Greece refusing to carry out the necessities of good neighborly relations through provocative acts and statements, as well as its violations of international law, negatively affect stability and peace in the region, Turkey’s National Security Council said on Thursday.
In a written statement, the council said: “Powers that encourage Greece to take further steps and support its stance in violation of international law and good neighborly relations are invited to take a position toward peace and justice through leaving aside these approaches that could endanger the peace of the region.”
The statements by the National Security Council come after tensions have recently increased once again between the two Mediterranean countries.
The Turkish foreign ministry on Sunday said that Greece is not able to stomach the crucial role Turkey plays in its region and its immediate surroundings in the context of ensuring peace and stability.
Greece has often been embroiled in tensions with neighboring Turkey over a range of issues, from competing claims over hydrocarbon resources in the Aegean Sea to the demilitarization of islands. Moreover, Greece's burgeoning arms program is designed to counter the protection of Turkish interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey maintains that it has been unfairly excluded from access to Mediterranean mineral resources and denies that it helped migrants gather at the Greek border last year.
Greece and Turkey resumed high-level diplomatic talks in January for the first time in nearly five years to try and ease tension over long-standing boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean. But they remain sharply at odds, and Greece has launched a multibillion-dollar military modernization program with large naval and air force orders from France and the United States.
The Greek parliament in October ratified a defense deal struck with France for the purchase of three French-made Belharra frigates, an agreement criticized by Turkey.
In September, Greece also announced that it was planning to buy another six Rafale fighter aircraft as tensions continue to flare with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The announcement of boosting military ties with France comes after Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stated recently that secondhand French Rafale jets will not change the power balance in the region.
While seeking to defend its fair share of maritime territory in the region, Ankara has decried recent provocative Greek moves such as violating treaties and pacts by issuing navigational alerts, militarizing islands in the Aegean Sea and illegally encroaching on Turkey's continental shelf.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Ankara has, however, repeatedly stressed that it is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region, including maritime disputes, through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations.
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