It is not surprising at first glance that a meeting between the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers is explosive. But experts are also puzzled by the Ankara scandal.
Istanbul (AP) – Following the diplomatic scandal between Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised the behavior of his minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu.
“Of course our Secretary of State has put Dendias in his place given his behavior and conduct. He could not have been more lenient either, because that would not have suited us as a people and a country anyway, ”said Erdogan. However, experts and journalists were surprised by the exchange of blows.
The two foreign ministers had come to the press after a joint meeting last night and made serious accusations against each other. While Dendias and Cavusoglu praised the positive and constructive atmosphere at the start of the conference, the conversation quickly escalated after Dendias warned Turkey not to spread “fake news”. Cavusoglu, who had initially called Dendias his old friend, responded and said he wanted to have the conversation in a friendly atmosphere. “But in his speech, Niko Dendias unfortunately made extremely unacceptable accusations against my country.” For example, he accused Greece of violating international law and “throwing people into the sea”.
In some cases, the Turkish and Greek media reacted indignantly. “Dendias scandal,” the Turkish government newspaper Milliyet wrote shortly after the meeting. The conservative Athenian newspaper Political even saw “war between Dendias and Cavusoglu in the air”.
Relations between the two countries have been under pressure for years. The Athens government accuses the neighbor of illegally investigating natural gas in the waters of Greece’s exclusive economic zone. Ankara states that the areas examined belong to the Turkish continental shelf and that Turkey has the right to exploit natural resources. The conflict brought the two countries to the brink of military confrontation last year, but had recently receded.
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