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Akar: Greece follows ‘two-faced’ diplomacy toward Ankara

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Hulusi Akar reiterates call for dialogue, says Greece escalating tensions with ‘provocative actions, rhetoric’ despite Türkiye’s ‘well-intentioned’ efforts

Despite Türkiye’s efforts to ease tension in the region, Greece continues with its “provocative actions,” Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said, calling out Athens for “two-faced” diplomacy.

“Despite all our well-intentioned efforts, unfortunately, our neighbor Greece continues to increase the tension with some provocative actions and rhetoric every time. We do our best to prevent this,” Akar told reporters in the capital Ankara on Monday.

His remarks came after two Greek Coast Guard boats on Saturday opened fire on a ro-ro ship 11 miles off Türkiye’s northwestern Bozcaada island.

Comoros-flagged “Anatolian” ship with 18 crew — six Egyptian, four Somali, five Azerbaijani, and three Turkish nationals — was attacked while sailing in international waters.

“Right after this (incident), the politicians in Greece accused Türkiye of aggression. What is this, if not hypocrisy? That’s why we ask that don’t they have a mirror in their house? If they look in the mirror, they will see the truth, and maybe they will be ashamed,” Akar said.

He stressed that Greece tries its best to “exploit and distort” every event, to influence third parties with “lies and slander,” and to complain about Türkiye to third parties, adding: “In this sense, it is not wrong to say that a two-faced policy is being followed. There is a two-faced policy.”

Akar said Türkiye calls for dialogue to peacefully solve the bilateral problems.

Türkiye, a NATO member for more than 70 years, has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, including arming islands near Turkish shores that are demilitarized under a treaty, saying that such moves frustrate its good faith efforts for peace.

Akar reiterated that Greece harassed Turkish jets by putting radar locks, saying: “This is a hostile attitude, … they show hostile behavior. These are unacceptable. This is great hypocrisy. This has to be seen.”

Turkish jets engaged in NATO missions over the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean seas on Aug. 23 were harassed by a Russian-made S-300 air defense system stationed on the Greek island of Crete.

– ‘Do not embark on new adventures’

“We call for peace, good neighborly relations, international law, and we want to cooperate on these issues. We wish the Aegean Sea to be a sea of peace, but unfortunately, we cannot find a response to this,” he added.

Akar said that Greece has armed the islands in violation of international law. “Your airspace is what your territorial waters are. They say: ‘No, our territorial waters are 6 miles, our airspace is 10 miles.’ The weirdest thing in the world. This cannot be understood. No sane person accepts this,” he said.

Akar reiterated his call to meet around a table to address the bilateral issues, adding: “We say: ‘Come whenever you want, or let us come.’ We call for dialogue, and they leave these aside and say: ‘Türkiye is expansionist and aggressive.’ They are the ones who both fired on the ship, and who didn’t come to the dialogue.”

“We say: Learn from history. Do not embark on new adventures. Some may say something in your ear. You have seen in history that these are not valid. Do not repeat the same thing. Be smart about it,” the minister warned.

Akar added that Türkiye is determined to protect the rights and interests of both the country and Turkish Cypriots in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean, and on Cyprus island.

Upon a question on the Lavrion camp in Greece, Akar said: “They are hiding FETO, PKK/YPG, Daesh, DHKP-C terrorists in Lavrion, they are hosting them. They make them go to various countries. While all this is seen, they claim that there is no such thing, with great negligence, hypocrisy. It is impossible to understand this.”

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