Turkey renews threats, test fires missile

Turkey renews threats, test fires missile

Turkey test-fired a short-range ballistic missile over the Black Sea on Tuesday, to the surprise of military analysts regarding Ankara’s intentions, while Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin called for the withdrawal of all military forces from the Greek islands and threatened that otherwise there would be consequences.

The missile, dubbed Tayfun, was fired from a mobile platform near the port city of Rize, according to Turkish media outlets CNN Turk and A Haber. 

The Turkish Defense Industry, which oversees these weapon systems, did not make any announcement about the launch, however Turkish news agencies published images. 

Similarly, when Turkey received the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system in 2019 and performed a test firing on the Black Sea coast a few months later, no official announcement was made, save Turkish media which carried the news and relevant images.

Meanwhile, Kalin revisited the demand by Turkey that Greece demilitarize its Aegean islands, saying that “demilitarization is an issue.”

“It is against the treaties to send military equipment, etcetera to the demilitarized islands. We have been saying this for years…. this will have consequences. We say this openly to the Greek side. ‘You have taken these steps, but they will not go unanswered’,” he said.

In an interview with the A Haber TV network, Kalin claimed that in a conversation with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, he told him that Greece is militarizing the islands with American weapons.

“I said it in our meeting in Istanbul and in our one-on-one meeting. ‘Do not allow them [the Greeks] to use you.’ We said this clearly,” he said.

What was seen as particularly telling is that Kalin made the total demilitarization of the Greek islands a condition for reducing tension.

“The source of the tension is the Greek side. The side that must take measures to reduce tension is the Greek side. For example, the weapons, equipment, troops, police, security forces sent to these demilitarized islands, etc. Let them start with the withdrawal of these,” he said.

For his part, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, in remarks to Turkish journalists, claimed that “the problems in the Aegean can be solved through mutual negotiations.”

“Everyone should know that we will not allow a fait accompli,” Akar said, insisting the region’s wealth must be “shared fairly.”

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