ANKARA – An agreed call for calm between the countries ignored, Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar yet again insisted that Greece take troops off islands near Turkey’s coast, which Greece has repeatedly rejected.
Turkey has cited the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne as one of the reasons why Greece can’t keep troops on the islands although it doesn’t recognize that agreement unless invoking to its advantage.
He was speaking at an event marking Turkey’s imperialistic Blue Homeland Doctrine claiming large swathes of territory and seas between the countries, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly coveting return of some islands that the treaty ceded away 99 years ago.
Akar also ripped Greece for building up its arsenal against Turkish provocations without mentioning that Turkey is pushing to get more US-made F-16 fighter jets and has constantly sent pilots into Greek air space, where they’ve engaged in mock dog fights with their Greek counterparts.
“If we are to have a conversation on international law, this is the issue we should start with,” Akar said, citing the treaty Turkey doesn’t accept, and after Erdogan met with Prime Minister Kyriakis Mitsotakis and agreed to cool provocations.
“When these islands are militarized, no one should have a right to speak about Turkey’s efforts to defend itself,” said Akar, as Turkey keeps ratcheting the tension up and down in volatile swings.
In interview with Haberturk broadcaster, he criticized Greece for buying French-made Rafale fighter jets and warships and building international alliances against Turkey that he said won’t work.
“If these procurements are meant to bolster (Greece’s) defense capacity, then there is too much of them. If they are directed against Turkey, then they are just not enough,” he said, without explaining then why he’s upset.