Ankara went back on the offensive, with the country’s defense minister accusing Athens of deceit and hypocrisy in the wake of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ meeting in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.
“They are trying to tarnish Turkey’s image. They are trying to exploit and distort every fact, to influence third parties with lies and slander, and to complain about Turkey to third countries,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in comments to Turkish media, in an apparent response to Macron’s assurances that Paris will “not allow any unrest in the Eastern Mediterranean” and “fully” supports Greece’s sovereignty.
“It would not be wrong to say that they are really following a two-faced policy. A hypocritical policy. They pretend to understand when we insist on dialogue but continue to complain about Turkey, with lies and denials, every time they talk to third countries,” Akar said.
Turkey is “being patient,” he added. “But despite our well-intentioned efforts, neighboring Greece continues, unfortunately, to increase the tension with provocative actions and statements, and we are doing everything we can to prevent this.”