The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday pointed the finger squarely at Greece for the spike in tension in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, and expressed Ankara’s intention to press on with controversial energy plans in the area.
“The positive atmosphere in our relations with Greece was short-lived, as the Greek side did not display a sincere and honest attitude, and continued its provocations and escalatory actions and statements,” the ministry was reported in translated statements as saying with regards to the breakdown in confidence-building talks between the two sides, in its annual report on Turkey’s foreign policy.
The report also clearly states Turkey’s intention to continue prospecting for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean despite disputes over maritime zones, while accusing the European Union, and “other third parties” of undermining stability in the region by taking a biased approach towards EU members Greece and Cyprus.
“On this continental shelf, where we have sovereign rights, hydrocarbon exploration activities will continue with Turkish-flagged seismic survey and drilling vessels,” it said. “No platform or plan in the region that seeks to ignore our country will succeed.”
The report also reiterates accusations against Greece of violating the demilitarized status of its eastern Aegean islands, while expressing Ankara’s “concern for our compatriots living in Western Thrace and the Dodecanese.”