Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias addressed Turkey’s recent actions in the Eastern Mediterranean this week, telling the country, “the days of the Ottoman Empire are over.”
The Greek Foreign Minister spoke out against Turkey’s actions in Cyprus, including Turkish plans to reopen a resort on the section of the island they illegally occupied after invading in the 1970s.
“Turkey must finally understand that it can no longer behave as if we are in the 18th or 19th century,” Dendias said, according to Greek newspaper I Kathimerini.
“The days of the Ottoman Empire are over… Respect for international law and the law of the sea are the governing principles of relations between states,” the minister said.
“Realizing this would be in the interest of Turkish society, a large part of which I believe already shares these views.”
Last week, the UN Security Council went as far as condemning Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his Cyprus stance, saying: “The Security Council calls for the immediate reversal of this course of action and the reversal of all steps taken on Varosha since October 2020.”
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“The Security Council stresses the importance of full respect and implementation of its resolutions, including the transfer of Varosha to UN administration,” the statement added.
President Erdogan has also been a proponent of a two-state solution for Cyprus, which was recently rejected by the United States who support a “Cypriot-led process” according to Victoria Nuland, the undersecretary of state for political affairs.
Tensions have remained heightened between Greece and Turkey for over a year, with Turkey opening the gates to the country for thousands of migrants last year in February before closing the border due to the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus.
Greece has also taken exception to Turkish resource exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean in waters that Greece claims are part of its own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), tensions which put the Greek navy on alert last summer.
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