Turkey

Turkey warns Greece against doubling territorial waters

‘This could cause war,’ says Turkish foreign minister

Behlul Cetinkaya   | 29.08.2020
Turkey warns Greece against doubling territorial waters

ANKARA 

Turkey's foreign minister warned Greece on Saturday against doubling its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea from 6 to 12 nautical miles.

"They cannot extend it to 12 miles. The decision taken by our Assembly years ago is valid. This could cause war,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told news channel A Haber.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the government is planning to submit a bill to double Greece’s territorial waters in the Ionian Sea – facing Italy, Greek daily Ekathimerini reported.

In the future, Greece could also extend its territorial waters in other maritime areas, he added.

Touching on France's support to Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cavusoglu said France plays for Europe leadership. "France want to create a security force of the EU against NATO. NATO is one of the goals of the current escalation."

Greece previously made agreements with Egypt, Israel and Greek Cypriot. They are political moves against Turkey but not feasible, he noted on the recent Greece-Egypt maritime deal.

"This is our continental shelf and the approval of both states [Greece-Egypt] to the agreement would not change much for us," he added.

Greece has disputed Turkey's current energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

Turkey -- the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean -- has sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.

Dialogue for fairly sharing these resources will be a win-win for all sides, say Turkish officials.

Turkey has also called foul on Athens for seeking EU support for blocking Ankara’s legitimate energy exploration.

*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur and Burak Bir

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