The Greek Minister of Defense Evangelos Apostolakis issued a stern statement aimed at the Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar on Friday afternoon.
The Minister’s statement came several hours after the provocative accusations of the Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who allegedly claimed that Cyprus and the Aegean Sea ”lie within Turkey’s territorial waters.”
Apostolakis stated that ”although we are in a phase where we are struggling to find ways to defuse tension, [Turkey] surprised us with something new.”
The Greek Defense Minister slammed his Turkish counterpart, adding that his remarks were simply ”things that are not based on reason.”
Apostolakis noted that when international law and treaties are questioned, ”we have to be concerned,” underscoring that Greece, as a matter of principle, respects international law and treaties.
The defense minister concluded by saying that ”I do not think that these statements can be taken seriously. [The Turkish side] has to get serious and watch what they say. They shouldn’t shoot off fireworks just to make an impression.”
The latest round of tensions between the two countries came only two days after the historic meeting in Jerusalem between Greek, Cypriot and Israeli heads of state, together with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The four men agreed upon the construction of the ”EastMed Pipeline,” a gigantic project which aims to connect Israel with Cyprus, Greece and Italy to transfer natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to the European Union. The natural gas project is viewed in a negative light by Turkey.