Mitsotakis: "We'll not allow bullying by Turkey"
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Sunday that Athens would try to keep communication channels with Ankara open despite "unacceptable" remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"I consider recent statements by the Turkish president unacceptable," Mitsotakis told a news conference in Greece's northern city of Thessaloniki, adding: "However, we will always try to keep communication channels open."
He said that he would not force a meeting upon Erdogan but is always open to meeting, pointing to Czech capital Prague as a potential location for a meeting.
When asked to comment on the possibility of hostilities in the Aegean, Mitsotakis stated that he cannot even imagine a military confrontation, but stressed that if this route was chosen by Turkey than it would receive a decisive answer by the Greek Armed Forces.
Mitsotakis also said, according to BBC Turkish, "I'll speak with the language they'll understand. I'll say, we'll not allow bullying in Greece."
He reportedly used the Turkish term "dayilik", meaning treating someone in a bullying manner, as the term was widely used by the Greeks, and also to deliver a clear message to Turkey.
Tensions between the two countries rose after Turkish officials alleged that a Greek missile system in the island of Crete locked its radar on to Turkish fighter jets, and Erdogan consequently accused Greece of having "invaded" the Aegean islands close to Turkish coasts.
"We don't care that you have invaded the islands, we'll do what's necessary when the time comes. Like we always say, we can suddenly come knocking one night."
More recently, Turkish authorities accused Greek Coast Guard troops of firing shots at a Comoros-flagged cargo vessel in international waters some 18 km off the coast of Turkey's island of Tenedos.