Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to respond to Greece in the Mediterranean sea after claiming that both Greece and Cyprus have failed to live up to promises made during recent negotiations.
President Erdogan’s comments come as the Oruc Reis research vessel has again set sail in the Eastern Mediterranean sea to conduct seismic research for potential natural resources, a move that had led to increased tensions between Turkey and Greece earlier this year.
“Our Oruc Reis has returned to its duty in the Mediterranean,” Erdogan said, according to Kathimerini.
“We will continue to give the response they deserve on the field, to Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration who have not kept their promises during talks within the EU and NATO platforms,” the Turkish president added.
Former Turkish PM Says Erdogan Aggression Risks Military Clash with Greece https://t.co/SFIwUWbv5V
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 5, 2020
According to the Greek newspaper, the Turkish leader did not give any detail on what the alleged promises may have been but criticised the Greek government for recent military exercises in the Aegean sea that coincided with a Turkish holiday.
Erdogan also mentioned the recent opening of beachfront in a contested area of Cyprus in the area of Varosha in southern Famagusta. It had been abandoned since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.
“The fenced-off Varosha region belongs to the Turks of northern Cyprus. This should be known as such,” Erdogan said.
The opening of the area, a popular tourist destination before the Turkish invasion, has been criticised by Greece, the European Union, and Russia, who said the move was unacceptable. Even pro-Turkish Northern Cyprus leader Mustafa Akinci called the move a mistake.
The threats from President Erdogan come as tensions between Turkey and Greece remain high not only due to Turkish activity in the Mediterranean but the threat from Turkey to send migrants back to the Greek border.
Greek Media Publishes Photos of Turkish Authorities Allegedly Helping Migrants https://t.co/8vIds0DrWP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 10, 2020
In March, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu promised that migrants would return to the border when the coronavirus pandemic had ended.
Last month, Greek media published photos allegedly showing Turkish authorities on the northern border in Evros helping migrants to cross into Greece.