Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Greece to engage in talks about disputed territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean or to face the consequences.
He said, “They are either going to understand the language of politics and diplomacy, or in the field with painful experiences,” he said Saturday at the opening ceremony of a hospital in Istanbul.
The two NATO allies have been trapped for weeks in a tense impasse in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is searching the seabed for energy reserves in an area that Greece claims to be its own continental shelf.
Cyprus has also accused Turkey of violating its sovereignty by drilling into its waters. All parties have deployed naval and air forces to assert their competitive claims in the region.
“They will understand that Turkey has the political, economic and military power to tear up the imposed immoral maps and documents,” Erdogan added, referring to areas marked by Greece and Cyprus as their economic maritime zones.
He said that Turkey is “ready for any eventuality and any result.”
NATO said the Greek and Turkish leaders agreed this week to participate in technical talks to prevent accidents between their navies.