Greece’s moves to buy fighter jets and warships from France and the United States has drawn more fire from Turkey, where Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said it was an act of bravado that wouldn’t intimidate his country.
“This is not an arms race but a showing off of weapons. They are striving for superiority against Turkey by arming themselves, with the encouragement of some countries,” Akar told high-ranking military officers in a meeting in Ankara, also said Kathimerini.
“This is a futile effort… The Turkish armed forces have the ability, the strength and the willpower to defend our country’s rights and interests,” he added as Turkey goes back-and-forth between belligerence and diplomacy.
In a seeming swipe at France – which signed a mutual defense deal with Greece – Akar also said that Athens’ “recent alliances with other NATO allies are futile,” without mentioning that Turkey belongs to the defense alliance.
Referring to the southeastern Aegean island of Kastellorizo, Akar said that, “We’re talking about a 10-square kilometer (6.21-square mile ) island. And they (the Greeks) are claiming a maritime area of 40,000 square meters (107,639 square feet for this island. And when we say ‘no’ to this, they accuse us of being ‘expansionist.’”
“We expect them to understand that such actions and such rhetoric will get them nowhere,” he added. Kastellorizo, he also said, is “located at a distance of 1,950 meters. A cadet at the military academy can swim to it.”