‘This isn’t Lake Sevan’ – Turkish FM reacts harshly to Armenia's statement on former’s exploration in Mediterranean
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has reacted to a statement recently issued by Armenia pertaining to what it says are Turkey’s aggressive oil exploration maneuvers in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Armenia seems to have a distorted idea of its geographical position: we are not talking about Lake Sevan, but about the Eastern Mediterranean”, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said, after Armenia issued a statement that “the destabilizing position in the Eastern Mediterranean demonstrates Turkey’s consistently aggressive and expansionary policy in neighboring regions.”
Cyprus and Greece enjoy exclusive economic privileges to gas and oil exploration in portions of the Eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey has been sending research and drilling vessels accompanied by warships.
Press secretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy stated “Armenia, trying to present an opinion about the Eastern Mediterranean, has no idea about geography and its place in it… Armenia’s expression of its opinion on the Eastern Mediterranean is a new example of insolence and irresponsibility.”
According to the representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, a “secret” alliance is operating against Turkey, and following the United Arab Emirates and France, “landlocked Armenia considered that it has the right to talk about the region.”
“Whatever happens, Turkey will defend its rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean, arising from international law. No cunning alliance can prevent this. Those who think otherwise have not learned anything from history,” Aksoy added.
In addition, the press secretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, once again, reminded that his country “supports fraternal Azerbaijan with all its might.”
Armenian Foreign Ministry statement
“We reaffirm Armenia’s unconditional support and solidarity with Greece and Cyprus and call on Turkey to take steps to reduce tensions, respect international law and suspend all actions in the exclusive economic zones of Greece and Cyprus,” the Armenian ministry said in a statement.
Moreover, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan recently said that a new format is needed to contain Turkey, and one of them is the coalition forming in the Mediterranean.
Earlier, Armenia, Greece and Cyprus announced the establishment of a new trilateral format. The first summit at the level of heads of state and government was supposed to take place in January 2020 in Armenia, but was postponed.
Treaty of Sevres
The outrage of the Turkish side, according to the press secretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, was also caused by the recent statements of the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, timed to coincide with the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Sevres.
It was signed in 1920 by the government of the Ottoman Empire (which was to be liquidated as a result of the treaty) and the allied states that won the First World War.
According to the document, Turkey stated that it “recognizes Armenia, as the allied powers have already done, as a free and independent state.”
The territories of some vilayet of Turkey passed to the Republic of Armenia. The decision of US President Woodrow Wilson, who was appointed an arbiter, was presented with the determination of the borders between Armenia and Turkey and the adoption of measures for Armenia’s access to the sea. According to the Sevres agreement, the territory of Armenia would be 150 thousand square kilometers (instead of the currently available less than 30 square kilometers). But the treaty never came into force.
Despite the fact that a hundred years have passed, “the Sevres Peace Treaty continues to exist as a historical fact,” the Armenian Prime Minister noted in his message to the participants of the scientific conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Sevres Treaty.
“As the Treaty of Versailles established peace in Europe, so did the Treaty of Sevres in the territories of Western Asia, which previously belonged to the Ottoman Empire. It had to put an end to the suffering and deprivation of the peoples of the region to which they were subjected because of the war …
“The Treaty of Sevres, with its 89th article, established and consolidated the undeniable historical connection of the Armenian people with the Armenian Highlands, where for thousands of years the Armenian people were born, lived and created statehood and culture,” Nikol Pashinyan’s message reads.