Turkey will give Greece, Cyprus response, Erdogan

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 16, 2020

Following a proposal by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to European Council President Charles Michel, Friday's agenda will include Turkey's latest aggressive behavior and the EU's stance.

The statement came on the heels of Turkey's announcement that it would send its research ship Oruc Reis back to a disputed Mediterranean area after the vessel returned to the country's shores in mid-September following a political standoff between Ankara and Athens.

The United States and Germany, both allies of Turkey, have labelled the gas exploration mission a "provocation" and urged Ankara to recall the ship.

As the two-day European Council prepared to open its session, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a joint press conference with his German and Polish counterparts that Turkey's provocative acts are "unacceptable".

The European Union said it would review the possibility of sanctions on Turkey at a European summit in December.

He warned that plans that disregard the interests of Turkey and the breakaway northern Cyprus would not succeed.

Varosha remained off-limits and in Turkish military control after its Greek Cypriot residents fled before advancing troops in 1974 when Turkey invaded and sliced the island along ethnic lines following a coup by supporters of union with Greece.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied allegations of deliberately holding the plane of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in the air for some time, on its way to enter Turkish airspace.

Turkey denied the accusation, saying the aircraft had taken off from Iraq without a flight plan but had been allowed to pass once one was procured.

In Athens, government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said the Greek foreign ministry had "taken the necessary actions with a [diplomatic] protest". "But I would like to remain on the fact that various explanations were given, also from the Turkish side, and we hope that this phenomenon and this incident is never repeated in the future".

Aksoy suggested that the plane in question had taken off from Iraq without submitting a flight plan, explaining that flight plans are reported via the Eurocontrol system.

"When the aforementioned aircraft arrived at our airspace, the plan was urgently requested from the Iraqi authorities, and after the plan was received, the flight was carried out safely", the ministry said.

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