Turkey condemned the arrest of a staff member at one of its diplomatic missions in Greece on Friday.
“We condemn the arrest of Sebahattin Bayram, a contracted secretary at our Consulate General in Rhodes, within an investigation carried out by the Greek authorities on allegations of espionage taking photographs of ships,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
In detaining Bayram, who is a Greek national, Athens violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the right to freedom and security in the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as the right to respect private and family life, the statement said.
It also accused Greek media outlets of “targeting our personnel and his family, as well as our representatives and employees in Greece by violating the presumption of innocence.”
Suggesting that the investigation was concocted by groups seeking to further increase tensions between the two countries, the statement added that Turkey would take the necessary steps to safeguard Bayram’s rights.
Relations between Turkey and Greece are at odds due to several issues.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration and stressed that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Ankara has sent several drill ships in recent months to explore for energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiation.
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