Alternate Foreign Affairs Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis on Wednesday described Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s warning to Greece to demilitarize its islands in the eastern Aegean “not only provocative but also ahistorical.”
“We are not arming ourselves to attack Turkey, but to defend ourselves against Turkey,” the minister told Alpha radio station, referring to the recent acquisition of three new French-made frigates and 18 Rafale fighter jets.
Regarding Turkish demands for the Greek islands, he said that the best thing for Turkey to do is to abolish its amphibious fleet and “stop provoking Greece on a daily basis.”
On Wednesday, Erdogan said that Turkey is prepared to issue “a warning at the highest level” if Greece does not change its position with regards to the demilitarization of the Aegean islands.
“We will not be quiet about the military activities takin place in violation of [international] treaties on islands with a demilitarized status,” Erdogan told reporters on the presidential airplane on his way back from a visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).