Social media was set alight when Defense News spread a fake report that Turkish drone maker Assuva Savunma Sanayi announced on Tuesday that the Greek Ministry of Defence had decided to buy 50 tactical drones made by the company.
Turkish media then mass reproduced the report that Greece was buying Turkish-made drones.
Remzi Başbuğ, CEO of the company, said to the Daily Sabah that is controlled by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, that the deal was in fact true.
“With an agreement we signed with the Greek Ministry of Defence a while ago, the preliminary acceptance for the 50 drones we produced was made. The two drones we sent successfully passed the tests carried out by the Greek army,” Başbuğ said.
“We will soon complete the order for 50 drones to be used for underground tunnels, rooms and bunkers with thermal camera capabilities, and other military activities of the Greek army,” Başbuğ added.
However, Greece's Defence Ministry categorically denied the news report and even threatened Greek media who spread the fake news.
Greek Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos went to Twitter to also reaffirm Greece's denial.
"Leaks of rumours and false news coming from foreign mass media that claim the Greek Army intends to procure remote-controlled or unmanned aerial vehicles from Turkish manufacturers are categorically denied," he said, adding a link with an official statement from the Greek Ministry of Defence.
Διαψεύδονται κατηγορηματικά διαρροές φημών και ψευδών ειδήσεων που προέρχονται από ξένα Μέσα Μαζικής Επικοινωνίας προβάλλοντας δήθεν ότι ο Ελληνικός Στρατός προτίθεται να προμηθευτεί τηλεκατευθυνόμενα ή μη επανδρωμένα εναέρια μέσα τουρκικής κατασκευής.https://t.co/Gy0UvOfYiC pic.twitter.com/9HappHNH0V
— N Panagiotopoulos (@npanagioto) July 30, 2020
"From the end of May, targeted leaks are made to foreign and Greek media, without, however, being confirmed or documented with data," Greek Ministry of Defence statement said.
"Information circulating on the internet, especially from news websites, should be confirmed very carefully before being reproduced internally. This is required by the basic Rules of Journalistic Ethics, especially when it comes to sensitive issues related to the field of National Defence and Security," the statement added.
"If this does not happen, then the Ministry of National Defencde reserves all its legal right to deal with the spread of false news and influence public opinion, in accordance with Article 191 of the Criminal Code and Law 4619/19," it concluded.