Turkey warns Greece to not escalate tensions at sea, urges dialogue

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey warned Greece on Tuesday not escalate tensions in the eastern Mediterranean or it will not hesitate to do “what is necessary”, though said it wanted to solve the issue through dialogue and diplomacy.

Speaking at a news conference with German counterpart Heiko Maas in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said any dialogue must not include Greek pre-conditions. “We will do whatever is necessary without hesitation,” he said.

Ankara and Athens have traded rhetorical barbs over offshore hydrocarbon rights, drawing the European Union and other nearby countries into the dispute, which earlier this month involved a light collision between Turkish and Greek frigates.

Germany has urged de-escalation, warning Ankara and Athens risked a military clash otherwise.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Jonathan Spicer