Greece and Turkey have both deployed naval and air forces, asserting their competing claims over oil-and-gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Monday made a statement that, “”The Turkish leadership is unleashing, on a near-daily basis, threats of war and makes provocative statements against Greece”. He went on to state that, “We respond with political, diplomatic and operational readiness, determined to do whatever is necessary to protect our sovereign rights.”
“We are in contact with friendly countries in order to reinforce the equipment of our armed forces.”
The Greek media is reporting the acquisitions may include French-made “Rafale” fighter jets and at least one French frigate. Petsas said Mitsotakis would be meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday on the sidelines of a meeting in Corsica of European Union Mediterranean countries. (Aljazeera)
On the other hand, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cautioned Greece to enter discussions regarding the disputed territorial claims or face dire consequences.
“They’re either going to understand the language of politics and diplomacy, or in the field with painful experiences,” he said.
Near-war tensions between the two nations have been ongoing since the 1970s. The current dispute reportedly escalated when Turkey sent seismic research vessel Oruc Reis, accompanied by warships, to prospect for oil-and-gas reserves in an area between Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete that Athens claims as its own continental shelf. (Aljazeera)
European Union leaders say they will decide on how to deal with Turkey when they convene later this month (September 24-25), which may possibly include sanctions against Ankara.