Greece’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday rejected arguments by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar that Athens is allegedly violating international law by not demilitarizing 16 of its islands, saying Ankara’s concern on legality is “hypocritical.”
Akar said Greece's arming 16 out of 23 islands with “non-military status” is in violation of agreements in the Aegean sea.
"We expect Greece to act according to international law, agreements and good neighborly relations,” he was quoted as saying by state-run Anadolu Agency during a visit to Turkey’s missile producer Roketsan on Wednesday.
“It is at least hypocritical for a country that systematically violates the territorial integrity, sovereignty and sovereign rights of almost all of its neighboring countries, a country that threatens a neighbor and ally with war if it exercises its legal rights, a country that advertises the violation of the UN’s weapons embargo on Libya, to invoke international law,” the ministry said in a press release.
“And it is natural that this country does not understand that its neighbors are obliged to take all measures for their legal defense throughout their territory, despite the fact that this right is enshrined in the UN Charter itself,” it added.
The ministry said it is also concerned by that fact that any calls by the international community for Turkey to respect international law “fall on deaf ears.”