Turkey issues warnings to Greece, sends letter of protest to the US
As the ongoing dispute has further been intensifying in recent years, Erdogan is once again issuing warnings to Greece that Turkey will resort to all available means to defend its rights.
The Daily Sabah reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will resort to all possible means in order to protect and safeguard its territorial rights in light of Greece's continued provocations and violations of Turkey's territorial waters and airspace in the Aegean sea, following a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Erdogan said Turkey is paying close attention to Greece's provocative actions and noted that Greece is being "dragged into a swamp with military buildups." He added that Greece is far from reaching Turkey's political, economic, and military level and that Athen's military buildup will amount to nothing.
"We will not hesitate to utilize all available means to protect our country's rights and interests against Greece, whereby necessary," the President said. "Greek officials, who exploit policies for political gain, will be held accountable," he added.
On Sunday, security sources reported that Greece violated international law by dispatching armored vehicles to the Aegean Islands that displayed non-military status. The reports also revealed that UAVs of the Turkish Armed Forces that were conducting missions over the Aegean detected two Greek landing crafts heading to the islands of Lesbos and Samos.
It was later disclosed that the ships were delivering 23 tactical-wheeled armored vehicles to Lesbos and 18 tactical-wheeled armored vehicles to Samos, and that the two US-made armored vehicles that were previously detected on August 18 were among those sent by the US to Greece’s port of Alexandroupolis on August 21.
These finds constituted clear proof that Greece was pursuing its arming campaign on the islands and that the US was supplying weapons to militarize the islands, according to Turkish sources.
The reports further added that the transported weapons were provided by the US and that Greece, an ally of NATO, was not acting in compliance with international law and the spirit of the alliance and was "never acceptable" of engaging in calls for dialogue.
Erdogan also brought to attention Turkey's mediating role in the Ukraine grain shipments and the migration crisis on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last week, adding that Turkey's efforts were appreciated by other countries.
"Over 5 million tons of grain from Ukraine have been exported since the first vessel sailed under the Istanbul deal on August 1st," Erdogan said.
Last July, Kiev and Moscow signed the grain deal with the mediation of Turkey and the UN for the Black Sea ports to be used for exporting millions of tons of grain and fertilizers.
In the same context, Anadolu news agency reported on Monday that the Greek Ambassador to Ankara was summoned by the Turkish Foreign Ministry over Greece's continued violations and militarization in the Aegean islands.
Ankara also issued a diplomatic note of protest to the US regarding the supply of American weapons to the Greeks, according to Anadolu. It called on the US to respect the status of Eastern Aegean islands and to prevent the militarization of the Aegean islands.
Turkish authorities accused the Greeks of establishing a military presence in the islands of the Aegean Sea in violation, according to them, of two peace treaties signed after World Wars I and II.
Under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris, these islands were required to be demilitarized, hence any troops or weapons on the islands are absolutely prohibited.