“For me, there is no Mitsotakis. I will never meet with him again,” an obviously fuming Turkish President saod on Monday. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he has no intention of ever meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis again, following the latter’s criticism of Turkey during his visit to the United States beginning of the week.
“I no longer recognize Mitsotakis. I will not talk to him anymore. We agreed not to include third countries in our dispute with him. But he went to the US and criticized Turkey (in Congress). It can build so many military bases with others. Turkey is self-sufficient.”
During a cabinet meeting Erdogan reportedly said also referring to the Gülen movement, an organization that Turkey defines as terrorist and blames an initiator of the failed coup in 2016.
“How is Greece treating us at the moment? Is not Greece a destination for the FETO organization at the moment?”
“There are currently 10 bases in Greece. Why are these bases being created in Greece? Against whom? At the moment Greece owes €400 billion to European countries,” he continued.
Last week and while addressing the US Congress, PM Mitsotakis referred to the recent overflight over Greek islands by Turkish fighter jets that have gone out of control. The Greek PM did not name Turkey, however, he asked the congressmen to reconsider sales of fighter jets to the [aggressive] neighbor.
“Let Mitsotakis think about the future. We are self-sufficient. We are facing a Greece that proposes to the US ‘not to give F-16s to Turkey’. From that point, there was no Mitsotakis for me. The United States will probably not act in accordance with the words of Greece,” President Erdogan added.
Prompt was the response of Greece. Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said:
“Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis strongly and effectively defends both our national law and international legitimacy. Greek foreign policy is strongly based on history, international law and our alliances, no matter how much it bothers some. We will not confront statements with the Turkish leadership. Our policy is a policy of principles.”