Greece Responds to Erdogan’s Belligerent Statements

Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday issued a statement condemning the continuous provocative statements Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes, targeting Greece and Cyprus.

In the past two days and on different occasions, the Turkish president said that he will implement a Memorandum of Understanding he signed with Libya to (arbitrarily) delineate maritime borders between the two countries, and that he will not withdraw Turkish drillships operating in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The Greek foreign ministry statement says that Turkey repeatedly makes illegal moves pretending that they are lawful, while at the same time its president and top officials issue threats against their neighbors.

The full statement reads as follows:

“We condemn today’s statements from the Turkish leadership.

The violator par excellence of international law in the region persists in failing to realise that illegality does not produce law.

Turkey’s ongoing violations, sometimes in the form of threats and other times through practical violations of international law, unfortunately not only confirm this
capacity but also undermine the stability and interests of all the peoples of the wider region.

They also demonstrate Turkey’s flagrant contempt for the principles of good neighbourly relations, the cornerstone of the peaceful coexistence of states and a
fundamental precondition for Turkey’s European perspective.

It is sad that the Turkish President chose to turn a project of peaceful cooperation into a show of belligerent rhetoric and contempt for international legality.

The withdrawal of the Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy, Dimitris Oikonomou, from the event was a natural consequence and practical condemnation of these statements.

We hope the Turkish leadership comes to realise that respect for international law is not an option, but an absolute obligation.”