President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sept. 3 that support given by some countries for Greece’s “selfish and unjust stance” in the eastern Mediterranean was unacceptable, Erdoğan’s office said.
“Our president said it was unacceptable for some countries to support the selfish and unjust attitude of Greece,” Erdoğan’s office said, adding that he was grateful for Merkel’s efforts. The two leaders spoke by video conference, the statement said.
“Our president said the rights of Turkish people and Turkish Cypriots were being protected in the eastern Mediterranean and Turkey favors a fair allocation [of resources] in which all countries that have a coastline win, but Greece and the Greek Cypriot side as well as countries which back them have been taking steps which heightened deadlock and tensions.”
Ankara and Athens have been locked in a bitter dispute over claims to potential hydrocarbon resources in the region, based on conflicting views on the extent of their continental shelves.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sept. 3 that Turkey and Greece have agreed to talks to avoid accidental clashes in the region.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said it backed NATO’s initiative and expected Greece to do the same. The talks were not about solving bilateral problems between them but about measures so far handled by the two countries’ militaries, it added.
Just hours after NATO announced the deal, Greece denied that talks on de-escalating tensions with Turkey are planned. A Greek official told the Associated Press that the NATO statement “does not correspond with reality.”