The intense Turkish military presence in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus is proof that Turkey has emerged as a critical player on the international scene, according to its defense minister, Hulusi Akar.
In comments translated into Greek, Akar added that Turkey owes this position in the international arena to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“You can no longer resolve problems in the Middle East, in the Caucasus, in the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Balkans, in the Aegean in any way without Turkey,” he was quoted as saying, adding that a solution cannot be reached without Turkey.
“Εveryone must understand this,” he said while also defending the presence of Turkish troops in Libya.
He insisted they are in the North African country to advise its legitimate government and slammed the groups that, according to him, have disrupted the country’s unity and integrity.
Meanwhile on Thursday, a pair of Turkish fighter jets violated Greek air space, according to the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), flying over the small island of Strongyli in the southern Aegean.
The two Turkish F-16s entered the Athens Flight Information Region without first submitting a flight plan and flew over Strongyli at 24,000 feet at 2.33 p.m., GEETHA said.