Turkey, Greece, the UK, and the EU have a right to speak about Cyprus, but France does not, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Sunday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
“I told him [Macron], look, you have no place to speak about the matter of Cyprus. You have nothing to do with Cyprus. Here, I speak, Greece speaks, Britain speaks, the EU speaks, but not you,” Erdogan told Turkish journalists from a plane departing from Japan.
Erdogan’s conversation with Macron comes in response to France’s firm position against Ankara in view of the rising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean over Turkish drilling in Cyprus EEZ.
Turkish journalists asked Erdogan to comment after a photograph showed him talking to the French president and holding him by the shoulder.
Erdogan said that his meeting with Macron “was very positive,” as the French president did not respond defensively.
Last week, Erdogan had alluded to Macron when making a speech in Turkey after the French leader called on Ankara to stop its ‘illegal activities’ in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and said the EU would not back down on the issue.
“When it comes to France, it has no say here,” Erdogan stated.