Turkish chief accuses Kyriakos Mitsotakis of recommending to US officers that Washington not promote F-16 fighter jets to Ankara.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has mentioned he’ll cease speaking to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and cancel a key assembly between their two governments, accusing the Greek chief of antagonising Turkey.
In a televised handle following a cupboard assembly on Tuesday, Erdogan accused Mitsotakis of recommending to US officers that Washington not promote F-16 fighter jets to Turkey throughout a current go to to america.
Erdogan then went on to accuse Greece of harbouring followers of US-based non secular chief Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey says was behind a failed coup try in 2016, and of creating navy bases towards Turkey. Gulen has lengthy denied the Turkish allegation.
“We had agreed to not embody third nations in our dispute with him. Regardless of this, final week, he had a go to to the US and talked on the Congress and warned them to not give F-16s to us,” Erdogan mentioned.
“He now not exists for me. I’ll by no means agree to fulfill with him. We are going to proceed our method with honourable politicians.”
Erdogan was apparently referring to a speech Mitsotakis delivered in Washington on Could 17, when he informed Congress that the US ought to keep away from creating a brand new supply of instability on NATO’s southeastern flank.
“The very last thing that NATO wants at a time when our focus is on serving to Ukraine defeat Russia’s aggression is one other supply of instability on NATO’s southeastern flank,” the Greek chief mentioned. “And I ask you to take this under consideration if you make defence procurement selections in regards to the japanese Mediterranean.”
Greece ‘gained’t get into confrontation’
Responding to Erdogan’s feedback, Greek authorities spokesman Yiannis Economou mentioned Athens “is not going to get right into a confrontation of statements with Turkey’s management.”
“Greek international coverage is strongly based on historical past, worldwide legislation and our alliances, nonetheless a lot which will annoy some,” he mentioned.
Greece and Turkey are NATO allies however have strained relations over a slew of points, together with competing maritime boundary claims that have an effect on vitality exploration rights within the japanese Mediterranean.
Tensions flared in 2020 over exploratory drilling rights in areas within the Mediterranean Sea the place Greece and Cyprus declare their very own unique financial zone, resulting in a naval standoff.
Turkey additionally claims Greece is violating worldwide agreements by militarising islands within the Aegean Sea. Athens says it must defend the islands – lots of which lie near Turkey’s coast – towards a possible assault utilizing Turkey’s giant fleet of navy touchdown craft.
Officers from each nations resumed exploratory talks in 2021 after a five-year pause to put the groundwork for formal negotiations to start, however haven’t made a lot progress.
Greece this month formally prolonged its bilateral navy settlement with the US for 5 years, changing an annual evaluate of the deal that grants the US navy entry to a few bases in mainland Greece in addition to the American naval presence on the island of Crete.
“Who’s Greece threatening with these bases? Why is Greece establishing these bases?” Erdogan requested.
Erdogan additionally reiterated that Turkey made a mistake by re-accepting Greece into NATO’s navy wing in 1980.
The Turkish chief has additionally just lately lashed out at Sweden’s and Finland’s requests to hitch NATO, saying Turkey wouldn’t assist their bids.