French President Emmanuel Macron on Sept. 19 called on Turkey to reopen a "responsible dialogue" on the eastern Mediterranean.
"In Ajaccio, we sent a clear message to Turkey: Let's relaunch a responsible dialogue, in good faith, without naivety. This call is now also that of the European Parliament. It seems to have been heard. Let's move on," Macron said in a tweet in Turkish.
Ajaccio'da, Türkiye'ye net bir mesaj gönderdik: iyi niyetli, naiflik olmaksızın sorumlu bir diyaloğu yeniden açalım. Bu çağrı bundan böyle Avrupa Parlamentosu’nun da çağrısı. Görünüşe göre de işitilmiş. İlerleyelim.— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 19, 2020
Greek and Turkish battleships have been gathering in the eastern Mediterranean since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered a research vessel to the region to survey for gas and oil.Macron says EU wants to reengage in dialogue with Turkey over Eastern Med crisis
Greece says the seabed off the coast of Crete and other islands in the region are its own to exploit, a claim Turkey has repeatedly refused, saying the islands are not entitled to what is known as an exclusive economic zone.
Erdoğan said on Sept. 18 that Turkey recalled the Oruç Reis seismic survey vessel from the dispute waters to allow for diplomacy with Greece but Turkey's work in the region is not finished.
On Sept. 13, the Oruç Reis vessel returned to port for what Ankara called routine maintenance, a move Greece said was a positive first step in easing tensions.
NATO members Turkey and Greece bitterly disagree over maritime jurisdiction and energy exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean and tensions flared last month when Turkey sent Oruç Reis to waters also claimed by Greece.
Turkish and Greek officials have been holding talks at NATO to avoid military accidents, after a minor collision of warships last month. They have held four meetings but Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, in an interview with British broadcaster Channel 4, on Sept. 18 accused Greece of slowing down discussions by imposing pre-conditions.
European Union leaders will evaluate possible sanctions against Turkey at a summit on Sept. 24-25. Germany wants more time for talks with Turkey while France, Cyprus and Greece demand a punitive response.Turkey withdrew Oruç Reis survey vessel to allow for diplomacy, Erdoğan says