Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu: Greece clearly violates international law with the islands

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

Complaints about "Greece's campaign against Turkey", was expressed by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday, adding that his country, unlike ours, seeks the "integrated solution of the problems".

"After the campaign launched by Greece against Turkey, we had standing ovations with our Greek counterparts at the NATO conference in Madrid. There, I saw [Greek Foreign Minister Nikos] Dendias and we had a greeting 'on the leg' and our Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar had a greeting with the Minister of Defense of Greece. Apart from that, there was no other meeting," said the Turkish Foreign Minister.

And he continued: "It is our turn to host a bilateral meeting, however the Greek side has not come to our places for a long time. There are counseling conversations. Turkey wants to solve all the problems comprehensively, but Greece is playing with time."

Çavuşoğlu again referred to the "militarised Greek islands", saying that "by arming the islands , Greece is clearly violating international law. We brought the issue to the agenda of the UN and the international community, we cannot tolerate these violations of the Treaty of Lausanne."

READ MORE: Turkish claims on demilitarising the Aegean Islands via Treaty of Lausanne are fake: Here’s why.

The Turkish minister also spoke about Finland 's and Sweden 's applications for NATO membership, stressing that "so far we have not seen concrete steps from the two countries" on what was agreed upon, despite the fact that today it became known that Stockholm is proceeding to extradition of a wanted man for fraud in Ankara.

"We have not seen any step taken by Sweden and Finland in this direction. There are explanations, but we always emphasise that we want to see concrete steps. There is no time pressure for us.

"These are the countries that want to join NATO. Turkey, Sweden and Finland will meet on August 26 to agree on a joint memorandum of understanding."

Çavuşoğlu also referred to the possibility of Turkey joining the EU, stating that "technically we are ready to remove the political obstacles and negotiate. But we do not see an honest approach from the EU side."

"There is a little distraction. There are some problems in Europe. Turkey is the only country that can stand alone to solve these problems.

"Turkey is the country that thinks about the solution of the problems and takes concrete steps. If we had gone ahead with the EU, the Union would have been a global player.

Turkey is a necessary country for Europe."

READ MORE: Turkey: Greek community’s Virgin Mary Festival in Imvros cancelled due to complaints.