The signing of an agreement on the acquisition by Greece of 6 warships and 18 5th generation aircraft from France caused a sharp statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, in which Ankara accuses Athens and Nicosia of increasing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, stating that this “will threaten peace and stability “.
This is the second harsh statement by Turkey in a few days, after the official signing Greek-French defense agreement in Paris.
Turkish Foreign Ministry statement:
As you know, the reason for the tension that we have experienced in recent years in the Eastern Mediterranean is maximalist claims to the maritime jurisdiction of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, as well as unilateral actions that ignore the rights and interests of our country and the “TRNC”.
President Erdogan invited the EU to convene a comprehensive conference in the Eastern Mediterranean last year, and the island’s co-owner, the TRNC, submitted a detailed proposal on hydrocarbon resources to the Greek Cypriot side on 13 July 2019. While all these proposals are on the table, it seems that Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration of Cyprus have tried to engage in unilateral and provocative actions in recent months, exacerbating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Indeed, in addition to Greece’s recent efforts to disrupt our continental shelf, the island’s Greek Cypriot administration has also announced that it will investigate in a manner that violates the rights of the TRNC and our country’s continental shelf, and will conduct surveys on a ship under the flag of Malta from October 3 owned by Italy.
The Greek Cypriot administration has announced that it will begin new drilling offshore south of the island in November. All these unilateral actions will heighten tensions and threaten peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. The necessary steps are being taken on the ground against these unilateral actions by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, and third countries indicate that they should not be instrumental in these actions. Our country will continue to resolutely defend both its own rights and the rights of the “TRNC” in the Eastern Mediterranean.
As we reported earlier, warships of turkey have been preventing a research vessel from sailing for more than a month “Nautical Geo”, while they themselves have repeatedly sent their own research vessels into the territory of the EEZ of Cyprus for the search for hydrocarbons, entering into direct conflict with Greece and Cyprus.
Signing an agreement with France for the supply 6 newest warships – three frigates and three corvettes, in the context of a bilateral agreement on defense cooperation between France and Greece, put Turkey in a situation where its fleet, which was previously significantly stronger than the Greek one, is becoming weaker.
The tension in the situation was also added by purchase 18 + 6 fighters of the Rafale type, aircraft of the 5th generation, despite the fact that due to the conflict with the United States, because of the Russian S400, Turkey was denied supplies of this plane.
And although Turkey back in 2019 presented at the Le Bourget air show a layout of its 5th generation fighter, it is still very far from serial samples.