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Tsipras: "Ludicrous for Turkey to Criticize Greece over Human Rights and Int'l Law"

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SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Andrea Bonetti)

ATHENS - Turkey has raised its level of provocations "in an unprecedented and dangerous manner", SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday, following incidents instigated by the neighboring country.

Referring to a collision between Greek and Turkish patrol boats off the island of Kos and Turkish jets infringing the Athens FIR over Evros, Tsipras said the incidents "constitute an unprecedented and dangerous escalation" of tension, but added that "the most important of all is the escalation of rhetoric by (the) Turkish President" Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"He talks about Greece everywhere with extreme expressions," Tsipras said, "compares us to the Nazis and tries to create the image of a criminal country that does not respect international law." While Erdogan's motives are unclear, he noted, "what I do know is that it's a bit ludicrous for Turkey - which occupies northern Cyprus and a section of Syria illegally, and who continuously violates international law in the region and violates human rights daily - to appear as a critic of Greece over human rights and international law."

Tsipras added that "whatever the mistakes of the current government in handling the refugee crisis, Turkey's and Erdogan's stance can only be described as insolent behavior," and said Greece should respond "decisively (...) without nationalistic rhetoric and erratic moves, but with patriotic duty."