Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has accused Greece of stoking tensions in the region, while cautioning against Athens’ arms procurement program.
“The military exercises conducted by Greece, which aim to provoke [Turkey], are escalating the tension,” he said.
Akar said that tension was also fueled by Greece’s refusal to demilitarize its islands in the eastern Aegean and the docking of foreign military vessels in the same islands. He also attacked Athens over its “groundless” claims regarding continental shelf rights and its “unreasonable demands in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.”
“We cannot accept such provocative actions and such threatening language,” he said.
The Turkish minister went on to describe Greece’s arms procurement program as a “pipe dream,” adding that “it makes no mathematical sense.”
“This will cause great harm to the Greek people,” Akar said.
He also accused Greece of seeking to turn bilateral problems with Turkey into EU-Turkey and US-Turkey problems.
“This is neither lawful, nor moral,” he said, while urging Greece to recognize and respect Turkey’s rights in the region.