Greece categorically refuted on Wednesday Turkish media reports claiming the “demilitarization” of several Greek islands.
Government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis called these demilitarization reports “fake news.”
“We make this clear once more: there is absolutely no change of strategy regarding the distribution of forces and the defensive protection of the country,” Marinakis stressed.
He added that “Greece has in recent years become stronger diplomatically, geo-strategically and in defense and we remain committed to this direction.”
Turkish daily Yeni Safak claimed in an article on Tuesday “A surprise move from Athens: The militarization of the islands has stopped.”
Yeni Safak claimed:
“A positive step came from Greece, which gave indications of normalization with Turkey. The government of Athens stopped equipping the islands, islets and rocks whose sovereignty is not determined by treaties, which was one of the major problems between the two countries. Sources point out that there will be further positive developments as the talks gain momentum.
The normalization process between Turkey and Greece is progressing positively.
The two countries’ normalization steps, which began after the February disasters, were further strengthened by the meeting of President Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in September at the UN.
Positive developments are expected on the issue of the islands, which is one of the most serious problems between the two countries, until the leaders’ summit that will be repeated in December.”
The Turkish newspaper claimed further that “Greece decided in recent months to strengthen its air force against Turkey, ordered Rafale aircraft from France and deployed them in Lemnos, a few hours away from Turkey. Similarly, on the island of Samos, the closest island to Turkey, hundreds of Greek soldiers are stationed at 4 bases. There are also systems belonging to the Greek military forces in Megistis, Chios, Patmos, Psara, Arkios, Agathonisi, Farmakonisi, Kalolimnos, Pserimos, Symi, Strogyli Megistis and Ro, which are also very near Turkey.”