Left Menu
Development News Edition

Greek-Turkish tensions rise in crisis over eastern Mediterranean

It said Turkey must stick to commitments it has made in the dispute, refrain from provocative actions and show good faith. Greece's foreign ministry described the new voyage as a "major escalation" and a "direct threat to peace in the region".

Reuters | Updated: 12-10-2020 19:39 IST | Created: 12-10-2020 19:29 IST
Greek-Turkish tensions rise in crisis over eastern Mediterranean
Representative image Image Credit: centcom.mil

A Turkish ship set sail on Monday to carry out seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean, prompting Greece to issue a furious new demand for European Union sanctions on Ankara in a row over offshore exploration rights. France expressed its concern after the Turkish vessel, the Oruc Reis, began its voyage. It said Turkey must stick to commitments it has made in the dispute, refrain from provocative actions and show good faith.

Greece's foreign ministry described the new voyage as a "major escalation" and a "direct threat to peace in the region". Turkey accused Athens of fuelling tensions. The Oruc Reis intends to carry out work south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo, which is close to Turkey's coast.

Ankara had withdrawn the vessel from contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean last month to "allow for diplomacy" before an EU summit at which Cyprus sought sanctions against Turkey. "Turkey has proven it lacks credibility. All those who believed Turkey meant all it said before the European summit of Oct. 1-2 now stand corrected," Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Monday.

At the summit, the EU said it would punish Turkey if it continued operations in the region and that sanctions could be imposed as soon as December. Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Ankara's operations were within its continental shelf and it expected Greece to refrain from steps escalating tensions.

"They are doing everything to escalate tensions," Akar said. "The Navy will provide the necessary escort and protection to our vessels as needed." Energy Minister Fatih Donmez wrote on Twitter said Turkey would "continue to explore, dig and protect our rights."

Relations between Greece and Turkey are complicated by a range of disputes, from jurisdiction in the Mediterranean to ethnically split Cyprus. Greek government spokesman Petsas said Turkey had done the opposite of what it should have, and the EU did not need to wait two months before taking action.

"So the only issue here is to activate more drastic solutions, for Turkey to feel more stick and less carrot this time," Petsas said. French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Agnes von der Muhll said in Paris: "We expect Turkey to meet its commitments, abstain from new provocations and show concrete evidence of good faith."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Smart healthcare: IoT redefining the way healthcare is delivered

As the world is embracing the new wave of digitalization triggered by the pandemic and the arrival of 5G, the adoption of IoT devices will further boom. With adoption set to soar, IoT security issues and other challenges cant be ignored any...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Dozens of Venezuelan migrants arrive in Trinidad after hours at sea

At least 29 Venezuelan migrants, including 16 minors, returned to Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday after being deported from the island over the weekend and spending hours at sea, said their relatives, who had been concerned about their where...

Biden says U.S. 'ready to lead' again, vows to work with allies

President-elect Joe Biden said on Tuesday the United States will be ready to lead again on the global stage, turning the page on President Donald Trumps unilateralist policies as he pledged to work together with Washingtons allies. Introduc...

France's Macron eases some lockdown rules amid "glimmer of hope"

France will start easing its COVID-19 lockdown this weekend so that by Christmas, shops, theatres and cinemas will reopen and people will be able to spend the holiday with their family, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday. In a televi...

France's Macron eyes COVID-19 vaccination starting by year-end

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, could start being administered by year-end in France if approved by regulators. We are going to organise a swift an...

Give Feedback