ANKARA – Trying another strategy – mocking – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu shrugged off claims by Greek officials that his country wants to expand as an indication of their “inferiority complex.”
Cavusoglu has repeatedly demanded that Greece take Greek troops off Greek islands near Turkey’s coast – citing the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne that Turkey doesn’t recognize – and warned of consequences otherwise.
That’s seen as an indication that Turkey is willing to go as far as taking the islands, as suggested by some politicians there, the European Union offering only half-hearted support to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s refusal to talk to him – –
“Hopefully Greece will come around and act in a principled manner,” he told a press conference with his counterpart from North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani, in Ankara, accusing Greece of violating international treaties and maligning Turkey’s international image and standing, said Kathimerini.
He said that Greece “talking against Turkey” and “lobbying in the United States against the delivery of the F-16” fighter jets and that “goes against NATO solidarity.”
That was in reference to Mitsotakis, addressing the US Congress, urging American lawmakers to reject President Joe Biden’s plan to sell more F-16’s to Turkey that could be used against Greece, and to upgrade Turkey’s air fleet.
Cavusoglu didn’t mention that Turkey bought Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems – from NATO’s ideological enemy – that undermine the defense alliance’s security, go against solidary and could be used against Greece in a conflict.
And he again pressed for removal of Greece’s troops off Aegean islands near Turkey, after Turkey said that it would be a cause for war if Greece doubles its maritime boundaries to 12 miles, cutting Turkey off from the waters.
He said Turkey sent two letters of complaint to the United Nations, which has shown no willingness to get involved, although Greece has sent letters as well but neither country reportedly got any reponse.
“As soon as they could not answer our questions legally, they became much more aggressive,” he said, accusing Greece of making “groundless accusations” that Turkey wants to seize Greek territory – which Turkey showed it does through maps and an expansionist Blue Homeland doctrine.
“Since they cannot answer our questions about the status of the islands they are opting for demagogic rhetoric,” Cavusoglu said.
“If Greece cannot answer to those letters we wrote to the United Nations stating that they are not arming those islands… then the sovereignty of those islands will be discussed,” he said.