Akar: It’s time for NATO to say ‘stop’ to Greece
Türkiye has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, including arming islands near Turkish shores.
Amid Türkiye’s “well-intentioned approaches” to make the Aegean and Mediterranean a “sea of friendship,” the country’s defence chief called on NATO to urge Greece to “stop” its “impertinence.”
“Despite of our well-intentioned approaches, Greece continues to provoke and escalate tensions and its unlawful attitude,” Hulusi Akar said on Saturday at National Defence Ministry’s year-end evaluation meeting.
Asserting that Greece has harassed Turkish jets taking part in NATO exercises twice in the last week, Akar said: “This hostile attitude clearly shows that Greece has become so arrogant that it disregards the basic principles and values of NATO. It’s time for NATO to say ‘stop’ to this impertinence.”
Türkiye, a NATO member for over 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 demilitarised under treaty obligations. It says that such moves frustrate its good faith efforts for peace.
Sweden and Finland’s NATO bid
On Sweden and Finland’s NATO accession bids, Akar reiterated Türkiye’s expectation from the two Nordic countries “to fulfill the commitments they signed in Madrid, in which is to cut their support to terrorists and to remove the restrictions they have imposed against Türkiye on the extradition list.”
“It’s that simple,” he said.
The national defence minister also commented on the prospective US sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye, saying that as Ankara works to “improve the approach of our US counterparts,” it also expects a “positive and concrete” conclusion to the sale and modernisation of aircraft from Washington.
Ankara requested F-16s and modernisation kits in October 2021. The $6 billion deal would include the sale of 40 jets, as well as modernisation kits for 79 warplanes that the Turkish Air Force already has in its inventory.