Ankara, SEP 26: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday slammed Greece over its latest “provocations,” saying Türkiye will not fail to defend its rights and interests.
“The occupation-looking military buildups of foreign countries all over Greece should, in essence, disturb Greek people, not us,” Erdoğan said after the Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.
Erdoğan’s remarks came after Turkish army drones recorded Greek deployment of armored vehicles on the islands of Midilli (Lesvos) and Sisam (Samos), which is in violation of international law.
Türkiye on Monday summoned the Greek ambassador and called for an end to violations on the Aegean islands and restoring their non-military status, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Also, in a protest note to the US, Türkiye urged respect for the status of Eastern Aegean islands and stressed measures should be taken to prevent the use of weapons there.
Erdoğan said Türkiye is following Greece’s policies filled “with provocation.”
“We are well aware of the real intentions of those who provoked and unleashed Greek politicians against us to hinder our program of building up a great and powerful Türkiye,” he stressed.
The president added Türkiye will not fail to defend the country’s rights and interests against Greece, “utilizing all the means at our disposal,” reiterating that Greece is not at the same level as Türkiye.
About the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Erdoğan said Türkiye is in close contact with both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“We have attained many diplomatic successes, from grain shipments to prisoner exchanges, by maintaining our dialogue with both sides,” Erdoğan said.
Türkiye, the UN, Russia, and Ukraine signed an agreement in Istanbul on July 22 to resume grain exports from three Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which were paused after the Russia-Ukraine war began in February.
Erdoğan said over 5 million tons of grain from Ukraine were exported since the first vessel sailed under the Istanbul deal on Aug. 1.
The president stressed that he drew attention to Türkiye’s mediation role in the migration crisis and grain shipment on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York and that he got appreciation from the world leaders.
Erdoğan reiterated his wish to bring Putin and Zelenskyy together at a negotiating table to end the war.