Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has issued threats against Greece, shortly after receiving an invitation for dialogue from Greece.
“Let them try! No one will dare to stop our drilling rigs: These are our sovereign rights, which we will defend. If they want to escalate, they will receive the answer,” Çavuşoğlu said in an interview with German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
When asked to comment on a statement by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who, according to SZ, described Turkey as a “bold troublemaker in the neighbourhood,” the Turkish Foreign Minister said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “offered cooperation in the Mediterranean,” but “Athens was not willing.”
“The Greek Prime Minister should look in the mirror and wonder where he made mistakes,” the Turkish diplomat said.
After Mitsotakis took office, President Erdoğan offered to work with him in the Mediterranean.
“We will defend our interests and the interests of the [illegal] Republic of Northern Cyprus,” Çavuşoğlu said adding that the issue of demarcation of maritime borders and the Exclusive Economic Zone is not a matter for international court and claims that “decisions have already been made on these issues.”
“An example of how Athens can solve such problems through diplomacy and dialogue is the recent EEZ agreement between Greece and Italy,” he said, forgetting that the two countries used the United Nations Charter Law of the Sea, in which Turkey is one of only 15 countries in the whole world not to sign.
“Only with Turkey do they refuse to follow this path,” the Turkish minister claimed before returning to the issue of Kastellorizo.
He went onto say that the small Greek island of Kastellorizo is located two kilometres away from the Turkish coast and has 40,000 square kilometres of territorial waters, 4,000 times larger than the island itself.
“Which country would accept such a thing?” he questioned, ignoring international law.
Regarding Hagia Sophia and the statements of Turkish officials about its conversion into a mosque, Çavuşoğlu stated that “this is also a matter of our sovereignty.”
“Greeks are interfering and behaving as if Istanbul and Hagia Sophia belong to them,” forgetting that Hagia Sophia cannot change its status as a museum unless it has the approval of UNCLOS.