Jun 19 2019

Turkey is weak and isolated - Greek PM on Cyprus crisis

Turkey’s activities in the eastern Mediterranean are an indication of its weakness and isolation, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday.

Speaking on OPEN TV, the Greek prime minister argued that the alliances built by Greece and Cyprus had led to a strategic impasse for Ankara, according to Cyprus Mail.

“Turkey has no strong alliances. She sees she cannot claim her differences with Cyprus are a bilateral issue, as with Greece,” Tsipras said.

Cyprus and Greece are putting pressure on the European Union to take action against Turkey over its gas drilling west of the island, even as Ankara said on Tuesday it would send a second ship to the area this week.

Turkey says that certain areas in Cyprus’s offshore maritime zone, known as an EEZ, fall under the jurisdiction of Turkey or of Turkish Cypriots.

“The EEZ of Cyprus is also Europe’s EEZ, the borders of Greece are also borders of Europe,” said Tsipras.

He vowed that Greece would not allow Turkey to drill for natural gas between the island of Kastellorizo and Cyprus, and expressed his conviction that Turkey would not send a second drilling ship.

Cyprus and its ally Greece have urged Brussels to take action against Turkey for what they regard as an infringement of Cyprus’s sovereign rights. Talking with European Council President Donald Tusk on Tuesday, Tsipras said Brussels should “unreservedly condemn” Turkey’s actions, said Cyprus Mail. 

Also on Tuesday, the EU said it was considering taking action against Turkey that would have a serious negative impact.