Turkey blames Greece for “lying” and “denial”
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar blamed Greece of lying and acting in denial over “harassing” Turkish F-16s with its S-300 defense systems.
“These are extremely hostile acts,” Akar said and vowed to respond Athens’ “illegal”, “provocative” and “aggressive” actions on the basis of reciprocity, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Turkey accused Greece of locking onto Turkish F-16s with Russian air defense systems stationed on the island of Crete on Aug. 23. Turkish jets were harassed during engaged in missions in international airspace over the eastern Mediterranean, according to Defence 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.
“It is out of the question for us to take a step back in our rights and interests in any way. We have sensitively protected the rights and interests of our country and nation, and we will continue to do so,” Akar said during a ceremony held in central Eskisehir province on Friday.
Akar also urged all NATO allies and third countries to be objective over the issue and see what Greece is doing.
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.