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Over recent weeks, fears of a World War 3 outbreak have been raised following the ongoing territorial disputes between Turkey and Greece. Ankara deployed the Oruç Reis vessel to the Mediterranean Sea to search for oil and gas.
After being escorted by gunboats, Greece called for Turkey to stop the “illegal activities”.
Although Nikos Dendias, the Greek foreign minister, insisted Greece wanted to work with Mr Erdogan, he argued only when the threat to the territorial integrity of the island nations was lifted.
In his latest column in the Independent, former British politician Denis MacShane said Turkey is Europe’s “biggest threat” by threatening almost everything Europes says.
He wrote: “By far the biggest threat to Europe – in terms of a foreign power that is threatening EU territory and almost everything Europe says it seeks to protect as its values – comes from Turkey.”
Mr MacShane went on to say he believes the main problem for Greece is Germany’s refusal to take a clear line.
He said: “The main problem for Greece is the refusal of Germany to take a clear line.
“German and EU hand-wringing on Turkey was confirmed in an interview with the main Greek paper Kathimerini when the director of the German Council on Foreign Relations, Daniela Schwarzer, also a special adviser to the EU foreign policy supremo, Josep Borrell, said proposals to put pressure or sanctions on Erdogan were ‘complex in a number of ways: whether they should be imposed, to what extent, under what terms – and under what terms they should be lifted’.
“She added; ‘We have not yet reached the point of broad and deep sanctions’.
“In many EU capitals, the Greece-Turkey dispute is complicated, arcane and lost in every sense in many mists of history.”
Tensions intensified last month after Greece announced plans to expand its maritime borders in the Aegean Sea, sparking fears it could lead to war.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Athens is allowed to double its western territorial waters with Italy to 12 nautical miles.
It is believed, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is wanting to extend its borders on the eastern side with Turkey.
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Turkey’s foreign affairs minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu lashed out at Mr Mitsotakis’ plans claiming it will be the cause of war.
The dispute between Turkey and Greece has reached as far as France with Mr Erdogan lashing out at the French President Emmanuel Macron.
The Turkish leader claimed Mr Macron was pushing Greece into taking “wrong steps” in the region.
In response to this, Mr Macron urged for peaceful dialogue between the neighbouring countries and NATO allies.
Mr Macron wrote: “The situation in the eastern Mediterranean is worrying.
“Turkey’s unilateral decisions on oil exploration are causing tensions.
“These must end in order to allow a peaceful dialogue between neighbouring countries and allies within NATO.
“I have decided to temporarily strengthen the French military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean in the coming days, in cooperation with European partners including Greece.”
At the end of August, EU member states agreed to issue sanctions against Ankara if they refuse to deescalate tensions on the region.
EU top diplomat Mr Borrell said: “We (the EU member states) are clear and determined in defending the European Union’s interests and solidarity with Greece and Cyprus.
“Turkey has to refrain from unilateral actions.
“This is a basic element to allow the dialogue to advance.”
He went on to say “the most pressing and urgent thing is to solve the question of the drillings and the presence of Turkish boats in Greek and Cypriot waters”.
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