ANKARA – Showing no signs of letting up on its claims to Greek territories, Turkey said while it wants diplomacy to settle differences that Greece is wrong and Turkey is “a million times right,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said.
While it’s Turkey that’s been sending fighter jets into Greek airspace while NATO, the defense alliance to which both belong, looks the other way, he accused Greece of “provocative actions and rhetoric,” for protecting its space.
Speaking to Turkey’s Millyet newspaper he said that, “We want our current problems to be resolved by peaceful means and methods… But it is not progressing,” referring to maritime boundaries.
Turkey had said that it would be a cause for war if Greece doubles its sea space from 6 to 12 miles and he lashed out again at the idea that Turkey said would cut off its coastline from the Aegean.
“No country in the world has 6 miles of territorial waters and 10 miles of airspace; 16 islands have been armed in violation of Lausanne,” he said, citing a 1923 agreement that Turkey doesn’t recognize unless invoking to its advantage.
He said that Turkey would respond to violations and again criticized Greece for building an arsenal against Turkey’s aggression, lashing out at what he said was Greece’s “excessive armament effort.”
He warned of the “financial burden and harm” recent defense purchases will “bring to the people,” of Greece, not mentioning that Greece wouldn’t have to buttress its defense if not worried about a conflict with Turkey.
Turkey, said the defense minister, wants to “solve the problems through dialogue, but we continue to emphasize that we will not allow any fait accompli and that we will not violate our rights or those of our Cypriot brothers.”
That was in reference to the Turkish-Cypriot occupied northern third of the island that was seized in two unlawful 1974 invasions and where Turkey still keeps a 35,000-strong standing army.