Germany slams Turkey for taking unilateral steps, escalating tensions with Greece & Cyprus
Germany’s foreign Minister criticized Turkey for unilateral steps in the eastern Mediterranean that are undercutting efforts to de-escalate tensions with Greece and Cyprus over sea boundaries and drilling rights.
Heiko Maas said Yesterday said any attempt by a Turkish survey ship to begin prospecting for hydrocarbons in disputed waters around the Greek island of Kastellorizo would strike a serious blow to efforts at easing tensions and improving ties between the European Union and Turkey.
Ankara’s redeployment of the Oruc Reis survey vessel for new energy exploration around Kastellorizo has reignited tensions over sea boundaries between Greek islands, Cyprus and Turkey’s southern coast.
Turkey rebuffed international criticism of its research ship’s redeployment, insisting that the Oruc Reis is operating in Turkish waters. Omer Celik, spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party, accused Greece of stirring up tensions and of trying to avoid negotiations by engaging in actions like military drills during Turkey’s national day celebrations.