The Government of Turkey urged the European Union and Greece to stop violating the rights of refugees and to honour their commitments rather than criticizing the Ottoman country.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had previously stated at a meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell that Turkey undermined security and stability in the Western Mediterranean and sent migrants to the border to enter the territory of Greece.
“These statements from Dendias is a new attempt to hide the crimes against refugees in Greece under the protection of the EU … We invite the EU and Greece to fulfill their obligations instead of launching accusations against our country,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.
The diplomat stressed that the Greek minister’s statements are “out of reality.”
“Greece and Cyprus must put aside the illusion of isolating Turkey and assume that this is in accordance with international law,” he emphasized.
Aksoy stressed that Greece will gain nothing by creating hostile alliances against Turkey.
The spokesperson called on Athens to respect Turkey’s legitimate rights and resolve discrepancies through the talks.
Relations between Greece and Turkey worsened after the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the head of the Government of Libya’s National Agreement, Fayez Sarraj, signed two agreements in late November, one on security and military cooperation, and the other on maritime borders in the eastern Mediterranean. The military cooperation authority authorizes the sending of Turkish troops to Libya and the second draws the maritime border between Turkey and Libya near the Greek island of Crete.
Dendias assured on June 1 that Turkey was appropriating the sovereign rights of Greece and called provocative the granting of a license to prospect for hydrocarbons on the continental shelf of the Eastern Mediterranean to the Turkish oil corporation TPAO.
Europe is experiencing the worst migration crisis since World War II, caused mainly by armed conflict and economic problems in the Middle East and North Africa.
In 2019, more than 110,000 immigrants and refugees arrived in Europe through the Mediterranean, according to figures from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).