- The popular German newspaper said that there was almost a conflict battle between Turkey and Greece.
- Mitsotakis received visiting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Maximos Mansion.
- Chancellor Angela Merkel contacted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before an escalation occurred.
According to a media report, Turkey and Greece were about to enter a military clash on Tuesday evening. The German newspaper Bild said that “the battleships were on their way [for battle], and warplanes were flying in the air before the rescue came from Germany.”
The popular German newspaper said that there was almost a conflict battle between Turkey and Greece, Tuesday, due to the dispute over a possible gas reserve in front of Kastellorizo island, the smallest Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea.
It should be noted that relations are mainly tense between Turkey and Greece on issues such as oil and gas exploration in common waters in the Aegean and Mediterranean, as well as the flow of refugees through Turkey to European countries.
“The imposition of sanctions by the EU against Turkey will be a one-way street,” said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “It is up to Turkey to choose what relationship it wants to have with Greece, with Cyprus, with Europe. But I think at the moment it seems to be choosing the wrong path.”
Mitsotakis received visiting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at the Maximos Mansion. The new tensions come after Turkey announced that it would conduct a survey in the eastern Mediterranean, starting on July 21. The Greek Foreign Ministry called on Turkey “to immediately halt its illegal activities that violate the sovereignty of Greece and undermine peace and security in the region.”
According to the newspaper Kolnisheh Rundschau today, many ships of the Turkish Navy have moved since Tuesday, in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean, south of the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete.
The Greek navy deployed military battleships in the Aegean Sea after it declared a state of “alert” due to Turkish energy exploration activities, according to a source in the Navy Wednesday. They told Agence France Presse that “the marine units have been deployed since yesterday (Tuesday) in the south and southeast of the Aegean Sea.” They refused to reveal more details.
Merkel calls Erdogan and Mitsotakis
According to Bild’s information, Chancellor Angela Merkel contacted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before an escalation occurred. Ulrike Dimer, the German government’s deputy spokesperson, did not want to confirm that it had mediated between the two, and that the Turkish navy later canceled its maneuver.
She only confirmed making calls with Mitsotakis and Erdogan, relating to the situation in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey’s Anadolu Agency quoted a statement issued by the Turkish Presidency Communication Department on Wednesday that Erdogan and Merkel discussed during the phone conversation.
The latest developments in Libya and Syria took place on Tuesday, and the statement added that Erdogan and Merkel discussed steps aimed at developing bilateral relations, especially economic relations.
The office of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced Wednesday that he had informed the German chancellor by phone of the reasons for these moves.