Recent statements by Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos in response to a spike in tension between Athens and Turkey are “foolhardy,” Turkish Minister of European Affairs Omer Celik said on Thursday.
According to Turkey’s Hurriyet daily, Celik’s was speaking to the press following a meeting in Paris with his French counterpart Nathalie Loiseau and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, when he also added that the European Union should reprimand Greece over some of the comments emanating from its political leadership.
His comments came a day after Kammenos announced that he is sending an additional 3,500 officers to the islands of the Aegean to join the Supreme Military Command of the Interior and Islands, known as ASDEN, and that an additional 3,500 officers will be send to Evros on Greece’s northeastern border in the coming days.
“We are ready – and I know many people outside our country don't like this – to deal with any threat from anyone [...] Our opponent's provocations, threats and insults don't scare us and don't weaken us. On the contrary, they make us stronger. Let them challenge an inch [of Greek territory], if they dare,” Kammenos told officers, lieutenants and conscripts who participated in a military exercise on the island of Icaria on Wednesday.
Earlier in the week, the Greek defense minister had said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has “gone completely crazy.”