Turkey Dubs Armenia, Cyprus, Greece Cooperation ‘Alliance of Evil’ in Ongoing Eastern Mediterranean Dispute

YEREVAN—Officials in Ankara have lambasted Armenia for its vocal show of support to regional allies Greece and Cyprus over a brewing dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean on Monday. Over the weekend, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan reportedly held phone conversations with his Cypriot and Greek counterparts over the recent developments in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean area.

Tensions between nominal NATO allies Greece and Turkey have been escalating over the summer, as Ankara vowed to press ahead with plans to search for oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in waters surrounding the small Greek island of Kastellorizo. Turkey also claims to be issuing new exploration licenses for the area despite objections from Athens over drilling rights. 

Turkey’s deployment of the seismic research vessel Oruc Reis—escorted by warships—was condemned by Athens and Brussels last month. A defiant Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded to the challenge on Saturday stating, “We will not back down in the face of sanctions and threats.”

Last week the Turkish escort frigate Kemal Reis rammed the Hellenic Navy ship Limnos as it approached the convoy. However, a spokesperson for the Greek military dismissed the incident as an accident. The Greek ship, which apparently suffered little damage, later joined naval maneuvers in the region with incoming French warships. 

The island of Kastellorizo, along with the majority of islands dotting the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean seas had been allocated to Greece at the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres—a decision which was later confirmed during the subsequent Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. However, Turkey has continued to dispute Greek and Cypriot sovereignty over these territorial waters and has condemned a recent agreement signed between Greece and Egypt designating an exclusive economic zone in the area.

Mnatsakanyan’s call that Ankara “de-escalate the situation, respect the International Law and cease all actions within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Greece and Cyprus” provoked the ire of Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy. Aksoy was quoted by Turkish media on Monday as questioning the Armenian leadership’s understanding of “world geography and its place in this geography.” The spokesperson also referenced an ongoing diplomatic row over the legacy of the Treaty of Sèvres—signed a century ago this month—by calling Armenia’s commemoration of the event “provocative.” 

Last week, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement to coincide with the Treaty of Sèvres’ centennial calling it “absurd that a government, which is unable to feed its own people, dare to bring up the Treaty of Sèvres which the Turkish nation overturned 100 years ago,” and accused the Armenian government of attempting to achieve “sneaky goals” at Turkey’s expense. It also paradoxically accused Armenia of being the obstacle to achieving peace in the region. 

This statement, in turn, provoked a strong response from Yerevan, with Armenian Prime Minister declaring that the Treaty “has been and will remain a historical fact, which cannot be edited or wiped away.” The Treaty of Sèvres officially recognized the establishment of an Armenian state with sovereignty over traditionally-Armenian populated territories in the Caucasus and Eastern Anatolia—much of which was erased by the later Treaty of Lausanne. “Although the Treaty of Sevres was never implemented, it…reflects our long journey to restore our independent statehood. We are bound by duty to remember it, realize its importance and follow its message,” continued Pashinyan.

Armenia’s subsequent show of solidarity for Greece and Cyprus—both countries which share similar histories of oppression under Ottoman and subsequent Turkish occupations—in this conflict has led Ankara to dub the trio an “alliance of evil,” against which it vowed to protect the interests of the Turkish and north-Cypriot peoples. Since last year, Greece, Cyprus and Armenia have begun a new format of diplomatic cooperation aimed at promoting peace, stability and prosperity through enhanced trilateral political dialogue. Indeed the three countries had already collaborated back in June to thwart a bid by Turkey to gain the presidency of the UN General Assembly. However, Turkey’s candidate—Volkan Bozkır, a former Minister of European Affairs and senior diplomat who ran unopposed—was eventually elected to preside over the body.

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Raffi Elliott

Columnist & Armenia Correspondent
Raffi Elliott is a Canadian-Armenian political risk analyst and journalist based in Yerevan, Armenia. A former correspondent and columnist for the Armenian Weekly, his focus is socioeconomic, political, business and diplomatic issues in Armenia.

5 Comments

  1. Nice response from a nation that committed genocide against two of the three and invaded the sovereignty of the third.

  2. ….absurd that a government, which is unable to feed its own people,….. But Turkey fed it’s people from the looted monies of the Armenians, not too long ago Turkey was a stone age country had not been for the American and European tax payers money, and in gratitude they purchased S-400 Triumf (S-400 missile system)from Russia.

  3. Coming from the Turkish Mussolini, I would take it as a compliment.
    Good to see Armenia, Greece and Cyprus working together.

  4. Turkish terrorist-in-chief is acting like a bully because he thinks he can get away with it. This is more than a local dispute. This is all about the dreams of this Turkish loud mouth and rabid barking dog Er-dog-an, with Napoleon Complex, trying to declare himself the new Caliph of the now-defunct Ottoman empire in terrorist Turkey’s upcoming centennial in 2023.

    He is actively busy in destabilizing countries in the region and then sending in his criminal military to grab lands he considers as part of his collapsed genocidal empire. He is an islamo-fascist with no morals. He destabilized Syria by calling for the removal of the president of this sovereign country next door which resulted in civil war and free pass into Syria for his ISIS collaborators to commit atrocities. The war that he helped instigate in Syria resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of its civilians, destruction of this country, and massive refugee crisis which he exploited and used against the Europeans to extort billions of dollars from them. He has recently poked his nose into northern African countries such as Libya.

    He insulted the Greeks and Christian communities around the world, the Eastern Orthodox in particular, by turning Saint Sophia into a mosque and boasting about it and that this is only the beginning of many other conversions yet to come. He proudly celebrates the fall of Constantinople as a form of provocation to the Greeks and by adding insult to their injuries. His terrorist nation having accomplished nothing through the centuries, other than invasion, occupation and mass murder, he makes references to battles from nearly a thousand years ago to feel proud of his Turkishness. He is constantly provoking the Greeks over the northern Cyprus his criminal state invaded and occupied in 1974 as part of the secret Kissinger plan and then falsely portraying this invasion as a humanitarian effort to help protect from the Greeks his Turkish compatriots planted there since the centuries past.

    He’s been insulting the Armenians for quite some time on the Armenian Genocide and other issues and he is now warning and threatening Armenia in defense of artificial Azerbaijan his former terrorist and genocidal leaders, in collaboration with the Soviets, helped invent on occupied Armenian territories 102 years ago at the end of WWI in 1918. As he was conducting proxy wars through his criminal ISIS collaborators in neighboring countries, such as Syria and Iraq, he has now moved his criminal activities to the South Caucasus conducting Turkish proxy war on the Armenians by training and assisting pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani terrorists against Armenia.

    Er-dog-an is a double-talking charlatan. He’s been using Turkey’s fake NATO membership to acquire advanced weapons while at the same time attempting to form relations with NATO adversary Russia to acquire their air defense systems and giving Turkish citizenship to Hamas leaders. I’m really surprised to see how much this charlatan has been getting away with. The spineless West kept turning a blind eye his criminal activities over the years and he has now turned into a menace and a regional bully. Someone has got to stand up to this bully and put him in his place for good!

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