Turkey is ready to host a fourth meeting with Greece after the two neighbors held three of the kind for confidence-building efforts, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on July 29.
“We notified the other party that we are ready to hold the fourth meeting in Ankara. We expect the Greek side to attend these meetings,” Akar said, speaking at the national day reception of the Turkish Cyprus.
The minister, however, criticized negative rhetoric from regional countries on the issue of Turkey’s presence in the Mediterranean.
“Meanwhile, various statements were made from various sources. One of them is ‘We cannot leave security to Eastern Mediterranean Turkey.’ Let those who say this look at their history, our history, the history of the Eastern Mediterranean. Our troops there, our forces, as well as our ancestors, as we have in the past, have the ability to do whatever needs to be done there regarding security,” he stated.
“Therefore, language is very important in such relationships. The parties should use language carefully when making their statements,” he said calling on other parties to avoid “provocation.”
“We say, let’s find the answer to the question ‘What can we do together?’ So, we invite our neighbors in this direction,” he stated.
But the neighboring countries should not see this as a “helplessness,” Akar said, emphasizing that Turkey will not allow any fait accompli in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.
It is Turkey’s right to conduct research both in the license areas of Turkish Cyprus, in Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction areas and benefit them, the defense minister stated.
“We will definitely use this right, we use it. Nobody should doubt that,” he said, speaking at the national day reception of Turkish Cyprus.