Greece’s political leadership sent strong messages tot Turkey on the occasion of the Independence Day commemorating the start of the Greek Revolution against the Ottoman occupation in 1821. they all called for the immediate release of the two Greek soldiers and to respect international law.
Attending celebrations at the island of Psara, a symbol of resistance in the Greek War of Independence, opposite the Turkish coast, Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, said “Greece has all the capacity needed to safeguard its sovereign rights and territorial integrity.”
He called on Ankara to stop illegal activities in the Aegean Sea and in Cyprus and to respect international law.
He stressed that the government is taking all possible effort to make sure the two Greek soldiers return home as soon as possible.
The remote island of Psara is a symbol of resistance against the Ottoman occupation, with its inspiring slogan “Eλευθερία ἤ Θάνατος” – “Freedom or Death”. The island was destructed when the Ottoman Turks invaded it and sent to death hundreds of freedom fighters, as well as women and children. 15,000 people were massacred in 1824.
Right after the end of the military parade in Athens, the President of the Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos called on the country’s allies to step up efforts for the immediate release of the two Greek soldiers.
Addressing the public, Pavlopoulos stressed “we will always defend our sovereignty, our soil and our national borders without deductions.”
Defense Minister, Panos Kammenos, stressed that “The Greek Armed Forces are ready to face any challenge against the national sovereignty and integrity.”
He also called “our friends and allies” to step up efforts for the soldiers’ immediate release in high security prison in Edirne “in violation of international law and any principle of democracy.”
“Turkey must understand that we permanent send messages of friendship and reconciliation, but such attitudes isolate it and send it back to where it came from, the very deep of Anatolia,” Kammenos said characteristically.
“We will crush anyone challenges our national sovereignty and integrity,” he warned.