Turkey condemns ‘provocative’ remarks by Greek deputy FM
Turkish Foreign Ministry on April 7 condemned the Greek deputy foreign minister’s remarks against Turkey and its president.
“We strongly condemn the immoral statements, which are not in line with political and diplomatic practices, of Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Miltiadis Varvitsiotis about our country and our president in an interview with a television channel,” the ministry said in a statement.
Greek officials continue to engage persistently in “provocative and tension-raising actions and rhetoric” toward Turkey, said the ministry, noting that Ankara considers these actions and rhetoric “intentional” in a period of new steps taken to sustain dialogue between the two countries.
Turkey urges the Greek political leadership to display “common sense” and sincerity “for dialogue channels between the two countries to function again,” the ministry stated.
The tensions between NATO allies, Turkey and Greece, escalated last summer with a military build-up after Turkey sent its research vessel Oruç Reis escorted by navy frigates into disputed waters. The move prompted Greece to send its warships as well, and both countries conducted military exercises to assert their claims.
In late 2019, Ankara and Athens also stepped up for the dialogue and held meetings on political and military levels aiming for de-escalation in the eastern Mediterranean.
The ministry’s statement came on the same day when Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with Ambassador of Greece to Ankara Michael-Christos Diamessis ahead of Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias’ visit next week.