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.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Turkey was "no longer a partner" in the Mediterranean due to its behavior but called for renewed dialogue with Ankara. "We want to reengage a dialogue... we are not naive but we want to reengage in good faith," Macron said on Sept. 10 after the summit of seven EU Mediterranean leaders in Corsica.
European Union sanctions on Belarus are being delayed by a separate dispute between Cyprus and Turkey over energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, four EU diplomats told Reuters, in the latest sign of paralysis in the bloc's foreign policy.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said that Greece needs dialogue with Turkey with regards to the Eastern Mediterranean crisis, but not "when held at gunpoint." "What threatens the security and stability of my country threatens the well-being and safety of all European Union member states," he said.
The breakaway Turkish Cyprus has announced that it suspended flights from Turkey from Sept. 9 evening until Sept. 13 evening, with the exception of emergency flights as well as military and medical planes.
The meeting between Turkish and Greek military delegations at NATO headquarters has been delayed for two days until Sept. 10, Turkish Defense Ministry sources said. The sources said the delay was requested by the alliance's military committee.
Maltese Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo has said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have replaced former Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi in the war-torn country. Bartolo said that if the ongoing eastern Mediterranean crisis is not solved with “careful moves,” “unforeseen consequences” might arise, just like in Libya.
Turkish Cypriot President Akıncı says there are ‘clues’ of Ankara’s involvement in upcoming elections
Incumbent Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı has said that there are clear “clues” of Ankara's involvement in the upcoming presidential elections set to take place on Oct. 11. “We expect that no one gets on the wrong track of favoring a side. I am saying this because there are clues regarding this issue. Turkish Cypriots have the right, ability, capability and authority to determine their own future with their free and independent identities,” Akıncı said during an interview on Sept. 7.
Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has slammed Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz after the latter said that the European Union must stand up against blackmails from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. "The major threat to the EU and its values is the distorted ideology represented by Sebastian Kurz," Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan knows that the EU has “a lot of options” in terms of the type of sanctions that Ankara might face over escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece has increased border patrols due to fears that Turkey might be preparing to pressure the EU over the Eastern Mediterranean issue by "using migrants.” “Turkey might use the migrants once again in the upcoming days, for the EU not to impose sanctions,” Alternate Migration Minister George Koumoutsakos was quoted as saying by Deutsche Welle's Turkish service on Sept. 6.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told European Council President Charles Michel on Sept. 6 that all EU institutions and members states should “behave responsibly" with regards to Turkey's row with Greece over hydrocarbon exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean. "President Erdoğan called on EU institutions and member countries to behave responsibly and remain just, impartial and objective on all regional issues, notably the Eastern Mediterranean," a statement from Erdoğan's office said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sept. 3 discussed the dispute over claims to potential hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean. Erdoğan said Greece, Cyprus and the countries which supported them were "taking steps which heightened deadlock and tensions."
NATO chief Stoltenberg said on Sept. 4 that technical talks between Athens and Ankara have already begun to calm the escalating tension in the eastern Mediterranean. “No agreement has been reached yet, but the talks have started,” he said.