Turkey’s repeated violations of Greece and Cyprus’ sovereign rights in the Mediterranean and its “unnecessary and petty” decision to reconvert Hagia Sophia into a mosque “require a comprehensive European response,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.
“[Turkey’s] dispute of our sovereign rights and international law means it is time for more dynamic reactions. United and determined, Europe must now draw up a specific list of action and sanctions against a country that asserts the role of the regional trouble-maker and is developing into threat for regional stability,” he said in a joint press conference with visiting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
He also spoke about the Turkish President’s “unprecedented decision” to change the status of Hagia Sophia, which redescribed as “regressive.”
“Hagia Sophia has become a world heritage monument and that does not change,” adding that “history teaches us that the world's heritage can not become a tug-of-war between states.”
On his side, Anastasiades said it is “inconceivable” to show “such contempt” for world heritage sites.
In terns of Ankara’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, he said that Turkey is violating international law by drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, disregarding the fact that it is a candidate country for EU membership.