Czech Republic slammed Erdogan over Greece remarks
The Czech Republic that holds the European Union Presidency since July, slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest remarks against Greece as “unacceptable.”
On Saturday, Erdogan said that Turkish forces could target Greece any moment if necessary.
Commenting over Turkish allegations that Greece locked onto Turkish F-16s with Russian air defense systems stationed on the island of Crete last month, “You occupying the islands doesn’t bind us. When the time comes, we’ll do what’s necessary. As we say, we may come down suddenly one night,” he said.
One of the goals of the Czech Presidency is to foster the dialogue between the EU and Turkey, the Czech Foreign Ministry said via a Twitter post on the weekend.
“Unacceptable threatening of EU member states, like the one addressed to Greece in President Erdogan’s recent public speech, is extremely unhelpful in this regard,” it said.
One of the #CZPRES goals is to foster the EU-Türkiye dialogue. Unacceptable threatening of EU member states, like the one addressed to Greece in President Erdogan's recent public speech, is extremely unhelpful in this regard.— Czech MFA (@CzechMFA) September 4, 2022
Turkish Defense Ministry accused Greece of locking onto Turkish fighter jets with Russian S-300s on Aug. 23. Turkish F-16s were harassed during engaged in missions in international airspace over the eastern Mediterranean, according to Defense Ministry officials. While Greece has denied the allegations, on Wednesday Anadolu said Ankara will send the radar records to the NATO Secretariat-General and the defense ministries of alliance members, to prove its claims.
Greek Foreign Ministry on Saturday also issued a statement in response of Erdogan’s remarks.
"Greece will not join Turkey in the slide containing outrageous and beyond-all-limits remarks and threats, taking place on a daily basis. We will immediately inform our allies and partners regarding the content of the provocative statements of the last few days, in order to make clear who is undermining our alliance’s cohesion at a particularly dangerous juncture. At the same time, we will continue to serve as a pillar of stability and security for the wider region, on the basis of the rules of International Law and the International Law of the Sea," it said.
Tensions between Turkey and Greece have further strained this year over a range of issues, including territorial claims. While the two neighboring NATO allies blame each other of violating their airspace, Turkey also accuses Greece for militarizing its islands in violation of international treaties.