President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey was breaking off talks with Greece, in part because of a dispute with the Greek prime minister and what Ankara calls airspace violations, marking the latest reversal of the long-standing relations between neighbors.
Last year, after a five-year hiatus, the two NATO members resumed talks to settle their differences over the Mediterranean Sea and other bilateral issues. The talks made little progress and the countries frequently traded barbs.
Erdogan said Turkey had canceled a bilateral cooperation platform, dubbed the High-Level Strategic Council, with Greece, adding in a speech to lawmakers from his ruling party that Ankara wanted a foreign policy that “had a Strong character”.
“You keep showing us shows with your planes,” Erdogan said, referring to a dispute over airspace over the Aegean islands. ” What are you doing ? Pull yourself together. Don’t you learn the lessons of history?
“Don’t try to dance with Turkey. You will be tired and stuck on the road. We don’t have bilateral talks with them anymore. This Greece will not see the reason,” he said.
The countries have long been at odds over a host of issues such as maritime borders, overlapping claims to their continental shelves, airspace, migrants and the ethnic divide of Cyprus.
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Tensions erupted again last week when Erdogan said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ‘no longer exists’ for him, accusing him of trying to block sales of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey during a visit to the United States.
On Tuesday, Mitsotakis told reporters after a European Union summit that he had informed his European counterparts of “aggressiveness” and “provocations which cannot be tolerated by Greece or the European Union”.
“I will not be involved in a game of personal insults…” he said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Greece was violating international agreements that determine the demilitarized status of the Aegean islands, warning that if Athens did not change course, Ankara would launch disputes over the status of the Aegean islands. he is.
The Greek Foreign Ministry said Cavusoglu’s comments showed Turkey was threatening Athens.
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