negotiations from the point that the Crans-Montana talks were launched. Now that the negotiations are over, it has failed," he said. "We have said over and over again that we will no longer negotiate for a federation on the Cyprus issue.”

Çavuşoğlu stated that after his meeting with the President of the Greek Cypriot Administration Nikos Anastasiadis, he said that negotiating for a federation on the island would no longer be beneficial and that a two-state solution should be negotiated.

At an informal meeting during the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Anastasiadis said he could not find the necessary support from the international community for a two-state solution and shared his ideas that a confederation of two states would be healthier, Çavuşoğlu said.

He stated that Turkey recommended informal meetings between the two sides - the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration -- and three guarantor countries - Turkey, Greece and the U.K. - and with the UN after upcoming presidential elections in the TRNC.

Turkey's priority lies in options outside of a federation, underlined Çavuşoğlu. If two states, confederations or any other similar idea comes up, we can discuss them, Çavuşoğlu added.

In 1974, following a coup aimed at Cyprus' annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, the TRNC was founded.

For many decades, talks were held to resolve the dispute, all of which ended in failure. The latest, held with the participation of the guarantor countries, ended in 2017 in Switzerland.

In 2004, the plan of then-U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a solution was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots but rejected by the Greek Cypriots in referendums held on both sides of the island.

More recently, Greece has disputed Turkey's current energy exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean, has sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, citing that Ankara and the TRNC have rights in the region.

Dialogue about fairly sharing resources will be a win-win for all sides, say Turkish officials.

In a recent report, Guterres said that "new ideas" may be needed for settling the issue of the island.