Turkey breaks off high-level talks with Greece as rift grows

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey will not cling high-level talks with neighboring Greece, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned Wednesday amid emerging tensions between the normal opponents.

Ankara resumed negotiations with Athens remaining 12 months following a five-year destroy to deal with variations over a spread of problems similar to mineral exploration within the jap Mediterranean and rival claims within the Aegean Sea.

“We broke off our high-level strategy council meetings with Greece,” Erdogan instructed a gathering of his birthday party’s lawmakers in Ankara, including: “Don’t you learn any lessons from history? Don’t try to dance with Turkey.”

The talks had made little headway, however have been a method for the 2 international locations to air out their grievances with out resorting to a possible armed standoff as had took place as not too long ago as two years in the past.

Erdogan’s pivot at the talks gave the impression to had been induced remaining week when he signaled his displeasure at feedback made by means of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis all the way through a shuttle to the U.S.

Erdogan mentioned Mitsotakis “no longer exists” for him after accusing the Greek chief of seeking to block Turkey’s acquisition of F-16 fighter planes.

Erdogan additionally commented on Turkey’s objection to Sweden and Finland becoming a member of NATO. Ankara has complained the Nordic states harbor terror suspects and arm a gaggle in Syria it accuses of being an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK that has waged a 38-year insurgency inside of Turkey.

“NATO is a security organization, not a support organization for terrorist organizations,” he mentioned.

The U.S. and EU have labeled the PKK as an apprehension team. However, it’s Syrian wing, the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, has performed a number one function within the U.S.-led combat in opposition to the Islamic State team.

Erdogan mentioned those that attempted to legitimize the PKK with “letter tricks” have been “deceiving themselves, not us.”

The president added that Turkey would no longer exchange its stance at the Swedish and Finnish NATO utility with out seeing “binding documents” demonstrating a hardened strategy to the ones Ankara considers terrorists.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson instructed a information convention in Stockholm that she’s having a look ahead to “further constructive meetings” with Turkey to “kind out any problems or misunderstandings that there could be.”

Sweden has an important Kurdish diaspora and maximum of Ankara’s proceedings about improve for “terrorists” appear directed there. Finland, in the meantime, has a Kurdish-speaking inhabitants of round 15,000.

Regarding a brand new cross-border army operation in Syria, Erdogan mentioned Turkey was once “entering a new phase” in its function to create a 30-kilometer (19-mile) buffer zone south of the frontier.

The territory is managed by means of a Syrian Kurdish management and Ankara says it’s been used to release assaults on Turkey.

Erdogan singled out the cities of Tall Rifat and Manbij as goals Turkey shall be “clearing of terrorists.” Both lie west of the Euphrates river whilst the principle Kurdish-controlled area is to the east.


Karl Ritter in Stockholm, Sweden, contributed to this document.

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