Erdoğan: Turkey not to surrender to blackmail on Eastern Mediterranean issue
Speaking at an awards ceremony in the capital Ankara on Thursday, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated that will not surrender to blackmail or banditry on the Eastern Mediterranean issue. Erdoğan also pointed out that Turkey’s determination and firm stance brought the Greek side to the negotiating table.
Speaking at an award ceremony at Beştepe National Congress and Culture Center, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated that they will not allow anyone to confine Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean, to its coast.
The parties involved know that the language of threats does not work and Turkey will not surrender to blackmail or banditry, he stressed.
"Despite the provocations and childish attitudes of the other side, we have always acted with the dignity of our righteousness and being a great state," he highlighted.
Greece finally decided to sit down at the negotiating table after seeing Turkey's determination and firm stance in the face of blackmail and threats, the Turkish leader stressed in his remarks.
Erdoğan also pointed out that Greece has realized that the language of threats has not worked in the Eastern Mediterranean.
"We defend the legitimate rights of our country and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] arising from international law in the Eastern Mediterranean," he added.
Stressing the importance of dialogue and the negotiating table for resolving the Eastern Mediterranean issue, Erdoğan said that Turkey has always advocated a solution through dialogue, negotiation, and in line with its neighborhood.
Turkey has sent out drillships into the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its right to the region's maritime resources against claims that small Greek islands next to Turkey's coasts deprive Turkey of almost any maritime jurisdiction in the region, despite no country having a longer Mediterranean coastline.
Critics in the EU, notably France, have opposed these efforts, while ignoring terrorist threats near Turkey, illegal arms shipments into Libya fueling the Haftar insurgency, and Greek expansionist efforts to confine Turkey to its coasts using arguments that defy the law and logic.