US Presence in Eastern Mediterranean Poses No Threat to Ankara, Turkish Head of Parliament Says
AP Photo / Burhan OzbiliciMiddle East07:39 GMT 09.10.2020(updated 09:43 GMT 09.10.2020) Get short URL163Subscribehttps://cdn1.img.sputniknews.com/img/07e4/09/0e/1080451482_0:0:3182:1790_1200x675_80_0_0_d9c5462602aeddfb2192b8dfd8a2d650.jpgSputnik Internationalhttps://cdn2.img.sputniknews.com/i/logo.pngSputnikhttps://cdn2.img.sputniknews.com/i/logo.pnghttps://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202010091080715436-us-presence-in-eastern-mediterranean-poses-no-threat-to-ankara-turkish-head-of-parliament-says/
MOSCOW (Sputnik), Ksenia Shakalova – While the US involvement in the Eastern Mediterranean does not serve the cause of peace and stability in the region, it also does not pose a threat to Turkey, Mustafa Sentop, the speaker of the Turkish parliament, told Sputnik.
The politician noted that the record of Washington’s activity in the region had been ambiguous, with the United States first calling for dialogue and then choosing to support the Greek Cypriot administration.
REUTERS / Burhan OzbiliciTurkey’s research vessel, Oruc Reis anchored off the coast of Antalya on the Mediterranean, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020
The statement comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced during his Saturday visit to Cyprus that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, as the US plans to build a new training centre (Cyprus Center for Land, Open-seas, and Port Security, or CYCLOPS) on the island.
Cyprus and Turkey have been engaged in a prolonged dispute over offshore drilling rights since 2011, with the conflict escalating in the recent months after Ankara sent research ships to the waters claimed by Athens and Nicosia. The Eu supported its member states, warning Turkey that the further escalation may result in serious sanctions against Anakara.
Possibility of EU Sanctions
The speaker of the Turkish Parliament also commented on the possibility of punitive measures against Ankara by Brussels, amid escalating disagreements between Turkey and the bloc members (Cyprus and Greece) in the Eastern Mediterranean.
According to the politician, the presence of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean cannot be described solely due to strategic resources. He stressed that if sanctions are imposed, Ankara “has the tools and the means to reciprocate any policy the EU might adopt against Turkey”.
Tensions Over Nagorno-Karabakh
Sentop also addressed the reports of militants, who, according to French President Emmanuel Macron, were sent to Baku via the Turkish city of Gaziantep amid the escalation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Photo : Azerbaijani Defence MinistryIn this handout video grab released by the Azerbaijani Defenсe Ministry, Azeri military personnel conduct military operations in self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). On September 27 clashes erupted between Armenian and Azeri forces along the line of contact in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Editorial use only, no archive, no commercial use.
He also cited claims that “France is involved in the transfer of YPG/PKK terrorists to train Armenian militias”. According to Sentop, cooperation between the Armenians and YPG/PKK militia on French soil “does not sound impossible”, adding that Macron’s claims could possibly be put down to “psychological projection theory”.
Answering a question about the possible deployment of Turkish forces in Karabakh, he stressed that Azerbaijani troops “have shown the whole world that they have the ability and qualifications to achieve victory on their own”.
Sputnik / Dmitri VinogradovSmoke rises after the recent shelling, in Stepanakert, the self-proclaimed Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, when Yerevan and Baku accused each other of provoking military hostilities.