Turkey calls on Greece to abide by international law
Turkey's National Security Council on Tuesday called on Greece to act in line with good neighborly relations and abide by international law, instead of stepping up its policies against Ankara.
In a three-hour meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the capital Ankara, senior Turkish officials discussed foreign policy, terrorism, and regional developments, said a council statement.
Greek human rights violations against its Turkish minority and irregular migrants were among issues tackled at the meeting, according to the statement following the meeting held in the presidential complex.
On the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean, it said countries from outside the region should take a neutral position and a common approach protecting mutual rights and benefits.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that those excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Ankara last year sent several drill ships to explore for energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue, and negotiations.
On the issue of Cyprus, the security council underlined the indispensable need for a permanent and fair resolution based on two independent states to be put on the agenda, adding that the present nearly-half-a-century-old approach that ignored the existence of Turkish Cypriots on the island had been fruitless.
Stressing the crucial importance of permanent and sustainable peace in Syria while protecting the country's territorial integrity and political unity, the council said Turkey would support any initiative to bolster peace and stability in the region.
It also called on all actors in Syria to put an end to acts that would deepen the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the war-weary country now in its tenth year of civil conflict.
Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.
Turkey currently hosts nearly four million Syrians, making it the world's top refugee-hosting country. It is also providing protection and humanitarian assistance to more than five million internally displaced people in northern Syria.
The council also welcomed the political process and progress in Libya and noted that Turkey would continue to provide all manner of support to ensure security, peace and prosperity in the North African nation.
Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
The war was exacerbated when warlord Khalifa Haftar, supported by several countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Russia, and France, conducted a military onslaught to topple the Tripoli-based internationally recognized government for control over the country.
On Oct. 23, 2020, a cease-fire was reached under the auspices of the UN, which Haftar's militia has since violated from time to time.
On Feb. 5, Libyan delegates elected Mohammad Menfi to head a three-member Presidential Council and Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as the new prime minister.
The council was also briefed on efforts against groups targeting Turkey's national unity and prosperity, especially terror groups including the PKK/YPG, Daesh/ISIS and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt in Turkey.
In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The terrorist YPG is the PKK's Syrian branch.