Numan Kurtulmuş: "Greece going down the same path as Ukraine that led to Russia's invasion"

Numan Kurtulmuş

Provocations, threats, warnings and an alleged desire for dialogue was included in the latest statements made by the vice president of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, Numan Kurtulmuş, escalating the rhetoric of tension emanating from Ankara.

"Just as some people patted Ukraine on the back and created an environment of conflict with Russia, now, in the same way, they are patting Greece on the back," Kurtulmuş said, noting that some "are telling Greece, 'You are a lion, you are a tiger.'"

The vice president of Erdoğan's party told Athens that it will never be able to trap Turkey, not to exceed its limits and described the Turkish nation as "sacred".

"Our advice to Greece is this: Do not forget this holy nation. This holy nation never tolerates the injustice it suffers and will never allow Turkey to be trapped. In this sense, do not get involved in things that exceed your limits by relying on others. Greece has no right to harass Turkey," Kurtulmuş said.

The AKP vice-president also spoke about states trying to strengthen their power through third countries and called on Greece not to believe these countries and not to become their instrument.

"It used to be done through proxies and terrorist organisations. Now they are starting a new era", he said, saying that "our advice to Greece is not to become an instrument in this."

At the same time, he said that he believes in solving problems through negotiations and on the basis of good neighbourliness, something difficult to do considering Turkey violates Greece's airspace on a daily basis with fighter jets and drones.

"Don't enter into hostile or competitive relations with Turkey by believing what third countries, third parties say. We believe that we can solve our problems through negotiations with our neighbour Greece, within the framework of neighbourhood relations," he said.

"And for this, Turkey is trying to protect its rights in the Aegean by protecting its rights and justice on every platform," the AKP VP concluded.

READ MORE: OPINION POLL: Turkish people defy Erdogan propaganda; do not see Greeks as their enemies.