German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned Turkey of the consequences of “provocations” in the eastern Mediterranean, stressing that Germany is in solidarity with Cyprus and Greece, as partners in the European Union.
On Tuesday, Maas said that Ankara should stop the contradictions between its proclaimed commitments to solve the crisis and its many provocations, if it is interested in holding talks. This statement was made in Berlin, before the German official left for Cyprus and Greece.
Maas called on Ankara to remain open to dialogue and urged it to stop drilling for gas in controversial maritime areas.
On Sunday, Turkey announced that it would deploy a ship to explore for oil in waters it is fighting over with Greece. Local Turkish media said that the ship “Oruc Reis” left the port of Antalya and is on its way to carry out tasks related to seismic surveying in the eastern Mediterranean. This move was condemned by Greece on Monday.
On Monday, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that he informed his colleagues in the European Union, during the meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Union, of “the illegal activities of Turkey inside the Greek continental shelf, south of Kastellorizo.” He stressed that “Turkey is a destabilising country in the region, from Libya to Iraq and Syria, and now Nagorno Karabakh.”
The Greek Foreign Minister indicated in tweets that “Turkey has started an illegal move, by conducting illegal surveys south of the island of Kastellorizo on the continental shelf of Greece. This is only 6.5 nautical miles from the Greek shores, which represents a major escalation, and a direct threat to peace and security in the region.”
“There is a common denominator in all of the region’s problems, in Nagorno Karabakh, Syria, Iraq, Cyprus, Libya and the southeaster Mediterranean, and that common denominator is Turkey,” Dendias said.