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The tension between Athens and Ankara escalated on Wednesday over territorial claims in the Mediterranean. The Turkish president said he would “take what was rightfully his”, calling on Greece to refrain from making any “mistake” that would lead to its “ruin”.

The Turkey will make “no concessions” to defend its gas interests in the eastern Mediterranean, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday (August 26th), calling on Greece to refrain from making any “mistake” which would lead to its “ruin”.

“Turkey will take what is rightfully its own in the Black Sea, the Aegean and the Mediterranean […] We will make absolutely no concessions on what is ours, “Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a martial speech.” For this, we are determined to do whatever is necessary politically, economically and militarily, “he said. he added.

These declarations are made in tensions between Ankara and Athens in the eastern Mediterranean escalate, where the discovery of large gas fields in recent years has aggravated long-standing disputes between these two neighboring countries over their maritime borders.

Rival naval maneuvers

Turkey has deployed since August 10 a seismic research vessel accompanied by a military escort in an area claimed by Athens, provoking the ire of Greece which has also deployed buildings in the region.

“We invite our interlocutors to […] beware of any error that would open the way to their ruin, “said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an allusion to Greece which he did not however name.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vitriolic speech comes the day after a trip to Athens and Ankara by German diplomat Heiko Maas, whose country is trying to ease tensions through mediation.

Ankara is ready for dialogue, but only if Athens does not pose any “preconditions”, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said Tuesday August 25th.

On the ground, the situation seems explosive, Ankara and Athens, two NATO members with historically delicate relations, who carried out rival naval maneuvers on Tuesday.

European military exercise

Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus are also due to conduct a joint military exercise in the eastern Mediterranean, southern Crete and Cyprus from Wednesday to Friday.

France, which supports Greece in the dispute, said on Wednesday that the Mediterranean should not be “a playground” for “the ambitions of some”. “The Mediterranean (…) is a common good” where “respect for international law must be the rule and not the exception,” said French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly in a tweet, confirming the start of this exercise military spouse.

Blaming Athens for wanting to rally the European Union against Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan displayed an air of defiance on Wednesday.

“Turkey is no longer a country whose patience, determination, means and courage can be tested (…) Those who want to oppose us and who are ready to pay the price, let them do it. Otherwise, let them get out of our way, “” he said.

With AFP



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