Turkey criticizes Greek minister’s ‘antagonistic’ remarks
“Antagonistic” statements against Turkey made by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias almost every day are populist, and do not serve peace and stability and are totally detached from reality, Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a statement on Jan. 4.
“This provocative rhetoric is neither compatible with good neighborly relations nor with the spirit of consultative talks we have relaunched with Greece,” he stated.
These” delusions” of Dendias prove that Greece prefers tension by creating “artificial alliances” and relying on favors of third parties against Turkey instead of resolving its bilateral issues and developing relations through honest and meaningful dialogue with Ankara, he stated.
“Those countries which have self-confidence do not display such attitude,” Bilgiç added.
While Greece keeps making “irrational and unrealistic allegations” against Turkey every day, it also continues taking “escalatory actions and pursuing maximalist claims” both in the Aegean and the Mediterranean seas, which are against international law, he stated.
“We reject Greece’s attempts to create a misleading perception and to label our country’s will to defend its legitimate rights and vital interests as a threat. If there is any threat in the region, it arises from the unilateral actions of Greece that increase the tension,” he added.
Ankara invited Greece once again to adhere to common sense and to respect international law and international treaties, instead of pursuing “provocative” rhetoric and activities with “populist motives and grave miscalculations,” Bilgiç noted.
Elaborating on his phone conversation with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Dendias tweeted that he briefed her “on Turkey’s recent provocative statements.”
In a separate press gathering with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud, in Athens, Dendias described Turkey’s policies with Greece as “the epitome of irrationality,” Greek media reported.
“It threatens Greece with war if we apply the inalienable right of expanding our territorial waters, as is explicitly foreseen by the International Law of the Sea,” daily Ekathimerini quoted Dendias as saying.
Tensions between Greece and historic regional rival Turkey have increased in recent years over gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean and waters between the two countries.
Turkey rejects Greek claims on maritime boundary rights in the Mediterranean.
In late 2020, Turkish and Greek military officials launched talks to reduce the risk of conflict and accidents in the Aegean and Mediterranean. The two neighbors also resumed political discussions to resolve the contentious issues stemming from the Aegean and Mediterranean after a year-long crisis throughout 2020.