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News ID: 47760
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 11:13 - 06 September 2020
Sunday, 06 September 2020_Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Greece to enter talks over disputed territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean or face “painful” consequences.

Erdogan warns Greece to enter Mediterranean talks or face ‘painful’ consequences"They're either going to understand the language of politics and diplomacy, or in the field with painful experiences," Erdogan said Saturday at a hospital's opening ceremony in Istanbul.

He also warned that Ankara was prepared to defend Turkey’s territorial rights at any cost. "As Turkey and the Turkish people, we are ready for every possibility and every consequence."

Turkey and Greece, both NATO members, have been embroiled in a long-running territorial dispute in the eastern Mediterranean over the region's resources.

Turkey has pursued an aggressive gas exploration effort in the disputed waters, dispatching a research vessel escorted by warships of the Turkish Navy. There have been encounters with rival Greek vessels.

The energy dispute builds upon a much longer history of animosity between Turkey and Greece, dating back to 1974 when Turkish forces invaded Cyprus in response to a Greek-backed military coup.

Cyprus has also accused Turkey of breaching its sovereignty by drilling in the waters. All sides have deployed naval and air forces to assert their competing claims.

Erdogan made it clear that Ankara would not compromise, saying, "Turkey is ready for any kind of sharing (of energy resources) as long as it is fair."

His warning came as Turkey gears up for five days of military exercises in the Turkish Cypriot-controlled northern region recognized by Ankara as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

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