There is no end to the provocative statements of Turkish government officials regarding Greek-Turkish relations.
According to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, the Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay stated that “Greece wants to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles. If this is not a reason for war, then what is?” he wondered.
#BREAKING ‘If Athens’ attempt to expand its territorial waters isn’t a cause of war, then what is?’ asks Turkish vice president
— ANADOLU AGENCY (ENG) (@anadoluagency) August 29, 2020
Oktay also sent a message to Europe, saying “do not expect Ankara to retreat” and that “we will not give up our rights in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean”.
The Greek reaction
The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded immediately with a press release.
Turkey’s unprecedented percept that it may threaten its neighbouring countries with use of force when they exercise their legitimate rights runs counter to modern political culture and to fundamental principles of International Law.
We call upon Turkey to understand that International Law and the values upon which contemporary international order is built, are binding on all states in the world. They cannot be applied selectively, and it is the responsibility of the international community to defend them, as their violation marks grave dangers.
Turkey is bound, inter alia, by Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations. If it believes otherwise, it should declare so.
In any event, we remind Turkey that the exercise by Greece of its sovereignty is not subject to any kind of Turkish veto.
The Greek-Turkish relations are hanging on a thread with Turkey continuing its provocative stance.
On Friday night, Ankara issued a new NAVTEX, booking an area between Rhodes and Cyprus for conduct real fire exercises. It is noted that the duration of the new NAVTEX is from today the August 29th until September 11th.
“The Turkish Armed Forces are ready to act,” writes Yeni Safak
Continuing its extreme rhetoric, the pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reports in its article today that the Turkish Armed Forces have the mandate to act without asking for specific orders from Ankara.
Specifically, as reported: “The Turkish Armed Forces are prepared for any eventuality, even for a conflict. That is why the commanders of the Navy have been instructed to respond to possible challenges, without asking Ankara”.