Nikolaos Stelya / DUVAR
Turkey's National Security Council said on Sept. 28 that "Turkey will not refrain from utilizing legitimate methods to protect its national interests in the face of Greece’s increasingly provocative actions."
The council urged all “actors encouraging Greece to arm islands that have non-military status…to exercise common sense,” according to a statement released after a four-hour meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the capital Ankara.
Noting that the recent "increased provocative actions" by Greece were addressed in detail, the council emphasized that Turkey will not refrain from "using all kinds of legitimate methods and tools with the aim of protecting the rights and interests" of its nation.
The council also criticized the U.S. for its recent move to lift an arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot administration, saying the decision was “contrary to the spirit of alliance” and should be revoked, Anadolu Agency reported.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said regarding the latest developments, "Problems will be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. This is the demand of our peoples, and it is wrong and a big mistake for some to try to poison the public opinion by discovering non-existent enemies,” CNN Greece reported.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said “Greece faces daily threats from our neighbor Turkey,” during a meeting with former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Dendias said the statement from the Turkish National Security Council might indirectly mean that Turkey acknowledges that it must respect international law.
On the other hand, Greek government spokesperson Ioannis Oikonomou said "We are constantly monitoring the hysterical rhetoric from the Turkish side, aimed at infuriating us," according to reporting by Newsit.
"We cannot ignore the fact that Turkey has fallen into hysteria and is distorting the facts of international law. We remain calm and have the capacity to deal with any challenge," Oikonomou added.
Ethnos newspaper also published a review article on the relationship between Greece and Turkey, written by academician Fanis Tsoulouhas.
In the article titled "National issues are important in elections not only in Turkey but also in Greece," Tsoulouhas said Greece has been compromising Turkey to avoid war, but it reached to a point that it makes Turkey more aggressive.
"Erdoğan will provoke a hot incident claiming that Greece is occupying islands in order to win the elections. Alternatively, he can do it to declare a state of emergency to cancel or postpone the elections. Erdoğan cannot rely on the economy to win the elections because he made (Turkey's) economy like this himself. Greece has been trying to appease Ankara (so far) to avoid war with Turkey. But while trying to appease Turkey, it has made room for Turkey to be more aggressive. Now Turkish drones, planes and ships, even Turkish fishing boats wander around the Aegean day and night,” he said.
"All politicians should understand that elections are not won only by subsidies financed by tourism and economy and future taxes. Voters are also concerned with national issues. Not only in Turkey but also in Greece. Because it is very, very soul-wearing to allow the 'Turks' to wreak havoc,” Tsoulouhas concluded.
(English version by Alperen Şen)