Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s nationalist ally said on Monday that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “would be better off trusting the Turkish nation more than Greece.”
In comments made in the wake of Zelenskyy’s interview with Kathimerini and state broadcaster ERT, Devlet Bahceli, leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), criticized Zelenskyy for failing to acknowledge his country’s efforts to end the war with Russia. “[Zelenskyy] ought to show great respect for the Turkish nation, the Turkish government and the Turkish Republic,” stressing Ankara’s efforts to mediate peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv.
“The only country which tries to settle the war [in Ukraine]… is Turkey. Our president is trying to achieve this by making contacts with 40 leaders and it seems like he will succeed soon,” Bahceli said.
Meanwhile Greece was targeted yet again by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who said Athens is provoking Ankara while emphasizing that the Turkish Navy is on alert.
“Greece with provocations and actions in exercises tries to create faits accomplis. We will not allow it,” Akar said in the latest installment of incendiary rhetoric emanating from the other side of the Aegean.
The rhetoric has also been matched by a barrage of airspace violations by Turkish fighter jets during Easter and the week after, with Greece lodging two demarches in protest.
In an ominous turn of phrase he stressed that “we will definitely show our reaction against any action against us.”
“Our air force is showing the necessary reaction to their violations. Our navy is already on alert. They are doing whatever it takes to protect and safeguard our maritime jurisdictions,” he declared.