Turkey slams Greek president’s remarks on Aegean issues

Turkey's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy on Wednesday responded to a statement by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos regarding EU's environmental program Natura 2000.

In response to a question, Aksoy warned the EU "not to become a tool of Greece's political exploitations".

"It is well known that Greece has long been exploiting EU's environmental programmes, primarily 'Natura 2000' with respect to the Aegean issues," the statement said, adding that the Foreign Ministry had released a statement regarding the matter on March 31.

"Turkey's position on this issue was also explained last week to a representative of the EU Delegation, it added.

The Greek president made a statement establishing a strained relationship between Natura 2000 network and borders and territory, Aksoy said.

"These statements do not bear any legal effect.

"Moreover, such statements are of a confessional character demonstrating that Greece simply abuses EU's environmental programmes such as Natura 2000 according to its political expediency."

Aksoy said Turkey would not accept any possible fait accompli presented by Greece towards the geographical formations in the Aegean Sea, the legal status of which are disputed.

A decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Aegean islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict in 1996 and led to renewed tensions this year.

Source: Anadolu Agency