Greek Spokesman: Ankara’s actions in the East Med is to distract Turks from their economic situation

Stelios Petsas

In an interview on Greek television, a government spokesman highlighted that Turkey is partially motivated to cause hostilities in the East Mediterranean by the need to distract their citizens from the declining economic situation.

“We have an illegal Turkish NAVTEX, so we are doing all we can to highlight Turkey’s provocation and delinquency, in an international context that favors our own diplomatic actions,” Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said in an interview SKAI television station yesterday.

“As far as the business field is concerned, we will do what is needed,” said Petsas, adding that “The ‘corset’ worn in Turkey at the last European Council seems to be too tight.”

“Despite the provocative actions, they continue to speak publicly about the need for exploratory contacts,” he continued, reiterating that “the framework of exploratory contacts has been defined and concerns the delimitation of the maritime zones between the two countries.”

“So there is a field of glory for Turkey if it means what it says to start exploratory contacts. I remind you that a few days ago [Turkish Foreign Minister] Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that they would give a date for the start of exploratory contacts and instead they issued a new illegal NAVTEX,” he emphasized.

Petsas then suggested that Turkey’s provocative behavior against Greece is to distract Turks from the massive economic problems it is facing.

“It is understandable they have a need to disorient public opinion from the enormous economic problems they face or to want to take such actions for other geopolitical reasons. But if they mean that the framework of exploratory contacts is appropriate for us to delimit the maritime zones, let them come,” he added.

The government spokesman also said that “you cannot anticipate discussions when you are supposed to sit at the table but instead send research vessels there to do surveying. It’s illegal and it makes no sense.”

Petsas said that Greece is already talking about a very serious escalation on the part of Turkey if they go so close to Kastelorizo, especially just some days after the conclusions of the European Council, which called on Turkey to refrain from such actions.