Τones went high and tension between the Turkish Defense Minister and Greek MPs prevailed with the Minister to leave the NATO meeting fuming. The serious diplomatic incident took place during the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Committee in Istanbul on Tuesday.
- “Demilitarize the islands” the MoD said. “You have no right to speak” the Greek MPs responded demanding the withdrawal of casus belli.
Addressing the participants, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar once again raised the issue of territorial waters and the demilitarization of the Aegean islands and accused Greece of supporting terrorism.
Speaking in English, the Turkish Minister of Defense tried to highlight the Turkish accusations of alleged support of terrorists from Greece, by revoking the theory about a supposed Kurdish training camp in Lavrio. He also claimed that the Greek Air Force has violated Turkish airspace by flying over Didim and Datca at the country’s west coast
Head of the Greek delegation, ruling New Democracy MP Spilios Libanos, replied to Akar said that “Greece respects the principles of the rule of law, fights against terrorism and seeks dialogue.”
“Sspeaking in a strong tone, wondered how is it possible for Turkey, on the one hand, to invoke the NATO Alliance and, on the other, the casus beli, while highlighting that the neighboring country speaks of state sovereignty, while it is the one that has invaded Cyprus.”
The Greek MPs made reference also to the continuous overflights of Turkish fighter jets over the Aegean and to the “aggressive revisionist rhetoric from the side of Turkey.”