Turkey will no longer hold high-level talks with neighboring Greece, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says amid rising tensions between the traditional rivals.
Ankara resumed negotiations with Athens last year following a five-year break to address differences over a range of issues such as mineral exploration in the eastern Mediterranean and rival claims in the Aegean Sea.
“We broke off our high-level strategy council meetings with Greece,” Erdogan tells a meeting of his party’s lawmakers in Ankara, adding: “Don’t you learn any lessons from history? Don’t try to dance with Turkey.”
The talks had made little headway, but were a means for the two countries to air out their grievances without resorting to a potential armed standoff as had occurred as recently as two years ago.
Erdogan’s pivot on the talks appeared to have been triggered last week when he signaled his displeasure at comments made by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during a trip to the US
Erdogan says Mitsotakis “no longer exists” for him after accusing the Greek leader of trying to block Turkey’s acquisition of F-16 fighter planes.