Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar made new provocative threats against Greece on Monday morning during his visit to the Turkish Navy Command.
Akar blamed Greece for the fact that no negotiations are taking place between the two countries and stressed once again that "we will not accept anything other than the six nautical miles in Crete." This was in reference to Greece's desire to extend it's territorial waters around Crete to 12 nautical miles, as permitted by international law.
Addressing the commanders of the submarine unit first, Akar said: “Important tasks await you in the coming period. There is no question of taking a single step back in the protection of our rights and interests in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus."
Akar then also referred to the problems between Turkey and Greece, stressing the importance of dialogue to solve the problems and de-escalate the tension.
Commenting on the use of terms such as 'neo-Ottomanism', 'revisionism' and 'expansionism' against his country, Akar said: "They are trying to implicate Turkey by using these terms in a way that confuses political decision-makers, especially in the West."
"We say that there can be consultations, negotiations on confidence and trust-building measures, as well as negotiations on separation procedures. Here we are waiting. They are not coming. However, they slander us with false and unsubstantiated claims," the Turkish defence minister said.
Recalling the events of the period 1919-1922, he stated that: "We say to them: "Learn from history, do not get into trouble, do not enter into new adventures, do not waste the rights and interests of your own people for the rights and interests of other countries. And we are determined on that."
Referring to claims that "Greece is preparing to take the decision to extend Crete's territorial waters from 6 miles to 12 miles," Akar said: "We will not accept more than 6 miles."
Criticising statements by Greek officials that "Turkey is a threat to Greece," Akar said: "We, as Turkey, have not threatened anyone. We never threatened Greece. Turkey is a strong, reliable and effective ally."
"A strong Turkey and a strong Air Force means a strong NATO and a strong alliance. We want everyone to know this," he claimed.
Finally, mentioning that Turkey is among the guarantor countries in Cyprus, Akar said: "The 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' was founded, the issue is its recognition. We are working on this issue."
"We say in Greece, don't miscalculate, don't take wrong roads and learn from history. The wrong bill will be returned to you by Ankara," he concluded.