The Foreign Ministry on Saturday dismissed as “fake news” reports that Turkish soldiers have “invaded and occupied” a patch of Greek land in the northeastern Evros border area.
“We stress that no foreign power is on Greek territory," the ministry said in a statement, responding to reports in British and other media. "The government has proven that it knows how to defend the borders of Greece and Europe and our sovereign rights," it added.
The reports came after Athens lodged a demarche with Ankara over its presentation of a section of Greek territory in the southern Evros border region as Turkish.
“Turkish soldiers and police special forces now have a solid presence within the Greek territory and have camped in the pocket of Apiary [Melissokomeio] at Feres,” the Daily Mail claimed on Friday, citing a Greek website called Army Voice.
“Around 35 soldiers reportedly marched onto a floodplain site on the east bank of the River Evros near the town of Feres,” The Sun also reported.
The area in question is Melissokomeio, near the southern part of the Evros River. Members of Turkey’s police special forces have had a presence in the area in recent weeks, blocking the work of the Hellenic Army’s geographical service in view of the expansion of a border fence to the southern section of the Evros River to avoid a repeat of the scenes in March when thousands of migrants amassed at the border trying to cross into Greece.
“The government has already demonstrated that it can defend the border of Greece and Europe and our sovereign rights,” the Foreign Ministry said in its statement on Saturday, referring to the events of March.