Turkey is fueling tensions and making “unacceptable” comments questioning Greece’s sovereignty in the Aegean Sea, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said.
“Turkey is provoking tensions and portraying Greece as a suspected aggressor,” Mitsotakis said at a news conference on Sunday, Greek daily Kathimerini reported. He added that “there is no one abroad who thinks the Greek islands are a threat to Turkey.”
His comments come after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan earlier this month accused Greece of occupying demilitarized islands in the Aegean Sea. He said Turkey was ready to “do what is necessary” when the time comes.
“I find the Turkish president’s recent statements unacceptable,” Mitsotakis said on Sunday, warning that “the constant provocation” by Turkish politicians “is extremely problematic.”
Tensions escalated on Saturday after Turkey’s Interior Ministry issued a statement accusing the Greek Coast Guard of firing on a cargo ship sailing in international waters southwest of the Turkish island of Bozcaada. No injuries were reported.
The Greek Prime Minister said he “cannot imagine a Greek-Turkish conflict with an attack from Turkey” and that he is “always ready to meet Erdoğan”.
“We will always try to keep communication channels open,” Mitsotakis said.