Turkey threatens Greece with pre-emptive action over militarisation of islands

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Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has threatened Greece to take "preemptive action" if Athens does not comply with demands to demilitarise islands in the eastern Aegean.

Akar accused Greece of aggressive rhetoric against Ankara, saying that a fivefold increase in its defence budget suggests the country is up to something against Turkey.

According to the Turkish defence minister, Greece is doing everything possible to prevent the sale of weapons and military equipment to Turkey, including American F-16 fighter jets and German submarines.

He also accused Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias of using aggressive rhetoric and aggressive actions to spoil the potential positive climate that could be created between the two nations.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that lately, Greece had been deliberately violating the provisions of the Lausanne Peace Treaty, which made it possible to draw the land borders of Turkey, guarantee the rights of the Turkish national minority in Greece, and confirm the demilitarised status of the Greek islands off the coast of Turkey.

According to Erdogan, Greece has recently been deliberately violating the provisions of the Lausanne Peace Treaty, in particular regarding the rights of the Turkish national minorities.

He pointed out that Ankara cannot accept such a situation, which contradicts the principles of good neighbourliness and commitment to agreements.

In addition, Erdogan announced Turkey's readiness to make every effort to establish lasting peace and stability in the region, as well as to ensure the rights of the Turkish people.