Anadolu Agency / Reuters
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu sent letters to European Union foreign ministers and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Aug.13 saying that Greece and Greek Cyprus's "unilateral steps and alliances" in the eastern Mediterranean excluded Turkey.
The letters precede today's EU Foreign Relations Council meeting at Greece's request.Erdoğan says only solution in east Med is dialogue, as France increases military presence in region
Çavuşoğlu said that the maritime agreement between Greece and Egypt, which Ankara maintains violates Turkey and Lebanon's continental shelves, demonstrates Greece's reluctance to start an honest dialogue with Turkey.
Turkey-EU relations should not suffer further due to "whims and fantasies of Greece and Greek Cypriots," he added.
Çavuşoğlu invited EU countries to stand against any "unjust decision that might be taken against Turkey," which has "proven its good intentions until now many times."
He also held phone talks with some EU foreign ministers, including from Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Hungary and Romania, and with EU foreign policy chief Borrell discussing these issues.
Similar letters are also being sent to UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres, UN Security Council permanent members' foreign ministers and NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.
Earlier this week, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean region after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.France to bolster Mediterranean military presence over Turkish prospecting
The agreement came only a day after Ankara said it would postpone its oil and gas exploration as a goodwill gesture, only to declare the Greek-Egyptian deal "null and void" the next day and proceed with research in the Mediterranean on Aug. 13.
The ship will continue the two-week mission until Aug. 23, with its military escort to survey waters between Crete and Cyprus, along with the Cengiz Han and Ataman.
President Tayyip Erdoğan said on August 13 that any attack on a Turkish ship exploring for oil and gas in disputed Mediterranean waters would incur a "high price" and suggested Turkey had already acted on that warning.
"We said that if you attack our Oruç Reis you will pay a high price, and they got their first answer today," Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara without giving details.
European Union foreign ministers, who have already imposed sanctions on two Turkish energy executives over Turkey's operations in the eastern Mediterranean, will discuss the situation again today.