BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:20 A.M.) – A spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey accused Greece of practicing piracy in the eastern Mediterranean region, stressing that the French moves would end in a crushing defeat.
“Turkey is conducting research and exploration work in the eastern Mediterranean within its continental shelf and its territorial waters, and this is something Greece has nothing to do with,” Omar Celik said in a statement reported by the Anadolu Agency.
He continued, directing his speech to the Greeks: “If you are looking for reliable interlocutors, there is nothing better than Turkey. Greece has become a piracy country in the eastern Mediterranean and is seeking things larger than its size.”
On his attack on France, Celik said: “If the French president announces red lines in our continental shelf and our homeland, then we return those lines to him.”
He continued: “The French have nothing that they can achieve by bringing Rafale fighters to the eastern Mediterranean , or conducting maneuvers with Greek Cyprus. The result will be a severe defeat for the Greek government.”
Earlier in the day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “The attempts to seize the riches of the Mediterranean are a new face of modern colonialism .”
He said, “The attempt to confine Turkey within its coasts through the Greek island of Meis (Kastellorizo), which has an area of only 10 square kilometers, is the most prominent expression of injustice and inequity.”
Celik added, “Attempts to push a country that does not benefit itself (referring to Greece) to confront a regional and international power such as Turkey, has become a funny thing.”