Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hit back at the provocative statement made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his interview with SKAI.
The Turkish president raised tensions during a speech to his party’s parliamentary group, launching an attack on both Mitsotakis and Greece, citing provocations but also threatening on all fronts, such as bilateral dialogue and the Cyprus issue.
As reported by Greek City Times, Erdoğan said “Mitsotakis challenged me” and “you better know the crazy Turks well” in a typical tirade we have become familiar with.
These statements, however, did not come as a surprise.
Only on Monday, Turkey’s so-called Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, raised tensions again by demanding Greece demilitarise its islands, expressing his annoyance for the visits of Mitsotakis to Ikaria and the other small islands in the area.
However, the Prime Minister commented on the escalation of tension and these rhetorical outbursts in his interview with SKAI.
“I think experience tells me that the one who sharpens usually is not right on his side. This is a rule that I think applies in politics, we remain committed to our positions,” said Mitsotakis.
Commenting on the Cyprus issue, Mitsotakis rejected ideas about a two state solution.
He stressed that “there are decisions of the Security Council of the United Nations, there is the view of the European Union, there is a framework: it is called a Bi-Zone Bicommunal Federation”.
Regarding bilateral relations, the Prime Minister, commenting on Erdoğan’s rhetoric
“Sometimes it can be done for internal reasons, although I do not underestimate the importance of rhetoric in creating a good climate,” he said.
“Regarding the context of the exploratory contacts, it was clear: Delimitation of Maritime Zones in the Aegean and in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the Prime Minister added.
“Greece, has a lot of confidence, very good allies. It’s a member of Europe,” he said, noting that “we have already proven that we are either defending our borders in Evros or strengthening our deterrent capability, without asking and getting anyone’s permission.”
The Prime Minister also commented on the statements about the demilitarization of the Greek islands, noting that no such issue is raised, saying that “these are issues that we do not discuss. That’s clear.”
“You know, sometimes you watch them very well, there is a choreography, things are said, answers are given and finally we sit down to discuss what our real problem is. There is no issue of demilitarization or obviously gray areas,” said Mitsotakis.
The Prime Minister insisted that Greece has a framework with which it is coming and there must be a good mood on the other side as well.
“If the climate is not good, if the climate is energized by constant statements, if foreign policy is constantly becoming a tool of domestic consumption policy, then things are really difficult,” he said.