Those who are plotting against Ankara will be left frustrated, Turkey’s defense minister said on Sept. 11 referring to recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking at a military ceremony in the Aegean province of Izmir, Hulusi Akar said to defuse tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean some circles just need to stay quiet.
“They don’t need to do anything, just keep quiet,” he said, advising Greece not to let itself be used by others.
Tensions have recently escalated over the issue of energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece has disputed Turkey’s energy exploration in the region, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast. French President Emmanuel Macron has interceded in support of Athens, despite lacking any Eastern Mediterranean coastline.
Turkey – the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean – has sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.
In order to reduce tensions, Turkey has called for dialogue to ensure fair sharing of resources.
Touching upon Macron’s remarks, the Turkish defense minister said: “They are trying to disrupt our unity and integrity by going beyond limits.”
On Thursday, ahead of a summit of southern EU member states, Macron reportedly said: “We must be tough with the Turkish government and not with the Turkish people, who deserve more than the Erdoğan government.”