President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 18 Turkey was saddened by news that Libya's internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj wants to quit next month. "A development like this, hearing such news, has been upsetting for us," Erdoğan told reporters in Istanbul, adding that Turkish delegations may hold talks with Sarraj's government in the coming week.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that Turkey recalled Oruç Reis from disputed waters to allow for diplomacy with Greece. "Let's give diplomacy a chance, let's put forth a positive approach for diplomacy. Greece should also positively meet this approach of ours, and let's take a step accordingly," Erdoğan said in Istanbul after Friday prayers. "This is why we did it," he added.
Members of the European Parliament on Sept. 17 adopted a resolution calling on Turkey to "immediately end any further illegal exploration and drilling activities" in the Eastern Mediterranean. The resolution also urges sanctions against Turkey over its energy research in the region, unless the country shows "sincere cooperation and concrete progress" in easing tensions with Greece and Cyprus. The Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed the resolution, saying that it was a "biased decision."
Members of the European Parliament have called on Turkey to "end any further illegal exploration and drilling activities" in the eastern Mediterranean in a press release issued on Sept. 17. MEPs said that Turkey should "refrain from violating Greek airspace and Greek and Cypriot territorial waters and stop nationalistic warmongering rhetoric."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sept 16 that the Eastern Mediterranean crisis could be resolved through negotiations as long as European states adopt a "constructive approach, based on fairness."
European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said on Sept. 16 that nothing could justify Turkey's intimidation of Greece and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean in a dispute over energy resources. "Turkey is and will always be an important neighbour. But while we are close together on the map, the distance between us appears to be growing," she said.
Some 350 Turkish and Greek women, primarily academics, intellectuals and actors, have signed a petition calling for an “end” to the dangerous escalation between the two countries. “The rhetoric of conflict and potential conflicts threaten not only the security of the citizens of both countries but also the entire region. As women, we are saying ‘stop’ to this dangerous acceleration,” the women said in their statement.
Turkish Ambassador Volkan Bozkır officially assumed the presidency of UN General Assembly on Sept. 15 for its 75th session. In remarks at UN headquarters as he closed the 74th session of the General Assembly, Bozkır said the group has urgent priorities, including tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "Unilateralism will only strengthen the pandemic. It will move us further away from our shared goal," he said.
U.N.-backed investigators have said that possible war crimes, including hostage-taking, torture and rape, may have been committed by the so-called Syrian National Army, a coalition of Turkey-backed rebel groups in Syria. The investigators have called on Turkey to do more to prevent these abuses and ensure the protection of civilians in the areas under its control.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has said that the European Union’s relationship with Turkey is at a turning point, urging the Turkish government to back down from conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean and uphold basic human rights in the country. Ties “are at a watershed moment in history, which will go to one side or the other, depending on what happens in the next days,” Borrell told the European Parliament on Sept. 15.
Prof. Yasin Aktay, a chief advisor to Erdoğan, has said that there is "rapprochement and contact" between Turkey and Egypt. "I don't have exact information, but from what I'm hearing and seeing, there's rapprochement and contact between the sides," Aktay said, adding that actual contact is needed "despite the differences" between Erdoğan and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
One aid worker was killed and another was wounded in an attack on a vehicle belonging to the Turkish Red Crescent in northern Syria on Sept. 14. Turkish Red Crescent head Kerem Kınık condemned the attack, saying that the vehicle was clearly carrying the organization's amblem. Turkish Defense Ministry also offered its condolences, saying that works are ongoing to apprehend "the terrorists responsible for the attack."
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that Turkey does not expect to face European Union sanctions over a dispute with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean. Çavuşoğlu repeated Turkey was open to talks without pre-conditions, but added that the seismic research vessel Oruç Reis will soon resume operations after it anchored off Turkey's southern coast on Sept. 13.
Turkey said early on Sept. 14 that the United States needed to return to a neutral stance on Cyprus. "We invite the U.S. to return to the neutrality policy it traditionally follows on the island of Cyprus and to contribute to the efforts aimed at the solution of the Cyprus issue," Turkey's Foreign Ministry said.
Turkey's main opposition CHP has deemed the return of seismic research vessel Oruç Reis to its base in Antalya "a compromise," while also calling on the government to "not make compromises in our rightful cause" following an extraordinary meeting on the escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.