Turkey’s foreign minister Mevsut Cavusoglu threatens Greece with a not at all diplomatic ‘accident’ in the Aegean Sea that could harm the bilateral relations irreparable. Cavusoglu threatens to shoot down a helicopter with the Greek Defense Minister on board, should the later dare fly again near the Imia islet.
Speaking to a Turkish daily, the foreign minister targeted Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, urging him to “come to his senses.”
Cavusoglu described Kammenos’s as “provocative” and said that his behavior and comments create problems between the two neighboring countries.
Such behavior could cause an unwanted accident that could not be repaired, Cavusoglu said, clearly , implying that Turkey could should down a helicopter with the Greek defense minister on board should Kammenos dare fly near or over Imia again.
“The minister provokes constantly,” Cavusoglu said. “Greece makes provocative moves since a long time. We behave with sensibility so that there is no tension with our neighbor,” he added.
On February 1st, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos flew to Imia islet and threw a wreath in the sea in commemoration of three Greek soldiers who lost their lives during the Imia crisis on 31. January 1996.
Kammenos visit came just four days after a gunboat with the Turkish Chief of General Staff and the three top commanders of Land, Air and Naval Forces took a sailing tour around the highly disputed Imia islets.
The visit of Turkey’s top brass was followed by massive air space violations from Turkey: 138 times on a single day.
Cavusoglu threats follow direct threats by Turkey’s deputy prime minister Veysi Kaynak. On February 1st, Kaynak openly threatened Greece with an intervention of Turkish Armed Forces in the Aegean Sea.
Kaynak said that Turkey will not allow Greece to exploit the islets in the Aegean adding “The Turkish Armed Forces that have the responsibility for the border protection will not allow it. The Turkish forces will prevent such a development in any way.”
Ankara went furious after Greece’s Supreme Court rejected its request to extradite 8 Turkish soldiers who sought asylum in Greece a day after the failed coup in July 2016.
Ankara’s response to Court decision was the usual Turkish way: provocations and threats.
Both countries are members of NATO.
PS So NATO-member Turkey wants to shoot down a helicopter of NATO-member Greece for violating imaginary Turkish borders and territory? Ankara can already seek membership to some other defense alliance…
Greece should call for an emergency meeting of the UNSC and of NATO. Turkey has no legal basis for any claims on the island so the move would be completely illegal and basically is an act of war. MP’s threathening to do this is one thing but a member of the Turkish government saying this is something else.
ha! a what-ever political party in Turkey claimed to take Greece to international court (hague probably) for not letting the Generals go to Imia on Sunday.
Completely delusional these people. It is all a distraction from the real problems and to rally the people behind a “great leader” and a “patriotic cause”.
It would be just a little bit nicer if, but they also claim islands around Crete like Gavdos and Koufonissi to be “Turkish” as they say not only “unmentioned in treaties” but also say it’s on their continent shelf and believe they’ve rights to drill for allegedly oil and gas in the 5000 meter deep Libyan sea.
And, of course, NATO has nothing to say because there is no provision in the NATO agreement about what to do in the case of conflicts or war between two NATO partners. Therefore, Greece is dependent on the big powers to help it, and the USA is now concerned only with Turkey. For reasons of big money.
Those Greeks who thought that Trump would be a good thing for Greece should now feel very foolish. Obama was the best that Greece was ever going to get.