While welcoming the rhetoric of the European Union regarding a positive agenda between Brussels and Ankara, Turkey rejected criticism by the European Council on Thursday of its exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, while denouncing Greece and Cyprus.
“The EU ignores the maximalist attitude of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo, as well as their one-sided provocative activities,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
It bemoaned that the “EU characterizes the drilling activities of our country and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean as illegal. This is contrary to international law, it said, adding that the EU “has no jurisdiction over this matter.”
For his part, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Greece-Turkey problems must not be EU-Turkey ones, while reiterating that the Cyprus problem must be resolved on the basis of two states.