ANKARA: President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday 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 neighbours’ long-testy 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 traded barbs. Erdogan said Turkey had cancelled 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 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.
The countries have long been at odds over a host of issues such as maritime boundaries, overlapping claims over their continental shelves, airspace, migrants and ethnically split Cyprus.