On his return to Ankara from Sunday's Berlin conference on the Libya crisis, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented once again on the maritime zones that he purports have been delineated by a memorandum signed between Ankara and Tripoli in November.
"Our coastline faces Libya's coastline," Erdogan said. "That's what made this deal possible." "And of course we have the longest coastline in the East Mediterranean and that gives us other capabilities," he added.
"They talk about a continental shelf around Crete," he said. "There is no continental shelf around the islands, there is no such thing," he said, noting that, "there, it is only sovereign waters."
Erdogan also took the opportunity to exercise fresh criticism against Athens for hosting Libyan military leader Khalifa Haftar last week ahead of the Berlin summit. "Why did Mitsotakis invite Haftar to Greece? Did he just want to provoke us?" Erdogan said. "A leader told me that Mitsotakis wants to bridge the gap between us. He really wants that and he invites Haftar to Greece? This is nonsense. I answered that he should first correct this mistake and then it will be easy for us to meet."
As for the presense of Turkey's Yavuz vessel in Block 8 of Cyprus's exclusive economic zone, Erdogan said that the profits from the natural gas deposits it finds will be shared between both sides of the divided island. He noted however that the Republic of Cyprus had not accepted such a prospect.