Ankara warns Athens against arms race

Ankara warns Athens against arms race

Ankara warns Athens against arms race

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has warned Greece over an arms race against Turkey after a military agreement between Paris and Athens.

“A love of armament has started in Greece, especially recently, by making some agreements with the encouragement and provocation of some countries. Look at math first, history first. You cannot gain an advantage against Turkey with such attempts, give up this effort,” he said, addressing the National Defense University Naval Academy opening of the 2021-2022 Academic Year on Oct. 8.

The economic situation in Greece is fragile, the minister said, recalling that the country is in serious debt. “It makes the economy worse by making some wasteful expenditures with the love of armament and is meant for the welfare of the Greek people. Reasonable people in Greece should see this,” he stated.

None of these initiatives can progress, he said and added, “We have taken every precaution to be taken against this, and we are taking it. We are extremely determined and capable in this regard.”

Turkey wants the problems with Greece to be resolved within the framework of international law, by finding political solutions through dialogue within good neighborly relations, and for the peoples of the two sides to live in safety and prosperity in an environment of peace, he stated.

“Unfortunately, some politicians, especially in Greece, are escalating the tension with their aggressive actions and rhetoric, to disrupt bilateral relations. Instead of finding solutions to the problems logically,” Akar stated.

They should know that these are “futile” efforts and that they cannot defeat Turkey with such actions and discourses, the minister added.

Turkey had the opportunity of dialogue and contacts with its Greek interlocutors earlier, that is, at the level of ministers and chiefs of staff, the minister stressed.

“We had a chance to prevent possible crises through negotiations. Now that’s gone. We invite both political and military leaders in Greece to look at reason, logic and events with common sense,” he said.

Greece on Oct. 7 ratified a mutual defense deal with France, that will allow them to come to each other’s aid in the event of an external threat, but which has stirred further tensions with Turkey. Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos earlier said that the Greek-French defense deal also covers the maritime jurisdiction, noting that under the agreement, “one country will help the other with military means if the need arises.’’

The 63rd round of the consultative talks between Turkey and Greece took place in Ankara on Oct. 6 amid recent bilateral tensions between the two neighbors.