Turkey's President Erdogan rejects unfair foreign goals in Eastern Mediterranean, defies "modern colonialism" in region.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an opening ceremony of 2020-2021 Judicial Year at Bestepe National Congress and Culture Centre in Ankara, Turkey on September 01, 2020.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during an opening ceremony of 2020-2021 Judicial Year at Bestepe National Congress and Culture Centre in Ankara, Turkey on September 01, 2020. (AA)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey’s activities in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean are based on its search for rights and justice

Speaking at the ceremony launching 2020-2021 judicial year at the presidential complex on Tuesday, Erdogan said some countries have sought to confine Turkey to its shores, calling it “a blatant injustice”.

Dubbing fait-accompli attempts in Mediterranean examples of “modern colonialism,” Erdogan said all neighbouring countries in the region had rights to benefit from resources.

READ MORE: Erdogan criticises Greece over east Med crisis as Turkey marks Victory Day

Turkey reiterates negotiation for fair share in E. Med

Turkey is in favour of negotiations for fair share of resource in the Eastern Mediterranean, the country’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Addressing a joint news conference with his Algerian counterpart Sabri Boukadoum in the capital Ankara, Mevlut Cavusoglu said if armaments on the Meis island exceed limits determined by agreements, Greece will be loser.

READ MORE: Turkey's opposition warns EU over 'Greek plots' in Mediterranean

In July, after Athens objected to Ankara's seismic survey in an area south of the island of Meis, or Kastellorizo, German diplomatic efforts helped defuse tensions between Turkey and Greece.

But Greece's controversial move to sign a maritime delimitation agreement with Egypt, which Turkey says violates its continental shelf and maritime rights, has further sparked tensions between the two neighbours.

Ankara accuses Greece of pursuing maximalist policies in the Eastern Mediterranean and underlines that its maritime claims violate Turkey's sovereign rights.

Ankara-Athens tensions

Ankara's relations with Athens have deteriorated sharply, with strains over issues including migration and Turkey's decision to reconvert Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque.

READ MORE: Will tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean escalate further?

Images published in the media last week showing Greek soldiers arriving on the island of Kastellorizo, known as Meis in Turkish, appear to have opened another front between the two uneasy NATO allies.

The island is only two kilometres (1.2 miles) from Turkey's famed seaside town of Kas in the Antalya province.

The Oruc Reis mission is being conducted near that island, with the navy also scheduling a series of live-fire exercises further to the east this month.

READ MORE: What are some of the major issues between Turkey and Greece?

Turkey accused Greece of trying to to "arm the island" despite a 1947 peace treaty that established its demilitarised status.

The Turkish foreign ministry lashed out at Greece's "provocative actions" on the weekend while governing AK Party spokesman Omer Celik tweeted that Athens's attempt to arm the island amounted to a "new example of piracy."

But a Greek official said soldiers are already stationed on the island of Kastellorizo and the photos were from a "routine troop rotation."

Erdogan fired back and said: "We will never succumb to piracy or banditry in the Mediterranean and the Aegean."

READ MORE: A broken front: why Europe isn't united in the eastern Mediterranean

Source: TRTWorld and agencies