Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Tuesday reiterated Ankara's support for a resolution to the dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Seas through dialogue and under international law as well as good neighborly relations.
"Let's solve the problems by talking, but everyone should have seen and understood that we won't submit to any fait accompli, coercion or pressure," said Akar in a videoconference meeting.
According to a statement by the ministry, Akar chaired a meeting attended by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, top force commanders and deputy ministers Yunus Emre Karaosmanoğlu and Alpaslan Kavaklıoğlu.
Expressing Turkey's determination to protect its interests and rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, he underlined that the country would also continue to defend the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
Akar asserted that Ankara was on the side of peace, dialogue, political resolution and negotiations, adding that exploratory talks with Greece should continue.
He voiced support for more meetings under NATO, as well as for a fourth round of talks between Turkey and Greece, two of which had been in Athens and one in Ankara, so far.
Turkey – the country with the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean – has sent out drillships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that Ankara and the TRNC have rights in the region.
Ankara has also said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot administration.
Following a series of technical meetings between the military delegations of Greece and Turkey at NATO headquarters in Brussels, a bilateral military deconfliction mechanism was established earlier this month.
According to NATO, the mechanism is designed to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean and includes the creation of a hotline between Greece and Turkey to facilitate deconfliction at sea or in the air.
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