Ankara knows the intentions of those who provoked Athens: Erdoğan


Ankara knows very well the intentions of those who provoked Athens, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Tuesday of the recent military build-up in Greece.

Speaking at a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan said: “Weapons piled up in Western Thrace and on the islands have no meaning for us because our power far exceeds them, but remember that means a secret occupation.”

Erdoğan said Turkey does not want the Aegean and Mediterranean seas “to be polluted with human blood, tears or hostility”.

“We want peace and quiet with all our hearts,” he added.

Turkey lodged a protest with the United States and Greece on Monday against the illegal deployment of armored vehicles on islands in the Aegean Sea with non-military status.

Turkish army drones recorded the Greek deployment of armored vehicles on the islands of Lesvos and Samos, in violation of international law.

Türkiye summoned the Greek ambassador and called for an end to violations on the Aegean islands and the restoration of their non-military status, according to the Foreign Ministry.

In the memo, the ministry said the deployment was another breach of Greece’s obligations under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris.

These islands were to be demilitarized under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris, so any troops or weapons on the islands are strictly prohibited.

Meanwhile, in a note of protest to the United States, Türkiye called for the status of the eastern Aegean islands to be respected and for measures to be taken to prevent the use of weapons there.

Turkish drone footage, released on Sunday, showed landing ships transporting military vehicles donated by the United States to the islands.

According to security sources, Turkish drones carrying out a flight mission over the Aegean Sea recorded two Greek landing ships en route to Lesvos and Samos.

The ships were revealed to be carrying 23 wheeled tactical armored vehicles to Lesvos and 18 to Samos. The armored vehicles were among those sent by the United States to the port of Alexandroupolis in Greece.

Erdoğan also criticized Greece for its latest “provocations” on Monday, saying Ankara will not fail to defend its rights and interests.

“The foreign countries’ military buildup all over Greece, which looks like an occupation, should, in essence, bother the Greek people, not us,” Erdoğan said after the Cabinet meeting in the capital Ankara.

The president said Turkey was following Greece’s policy “full of provocations”.

“We are well aware of the true intentions of those who provoked and unleashed the Greek politicians against us to obstruct our program of building a great and powerful Türkiye.

“However, it is a dangerous game for Greek politicians, the Greek state, the Greek people and those who use them as puppets,” he stressed.

Greece will be held accountable for the people it left to die in the Aegean and Mediterranean, Erdoğan said.

The president added that Turkey will not fail to defend the rights and interests of the country against Greece, “using all the means at our disposal”, recalling that Greece is not on the same level as Turkey.

“Neither these military reinforcements nor this political and economic support are enough to raise Greece to our level, but these missteps are enough to drag Greece into the swamp in every direction,” Erdoğan said.

Meanwhile, the United States on Monday called on NATO allies Greece and Turkey to “work together” to ensure regional peace and security after Ankara said Athens had violated the law international.

“Now is not the time to make statements or take actions that could escalate tensions between NATO allies,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

“We encourage our NATO allies to diplomatically resolve any disagreements they may have. We believe we must remain focused on what is a collective threat to all of us, and that is Russian aggression.”

“Support for terrorism”

Also, Erdoğan on Tuesday harshly criticized European countries that protect terrorist organizations.

“As the nests of terror are destroyed, members of terrorist organizations are openly setting up camps for themselves in some countries.

“The murderers who shed the blood of our citizens are adopted in almost every country in Europe, especially in the Lavrion camp in Greece. They can roam freely,” Erdoğan told a meeting in the capital. Ankara.

Terrorists pose a threat to the peace and security of Western countries protecting terrorist groups, Erdoğan warned and said he expects all countries, especially Turkey’s neighbors, to take necessary measures against terrorist organizations.

A second camp housing terrorists has been opened in Greece next to the notorious existing Lavrion camp, sources said this week amid rising tensions between Ankara and Athens.

A Turkish official told Daily Sabah that although Athens has dismissed claims that Lavrion has become a breeding ground for terrorists, Ankara has discovered that another camp similar to Lavrion has been opened. “We are in a very fragile process,” the official said regarding bilateral relations.

Greece has long been accused of being a favorite haven for DHKP-C and PKK terrorists. Those fleeing Turkey took refuge in refugee camps in Lavrion, near Athens, under the guise of asylum seekers, particularly in the 1980s. Despite Lavrion being closed in 2013 under pressure from Turkey, Greece continues to be the main destination for DHKP-C terrorists.

Footage from the camp shows that it has become a base for PKK terrorists.

Turkey and Greece disagree on a number of issues, including competing claims to jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean, overlapping claims to their continental shelves, maritime borders, airspace, energy, the ethnically divided island of Cyprus, the status of islands in the Aegean Sea and migrants.

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