U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has commented on the United States' decision to partially lift a 33-year-old arms embargo against Cyprus, saying "it was the right thing to do." "We know that this decision was announced in light of heightened tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, but we thought it was the right thing," Pompeo told reporters on Sept. 2.
Top Turkish government officials have slammed a U.S. decision to lift for one year its 33-year arms embargo on Cyprus to allow the sale of “non-lethal” military goods to the island. Turkish government officials have warned that this "unjust decision" has the potential to damage the peace on the island and also to increase the tension in the Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece.
The United States on Sept. 2 announced that it would lift for one year its three-decade-old arms embargo on Cyprus to allow the sale of "non-lethal" military goods to the island. Turkey's foreign ministry said the decision "disregards the equality and balance" on the island and that Ankara expects its NATO ally to "review" it.
Turkey on Aug. 27 issued a new Navtex to carry out live-fire gunnery exercises in the eastern Mediterranean on Sept. 1 and 2. The Navtex issued at 9.30 a.m. comes as Greece, Cyprus, France and Italy conduct joint military exercises south of Cyprus amid heightened tensions between Turkey and Greece.
Turkey said on Aug. 23 that its Oruç Reis exploration vessel will now carry out seismic surveys in a disputed part of the eastern Mediterranean until Aug. 27, in a move likely to stoke tensions in the region. Turkey has also been exploring for hydrocarbon resources in the Black Sea.
The USS Hershel Woody Williams has arrived in the Greek island of Crete, on a mission to keep an eye on escalating tensions between NATO allies Greece and Turkey over energy rights in the eastern Mediterranean. The 230-meter-long ship, about the size of some skyscrapers, was earlier in Naples, Italy, for a routine logistics stop before it was sent to Crete where it is on standby as Greece and Turkey remain locked in a standoff.
Now, the majority of Arab countries believe that the Palestinian cause has turned into a tool for Turkey and Iran to penetrate into the region. For many of them, Palestine is a burden anyway. More than a couple of them are ready to let go of the cause if there is no pressure from the street.
If there is one beneficiary of the Greece-Turkey crisis, it is France’s President Emmanuel Macron. Macron has a very clear stance on backing Greece, which stands in deep contrast to Germany and the European Union Commission, both of which are hesitant to do so.
Turkey drew another rebuke from the European Union on Aug. 16 when it said its Yavuz energy drill ship would extend operations in disputed Mediterranean waters off Cyprus until mid-September. Turkey's renewed drilling plan covers a zone delineated by Cyprus and Egypt and raises tensions, said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
Serdar Korucu writes: One of the topics that comes to mind when recalling the Ottoman legacy in Lebanon is the Armenian Genocide. Among the most important symbolic structures carrying the traces of 1915 in Lebanon is the Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia in Antelias.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Aug. 7 that Turkey had resumed energy exploration work in the eastern Mediterranean as Greece had not kept its promises regarding such activities in the region. "We have started drilling work again. We don't feel obliged to talk with those who do not have rights in maritime jurisdiction zones," he said.
The seismic research vessel Oruç Reis is now parked inside the port of Antalya. The magic behind the rapprochement is named “Merkel” — but the recent spike of the Euro (and the U.S. dollar) vis-à-vis the Turkish lira may have to do with the sudden change of hearts in Ankara.
French President Emmanuel Macron on July 23 demanded EU sanctions against Turkey for "violations" of Greek and Cypriot waters amid increasing Eastern Mediterranean tensions. Separately, German media reports have said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was instrumental in preventing a military confrontation between Greece and Turkey late on July 21.
The eastern Mediterranean region where a Turkish ship will carry out a seismic survey is part of Turkey's continental shelf, Ankara said on July 22, rejecting Greece's accusation that the ship is encroaching on its own shelf. Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the ship Oruç Reis will operate in an area where Ankara awarded licences to Turkish energy company TPAO in 2012, within continental shelf boundaries of which the United Nations has been notified.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that Athens urged European Union (EU) states to have "crippling sanctions" against Ankara ready in case the latter continues drilling in waters claimed by Greece.