The conservative government has once again denied reports that Turkish troops entered Greek territory near the Evros River, while vowing to speed up the construction of a border fence to the southern section of the river.
“We must avoid verbal excesses. We must avoid playing into the hands of Turkish propaganda. No foreign troops were present on Greek territory; this is perfectly clear and it has been stressed by the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Defense,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Monday.
“We [will] continue to guard the borders of Greece, which are also the borders of Europe, and to protect our sovereign rights over land and air,” he said.
Petsas said that photographs supposedly showing Turkish soldiers on Greek territory, which were reproduced by some local media, were misleading.
“They [the soldiers] were on Turkish territory,” the spokesman said. He said that images of work carried out on the border fence were not taken at Melissokomeio, near the southern part of the river.
Asked about the timetable for constructing the fence, designed to avoid a repeat of the scenes in March when thousands of migrants amassed at the Evros border region trying to cross into Greece from Turkey, Petsas said that the project would be completed “soon.”
The process of selecting the company that will undertake construction of the fence would be completed in the next 10 days, he said.