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Olive Branch Broken, Turkey Blames Greece for Provocations

Αssociated Press

Turkish Foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu talks to the media during a press conference after a meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Athens, Monday, May 31, 2021. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

The nice talk from Turkey seeking diplomacy to settle disputes over the seas didn't last long with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu blaming Greece for the tension and the troubles.

He said that, “Greece needs to give up provocations” for the two countries to solve their problems through dialogue, said a report in the pro-government Daily Sabah newspaper that's a mouthpiece for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He also accused Greek Foreign Minister “my friend (Nikos) Dendias” of speaking behind his back after joint press conferences following their recent meetings after they had buried the hatchet over Dendias lashing out at Turkey after they met in Ankara.

Cavusoglu was talking to reporters during the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, an event which former Greek foreign ministers Dimitris Avramopoulos and Dora Bakoyannis refused to take part because it involved officials from the Turkish occupied northern third of Cyprus.

Cavusoglu told reporters that there was a gentleman’s agreement not to hold any exercises in the Aegean during the tourism season in the summer. He said: “Greece is now declaring NAVTEX (a shipping navigation warning about naval exercises). We had an agreement not to hold NAVTEX and exercises on national days as well. Greece broke this as well. They should give up these provocations,” said Kathimerini.

He spoke while Greece and Turkey are trying to resolve differences with dialogue after Turkey said it would go ahead with plans to hunt for energy off Greek islands and Erdogan met with Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis at a NATO meeting and both said they would refrain from provocations.

“Dendias came. I went there ... Erdoğan and ... Mitsotakis met in Brussels. The meeting went well. Have all the problems been resolved? No…These talks show our determination to solve our problems through dialogue. This determination and sincerity will continue. Greece needs to give up provocations. We go to the press conferences and everything is fine, but then my friend Dendias says many things behind our back. There is no need for this. We ignore it,” Cavusoglu said.

He didn't mention that Turkey doesn't recognize the United Nations Law of the Sea nor the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that set borders between the countrie unless invoking them to its advantage.