Erdogan Claims Crete and Greek Islands Aren’t on Continental Shelf

Turkish President Erdogan. File photo

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again made remarks regarding his country’s illegal deal signed with the Tripoli-based Libyan government on what they consider their mutual maritime borders.

The statements were made on his Presidential aircraft after the Turkish leader returned from the German capital on Monday, following the Berlin Conference on Libya.

“Our coastline faces Libya’s coastline,” the Turkish President declared in his characteristically blunt manner.

“That’s what made this deal possible; and of course we have the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean and that gives us other abilities,” the Turkish leader stated. His inflammatory remarks completely disregard the criteria set by international conventions regarding maritime zone delimitation issues.

“They (the Greeks) are talking about a continental shelf around Crete,” Erdogan intoned in his usual pompous manner, adding provocatively that “there is no continental shelf around the islands, there is not even such a thing!”

The Turkish premier’s statements evinced a complete disregard of the United Nations’ Convention on the Law of the Sea — which explicitly states the exact opposite.

”There are only territorial waters (around the islands),” Erdogan added.

The Turkish leader continued his personal attacks against Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, following yesterday’s remarks concerning him.

”Why did Mitsotakis invite Haftar to Greece? Did he want to provoke us?” President Erdogan asked rhetorically.

In his characteristically blunt manner, he went on to call the Greek Premier’s decision ”nonsense.”

“A leader told me that Prime Minister Mitsotakis wants to bridge the gap between us. How can he really want that, when he invites Haftar to Greece? This is nonsense!” the Turkish President said.

”I replied that he (Mitsotakis) should first correct his mistake and then it will be easier for us to meet,” Erdogan added.

Following these latest remarks, it is clear that Turkey is showing signs of anger over the latest diplomatic moves by Athens, ratcheting up tensions in the broader region even further.