Ankara, September 12: The war of words between Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron has reached to an alarming level, with both the Presidents veiledly referring to the use of military options. In response to the latest French criticism, Erdogan was blunt to say that Macron would pay a heavy price if he attempts to "mess with turkey". Amid the increasing rhetoric, here are 10 points on the Mediterranean crisis. Tayyip Erdogan Making All-Out Efforts to Re-Establish Islamic Caliphate.
- French President Emmanuel Macron has warned of decisive action against Erdogan if his regime continues to maintain an aggressive posture in the eastern Mediterranean.
- "We must be tough with the Turkish government. Turkey is no longer a partner in the Mediterranean region," Macron said, as he offered military assistance to Greece to ward off the threat posed by Turkish Navy.
- Replying to Macron's remarks, Erdogan on Saturday said the French leader is speaking from a point of "arrogance". Paris is not a stakeholder in the crisis involving Turkey and Greece, he added.
- "Don't mess with Turkey," said Erdogan, adding that France should introspect the massacre of nearly one million Algerians during its colonial rule before "lecturing the world on humanity".
- The eastern Mediterranean crisis escalated three weeks ago, after Turkey announced the "biggest natural gas" reserve discovery in the Black Sea, nearly 100 nautical miles away from the coastline.
- While the August 22 announcement served as the trigger for the geopolitical rumblings, ties between Turkey and Greece (along with its EU allies) turned strained since June this year after the Turkish naval forces began operating in water bodies close to the Greek coast as part of the expedition to find hydrocarbon reserves.
- France, over the past three months, has been urging the EU member states to build pressure upon Turkey to vacate the water bodies that are close to Greece. While Macron has been indicating towards the use of military option, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a votary of resolving the dispute only bringing Erdogan on the negotiating table.
- The public opinion in Turkey, however, is largely in favour of Erdogan over the issue. The country's opposition party has also backed the President on his stand in the eastern Mediterranean crisis.
- According to Cem Gürdeniz, a former Turkish admiral, the crisis can be used by Turkey to rewrite some of the lopsided agreements that were inked with Europe in the aftermath of Ottoman Empire's dissolution.
France playing a major role in what is largely being viewed as Turkey-Greece conflict also comes amid its tensions with the Erdogan government's actions in Libya. While Ankara is solidly backing the Libyan government, Macron is suspected to be tacitly behind the rebellion of military strongman Khalifa Haftar.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 12, 2020 10:36 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).