Turkey demands Greek troops off islands near Turkish coast

ANKARA – A call for calm agreed between the countries has been ignored, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has once again insisted that Greece withdraw troops from the islands near the Turkish coast, which Greece has repeatedly rejected. occasions.

Turkey has cited the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne as one of the reasons Greece cannot keep troops on the islands, although it does not recognize the agreement unless it invokes it to its advantage.

He was speaking at an event marking Turkey’s imperialist blue homeland doctrine claiming vast swaths of territory and seas between the countries, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly coveting the return of some islands the treaty ceded 99 years ago.

Akar also ripped Greece for building up its arsenal against Turkish provocations without mentioning that Turkey is pushing for more American-made F-16 fighter jets and has consistently sent pilots into Greek airspace, where they engaged in mock dogfights with their Greek counterparts.

“If we want to have a conversation about international law, this is the question we should start with,” Akar said, citing the treaty Turkey does not accept, and after Erdogan met Prime Minister Kyriakis Mitsotakis and agreed to calm the provocations.

“When these islands are militarized, no one should be allowed to talk about Turkey’s efforts to defend itself,” Akar said, as Turkey continues to swing the tension up and down in volatile swings.

In an interview with broadcaster Haberturk, he criticized Greece for buying French-made Rafale fighter jets and warships and forging international alliances against Turkey that he says will not work.

“If these purchases are intended to strengthen (Greece’s) defense capability, then there are too many of them. If they are directed at Turkey, then they are simply not enough,” he said, without explaining then why he is upset.

Sharon P. Juarez