Ankara expects allies to be objective, says National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar
Ankara will continue to respond to Athens’ “impertinence,” the Turkish defense chief said on Friday, emphasizing Greece’s continued provocations, offensive actions and illegal acts against Türkiye.
“We have always responded to this impertinence of Greece and we will continue to do so,” National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said at a military ceremony in the central Eskisehir province.
Citing Greece’s recent harassment of Turkish jets over the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean seas, Akar said the Turkish jets were engaged in a NATO mission.
“Since July 2, the mission notified about its activity to all NATO allies, everyone knew about it,” Akar said, adding that it is “impossible” that Athens did not know about the mission.
“Yet, they intercepted our F-16s, which were carrying out their NATO duty. Greece made a false statement in a denialist way claiming ‘We did not know that these were Turkish planes’,” he added.
Stressing that Greece’s actions are “extremely hostile and wrong,” Akar said: “NATO and third countries should also see Greece’s actions. We have warned all of our allies over Greece. We expect them to be objective. They should know that Greece’s actions and rhetoric (on Türkiye) are not in line with friendship or alliance.”
Noting that Ankara closely follows Athens’ actions that disregard international law, good neighborly relations and friendship, the Turkish minister said: “As Türkiye, we continue our work not as a burden to NATO and our allies, but as a country that bears their burden.”
Calling on Greece to stop seeing Türkiye as a threat, Akar said: “Türkiye is not a threat, it is an extremely powerful, effective, trustworthy ally for its friends and the alliance (NATO).”
He called on Athens to “take note from history” and said that Greece cannot achieve anything by arming the islands at the Aegean.
Akar urged Greece to “hold the hand of peace that we have extended. Let’s continue our work in line with international law within the framework of good neighborly relations.”
He said that Türkiye will not allow any fait accompli at the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean seas, and affirmed that Ankara is “determined and adamant to protect our rights and interests in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus.”
Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, saying such moves frustrate its good faith efforts for peace.
Since the beginning of 2022, Greek warplanes have violated Turkish airspace 256 times and harassed Turkish jets 158 times.
Greek coast guard boats also violated Turkish territorial waters 33 times.