Turkey has warned against Greece’s controversial plans to extend its territorial waters, saying the move could cause a war between the two nations, which already remain locked up in a dispute over energy resources in the Mediterranean sea.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in parliament this week that the government will extend the western limit of its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 miles.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reacted to the plan in televised interview on Saturday, saying that Ankara “won’t allow Greece to extend their sea border from 6 miles to 12.”
He warned that the move “could cause war” in the region.
A standoff has already intensified between Turkey and Greece over oil and gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean. The two have been at loggerheads over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the waters.
Turkey’s discovery of major gas deposits in waters surrounding Crete and Cyprus has further escalated tensions between them.
Cavusoglu also warned France against supporting Greece in the recent escalation, saying that Paris wants to create a security force of the EU against NATO.
“NATO is one of the goals of the current escalation,” he added.
The European Union (EU) has taken the side of Greece in the dispute. Last week, France deployed its naval forces to hold joint military exercises with Greece along with Italy, and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.
Greece and Turkey almost went to war in 1974 over Cyprus, which has since been divided, with the northern third run by a Turkish Cypriot administration and the southern two-thirds governed by the Greek Cypriot government.
Source: Press TV