Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said that Greece has stationed armed forces in 16 of 23 major eastern Aegean islands, violating a treaty that has called for their demilitarization. He also blamed “Greece’s actions” that make it difficult to find a common ground with Turkey.
In an interview to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, Akar said Greece has stationed armed forces in 16 of 23 major eastern Aegean islands, violating a treaty that has called for their demilitarization.
Akar also accused Greece of its “globally unprecedented” discrepancy in claiming a 10-mile national airspace, more than its 6-mile territorial waters.
“Greece is our ally in NATO and we expect it to stay faithful to good neighborly relations and to treaties it has signed,” Akar added.
He threatened that “in Cyprus, in the Aegean and in the eastern Mediterranean we will not allow any fait accomplit nor that our rights be violated. There is no chance of survival of any plan unless we are in it.”
While accusing Greece of “unlawfully militarizing the islands of the East Aegean, he forgot to mention the presence of the Turkish 4th Army across the west coast. The headquarters of the 4. Army – also called the Aegean Army – are located in Izmir in close proximity to the Greek islands.
To recent similar statements by Akar, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos had responded “what is threatened cannot be demilitarized.”