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Erdogan Hurls Threats at Greece, Rules Out Unified Cyprus

Erdogan threatens Greece
Erdogan Credit: Turkish Presidency/Twitter

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a fierce attack against Greece and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday, saying that he does know his place and he is deserted by allies.

Speaking in Parliament, Erdogan told lawmakers from his AK Party he could not meet Mitsotakis despite a resumption of talks between the two NATO members over their maritime disputes.

Erdogan said Mitsotakis had “challenged” him, and called on the Greek premier to “know his limits.”

Greece calls for Cyprus federation

Erdogan’s statements come after remarks made by PM Mitsotakis on Monday, saying that the “only viable solution” to the Cyprus issue “is a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality.

“Ending Turkish occupation and finding a viable solution are a fundamental Greek foreign policy priority,” Mitsotakis stated after a meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia.

“The only viable solution is a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality,” Mitsotakis added.

The Turkish president dismissed Mitsotakis’ proposal on the issue and further stated that “The Greek side has not made the slightest change in its stance disregarding the existence of Turkish Cypriots on the island.”

Erdogan: Two-state solution is the sole option

“A two-state solution is the sole option for Cyprus, federal system is no longer an option on agenda.

“I know that you put your trust in some places,” Erdogan continued, referring to the EU.

“But those whom you trust have already failed you. Turkey, on the other hand, will not lean on anyone. It will stand up for itself,” Erdogan proclaimed.

Exploratory talks

Last month, Turkey and Greece launched the first direct exploratory talks in nearly five years to address their disputes related to sovereignty rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.

That meeting in Istanbul, the 61st round of such parleys, lasted only a few hours but both sides said that they had agreed to meet again in Athens.

Greece has clearly stated that it is coming to the exploratory contacts with confidence, in good faith, a spirit of cooperation, a constructive climate and in the hope that the talks will lead to a de-escalation of tensions. Greece has also stated that it hopes the Turkish side will come in a similar spirit.

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias stated in a recent interview that there are some issues which “are not up for discussion”, such as those concerning “national sovereignty and the demilitarization of Greek islands.”

In any case, continued the Minister, exploratory talks “are not negotiations, they are informal, there are no minutes taken during the meetings, and neither side has to assume responsibilities or make commitments.”

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