Greece dismissed anew comments by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan who reiterated calls for Athens to stop arming islands in the eastern Aegean that he claimed have a demilitarised status.
“Ahistorical claims and baseless myths that can neither challenge nor, let alone, substitute international law and international treaties,” Greek government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said on Thursday.
“Absolutely nothing can, in any way, harm our sovereign rights and our national sovereignty. That is why we call on Turkey to stop its provocative tactics and realise that the only way is through responsible and honest talk, in the context of international law,” he added.
In a speech while observing Turkish military exercises near the Aegean coastal province of Izmir earlier in the day, Erdoğan called on Athens to “avoid dreams, acts and statements that will result in regret”, and invoked Turkey’s independence war in the early 1920s when Turks defeated occupying powers, including Greece.
“Turkey will not renounce its rights in the Aegean and will not back down from using rights that are established by international agreements when it comes to arming islands,” he said.
(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.)