Following Tuesday’s meeting between chancellor Olaf Scholz and PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the deputy spokesperson of the German federal government Wolfgang Büchner said that “the violation of Greek air space and overflights above Greek islands is not correct.”
He also noted that a refusal to talk to allies within NATO was “counterproductive and contrary to the spirit of the Alliance.”
Germany reacts as Turkey halts talks with Greece
“The chancellor [Olaf Scholz] is of the opinion that, especially during the current situation, it is essential for all NATO allies to be united and to desist from provocations of each other. And it seems counterproductive and contrary to the spirit of the Alliance to shut the door to talks with other allies,” he said.
On Wednesday, President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was halting talks with Greece, partly over a dispute with the Greek Prime Minister and what Ankara calls airspace violations, marking the latest reversal in the neighbors’ challenging relationship.
Last year, after a five-year hiatus, the two NATO members resumed talks to address their differences in the Mediterranean Sea and other bilateral issues. The talks have made little progress and the countries have frequently exchanged curt remarks.
Erdogan said Turkey had canceled a bilateral cooperation platform, dubbed the High-Level Strategic Council, with Greece, adding in a speech to lawmakers from his ruling party that Ankara wanted a foreign policy that “had strong character.”
“You keep putting on shows for us with your planes,” Erdogan said, referring to a dispute about airspace over islands in the Aegean Sea. “What are you doing? Pull yourself together. Do you not learn lessons from history?”
“Don’t try to dance with Turkey. You’ll get tired and stuck on the road. We are no longer holding bilateral talks with them. This Greece will not see reason,” he said, according to Reuters.
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) June 1, 2022
Germany condemns Turkish foreign minister’s statements
Büchner also condemned the recent statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu concerning the sovereignty of Greek islands, stressing that Germany will not tolerate any dispute of the sovereignty of EU member-states.
“Germany has in the past already supported that unresolved issues between Greece and Turkey must be resolved through good-faith dialogue and on the basis of international law,” Büchner said.
“We, of course, remain willing to support this, provided it is considered beneficial by those involved. But I want to make clear that disputing the sovereignty of EU member-states cannot be tolerated by us. We are in favor of resolving problems through talks and not through an escalation of tension,” he said.