Hagia Sophia – Cavusoglu provokes: Greece has no right to speak

13 July 2020
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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was provocative once again during an interview on TRT television on the issue of Hagia Sophia.

The Turkish Foreign Minister said he would inform UNESCO of the next steps in this regard in view of the first prayer announced on 24 July.

“We are surprised by some of UNESCO’s positions. We will inform them about the next steps that we will follow”, Cavousoglu said.

He also mentioned Greece, saying “it has no right to speak” as “it is the only country without a mosque in its capital”, which, however, is not true.

But the Turkish Foreign Minister in an unprecedented statement said that “we see the persecution of the ‘Turks’ in western Thrace. Greece has silenced the call for prayer from the loudspeakers using the pretext of the coronavirus”, which again it is not true as restrictions on public prayer were in effect for every religion and dogma during the lockdown in Greece and not specifically for Muslims.

“As a candidate country for EU membership, Turkey shares many of the strategic interests and goals of the European bloc”, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an article in Politico.

Mevlut Cavusoglu notes that since Turkey’s borders are the external borders of Europe (sic) and NATO”, we also want to build state and social” resilience “, overcoming adversity.”

The Turkish Foreign Minister stressed that the EU needs constructive strategies that will prioritize solutions that will benefit both itself and Turkey (win-win), instead of taking reactionary steps thanks to solidarity and short-sighted expectations of some states”.

He even stressed that “there is a common ground on which we can build together. Let us look ahead and build an inclusive framework and reap the benefits of EU – Turkey cooperation in our common neighborhood. “This would be the right attitude, especially in the difficult conditions of the post-pandemic era”.

In a surprising statement that distorts the facts, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that, “we all have a historical and moral responsibility to help stabilize our common neighborhood and to put it on a path of sustainable peace, stability and development”…

The Turkish Foreign Minister comments that there are manifestations of an emerging series of mistreatment and alienation of Turkey through unsustainable policies in EU policy. We were also barred from participating in the EU accession process, even after the failed coup attempt in 2016. ”

Regarding Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Foreign Minister said that “in our joint press conference in Ankara on 6 July, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell noted that ‘the Eastern Mediterranean is a key region for Europe’. Well, it’s for us. We have the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean (sic)”.

“Maximalist and unilateral allegations by Greece and the Greek Cypriots violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. This is unacceptable”, Cavousoglou added.

“Unfortunately, the answer was hostility to Turkey and the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’. This leaves us with no choice but to continue drilling and exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean to protect our national interests and the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots”, he stated.

Regarding the developments in Libya he states the following:

“It has been more than a year since the ‘warlord’ Khalifa Haftar and his forces launched an offensive against the legitimate UN-recognized government in Tripoli. Libya is now divided with different countries supporting different sides in the current conflict, the EU has not been able to reach a coordinated action based on its core values”, said the Turkish Minister.

“This warlord, funded by the United Arab Emirates and backed by Egypt and Russia, undermines the prospect of lasting peace and stability. While the militia and mercenaries continue to be strongly strengthened, the EU’s Irini operation in the Mediterranean is effectively punishing the legitimate government”, he stated and went on to argue that “instead of siding with Turkey, we have seen a traditional ally and European partner, France – which supports Haftar – make false allegations about an incident involving its warship and Turkish ships in the Eastern Mediterranean. When these allegations were not confirmed by NATO, Paris withdrew from a major allied operation”, he added.

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