Some have attributed Turkey’s moves to Erdogan's need to divert attention from Turkey's economic crisis and setbacks in Syria and Libya, but they are in line with Ankara’s long-term strategy.
The two leaders are expected to surely discuss the volatile situation created by Turkey in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, where US energy giant ExxonMobil has acquired drilling rights in Cyprus' EEZ.
Mitsotakis called for the enforcement of the EU-Turkey statement that lays out Ankara's and the EU's obligations and said EU solidarity must been taken seriously.
'A review of the Bank’s strategic orientations of its lending activities in Turkey is scheduled for later this year,' an EIB spokeswoman said.
Whether one likes it or not, Turkey holds the key to managing the refugee issue and it is in a position to use it to blackmail whenever it feels cornered.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on 29 July will visit Nicosia for talks with Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades. The first foreign trip of any newly-elected Greek PM is to Cyprus.
'In light of Turkey’s continued and new illegal drilling activities, the (EU) decides to suspend negotiations on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and agrees not to hold further meetings of the high-level dialogues for the time being,' a draft statement read.
It is the first condemnation of Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean since New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis took power and appointed veteran conservative MP Nikos Dendias, an attorney, as foreign minister.
'We express our full solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus and yet again call upon Turkey to immediately cease illegal activity and to respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus,' the ministry stated.
Erdogan made thinly veiled threats of force against Cyprus in remarks to journalist on his return flight from China on 2 July.
'Greece is a sovereign country that is in a position to defend its sovereign rights. There is no scenario under which a [Turkish drilling ship] will drill in the Greek continental shelf because that will be blocked.'
“We shall continue with a plan that has been studied very well and is linked to the upgrading of Greece’s international role in the broader region and to our decisiveness about exploiting our energy resources,” PM Alexis Tsipras said.
The June 20-21 summit called on the European Commission and the EEAS to table “without delay” proposed 'targeted measures' against Turkey over its illegal drilling for hydrocarbons in Cyprus' EEZ.
The argument that perpetuation of the status quo on Cyprus benefits the Greek-Cypriot side or at least will not change the geopolitical realities is collapsing
'The only thing that we want is to place under guarantee the rights of the Turkish-Cypriot people which are accepted by everyone – the EU, the Greek-Cypriot side, and Greece. Are we asking for too much? It is so simple,' Cavusoglu said.
'Turkey must avoid threats, actions that damage good neighbourly relations, normalise its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and respect the sovereignty of all EU Member States over their territorial sea and airspace,' the GAC declared.
'Our country steadfastly follows a policy that is based on respect for international law. Obviously that does not mean giving in to pressure. We steadfastly fend off every effort at revisionism and we insist on resolving disputes through dialogue.'
Turkey may consider that this period is opportune for it to impose its views on the delimitation of Greece’s territorial waters and continental shelf.
The government and the opposition, trapped in a ruthless political clash just ten days before the European Parliament election, are downplaying or even ignoring Turkey’s evolving and escalating hostility in the region. With constant manoeuvres, Erdogan is disputing the status quo in the Eastern Mediterranean and seeking an opportunity to advance what he views as his interests. He has pressed forward with gas exploration in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic zone with a rather tepid international response. He formalised his claims by summoning the diplomats of neighbouring countries, including Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece. He is pressing on with huge military exercises and loses no opportunity to violate Greek airspace. If one factors in the tensions in the broader region – with attacks on ships and the open conflict between the US and Iran – it is clear that the situation is becoming explosive. The Greek government’s statements of condemnation obviously do not address the issue, nor does a merely formal alignment of the government and the opposition suffice to confront Ankara’s provocations. Unfortunately, domestic political polarisation does not permit the hammering out of a unified national line that can address current threats and provide a long-term national strategy. Pressured by domestic economic problems and his party’s loss of the Istanbul mayoralty, Erdogan is seeking a way out of his impasse abroad so as to rally his domestic political base. Erdogan is unpredictable and volatile and thus there is a danger that he might provoke a crisis that could easily spin out of control. There is enough military firepower gathered in the Eastern Mediterranean to pose the risk of triggering an explosion at any moment. The leader of the American superpower is also unstable and unpredictable enough to provoke a crisis in the region in order to flex his muscle. Meanwhile, the fact that the European Union is almost paralysed and unable at the moment to take bold decisions further complicates the situation. In Greece, the necessary national understanding is being undermined by the frenzied electoral campaign. The prime minister, who should have taken the initiative to rally political forces so as to forge a national strategy, is preoccupied with his struggle to cling to power at all costs. The result is that Greece is drifting and monitoring events as a bystander instead of seeking alliances and fending off designs and provocations. Though there is absolutely no room for complacency, we are preoccupied with polarising domestic clashes instead of seeking the basis for an understanding at least on national issues that have bedeviled us for decades. The government and the opposition, trapped in a ruthless political clash just ten days before the European Parliament election, are downplaying or even ignoring Turkey’s evolving and escalating hostility in the region.
The government must brief opposition parties and not act secretly, or even worse divisively, as it did in the case of North Macedonia.
Athens and Nicosia have submitted their charges against Turkey to the EU, the UN, and Nato and Apostolakis will raise all the parameters of the issue at a 14 May EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting.
Just one week after Turkey’s announcement that it will begin drilling within Cyprus’ EEZ with the “FATIH” drill ship, Turkish authorities have announced live fire military exercises in a huge sea area surrounding the very small Greek island of Kastellorizo
The activity of the Turkish marine seismographic survey ship “Barbaros” in Cyprus' EEZ shows that Ankara will yet again use provocations to achieve its goals.
'How can one exclude Turkey from an area in which it has a coastal line of many kilometres?' Katrougalos was quoted by Anadolu as saying.
The State Department said that the Secretary will attend the summit to discuss basic energy and security issues faced by the Eastern Mediterranean.
'We must solve the problems between us with an honourable compromise as we did with North Macedonia,' said SYRIZA MP Christos Karagiannidis.
Although the company which conducted the drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ expressed an interest in cooperating with Hellenic Petroleum on exploring Greece’s EEZ south of Crete, nothing has been done.
Industry consultants Wood Mackenzie said they estimated recoverable resources of Exxon’s field to be 4.55 trillion cubic feet.
Erdogan says Ankara is determined to defend its 'rights' on Cyprus, in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Aegean.
'Political equality' between the two communities in Cyprus has long been in the vocabulary of the UN in settlement efforts, but it has taken on a new meaning now that rich offshore gas and oil deposits have been found in Cyprus’ (EEZ)
What had occurred was a joint US-France exercise, to which Turkey was alerted by Nato systems, and Ankara hastened to tie up the adjacent area for a Turkish exercise.
US Ambassador to Athens Geoffrey Pyatt averted a hot clash near Kastelorizi between a Greek frigate and the Turkish seismic research vessel Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha, military analyst Thanasis Drougos revealed/
Ankara has marshaled the NAVTEX in an effort to dispute Cyprus’ EEZ and the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, the only internationally recognised state entity on the island.
Cyprus talks, energy issues and Turkey’s hostile activity in Cyprus EEZ, Aegean tensions and implementation of the EU-Turkey refugee agreement were all on the agenda.