In his latest rant directed against Greece, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar accused Athens Monday of “repeated and continuous provocations, aggressive statements and actions that increase tensions and, in violation of international law, distort and mislead.”
In his statements made during a meeting with the leaders of the three branches of Turkey’s armed forces, Akar claimed that through these actions, the Greeks “are trying to show that Greece is the victim and Turkey is the aggressor.”
“But history and current developments clearly show that they are the ones who have an expansionist policy and an aggressive policy,” he said, while also taking aim at what he claimed was Greek criminal behavior regarding the migration and refugee issue.
“The efforts of the Hellenic Coast Guard to pierce the inflatables of innocent defenseless people in the middle of the sea, as well as to shoot them, this is really a great crime against humanity,” he said.
His comments echo what the spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Omer Celik, said at the weekend, claiming that “Greek forces stab the dinghies of migrants, leading defenseless people to death.” “Without the Turkish Coast Guard, these people would have died,” he claimed.
Also indicative of the incendiary climate were the statements by Turkish-Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, who ruled out the possibility of the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus, stressing that this demand of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the Greek Cypriots “is a dream that is impossible to realize.”
Meanwhile, there was renewed tension in the eastern Aegean yesterday, as a pair of Turkish F-16s conducted overflights above the islets of Panagia and Oinousses, the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) said.