News World Turkey says conditions conducive to launching talks with Greece

Turkey says conditions conducive to launching talks with Greece

Turkey believes conditions are conducive to restarting talks with fellow NATO member Greece after Ankara’s Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel left contested waters in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said late on Thursday.

Turkey and Greece have been locked in a bitter dispute over conflicting claims on the extent of their continental shelves and exploration for potential energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

Tensions flared last month when Turkey sent the Oruc Reis to contested waters also claimed by Greece and Cyprus.

On Sunday, Oruc Reis returned to Turkey‘s southern province of Antalya for what Ankara called “routine maintenance”, a move Greece called a positive first step in easing tensions. The two countries began talks at NATO to avoid military accidents in the region, after a small naval collision last month.

Speaking at an online panel, Kalin said Oruc Reis’ return to Antalya was an opportunity to advance talks and this “should not be squandered”, adding that Ankara hopes this will be “reflected positively” at a European Union summit on Sept. 24-25.

“We want to see a new page turned in the relations between Turkey and Greece, but also in relations between Turkey and the EU,” Kalin said.

“We are hopeful, we believe the climate is conducive to that at the moment and we have, I think, reached an understanding with regards to which steps we need to be taking over the next few weeks to resume these talks,” he said.

On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Oruc Reis’ maintenance may take “a few weeks” according to the energy ministry, but added the vessel will resume its operations afterwards.

EU leaders will address the issue at the summit later this month and evaluate potential sanctions. Germany wants more time for talks with Turkey while France, Cyprus and Greece demand a punitive response to Turkey.

Turkey has two exploration vessels off the divided island of Cyprus, which has long been at odds with Ankara over oil and gas drilling. 

Turkey which invaded Cyprus in 1974 and still maintains territory in the northern part recognised a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state but not the internationally-recognised EU-member Cyprus government.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Man catches arsonist dousing his car

  A man in Yeroskipou caught a man red handed dousing his car with liquid, which he subsequently discovered was flammable material. The incident happened...

Man bites hand of police officer checking SMS movement

  A man bit a police officer's hand as he was randomly checked for using an SMS for movement during the second week of the...

Covid assessment leads to change in country travel categories as of Jan.18

  The Epidemiological Monitoring Unit has reassessed the epidemiological conditions in certain countries as related to the travelling to and from Cyprus. The reassessment was based...

Dozens fined for covid violations as quarantine enters second week

  79 individuals and six businesses were charged for covid-19 violations over the past 24 hours, as the quarantine entered its 2nd week, with authorities...

17 year old Covid patient at Famagusta General

  A 17 year old teenage girl, the youngest to have been infected in the second wave of the pandemic, is being treated at Famagusta...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...