Turkey condemned what it called “Greece’s maximalist claims” on Friday and claimed the multi-billion-euro arms deal signed between France and Greece on Tuesday “is a threat to regional peace and stability”, the Greek daily Kathimerini reported on Friday.
“Greece’s maximalist claims for jurisdiction over maritime areas and airspace are incompatible with international law,” said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç.
“It is futile for Greece to dream that it can make us accept these claims – which are also questioned by the international community – by forging bilateral military alliances against Turkey, in a manner that harms the NATO alliance,” he added.
This, Kathimerini pointed out, was the first official Turkish response to the multibillion-euro military agreement between Athens and Paris. Under that deal, Greece is buying three advanced French-built Belharra frigates, which are much more advanced and powerful than any other ship in its current inventory. It will receive these frigates by 2025 and has the option of buying a fourth one.
Bilgiç went on to bash the deal. “Such futile efforts will only increase our determination to protect our rights as much as the rights of the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ in the Aegean and the Mediterranean.”
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a political entity on the northern part of that divided island nation that only Turkey recognizes as legitimate.
“Instead of cooperation, Greece’s defence procurement policy and its efforts to isolate and alienate Turkey is a problematic policy that will do harm to it and the EU, of which it is a member, and is a threat to regional peace and stability,” he said.