With provocations, ironies and threats, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar commented on the arrival of six French-made Rafale fighter jets to Greece.
“The six planes that Greece bought are too few to face Turkey,” Akar said in an interview with Milliyet, arguing that it was completely absurd to accuse Ankara of expansionism.
“Greece’s armaments efforts are a highly destructive and provocative approach to the relationship between the two allies,” the defence minister said, adding: “It hurts our relationship.”
With apparent concern for Greece’s welfare, he said that the purchase is aggravating Athens’ financial situation.
“They think they are gaining something by buying six used planes. They are very few,” he added.
According to Akar, the Greeks “continue to have demands that exceed their boycott” and make mistakes by encouraging some countries.
In the same context, he blamed Greece for whims.
“Our hope is that common sense will prevail. We do not have expansive actions, nor do we make speeches with strong content,” he said as Turkey currently occupies northern Cyprus. “It’s completely absurd to accuse us of expansionism and aggression.”
In the same context, the Turkish Minister of Defence stated that “Greece has tripled since 1832. At the moment, the islands are within walking distance from Turkey.”
“Let’s ask who is expansive?”
In fact, he accused Athens of acting in contradiction with the Treaty of Lausanne on the issue of demilitarisation of the islands.
At the same time, he reiterated his threats for any extension of territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, as is permitted by the United Nations Charter Law of the Sea, in which Turkey is one of only 15 countries to not sign or ratify.
“Is this acceptable? In 1995, the Turkish Grand National Assembly authorised the government to take all kinds of measures, including military action,” he said.
“We do not want tensions. Let us all take advantage of the wealth of the seas, so that we too can be happy. That’s a logical approach,” Akar continued.
At the same time, he wondered what threat started from Turkey.
“They try to do it as if they have a problem. What we are trying to do is protect our rights. Nevertheless, we say sit down and talk. We reiterate our call for a fourth meeting of Confidence Building Measures in Ankara,” the defence minister concluded.