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Greece's Foreign Chief Tells Turkey to Give Up Imperialist Thoughts

Αssociated Press

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

Talking tough after being more diplomatic earlier, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias showed exasperation with Turkey's constant provocations and verbal shots, advising Greece's neighbor to follow international laws it doesn't recognize.

“The days of the Ottoman Empire are over … respect for international law and the law of the sea are the governing principles of relations between states,” Dendias said after briefing of opposition party officials on Cyprus, said Kathimerini.

“Turkey must finally understand that it can no longer behave as if we are in the 18th or 19th Century,” Dendias, including a plan by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders to partially reopen the abandoned resort of Varosha.

“Realizing this would be in the interest of Turkish society, a large part of which I believe already shares these views,” he said.

Besides irking Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and ignoring a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the Varosha plan, Turkey is continuing plans to drill for oil and gas off Cyprus and said it would off Greek islands.

Greece and Turkey had agreed to stay away from irritating each other during the summer so that tourists would go to both countries where they are critical revenue providers but have still engaged in some word fisticuffs.

Turkey doesn't accept the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne signed by the country's leaders at the time that set boundaries with Greece but occasionally invokes it against Greece.