Ankara extends hand to Athens, urges aversion from provocation
As the Aegean Sea remains a hotbed of tensions, Türkiye patiently repeats its warning to Greece. One day after the Greek coast guard harassed Turkish fishing boats in the sea dividing the two countries, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar adopted bittersweet rhetoric toward Athens, News.Az reports citing Daily Sabah.
Calling Greece not to impede on Türkiye's offer of a hand of friendship, the country's defense minister on Friday reaffirmed that Ankara would not leave any harassment or provocation by Athens without a response.
Türkiye did not receive a positive response to its dialogue attempts from Greece, Akar noted, speaking at an event in the northern Tokat province, saying Athens is not helping "de-escalate tensions" between the two countries. "We do not harass or provoke (Greece), but we will not leave any harassment or provocation against us without response," Akar said, adding that despite Athens' "provocative attitude," Ankara continues its call for dialogue. "Do not delay in holding this hand of friendship," he said urging Greece to end its "irreconcilable and provocative attitudes."
Akar highlighted the need for peaceful "ways and methods" to resolve problems between Türkiye and Greece. "In this context, we held consultative talks as part of confidence-building measures, but unfortunately, we could not get a positive response from our neighbor Greece," Akar said. He said Greece refused their "invitation" and instead, resorted to blaming Türkiye by using terms like neo-Ottomanism, revisionism and expansionism. "None of those have any legitimate basis; they are groundless. It is Greece which disrupts the status quo; it is Greece that arms its islands," Akar said.