Turkish FM: Greece can turn this period into opportunity
Turkey’s foreign minister said Wednesday that more moderate messages have started to come from Greece on the issue of the Eastern Mediterranean, but it has not abandoned its maximalist policies.
"GREECE SHOULD NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY"
Speaking in a live interview on CNN Turk, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said: "The messages coming from the Greek prime minister in the past two to three days have been more moderate. More moderate messages have started to come in recent days. Greece started to give a more positive message, taking the opportunity of the return of the [Turkish seismic exploration vessel] Oruc Reis to Antalya Port to replenish supplies and for maintenance."
"On the other hand, saying ’we want more of this,’ they maintain their maximalist attitude," he added.
Noting that the exploratory talks that started after the 1996 Kardak crisis are a mechanism established to decide how to resolve problems that cannot be solved with agreements, Çavuşoğlu underlined that not only one issue but all issues should be discussed in one package.
Çavuşoğlu emphasized that the Oruc Reis returned to the port due to routine and periodic maintenance and that this does not mean that it is concession. "As our President told Merkel today, we have given diplomacy an opportunity in the past, but Greece declined it," he said.
"Instead of expecting more from us, Greece can turn this period into an opportunity by taking positive steps. We say that Greece should not miss this opportunity, which it did by signing an agreement with Egypt before," he added.
Additionally, Çavuşoğlu noted that Turkey always retains an inherent right in the areas where the Orucç Reis conducts seismic research.