Dendias corrected Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s false claim that a Turkish minority exists in Western Thrace.
“There is a Muslim minority in Greece, it is recognized by the Treaty of Lausanne, this is the view of the Greek state.,” Dendias said during their joint statements following their meeting in Ankara on Thursday.
Turkey’s own Foreign Ministry website affirms that there is only a Muslim minority in the Treaty of Lausanne Part VI Article 2 that states:
“Moslems established in the region to the east of the frontier line laid down in 1918 by the Treaty of Bucharest shall be considered as Moslem inhabitants of Western Thrace.”
When speaking of Cyprus, Dendias said to Çavuşoğlu that “the only solution that is accepted by the entire international community is the bi-zonal-bi-communal federation of Cyprus.”
Regarding Hagia Sophia, the Greek foreign minister said: “We believe that such a reversal is in the interest of Turkey in general. Greece and Turkey are destined by geography to live together.”
He also formally invited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Athens to meet Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
When Çavuşoğlu claimed that Greece was an aggressive country, Dendias highlighted that “Turkey has made 400 overflights over Greek territory.”
“Mevlüt, there is no provision allowing flights over Greek territory (…) If Turkey wants to join the EU, it must accept the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the foreign minister said.
In addressing Turkey’s recent statements that it wants to join the European Union, Dendias said “Greece is ready to start slowly on a positive agenda with Turkey.”
“This does not mean abandoning international law and European norms,” he continued, adding “the EU is not a third party but it is our family.”
“It is the proudest example of the coexistence of states in the history of the human race (…) I would suggest that we do not lead to an endless dialogue on what we know we disagree about,” the foreign minister said.