The tripartite meeting between representatives of the government of Greece, Turkey and Germany in Berlin last week was a result of the phone conversation in late June between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to Turkey’s presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin.
Speaking to Turkish broadcaster broadcaster NTV, Kalin described the meeting that was held in the aftermath of Erdogan’s controversial decision to change the status of the former church of Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque as “an important step.”
He said that some “decisions were taken” during the meeting, adding that more such contacts will follow in the future.
“I understand that sometimes public opinion criticizes them, but if we move within a framework based on mutual interest and respect, these problems can be solved,” he said.
Kalin further listed the issues that Turkey wants to discuss.
“The Aegean issue, the islands issue, the continental shelf, the issue of maritime responsibilities, the issue of exploration and drilling in the contentious areas of the Eastern Mediterranean, the issue regarding the election of muftis (Muslim religious leaders) in Greece, the issue of the mosque in Greece, and all other issues,” he said.
“We can easily solve all these issues with Greece. As two neighboring countries with a constructive stance and a strong, visionary leadership, we can solve these problems,” Kalin said.
At the same time, he stressed that Ankara would not make any unjustified concessions.
“No one should expect Turkey to ever compromise on its rights and interests. We will carry on with determination,” he said.