Turkish FM spokesman slams remarks of Greek minister
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Hami Aksoy expressed concern early on Feb. 17 about the Greek foreign minister's remarks regarding the Greek's attitude towards Turkey.
In a statement, Aksoy said that Greek Minister Nikos Kocias’ statement, which he gave to a TV channel on Feb. 16, saying that Greece would show “non peaceful behavior” to Turkey was "worrisome."
Aksoy recalled Tuesday’s phone conversation between the prime ministers of both sides and said that Turkey stressed its expectation from Greece to take necessary measures to lower the tension in the Aegean Sea.
Despite the differences between the two countries, the conversation was held in a positive atmosphere and confidence building measures were discussed, as well as focusing on the solutions of the problems via dialogue, he added.
“In this framework, we once again stress that our country support the de-escalation of tensions in the Aegean Sea,” the statement said, adding: “But, unfortunately, it seems that Greek Foreign Minister has adopted an approach that is non peaceful, crosses the line, and far from the responsibility required by his political position.”
He also called on the Greek minister to be sensible in accordance with the common wishes made by the Turkish and Greek PMs during the phone call.
According to Greek news agency AMNA, a Turkish patrol boat rammed into a Greek Coast Guard patrol boat near the Kardak islets in the southeastern Aegean on Feb. 12.
On Jan. 28, the Turkish Coast Guard blocked Greece’s Defense Minister Panos Kammenos from approaching a pair of Turkish islets in the Aegean.
Coast guard officers warned off Kammenos, who was heading to the Kardak islets in an assault boat to lay a wreath there. Following the warning, the Greek boat left Turkey’s territorial waters.
A decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Aegean islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict in 1996 and led to renewed tensions this year.