Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Sunday that he scolded his French counterpart for leveling criticism against Ankara over its insistence to explore for gas off the coast of Cyprus and for hampering efforts by the European Union member-state to tap natural reserves within its exclusive economic zone.
“I told him: ‘You cannot speak about Cyprus. I can speak, Greece can speak, the UK can speak and the EU can speak, but you cannot speak’,” Erdogan reported telling France’s Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Japan on Sunday.
Erdogan said he made these comments after being asked by Turkish media to comment on a photograph showing him talking to the French president and holding him by the shoulder.
Erdogan added that talks with Macron on growing tension in the Eastern Mediterranean were “very positive.”