Turkey vows to use all methods and means against Greek “provocations”
Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) said Greece "strayed far beyond from reason and logic."
Following a meeting led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, the council accused Athens for not giving up “illegal practices” and increasing “provocative actions” against Ankara.
“We will not refrain from using all kinds of legitimate methods and means within the framework of international law in order to protect the rights and interests of our nation against these futile efforts,” the council said in a written statement.
Turkey and Greece, both NATO allies, have long been at odds over a string of issues, including territorial claims and the status of the Aegean islands. Turkey blames Greece for militarizing its islands in violation of international treaties. Turkey says despite the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris that require Greece’s eastern Aegean islands to remain demilitarized, Athens has armed 16 out of the 23 islands, in violation of international law. In response to Turkish claims, Greece says the restrictions no longer apply.
“Greece has strayed far beyond from reason and logic to sabotage even the activities carried out within NATO and to fire at civilian ships sailing in international waters,” MGK said.
“We invite those who encourage Greece to militarize the islands to act with common sense,” it said.
On Monday, Ankara lodged protests to Greece and the United States, after Turkish officials on Sunday released drone footage, allegedly showing US-supplied armored vehicles being carried out of ships on Greek islands of Lesbos and Samos. Summoning the Greek ambassador to Turkey, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the deployment was another violation of Greece's obligations under international law. Turkey also urged the US to respect for the status of Eastern Aegean islands and to take measures to prevent the use of its weapons there.
In a written statement on Monday, the United States reiterated calls on Turkey to respect its neighboring Greece’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Greece’s sovereignty over its Aegean islands is not disputed, US State Department said.