President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey is ready to hold a meeting with the leader of Greece to resolve the deadlock over the discovery of energy in water in the eastern Mediterranean.
The discovery of gas and oil in the area has sparked a controversy that saw two NATO neighbors stage rival air and naval drills in strategic waters between Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete.
Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul after Friday prayers, “Can there be a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister (Kyrikos) Mitsotakis? What is needed is what we discuss and in what framework.”
“We can meet if there is goodwill. We can talk through videoconference or meet in a third country,” Erdogan said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu later said on Friday that Greek Ambassador Michael-Christos DiMesi had been summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Ankara carrying an item in the Dimocratia newspaper.
The word “f *** off” Mr. Erdogan“Appeared in Turkish and English next to a picture of the President in a Greek newspaper.
“There was a page in front of a Greek newspaper,” Cavusoglu said in Ankara. “We summoned the Greek ambassador to the ministry,” he was quoted as saying by state news agency Anadolu.
At the center of the Greece-Turkey dispute was Ankara’s deployment of a seismic research vessel, the Orook Rees, and a fleet of warships in disputed waters near the Greek island of Kastaloro.
Turkish authorities ended the month-long mission and ordered the ship to be repatriated last weekend for maintenance and replenishment.
Erdogan also indicated that Oruk Rees would return to his work, while also stating that his return was intentional.
“If we pulled Oruch Rees back to the port for maintenance, it has a meaning,” he said.
“It means: ‘Let’s give diplomacy a chance, let’s show a positive attitude.”
‘Open for dialogue’
In Prague on Friday, Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Dendias said that Greece believes that “a dialogue should begin and that international law should not be violated. Of course no one in the region should try to win by force” needed”.
He added that Greece was “always open to negotiations with Turkey regarding coastal waters in the Special Economic Zone, provided that Turkey stops its provocative actions in the region”.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Yavuz drill, meanwhile, will continue its search for Cyprus to shut down oil and gas until 12 October.
Ankara’s dispute with Athens has created a crisis in some EU member states, notably France, which has sent naval ships and fighter jets to the region in support of Greece.
EU leaders are scheduled to discuss possible sanctions against Ankara in their meeting on 24-25 September.
“We would like our allies and friends to draft a list of sanctions in the EU that should not be immediately applied to Turkey, but rather serve as an example of sanctions that could be imposed on Turkey if it Does not stop his unlawful actions. ” Dandias said.