Turkey is “a million times right” when it comes to its claims in the Aegean, the country’s defense minister, Hulusi Akar, said on Tuesday, accusing Greece of “provocative actions and rhetoric.”
“We want our current problems to be resolved by peaceful means and methods… But it is not progressing. We are a million times right over the problems with Greece. No country in the world has 6 miles of territorial waters and 10 miles of airspace; 16 islands have been armed in violation of Lausanne. Greece continues its provocative actions and rhetoric,” he said in an interview with Turkey’s Millyet newspaper
Accusing the country of violations that Turkey responds to “in kind,” Akar also chided Greece for what he described an “excessive armament effort,” warning of the “financial burden and harm” recent defense purchases will “bring to the people.”
Turkey, said the defense minister, wants to “solve the problems through dialogue, but we continue to emphasize that we will not allow any fait accompli and that we will not violate our rights or those of our Cypriot brothers.”
With regards to Cyprus in particular, Akara said that “we stand in the same place where we stood in 1974.”
“We will protect the rights and laws of our Cypriot brothers and sisters. It is very important for our Cypriot brothers to act in an informed and conscious manner in coordination with Turkey,” he added.