LAST UPDATE 21:11
Nikos Dendias’s common press conference with Mevlut Tsavousoglou reserved to an open public confrontation with little diplomatic language after the end of the private meeting of the two Foreign Ministers and the discussion of issues of common interest that had been agreed to be included in the enlarged talks of the Greek Turkish delegation in Ankara.
Mevlüt Çavuşoλουlu first spoke about the “Turkish minority” living in Thrace “, adding that” for the “Greek minority living there, we were able to implement best practices from the first moment “.
He also stated that “we are ready to provide any support to protect the cultural heritage of the Ottoman monuments in Greece and the Christian monuments in Turkey with mutual cooperation”.
The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, said to Turkish FM that there is a Muslim minority in Greece, this is recognized by the Treaty of Lausanne, and this is the official view of the Greek state.
He also said that Greece supports Turkey’s accession process to the EU as long as Turkey wants it. As in any candidate country, there is an inviolable rule: respect for the territorial sovereignty of a Member State.
The Greek Foreign Minister also asked Turkey to leave the casus belli for the 12 miles. “This law is part of the European acquis”, he said.
Regarding to Hagia Sophia, Mr. Dendias said: “We believe that such a reversal is in the interest of Turkey in general.” Greece and Turkey are destined by geography to live together.
Mevlüt Çavuşoλουlu then spoke, saying: “We can not accept that Turkey is violating Greece’s rights in the Aegean.
We, accept the minorities in Constantinople as Greek Orthodox, but you cannot accept those who say they are Turks. “This is an oppression and a violation of human rights.”
Responding to Tsavousoglou’s reports, Nikos Dendias said that “if you express such provocative accusations, I am obliged to answer”.
“Turkey has made 400 overflights over Greek territory. Mevlüt, there is no provision that allows flights over Greek territory “.
Cavousoglou then spoke for the third time and said that “You are not referring to what the Lausanne Treaty provides for the demilitarization of the islands (…)”, to get an answer from the Greek minister that “the army in the Islands exists because they are threatened by someone. Can anyone say that there is no threat or that there is no amphibious force against these islands?”