Germany has lost impartiality in Ankara-Athens mediation, says Turkish FM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Friday called on Germany to maintain a balance on the issues of the east Mediterranean and the Aegean as it accused the country of losing its impartiality in its role as mediator between Turkey and Greece and Cyprus. 

The top Turkish diplomat made the remarks at a joint news conference with  German counterpart Annalena Baerbock in Istanbul, Hürriyet newspaper reported.

"We want Germany to maintain its balanced stance in the issue of east Mediterranean and the Aegean,"  Çavuşoğlu said. "Third countries, including Germany, should not be a tool to provocation and propaganda especially by Greece and Greek Cypriot side."

Greece and Turkey have long been at odds over a string of issues, including gas reserves and maritime rights, the ethnically divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus, the status of Aegean islands and the movement of migrants across the Aegean Sea.

Earlier on Friday, Baerbock visited Athens, where she criticised Turkey for disputing the sovereignty of Greek islands near its coastline and urged Greece to make sure it stamps out any illegal pushbacks of people at the border, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.

“Yes, many questions of international law are complicated, but some are also very simple. Greek islands ‒ Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes and many, many others ‒ are Greek territory, and no one has the right to raise questions over that,” the newspaper cited Baerbock as telling reporters after talks with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Ankara maintains that Greece has militarised 16 out of 23 of its Aegean islands in what it calls a flagrant violation of international agreements and international law.

Çavuşoğlu on Friday also called on Germany to take concrete action against the activities of terrorist groups in the country.

"We conveyed Turkey’s concerns regarding terrorist organizations’ activities in Germany and expect concrete actions from them," Çavuşoğlu.

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