Turkey says yes to Hague but on all issues

Cavusoglu insists disputes should be referred to court as ‘positive atmosphere will disappear soon’

Turkey says yes to Hague but on all issues

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that all existing issues between Athens and Ankara should be referred to an international court, but “as a whole,” and warned that otherwise the existing thaw in bilateral relations may not last. In an interview with A Haber TV, Cavusoglu specifically argued for a “package solution to all issues.”

“In the Aegean Sea there is the issue of islands whose sovereignty has not been determined, there are the violations I have mentioned before. There is the issue of airspace where [the Greeks] claim 10 miles instead of 6. There are some statements that mention the extension of territorial waters from 6 to 12 miles. All these issues are issues of disputes that have not been resolved for many years,” he said. 

Greece has repeatedly said it favors dialogue with Turkey but will not discuss issues it considers sovereign rights.

Turkey’s FM proposed a “package” solution to all issues. In order for these issues to be referred to an international court, Turkey and Greece must agree, he said. “And we must not be selective, we must go to all issues,” he noted, warning that if there is no solution to these issues, tensions could inevitably rise again.

“There will be a positive atmosphere in the meantime. But then there will be some violation, then some air battle, tension in the skies and maybe some accident. In other words, anything can happen and this positive atmosphere will soon disappear,” he said, stressing that Greece and Turkey have to decide how to resolve these issues. “Are we going to consult on each issue separately? In my opinion we should discuss everything as a package. Because if we resolve one issue, the tension will continue on the other,” he added.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan referred again to the “Blue Homeland” doctrine, which envisions large swaths of the Mediterranean under Turkish influence, during the launch ceremony for the TCG Anadolu drone carrier in Istanbul on Monday. Erdogan argued that “the security of the Blue Homeland has become very important in the critical period we are going through. This is behind our efforts to have a stronger and more deterrent fleet for our country.”

He said the TCG Anadolu signifies and validates Turkey’s position in the region and in the world. With it, he said, Turkey will be able to move forces with ease in the Aegean, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

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