Mitsotakis says he does not believe in the worst-case scenario for Greece-Turkey relations
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis does not believe in a “worst-case scenario” for Greece-Turkey relations and an armed conflict over the statements of the Turkish leadership.
“No, I do not believe that we will have a ‘hot episode’ (with the use of weapons – ed.). I am concerned about Turkey’s increased rhetoric. I urge Turkey to realize that turning foreign policy into a tool for internal partisan use is not the right strategy,” Mitsotakis said at a press conference in the city of Alexandroupolis in northern Greece, when asked if a “worst-case scenario” in bilateral relations is possible.
According to him, Greece is ready to sit down at the negotiating table and, taking into account international law, solve “the only disagreement” with Turkey, which concerns the delimitation of maritime zones in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean.
“I hope we’ve seen a crescendo of rhetoric with all the things they said they would ‘come one night to Greece,’ and now the tone will be lowered,” Mitsotakis said.
“But by no means will Greece accept instructions on how to exercise its sovereignty and its sovereign rights. It is clear that it needs to strengthen its armed forces as well as containment projects like the fence on the Evros border. The fence that has already been built has been very effective,” he said.
Turkey’s top leadership warned Greece against expanding its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. Commenting on Greek media reports that Greek territorial waters will be expanded to 12 miles around Crete, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Ankara will not allow Greece to expand its waters even by one mile in the Aegean Sea. Turkish Foreign Minister, referring to Ankara’s casus belli, stated that the 1995 decision of the Turkish Parliament on the issue is clear and remains in force. Turkey has previously stated that it will consider the expansion of Greek waters as a reason for war.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan stated several times that “the Turks may come suddenly at night” if Greek provocations continue.
At the same time, Erdogan has refused to communicate with Mitsotakis since May 2022. The Turkish president said that the Greek prime minister violated the agreements reached at their meeting in March and that there was no longer any politician like Mitsotakis for him. According to him, Turkey cooperates with honest politicians who keep their promise.