“Greece has long sought good neighbourly relations and cooperation with Turkey and is investing in the peaceful coexistence and cooperation of the two peoples. However, it is not prepared to relinquish its sovereign rights or to accept disputes of national territories,” stated President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
Her comments were made during a visit to the remote Greek island of Agathonísi on Monday, where she was received by the regional governor of South Aegean Giorgos Hatzimarkos and the mayor Evangelos Kottoros.
The president emphasised that “the guarantee of peace, safety and stability in the southeastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean is the main pillar of our national strategy.”
“Our country respects the international law and the international treaties and seeks a constructive relation with its neighbours. At the same time, however, it is determined to defend its national sovereignty in every possible way, whenever and wherever necessary,” she added.
During her visit to Agathonísi, she toured the island’s military post and afterwards went to the local school where she met and spoke with pupils and teachers.
Ήρθα στο Αγαθονήσι, μικρό νησί μακριά από την ηπειρωτική χώρα. Σ’ αυτή τη διαχρονική κοιτίδα ελληνισμού, από το Φυλάκιο ως την κανονιοφόρο ΚΡΑΤΑΙΟΣ συναντώ περήφανους ανθρώπους, θεματοφύλακες των συνόρων. Από κάθε νησί, νησίδα και βραχονησίδα χτίζουμε την εθνική μας αυτοπεποίθηση pic.twitter.com/0uppojfPiQ
— President GR (@PresidencyGR) June 29, 2020
It must be noted that her visit caused uproar in Turkish media.
They reported about the Greek President’s visit to “occupied Turkish territories”, referring to the presence of Katerina Sakellaropoulou in Agathonísi.
According to Turkish media, Agathonísi is a Turkish territory belonging to the municipality of Aydin.
Turkish media headlines:
Daily Sabah: Challenge from the Greek President of the Republic! Scandalous statements on the island of Esek (Agathonisi)
Hürriyet Daily News: Great challenge from the Greek President of the Republic
Sözcü: Challenge to Turkey by the Greek President of the Republic
Demirören News Agency: Challenge by the President of the Hellenic Republic