The hope that calmer thoughts will prevail in Turkey was expressed By Greek Minister of Development, Adonis Georgiadis on SKAI TV after the Turkish Oruc Reis research vessel finally returned to Turkey after violating the Greek and Cypriot continental shelf and maritime space for over a month.
“They are beginning to understand that this policy of provocations is not leading them anywhere,” said Georgiadis.
The Development Minister said that Ankara is starting to think twice and is slowly withdrawing its challenges, “because I think it is unthinkable for Erdogan to put up with the whole civilized world.”
Georgiadis described the political and diplomatic support that Greece has received as unprecedented, but also the military “in the sense of the agreements announced yesterday by the Prime Minister.”
He stressed that Athens has sent the message to Ankara that if it moves towards conflict it will lose, while if it moves towards peace and reconciliation it has bona fide interlocutors to find a solution.
“Mitsotakis strengthens the Armed Forces and diplomatically strengthens Greece, and on the other hand, he proposes to Erdogan a dialogue and an appeal to The Hague if the dialogue does not work, for the unique issues Greece discusses, namely the continental shelf and the definition of the Exclusive Economic Zone,” stressed Georgiadis.
Yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that Greece will be acquiring a squadron of 18 Rafale fighter jets, 4 new frigates, and new anti-tank weapons, torpedoes and guided missiles. In addition, two Greek shipyards will be reactivated and the military will be recruiting 15,000 people over the next five years.
The illegal Turkish NAVTEX for the Oruc Reis – which was issued on August 31st and covered the period from September 2nd to 12th – was not renewed on Saturday.
In fact, last night the Oruc Reis doubled its speed and set off for the Turkish coast.
According to the website Marine Traffic , which tracks the position of the ships by satellite,the Oruc Reis has arrived in Antalya.
Greek government spokesperson Stelios Petsas, in an interview with SKAI on Sunday morning, said the main issue was a move for “practical de-escalation” on the part of Ankara.
“Now Athens expects consistency and continuity in the de-escalation in the coming days,” he stressed.
Ankara has recently been under intense diplomatic pressure from the European Union, several European states and the United States to stop provocative actions and return to dialogue with Greece.
It is worth noting that just last night, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Cyprus and expressed for the umpteenth time his concern about tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean .
In fact, he described Turkey’s actions in the region as illegal.
Pompeo supported the right of Cyprus and Greece to the exploitation of natural resources within their respective Exclusive Economic Zone, emphasizing his position for finding a solution through diplomacy.