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Turkey says it expects Greece to give up maximalist claims

July 18, 2021 at 3:52 pm

Turkish Communications Director Fahrettin Altun in Ankara, Turkey on 17 March 2021 [Turkish Communications Directorate /Anadolu Agency]

Greece should give up its maximalist claims and conceive ways to benefit from regional resources together with Turkey, said Turkey’s communications director.

Turkey wants good relations with all neighbors, including Greece, and expects the same attitude from them, Fahrettin Altun told Kathimerini, a pro-government daily in Greece.

Turkey is not liable for the tension between Turkey and Greece, Altun said in an interview published Sunday.

Detailing his argument, Altun underlined that some Greek and Greek Cypriot politicians put forward maximalist demands which overlook the rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots and are not in line with international law.

They presented these maximalist demands to Greek people as if they are legitimate rights, he said.

What Turkey does, in response to these maximalist demands, is only defending its own rights in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish official maintained, pointing out that the Greek public is ill- and misinformed about Turkey.

“Turkey expects Greece to give up its maximalist claims and conceive ways to exploit regional resources together with Turkey,” Altun said.

Greece has made maximalist maritime territorial boundary claims based on small islands just kilometers off the Turkish coast. To reduce tensions, Ankara has called for dialogue and negotiations to ensure fair sharing of the region’s resources.

READ: Only solution for Cyprus is equality for Turkish Cypriots, leader says

Altun reiterated that Turkey favors a peaceful solution through negotiation for every regional problem that concerns itself, and its stance is the same for the Cyprus issue.

Turkish Cypriots voted in favor of Annan Plan in 2004, Altun recalled and stressed that the possibility of co-existence of Turkish and Greek Cypriots in a single state disappeared for good when the EU approved the Greek side’s membership to the bloc.

“Despite this, good faith was showed (by Turkish Cypriots). However, this has limits. Now, everybody sees that it is not possible to live (for Turkish and Greek Cypriots) under the same roof,” he added.

The most realistic resolution, therefore, is a two-state solution with which Turkish and Greek Cypriots would have equal rights, Altun remarked.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aiming at Greece’s annexation led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year that Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Annan Plan to end the decades-long dispute.