President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey-EU relations in a phone call with European Union Council President Charles Michel, as he urged European leaders to adopt a neutral stance on regional tensions.
Erdoğan told Michel that the EU needed to take steps to prevent Greece and certain EU member states from escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean seas.
He also highlighted that provocative statements and steps taken by European politicians would not contribute to a resolution in the region, saying the bloc’s stance regarding the Eastern Mediterranean would be a “test of sincerity” for regional peace.
Erdoğan also called on EU institutions and member states to embrace a fair, objective and impartial stance on all regional problems, including the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece and other countries have tried to push back Turkey's maritime territory and deny its rights to explore for energy, provoking Ankara's opposition.
Greece has disputed Turkey's current energy exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and attempts to box in Turkish maritime territory based on the proximity of smaller islands to the Turkish coast.
Turkey – the country with the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean – has sent out drillships to explore energy resources on its continental shelf, saying that Ankara and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) had rights in the region.
After Germany's diplomatic calls, Turkey halted activities in the region temporarily. However, these resumed in August following Greece and Egypt's signing of a controversial maritime delimitation deal.