Ankara irked by Athens’ arms programs

Ankara irked by Athens’ arms programs

Annoyed at Greece’s arms programs, Ankara is accusing Athens of “provocative actions and rhetoric” that could increase tension in the region. 

In a statement Turkey’s National Security Council, which convened a meeting on Wednesday chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that “continued provocative actions and rhetoric as well as armament efforts will not bring any benefit to the region except increasing tension.”

“The meeting strongly stressed that we will not accept any fait accompli that targets Turkey’s national security and interests,” the statement said.

It was the first time the neighboring country’s National Security Council had raised the issue of Greece’s arms programs. 

In its previous meeting, the council had called for the immediate demilitarization of the islands, but this issue was not raised this time around.

Turkish military analysts argue that Turkey must find immediate solutions for its air force within 2023, as by the end of the year Greece will have at least 18 Rafale jets and 18 F-16 Vipers, which will begin changing the balance in the Aegean skies.

The statement also said that Ankara supports NATO’s open-door policy, but sent a message to Sweden and Finland noting there are conditions attached. 

“The states that want to join the NATO Alliance must act in accordance with the law and the spirit of the Alliance and must fulfill their obligations under the memorandum of understanding to combat terrorism and organizations, in particular the PKK/KCK-PYD/YPG and FETO, with concrete steps as soon as possible,” it said.

It also referred to the attacks on the Quran in Sweden and the Netherlands. 

“The heinous attacks, which are a manifestation of anti-Islamic racism and target the sacred values of billions of people, were strongly condemned. Those who undermine values such as freedom of religion, conscience and thought and encourage and protect actions that cannot be explained by democracy and freedom of expression are partners in this hate crime that violates human rights,” the statement read. 

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