The Greek Foreign Ministry has said that the recent rhetoric from Ankara concerning Turkey’s rights in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean is undermining regional stability.
“The Turkish provocations undermine the stability of the region at a crucial juncture and demonstrate the paucity of Turkey’s legal arguments,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement came on the heels of remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warning Greece and Cyprus against behaving “recklessly” with regard to Nicosia’s initiatives to develop its natural gas resources in the region.
Turkey says these initiatives impinge on its own rights in the region.
“The reckless behavior of Greece – supported by European states – acting together with the Greek-Cypriot administration is a danger and above all a threat to themselves,” Erdogan said a day after Cyprus announced that energy giants Total and Eni had jointly bid for another license to explore and exploit oil and gas reserves off the island.
“We will use our rights under international law and conventions to the end. And we are determined to put anyone who wants to stop us in their place,” he warned.
The Foreign Ministry in Athens however insisted that Greece “is not going to be influenced by the neighboring country’s outbursts of aggressive rhetoric.”
“On the contrary, as a factor of stability and security in the region, Greece will continue, in collaboration with its allies and partners, to defend international law and its own inalienable rights,” it said, adding that “the rest of the Eastern Mediterranean countries recognize that energy must be a bridge of dialogue and cooperation in our region. Instead of insisting on threats and on its illegal claims and challenges, Turkey ought to adhere to this responsible stance.”