Turkey says it won’t take part in ‘Greek show’ over Aegean
ANKARATurkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık criticized his Greek counterpart Panos Kammenos for his April 16 visit to Eşek Island (Agathonisi in Greek), the sovereignty of which is disputed, vowing that Turkey will not become a part of a “Greek show” in the Aegean but will also not allow any fait accompli.
“The Greek defense minister is showing off. They are playing for their domestic audience,” Işık told reporters on April 23 at the ceremony for National Sovereignty Day at parliament in Ankara.
He said Ankara was closely monitoring developments in the Aegean Sea and consultations were being made with all institutions.
“We continue to work without being part of their show, in a way that does not risk the interests of Turkey,” Işık said, adding that his Greek counterpart was also aware that Turkey “would not accept any fait accompli.”
He also recalled the existing mechanism for military-to-military contact between two neighbors.
Tension between the two neighbors has escalated since last year over various attempts by ministers and army commanders from both sides on disputed islands in Aegean Sea.
In addition, the number of Turkish citizens who have illegally entered Greece since the July 15 coup attempt has exceeded 100, including eight former soldiers who fled to the country to request asylum in a stolen helicopter hours after orchestrating the coup attempt.
Ankara has repeatedly requested the extradition of the eight men, promising that they would get fair trials upon return. However, the Greek Supreme Court ruled against their extradition in January.