Ankara irked by Greek PM’s speech in US Congress

Ankara irked by Greek PM’s speech in US Congress

Turkey’s leadership expressed annoyance at Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ speech on Tuesday to the Joint Session of US Congress, with Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay slamming it as “theater” and “a show.”

Oktay urged members of the US Congress to think twice before applauding the speech by Mitsotakis, who referred to Turkish revisionism and its 48-year occupation and division of Cyprus. Oktay also claimed Greece is violating Turkish airspace.

“In the Congress of the US, which we call an allied country, we watched, you watched, the theater that was played out about Turkey and the TRNC [the unrecognized entity in Turkish-occupied Cyprus],” he said. “They stand applauding the Greek prime minister who opposes the solution of the two states in Cyprus. Acting as if there are no Turkish Cypriots on the island is a very unpleasant situation,” he added.

Oktay said Greece is playing a game regarding 12 miles of its territorial waters in the Aegean and is “constantly violating our airspace.”

”At this time when regional cooperation is more important than ever because of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, everyone should think twice about what they stand for, what they support and what they say,” he stressed.

In the current climate in Washington, Ankara reportedly believes it will be difficult to receive approval for the program to modernize Turkish F-16s.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated that Ankara cannot approve Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Erdogan said diplomats from the two countries “should not bother to travel to the Turkish capital,” adding, “NATO expansion is important to us only at the level where our sensitivities will be respected.”

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