Ankara expects its allies to be "objective" vis-a-vis Athens' actions against Türkiye, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar says.
Ankara will continue to respond to Athens' "impertinence," the Turkish defence chief has said, underlining Greece’s continued "provocations," "offensive actions" and "illegal acts" against Türkiye.
"We have always responded to this impertinence of Greece and we will continue to do so," Minister of National Defence, Hulusi Akar said on Friday at a military ceremony in the central province of Eskisehir.
Citing Greece's recent harassment of Turkish jets over the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean seas, Akar said the Turkish jets were engaged in a NATO mission.
"Starting on July 2, the [Turkish] mission notified its NATO allies about its activities; everyone knew about it," Akar said, adding that it was "impossible" that Athens did not know about the mission.
"Yet they intercepted our F-16s, which were carrying out their NATO duties. The reason: Greece claimed that 'We did not know that these were Turkish planes'," he added.
'Hostile and wrong'
Stressing that Greece's actions are "extremely hostile and wrong," Akar said: "NATO and third countries should also see Greece's actions."
"We have warned all of our allies about Greece. We expect them to be objective. They should know that Greece's actions and rhetoric [regarding Türkiye] are not in line with friendship or alliance," he continued.
Türkiye’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar criticises neighbour and fellow NATO member Greece for repeatedly harassing Turkish jets in international airspace pic.twitter.com/HuWBwNcIkS— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) August 29, 2022
Noting that Ankara closely follows Athens' actions that disregard international law, good neighbourly relations and friendship, the Turkish minister said: “As Türkiye, we continue our work not as a burden to NATO and our allies, but as a country that bears their burdens."
Türkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, saying such moves frustrate its good faith efforts for peace.
Since the beginning of 2022, Greek warplanes have violated Turkish airspace 256 times and harassed Turkish jets 158 times.
Greek coast guard boats also violated Turkish territorial waters 33 times.