Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who participated in a teleconference at the “Mass Celebration of Hydroelectric Power Plant Opening” launched by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, instigated new challenges against Greece and other Mediterranean countries.
“In our seas we started drilling with the Fatih and Yavuz drills. So we demolished all the plans and all the traps that had been set in the eastern Mediterranean against Turkey, against our country. Along with the eastern Mediterranean, we also started drilling in the Black Sea. We will continue this work without giving up our rights under international law. With God’s help, we will operate the first reactor at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant,” he said.
By drilling in “our seas,” he was referencing Cypriot maritime space, as recognised by the entire international community.
He then ranted about the EU not opening its borders to Turkey, as they do not believe Turkey’s coronavirus data. Several Turkish experts have cast doubt that Ankara is telling the truth and journalists reporting that the official coronavirus infection numbers are not true are arrested.
“While the EU has opened its doors to countries whose infrastructure from the economy to democracy is fragile, it has left Turkey out and that is a worrying sign. But let them do whatever they want, they will not be an obstacle to Turkey’s democratic and economic goals. If we lose one, you will lose 5, you will lose 10!” he said while raising both his hands in the air.
Erdoğan stressed that Turkey has proved unrivalled internationally in the field of health and tourism after the pandemic and called on Germany to take positive steps against Turkey.
“Especially in the field of tourism and health, we do not know of any other nation that can compete with us in any field! And in Germany at the moment, after the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Tourism, we have said that we expect positive steps in this matter,” he said.
Turkey expressed its “disappointment” that it was excluded from the list of countries whose citizens may enter the EU amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are disappointed that we were not included in the list,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said a few days ago.
Hami Aksoy in a statement said “we expect this error to be corrected as soon as possible,” he said.
Erdoğan said the EU was treating Turkey with restraint, calling Brussels’ decision a “policy”. However, he declined to comment further.
According to the EU’s list released on Tuesday, which is not binding on member states, travellers from 15 countries – including China on condition – are allowed to enter the Schengen area.
Turkey and the US are excluded from this list, which is reviewed every two weeks.
The EU’s decision is a blow to Turkey, which has been trying for weeks to present itself as a safe country despite the Covid-19 pandemic in order to attract travellers and save what is left of the summer tourist season.
Ankara claims it successfully treated the pandemic, as it has a relatively low mortality rate. According to official figures, nearly 200,000 cases and about 5,100 deaths have been reported in Turkey.
But in recent weeks, the daily number of new cases has risen again due to the relaxation of restrictive measures, and it is well documented that Ankara has not been giving truthful statistics.