x

Politics

After Sending Warships Toward Greek Islands, Erdogan Offers Dialogue

ANKARA — He dispatched an energy research vessel guarded by warships toward the Greek island of Kastellorizo, but Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said negotiations are the only way out, amid rising fears of a conflict breaking out.

Turkey made the same offer earlier but said it was based on only Greece making concessions and giving up claims to some of the Continental Shelf and waters around Greek islands where Turkey wants to drill for oil and gas.

And while he held out a potential olive branch, he immediately blamed Greece for all the troubles and provocations in the Aegean and East Mediterranean, the kind of belligerent talk that Greece said he wouldn't accept as blackmail.

Speaking to members of his ruling AK Party, Erdogan said the escalation of tensions in the region was caused by Greece, reported Reuters, which he said had to respect Turkey's rights while giving up some of its own.

"The path to a solution in the eastern Mediterranean is via dialogue and negotiation. We are not chasing any unnecessary adventures or seeking tensions," he said without explaining if he felt that way while he sent the research vessel and warships off the island of Kastellorizo.

Turkey and Greece belong to NATO but the defense alliance ran the other way and said it wouldn't intervene over repeated Turkish violations of Greek airspace and waters by Turkish fighter jets and ships even with a conflict possible.

The two countries dispute waters around Greek islands, some of which are so close to Turkey's coastline that Erdogan said he could shout to them, as he doesn't recognize the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne which set boundaries and ceded some islands to Greece he wants returned.

They are making overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the region, and tensions have risen since Turkey began exploration in waters Greece claims are sovereign territory, disputed by Turkey with the backing of the United States.

While he was mouthing negotiations to ratchet down tension, Devlet Bahceli, the leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) which is an ally of his ruling AKP Party, lashed out at Greece for “hostile behavior” in the East Mediterranean.

“To all those who cause provocations at sea, drawing awaits them,” Bahceli warned. “No one will be able to rid Turkey from the Mediterranean and entrap us in Anatolia,” he added, said Kathimerini of the outburst.

RELATED

ATHENS - A rapprochement of sorts that has seen tensions dialed down between them doesn’t mean Greece isn’t still wary of Greece, said Defense Minister Nikos Dendias, saying there is still an “existential threat” despite warmer ties.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

2 Germans, a Spaniard and a Senegalese Killed in Building Collapse in Spain’s Mallorca Island

MADRID (AP) — Spain's National Police on Friday gave details on four people killed when a building housing a bar and restaurant club collapsed on the island of Mallorca.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is once again under the spotlight after a manager failed to consult a collections committee before purchasing a 21-star flag whose description as a rare banner marking Illinois' 1818 admission to the Union is disputed.

BABYLON, NY – Babylon AHEPA Chapter 416 awarded two very well-qualified students Yanni Saridakis and Maria Avlonitis with $1,000 scholarships on May 19.

THRU JUNE 4 NEW YORK – The third iteration of the Carte Blanche project featuring Maria Antelman with the work ‘The Seer (Deep)’ opened on April 19 and runs through June 4, Monday-Friday 9 AM-2:30 PM, at the Consulate General of Greece in New York, 69 East 79th Street in Manhattan.

ATHENS – An Archieratical Divine Liturgy and a memorial service honoring the 50th dark anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus at the Metropolis – the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Athens – marked the beginning of the 4th Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Sunday, May 26.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.