Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Thursday expressed his concern about the escalation in Turkish rhetoric while speaking to political correspondents in parliament.
What was happening was very distressing, Dendias said, adding that the issue of the islands has never been raised. Unfortunately, he added, the real problem, if there was one, was that Turkey and Turkish public opinion were becoming trapped by it.
Following the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum, the Turkish leadership has made choices that leave no scope for negotiation, Dendias said. He noted, however, that (because of Turkey’s behaviour) there has been international backlash.
Asked what happened after the meeting between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in the Bosphorus, Dendias said that he himself was very much in favour of this meeting. “The picture I got was that it had gone extremely well but what happened after the meeting, from Turkey’s side, is completely impossible for me to divine,” said Dendias, noting that it does not change the fact that the situation is continuously deteriorating.
Dendias also pointed out that Ankara’s behaviour has boxed in Greek-Turkish relations, despite the innumerable chances given by Greece. In particular, regarding the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum, which includes a Turkish military presence in Libya, he noted that this locks Turkey into a continuous course of conflict with Egypt. Why, asked the foreign minister, would someone in Turkey with foresight choose this strategy, which leads to dead ends and dangerous paths?