Turkey will “intensify efforts” for the demilitarization of Greece’s islands and is prepared to challenge their sovereignty if Greece does not demilitarize them, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu indicated in comments on Friday.
Referring to a letter sent earlier this year by Turkey’s permanent representative to the United Nations to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which stated “Greece’s sovereignty over the islands was and remains dependent upon demilitarization,” Cavusoglu said that Ankara is “starting this discussion now” and is “determined” to “intensify efforts to ensure that the necessary steps are taken on this issue.”
The Turkish foreign minister also accused his Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of “provocative statements,” saying that they “want to increase tension in the Aegean.”
“The prime minister used to be a little more sensible. He did not follow in the foreign minister’s provocative footsteps. Now the prime minister seems to be toeing Nikos Dendias’ line for domestic political reasons,” Cavusoglu said.
Cavusoglu also made reference to the United States, saying that “America always pursued a balanced policy with regards to the Cyprus issue, the East Mediterranean and Turkish-Greek relations. We remind them not to upset this balance.”