Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 16 boasted about Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu putting his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias “in place” a day earlier during a press conference in Ankara.
“I had met him [Dendias] earlier. Our meeting was held in a very warm atmosphere but during the meeting that he [Dendias] held with our Foreign Minister, the issue went to a different place,” Erdoğan told reporters.
“Our Foreign Minister put Dendias in his place in the face of these behaviors. He could not have been softer,” Erdoğan said.
On April 15, Çavuşoğlu and Dendias clashed at a joint news conference that began with hopes of improved relations but quickly descended into acrimonious accusations from both sides.
An initially cordial atmosphere at a media appearance following the meetings turned sour as Dendias said violations of Greek sovereignty would be met by sanctions and Çavuşoğlu rejected his comments as "unacceptable."
"You come out here, and try to accuse Turkey, to give a message to your country. It is not possible for me to accept this," Çavuşoğlu said in response to the remarks.
Erdoğan warns of repercussions against Turkish Cyprus over closure of Quran courses
Erdoğan also commented on a recent decision of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC)'s Constitutional Court banning Quran courses on the breakaway state.
The Constitutional Court of the Turkish Cyprus cited a violation of the “secularism principle” in its decision on April 15.
Erdoğan said that if the Turkish Cyprus does not reverse its “mistake,” there will be repercussions.
“The KKTC Constitutional Court President needs to learn secularism. In Turkey, such issues with regards to religious education have been solved. Northern Cyprus is not France,” Erdoğan said.
“The Constitutional Court President immediately needs to reverse this mistake. If he does not do so, the steps that we will take will be also different,” Erdoğan further said.