Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos pushed back on Saturday against renewed Turkish calls for Greece to demilitarize its islands, stressing that it “cannot demilitarize areas that are under threat.”
“Anything that is threatened is not demilitarized. There is a real threat and, as is our sovereign right, we must take measures for the defense of Greek territory,” he said at the Delphi Economic Forum, referring to repeated calls by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.
The Turkish minister has also taken issue with the recent visits to several Greek islands facing the Turkish coast by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, saying that such visits are a “provocation.”
“No Turkish official is allowed to have a say over where a Greek official can travel in Greece. We do not accept such suggestions,” Panagiopoulos said in response to Akar’s past comments on the subject.