ANKARA – The spokesperson of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, İbrahim Kalın, has complained to US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan that the Americans are siding with Greece unfairly in disputes over the seas and islands.
Kalın told Turkey’s Channel 24 that he told Sullivan that, “You calm, which is to accept all the Greek demands,” including Greek assertions that Turkish fighter jets keep violating Greek airspace – while Turkey says it’s Turkish airspace.
The Turkish website Star said that Kalin added that, “Greece is not a country that can compete with Turkey,” and that it should have relations with Turkey on a logical and legal basis.”
He didn’t mention that Turkey doesn’t accept the United Nations Law of the Sea nor the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that sets boundaries between the countries but invokes it in demands that Greece take troops off Aegean islands near Turkey.
He said Greece must “recognize its own strength and its limits,” and added that, “When this is achieved, we can turn the Aegean, the Aegean islands, into an area where peace, tranquility, mutual economic relations, visits, tourism and all other areas develop, not conflicts,” he said.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been building an arsenal as Turkey has kept up provocations and Erdogan even threatened an invasion, and Greece has lined up foreign allies, including France, and renewed a military cooperation deal with the US that will see a greater presence of American forces.
“The westerners are telling us again, of course with the propaganda of the Greeks, ‘these violations of the airspace are a very important problem, don’t do this.’”
“We say, look, what you call a violation of airspace is when our planes fly into our own airspace, Greece tells you that it is a violation of airspace, and you accept that as a given. But come to us.”
Turkey is also upset that Greece has put American-acquired armored vehicles on Aegean islands and Kalin said he talked with Sullivan about that but it wasn’t said what came out of it.”
“Look, you say there should be calm in the Aegean, no tension, etc. You define calm as acceptance of all the Greek demands. And you set intensity as our every objection. Your point is wrong,’” Kalın argued.