The head of the Armed Forces warned Turkey during a press conference at the Greek Defence Ministry on Friday, said that Greece will not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty.
The statement made by General Konstantinos Floros, the head of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, came after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu claimed that some of Greece’s islands do not have continental shelves that entitle them to an Exclusive Economic Zone. This contradicts international law like the United Nations Charter Law of the Sea, in which Turkey is one of only 15 countries in the whole world to not recognise.
“We say that not every island can have a continental shelf. In particular, the islands that are far from the mainland and closer to Turkey cannot have a continental shelf,” Çavuşoğlu said during an interview on Turkish television.
Speaking of Kastellorizo, Çavuşoğlu said that the island of only 500 residents and is located 2 kilometres away from the Turkish coast and 570 kilometres away from the Greek mainland cannot generate a 40,000 square kilometre maritime zone.
“We were saying that this cannot be the case, but Greece had these dreams,” Çavuşoğlu said.
Turkey has warned that in September it will begin its illegal drilling of natural resources in Greece’s Exclusive Economic Zone to the south of Crete.
Floros however has made a strong warning against Turkey, saying “The Armed Forces are an organised army, navy and air force. It is very difficult to confront them and whoever does it will face a very high cost, which is something our neighbours know about.”
“A military response is a possibility. No one can rule it out,” he said when asked what kind of response there could be from any Turkish provocations.
“If something like this happens on a group of islands, it will immediately spread to other regions,” he said, adding that any accident in the Aegean will be caused by the daily pressure created by Turkey.
The most striking comment however is when he said “whoever attacks Greek territory, we will first burn them and then see who it was.”