ANKARA, October 6 – Novosti. Turkey will continue to oppose the transfer of Greek armored vehicles to the Aegean Islands, which have a non-military status, said Minister of National Defense Hulusi Akar.
“We will not retreat a single step, not a millimeter, both on the ground and at the negotiating table,” he said during a speech at the National Defense University in Ankara, his words are quoted by the Anadolu agency.
According to Akar, the Turkish side is taking all measures to prevent Athens ‘ plans to militarize the islands.
“The Turkish Navy and Air Force have been given clear instructions in this regard. Regardless of who is behind them (Greece – ed.), We are determined to do everything necessary,” he warned.
At the same time, the minister noted that Ankara still stands for a peaceful settlement of differences in the Aegean Sea. “We strive to ensure that the wealth of the Aegean Sea is fairly distributed within the framework of international law and good neighborly relations,” he said.
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The Minister also assured that the Turkish military has taken all necessary precautions and is ready to rebuff “any provocations of the Greek Cypriot side” against the backdrop of Washington’s recent decision to lift the arms embargo against the Greek administration of Southern Cyprus.
NATO allies Greece and Turkey have repeatedly found themselves on the brink of armed conflict due to territorial disputes. Ankara accuses Athens of violating the Lausanne (1923) and Paris (1947) treaties and the militarization of the Aegean Islands. Turkey insists that Greece is losing sovereignty over them in this way, and the Greek side emphasizes that it is defending itself, since its opponent keeps numerous landing craft on the west coast
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened the neighboring country with dire consequences if it escalated further, recalling the massacre in Smyrna (modern-day Izmir ) from a century ago.