Türkiye on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to “peace and stability in the Aegean,” while decrying Greece’s “expansionist and aggressive policies.”
“Unfortunately, our neighbor Greece continues its expansionist and aggressive policies with its provocative actions and discourse that fuels instability,” Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said at a press conference after a meeting with his counterparts from Georgia and Azerbaijan.
He said Türkiye remains open to dialogue, but will not allow any fait accompli on issues related to Cyprus or the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean seas.
He also denounced the recent intervention of Greek warplanes in a NATO training mission over the Aegean, saying such hostile steps are evidence of Athens’ arrogance and ignorance of NATO’s basic principles.
“We expect an impartial, objective, reasonable, and logical approach from our other NATO allies, especially the US, on this matter,” he added.
Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, including arming islands near Turkish shores that are demilitarized under treaty obligations. It says that such moves frustrate its good faith efforts for peace.
On the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye, Akar said Türkiye expects “positive and concrete steps” from the US.
Ankara has hailed Washington’s recent move to exclude certain restrictive conditions on the sale of F-16s from the final version of the US defense budget bill.
Ankara requested F-16s and modernization kits in October 2021. The $6 billion deal would include the sale of 40 jets, as well as modernization kits for 79 warplanes that the Turkish Air Force already has in its inventory.