Greece continues to escalate tensions: Akar

Greece continues to escalate tensions: Akar

Greece continues to escalate tensions: Akar

"Despite of our well-intentioned approaches, Greece continues to provoke and escalate tensions and its unlawful attitude," Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Dec. 24 to reporters. 

Asserting that Greece has harassed Turkish jets taking part in NATO exercises twice in the last week, Akar said: "This hostile attitude clearly shows that Greece has become so arrogant that it disregards the basic principles and values of NATO. It's time for NATO to say stop to this impertinence."

On Sweden and Finland's NATO accession bids, Akar reiterated Türkiye's expectation from the two Nordic countries "to fulfill the commitments they signed in Madrid, in which is to cut their support to terrorists and to remove the restrictions they have imposed against Türkiye on the extradition list."

The national defense minister also commented on the possible US sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye, saying that as Ankara works to "improve the approach of our US counterparts," it also expects a "positive and concrete" conclusion.

Upon the Turkish government’s request in late 2021, Ankara and Washington have been negotiating the sale of 40 new F-16 warfighters and 79 modernization kits after Türkiye was excluded from the joint F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet program due to its deployment of Russian S-400 air defense systems.

Türkiye says it needs them to keep its air forces intact to protect its and NATO’s air space on the southern flank of the alliance after its participation in the joint F-35 jetfighter project was ended due to its employment of the Russian S-400 air defense systems.