ATHENS – In an apparent bid to cool down rising tension it created with provocations in the seas and sending fighter jets into Greek airspace, Turkey has reached out with an offer to talk although lines of communication have been cut, but offered no concessions.
Greece and Turkey can resolve their differences “within the framework of mutual respect,” Turkey’s Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin while adding there would be no stopping of drilling for energy in the Aegean and East Mediterranean.
He didn't explain how offering diplomacy while claiming waters off Greek islands and drilling off Cyprus – and planning to do the same off Crete – would work with Turkey unilaterally wanting Greece to back down.
“There are certainly issues on which there is a difference of opinion. After all, this is why negotiations take place; to solve these problems via diplomacy,” Kalin told broadcaster NTV while saying at the same time that Turkey won't budge.
“The Aegean issue, the islands issue, the continental shelf, the issue of maritime responsibilities, the issue of exploration and drilling in the contentious areas of the Eastern Mediterranean, the issue regarding the election of muftis (Muslim religious leaders) in Greece, the issue of the mosque in Greece, and all other issues,” could be settled he said, but indicating only if Turkey gets its way on all of them.
“We can easily solve all these issues with Greece. As two neighboring countries with a constructive stance and a strong, visionary leadership, we can solve these problems,” Kalin said.
But he repeated it would be Turkey's way or no way. “No one should expect Turkey to ever compromise on its rights and interests. We will carry on with determination,” he said, suggesting Greece should compromise.