ATHENS – Greece has once again shown that it will not allow itself to be drawn by Turkey’s rhetoric but neither will it fail to respond to any word or deed of the Turkish side, government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou said in an interview with SKAI television on Sunday.
“What we saw in Prague and realised once again is that the government is obviously not drawn by the provocations and Turkey’s rhetorical tactics and strategy. On the other hand, it will not let any word or deed of the Turkish side go without responding,” Oikonomou said. He said that Turkey had escalated tension after 2020, not just rhetorically but also with hybrid threats, such as the weaponisation of migration and refugee issue, with an increase of incidents in Evros and the tragic deaths at sea.
Economou noted that Greece guards its borders very effectively, with humaneness when this was required, such as when unfortunate people became pawns in the hands of traffickers with the support of the Turkish side, so that their lives were placed at risk and they became a hybrid threat for Europe.
He also pointed out that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who very quickly discerned Turkey’s escalatory strategy in 2020, made sure to pick apart Turkey’s arguments and coordinate Greece with the “international clock of history” through the country’s international alliances and his clear speech on the international political scene.
“If the country is now able to not panic and not be intimidated, it is because diplomatically, socially, economically and militarily we are in a much better position relative to those who provoke us. This is the result of a strategic choice and coherent policy by the prime minister and the government. Greece is a country that strives for peace, security, stability and calm. We have no issue with the Turkish people,” Oikonomou said, noting that the prime minister had made this clear at the most official forum, the UN General Assembly.
“On the other hand, however, we are obliged to be fully ready to respond in the face of any provocation. And we are absolutely ready,” said the spokesperson.