Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Greece on Tuesday of continued “provocations” and of preventing progress in relations.
“We have given a chance to diplomacy. The first time we delayed the ship from sailing and the second the ship returned to port,” he said, in reference to the Oruc Reis seismic survey ship that has been carrying out natural gas and oil explorations in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“In that time, we have seen provocative actions from Greece and the Greek Cypriots. In that time, the EU could have brought us both to the table, but this did not happen unfortunately. And Greece’s provocations continued after October 20, as well,” Cavusoglu said at a press conference with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto in Ankara.
“The Greeks said that they would do not sit down for talks as long as the Oruc Reis remained in the area. But the ship has been withdrawn to Antalya, and they still find excuses,” he added.
Despite Turkey’s “well-intentioned steps” and desire for dialogue, Cavusoglu said, Greece has also stopped taking part in NATO-brokered efforts to develop a deconfliction mechanism in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“The European Union should also realize this attitude from Greece,” he said, calling on EU leaders meeting later this week to discuss possible sanctions against Turkey, to behave with “common sense.”