Erdogan raps arms spending

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday criticized Greece’s generous spending on defense, arguing that this had contributed to the country’s debt crisis, and said that Turkey should avoid the Greek example. «For years, they spent whatever money they had on arms. But to protect themselves against whom? And how did this benefit them?» Erdogan told an audience at the Piri Reis Maritime University in Istanbul. «When you spend all that money, you mortgage your future. This was the heavy price our neighbor paid for creating make-believe enemies,» Erdogan said. «We must not make the same mistake,» added the premier who is to visit Athens on October 22 for a summit on sustainable development. In what some interpreted as a dig at Turkey’s military leadership, Erdogan said, «For years, we wasted our energy worrying about a made-up enemy rather than focusing on our seas and mineral resources.»

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