ATHENS – Repeating a plea earlier ignored, Greece said Germany – home to 2.774 million people of Turkish heritage – shouldn’t sell submarines and components to Turkey, which upset a Greek military advantage.
“These submarines risk shifting the balance of power in the Eastern Mediterranean in favor of a country that, despite being a NATO member, has issued a threat of war, a casus belli, against my country, against Greece,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias tweeted about Turkish provocations.
He accused Turkey of violating Greece’s sovereign rights and said Greece doesn’t threaten its neighbors while abiding by the law, said Turkey’s pro-government newspaper The Daily Sabah that backs President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Greece’s German-made submarines had proved almost undetectable to the Turkish Navy which sent Turkey scrambling to get is own in case there is a conflict between the countries.
Talking with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, Dendias again accused Turkey of an “upsurge in rhetoric and actions that are destabilizing the region” and called for European solidarity.
“Thanks to French weapons, Greece’s deterrent power is being strengthened against any external threat. But I’d like to acknowledge, and thank you for this, that France has always been staunchly on our side,” he added.
Greece has ordered 24 French-made Rafale fighter jets – six new and 18 previously in service with the French Air Force, as well as three French frigates and wants US-made F-35’s denied Turkey after its purchase of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also urged Germany to be “an honest broker” and not always side with Athens in disputes between Turkey and Greece, and Germany earlier blocked Greece’s attempts for more sanctions.
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met with Çavuşoğlu in Istanbul after holding talks with officials in Greece, where she criticized Turkey for disputing the sovereignty of Greek islands near its coastline.