The long-awaited meeting of Turkey’s Security Council, under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, lasted four hours, with Greece at the top of the agenda amid escalating tensions over the militarization of Greek islands.
According to the first information that has come to light from Turkish media, the communiqué issued refers to “increased provocative actions by Greece”, for which Ankara declares that it will protect its rights by any legal means.
Erdogan also admonishes those who encourage Greece to equip the islands under a demilitarized regime to “come to their senses”.
It is worth noting that present at the meeting were the Commander of the Air Force General Atilla Gülan, and the Commander of the Navy Admiral, Ercüment Tatlıoğlu, at the time Ankara decided to take the research vessel Yunus west of Lesvos.
“Athens should abandon illegal practices”
More specifically, the announcement from the Security Council meeting states:
“Despite our calls to implement its obligations arising from international law and treaties, Greece continues its illegal actions and all provocative actions have been considered.
Greece is moving away from the logic that reached the point of sabotaging NATO actions and attacking ships sailing in international waters.
Let the circles that encourage Greece to equip the islands with a civilian regime come to their senses. We will use all kinds of legal methods and means for the rights and interests of our nation.”
In addition, Ankara targets Cyprus as well, calling on “the US to revoke the decision to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus, as it is a decision against the spirit of the NATO Alliance”.
The Security Council, on the other hand, underlines that “actions to defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriots will continue with determination so that all countries recognize the independence of the TRNC”.
Greek For. Min.: Greece will defend its interests
The response of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs was immediate, and in a statement it made it clear that Greece will defend its legitimate interests and rights if the need arises.
“Turkey has every right to defend its interests by any legal means, under the basic condition that it accepts the rules of International Law. However, it has no right to flagrantly violate International Law and threaten Greece with war (casus belli)”, the announcement emphasizes and underlines that “Greece does not present any claim against Turkey. It is in favor of dialogue on the basis of International Law. It will, however, defend its legitimate interests and rights if the need arises.”
State Department: Greece’s sovereignty over the Aegean islands is not disputed
But the reaction of the American State Department was also immediate.
Greece’s sovereignty over the Aegean islands is not in question, State Department spokesman Ned Price reiterated during the routine press briefing.
As he characteristically added, “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected and protected.”
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