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Greece is ‘up to something’ and acting ‘abnormal’, Turkiye Defence Minister says

August 1, 2022 at 8:13 pm

Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in Istanbul, Turkiye on June 14, 2022 [İsa Terli/Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye’s Defence Minister has expressed his suspicions that Greece is “up to something” in its recent moves and aggressive rhetoric against Turkiye, calling them “abnormal” as Athens continues to militarily posture against Ankara.

Speaking to the Turkish news outlet, Anadolu Agency, Hulusi Akar, stated today that Greece is “in a calculation against Turkiye in their own way. There is a fivefold increase in the armament budget. What we are saying is that this is small for the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkiye, but a lot for [Greece’s] defence”.

Another “abnormal” action taken by Athens against Ankara, according to Akar, was its “unfortunate attempt” to discourage the United States from providing Turkiye with F-16 fighter jets, an acquisition which Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, lobbied against during a visit to Washington this year.

READ: Greece secretly sets up defence system against Turkish drones, using Israeli technology

In that regard, the Turkish Defence Minister also criticised Greece’s involvement of other countries in their disputes, stressing that their internal and bilateral issues should not reflect on  Ankara’s relations with the European Union and NATO.

Akar reiterated the necessity of dialogue as the primary way to resolve any issues between the two neighbouring countries, urging for “good neighbourly relations,” and stressing that Turkiye’s “readiness to share the riches of international law” must not be taken as weakness.

“In all official and informal meetings, we call on Greece to meet and talk within the basis of international law,” Akar stated, adding that, “We urge dialogue but they don’t come. We want to talk and meet because we’re strong.”

The Defence Minister’s remarks over the Greek military’s increased budget and the government’s diplomatic attacks come after Athens has been arming islands in the Aegean Sea over the past few years, ignoring Ankara’s repeated demands for it to cease the military manoeuvres and abide by the Treaty of Lausanne.

READ: Erdogan warns Greece to cease arming Aegean islands or face results ‘it will regret’