Aug 13, 2020 16:55 UTC
  •  Dialogue sole solution to dispute with Greece in eastern Mediterranean: Turkish president

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the only solution to Turkey's dispute with EU member Greece over Turkish oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean is through negotiation.

Erdogan said on Thursday that Ankara is not seeking any "adventures" in the region.

"The path to a solution in the eastern Mediterranean is via dialogue and negotiation," the Turkish president said. "If we act with common sense and reason, we can find a win-win solution that meets everyone's interests. We are not chasing any unnecessary adventures or seeking tensions."

Greece, he said, is demonstrating an "ill-disposed" approach, urging Athens to respect Turkey's rights.

Apparently meaning France, Erdogan said Greece is being pushed into taking "wrong steps" in the region by "a country that doesn't even have a coast in the eastern Mediterranean".

"Nobody should think too highly of themselves. Let me be very clear: Don't try to put on a show," the president said.

Tensions escalated in the eastern Mediterranean on Monday after Turkey launched naval exercises off two Greek islands and announced the resumption of its energy exploration research activity in the disputed area.

Turkey dispatched a research ship, accompanied by naval vessels, off the Greek island of Kastellorizo, where Turkey disputes Greek maritime rights. The Turkish vessels are being shadowed by Greek warships.

Turkey had suspended the research activities but resumed them on August 6 when Egypt and Greece signed an agreement laying out the maritime boundary between their exclusive economic zones. President Erdogan denounced that maritime deal as “worthless.”