Erdoğan calls for fairness from Europe in East Med during call with Merkel

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged for European states to be fair and consistent on the issue of eastern Mediterranean during a videoconference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The Turkish president said that Ankara would continue to pursue active policy on the country’s own rights, adding that disputes could be resolved through negotiation as long as there is a fair approach to the eastern Mediterranean, Anadolu said.

Tensions have risen over claims and counterclaims by Turkey, on the one side, and French-backed Greece and Cyprus, on the other, to maritime areas in the region potentially rich in natural gas. Several countries have conducted naval exercise in the waters, increasing the risk of a full conflict.

The EU has expressed full support for member states Greece and Cyprus in the dispute with Turkey over the contested waters. The bloc has said it is drawing up potential sanctions if dialogue of the disagreement does not begin.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, head of the National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan, among other top officials, also took part in the meeting, where the two leaders also discussed bilateral and regional issues, it said.

The European Council, whose rotating presidency is currently held by Germany, is set to meet on September 24-25 to discuss the tensions in the region. 

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told CNN Türk during an interview on Wednesday that Merkel is “more objective and constructive’’ regarding the row in the east Mediterranean than her European counterparts.

“She (Merkel) accepts that we are right (on this matter),’’ Çavuşoğlu told the broadcaster, adding that Germany was among European countries that remained objective over the row on hydrocarbon resources.