Turkish Foreign Minister Blames Kammenos for Aegean Provocations


Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos. Photo: Eurokinissi/Fani Tripsani

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is sparring with Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, trading charges over who is provoking friction in the Aegean.

Cavusoglu said Greece, not Turkey, has created trouble and blamed Kammenos for provocative comments although Turkey is regularly sending F-16 fighter jets into Greek air space and sent a warship and its military chief past the disputed islet of Imia.

Greek Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has so far stayed mostly out of the fray, leaving it to Kammenos, the leader of his coalition partner the pro-austerity, far-right, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks to respond.

Cavusoglu told CNN Turk about Kammenos: “That defense minister of that racist party is provoking,” adding that if Turkish troops weren’t reserved in the face of so “many provocations,” then an “accident” over Imia would have already happened.

We don’t want [an accident] and we have many times warned,” Cavusoglu said, without adding that it’s Turkey violating Greek sovereign territory and not the other way around.