Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has criticized his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzalez Laya's reference to Hagia Sophia as a “common house.” "If she [Laya] meant that Hagia Sophia should remain a site where believers of other faiths will perform worship, we do not agree with this,” Çavuşoğlu said.
A secret trilateral meeting held between Ankara, Athens and Berlin has stirred debate in Greece, with Greek opposition parties calling on Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to clarify the issue. "Secret diplomacy shows that the Mitsotakis government is on the back foot," Syriza spokesman Alexis Haritsis told the party's radio station Sto Kokkino 105.5.
Turkey on July 14 rejected EU condemnations of its decision to convert Istanbul's Hagia Sophia into a mosque. “Turkey rejects the words of condemnation used by the EU for turning Hagia Sophia back into a mosque,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said. Greece, meanwhile, described Turkey's Hagia Sophia decision as "unnecessary and petty."
Swiss company SICPA reportedly holds the operating rights of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia as a museum for seven more years. , SICPA won a tender that was held in 2018 for operating some 54 museums and archaeological sites for nine years with a $3.9 billion bid and holds the right to run Hagia Sophia as a museum for seven more years, daily Dünya reported on July 13.
International relations look more and more like a marketing and sales activity. And yes, diplomacy, by default, looks at least to me, more and more like stand-up comedy.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that Ankara would be forced to respond to the European Union if the bloc adopts additional measures against Turkey. "We see that Turkey will be on the agenda of the Commission meeting and summit because of a number of countries, including France. Adopting decisions against Turkey won't solve problems, but deepen them," he said.
Turkish Deputy Parliament Speaker and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Levent Gök broke a world record on running the longest uninterrupted session in a national parliament with eight hours and 13 minutes.
Greek Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos has said that a dialogue with Ankara is currently impossible as Athens is either being blackmailed or its sovereign rights are being challenged. “Greece insists on complying with the rules of international law, while Turkey is acting like a regional troublemaker and bully,” Panagiotopoulos said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump have "instructed" foreign and defense ministries and intelligence to work together on Libya. "That we take a common action here is important for the region's stability and Libya's future,” Çavuşoğlu said.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that Berlin was considering lifting travel bans to Turkey if the course of the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't worsen and sufficient preventative measures are implemented. The decision will also depend on the preventative measures in beaches and hotels, as Germany is among Turkey's top tourist importer.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has called on President Erdoğan to break his silence over allegations of bribe in a municipality run by the AKP. "Who took the bribe worth 500,000 Turkish Liras? Why are you all silent?" Kılıçdaroğlu asked about the claims concerning the municipality in the Serik district of the southern province of Antalya.
The two persons Ekim Alptekin introduced to Michael Flynn in a meeting room of New York’s Peninsula Hotel on September 19, 2016 were Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Berat Albayrak, who was Energy Minister at the time. Both names, from the time these claims were voiced until today, have almost played possum.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has accused the United Arab Emirates of trying to openly attack Turkey. "If you are asking who is destabilizing this region, who is bringing chaos, then we would say Abu Dhabi without any hesitation. They're trying to openly attack us from time to time, but we warned them to not cross the line," he said in response to criticism of Turkey's role in the Libyan conflict.
AKP mayor criticizes culture minister over failure to investigate alleged bribery, walks out of meeting
A mayor from the ruling AKP has announced that he walked out of a meeting with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Culture and Tourism Minister Nuri Ersoy on May 5. Enver Aputkan, the mayor of Serik district in Antalya, said that he left the meeting after finding out that the government was aware of an alleged bribery payment made to former Serik mayor but did not do anything to investigate the incident.
A total of 124 Turkish citizens living abroad have died so far due to the novel coronavirus, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on April 2. Çavuşoğlu also said that more than 20,000 citizens in total have been so far brought back to Turkey from 50 countries.