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Exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey conclude amidst controversial statements

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The 63rd round of low-level exploratory talks that took place in Ankara concluded on Wednesday amidst controversial statements by Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Omer Celik. As standard practice, the content of the discussion between the two parties in the exploratory talks is not publicly disclosed.

However, the Turkish government continued to stoke tension on Wednesday.

“The Blue Homeland is our red line, it is an integral part of our homeland” stated Celik and added that “we will fight for the Blue Homeland, and we will pay any cost.” He also called on Greece and Cyprus to abandon “their maximalist conduct in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.”

Celik brought up a wide range of issues including the Nautical Geo incident, where a Greek-Cypriot research vessel sailing under the Maltese flag was pushed back by the Turkish navy, and called once more for the demilitarization of islands in the eastern Aegean, echoing the demands in a letter sent by Ankara to the UN.

“What they need to understand is that the countries you mentioned will not be with you in your time of need, but Turkey, as your neighbor, has always been there for you in your time of need, and if you face trouble, Turkey will be the first to respond,” stated Celik in response to the defensive agreement between Greece and France.