Vice President Fuat Oktay criticized the provocative photo of Greece’s military chief on a demilitarized island in the Aegean Sea, saying that Ankara would do whatever is necessary.
“Türkiye allows no such photos and will do what’s necessary,” said Fuat Oktay in an interview with a Turkish YouTube channel, referring to the photo by Greek Chief of General Staff Gen. Konstantinos Floros on the island of Keçi (Pserimos), 8 kilometers (about 5 miles) southwest of Türkiye’s Bodrum peninsula.
Citing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s oft-repeated warning that Türkiye could “come suddenly one night,” Oktay said Ankara’s words were not “empty” and that it would do “as it says.”
The Turkish vice president also noted that Türkiye was on track to become an energy hub thanks to its relations with other countries, adding that “credibility is required for both international relations and diplomacy,” he added.
After talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Erdoğan announced that Ankara and Moscow would work together on building a natural gas hub in Thrace after a proposal from Russia.
Türkiye and Greece are at odds over a number of issues, including competing claims over jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean, overlapping claims over their continental shelves, maritime boundaries, airspace, energy, the ethnically split island of Cyprus, the status of the islands in the Aegean Sea and migrants.
Türkiye, a vital NATO member for over 70 years, has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region, including arming islands near Turkish shores that are demilitarized under treaties, saying that such moves frustrate its good faith efforts for peace. Ankara accuses Athens of illegally militarizing Greek islands in the East Aegean and questions Greece’s sovereignty over them. There is also a dispute over the exploitation of mineral resources in the Aegean.
Turkish military drones also recorded the deployment of Greek armored vehicles on the islands of Lesbos and Samos, which Ankara maintains is in violation of international law. Following the incident, Ankara lodged a protest with the United States and Greece over the unlawful deployment of armored vehicles on Aegean islands with nonmilitary status.
Türkiye summoned the Greek ambassador and called for an end to violations on Aegean islands and restoring their nonmilitary status.