Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly gave instructions to the commanders of Turkish warships in the Eastern Mediterranean not to be the first to open fire, but if there is a move from the other side to do what is planned.
According to Turkish media reports, Erdogan’s seismic investigations and the Turkish side’s reaction to the case were discussed at a cabinet meeting under Erdogan on Monday.
At the meeting, ministers reportedly asked questions about the issue, with President Erdogan informing them that Turkish warships accompanying Oruc Reis were instructed not to open fire first and to take action if action was taken. from the opposite side “.
In recent days, it has become known that President Erdogan had redefined the rules of engagement of the Turkish Navy, authorizing the Turkish captains to judge the operational situation and decide for themselves whether to open fire.
At the same meeting, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoλουlu informed the other ministers that he had recently sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He also said that both he and through the diplomatic channel sent the message to the international organizations and all those involved to ask Greece to come, if it is based on its positions, to the negotiating table and to explain them.
He also told the Council of Ministers that the UN “does not take a position” on such issues and that it is in favor of resolving such issues through “diplomacy and understanding”.
It targets Kastelorizo
In his statements after the long – almost five hours – meeting of the Council of Ministers, Tayyip Erdogan launched a new fierce attack against Greece.
“Those who stand up against Turkey at the risk of the security of their people will pay a heavy price,” said Tayyip Erdogan, adding that “if necessary, Turkey has the power to activate its diplomacy and army.”
The Turkish president said that “in the Eastern Mediterranean they want to trap us on our shores with a small island of a few thousand square kilometers […] We ruined the games of those who tried to imprison Turkey on its shores”.
“Those who tried to create in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean without taking examples from history, will eventually accept this reality. When the time comes, I am afraid that those who stand up against Turkey, endangering the security of their citizens, will pay a heavy price. “At every opportunity we say we are in favor of talks and negotiations,” the Turkish president said, adding: “I urge them to study our diplomatic and military moves over the last four years.”
Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey is a country that has reached the point of having a say in the region and in the world, adding that if necessary it has the infrastructure and the will to effectively activate both its diplomacy and its military power.
The Turkish president said that “we expect from the EU countries which, although they could not pass good exams in Cyprus, Syria and Libya, to follow a consistent line in the eastern Mediterranean”. “Turkey, as on the issue of border security, so on the issue of the eastern Mediterranean will continue to the end its resolute stance and active policy,” he said.
The distance from Kastelorizo
The last Turkish Navtex for the Oruc Reis, which expires on September 12, reaches 30 miles from Kastelorizo.
From Ankara it is obvious that an attempt is being made to cut off Kastellorizo from the Greek trunk in order to convince Europe that these are pieces of rock and no one should bother.
The big question is what will happen if the next Turkish Navtex captures a sea area further north after September 12, even closer to Kastelorizo. In this case, both the resilience of the government and the attitude of the European partners will be tested. It has another political and diplomatic significance to try investigations to the extreme that the Greek EEZ could reach (Greece has not officially declared an EEZ) and another to a point near an island.
If Oruc Reis gets even closer to Kastelorizo or another Greek island, we may get into unpredictable situations.