Tensions have continued to rise after a Turkish patrol boat rammed a Greek Coast Guard patrol boat near the Imia islets last week.
In response to the incident, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias appeared on Alpha TV on Friday and stated that Greece would show “no peaceful behaviour” to Turkey.
“The Turks ought to hear that, as they keep speaking of warnings and warnings. I have told them that Greece – and I’m saying this in the positive sense for the following countries and with regards to Turkey’s behaviour – is neither Syria nor Iraq. We are a strong state with good defence, good defensive systems, good allies and high diplomatic capacity,” he said.
It didn’t take long for Turkey to respond to the comments, with Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy expressing concerns over the stance as “worrisome”. He went on to cite a phone call that took place between the two countries’ prime ministers last week, during which they discussed pursuing confidence-building measures to lower tensions in the Aegean.
“In this framework, we once again stress that our country support the de-escalation of tensions in the Aegean Sea,” Mr Aksoy said in a statement.
“But, unfortunately, it seems that [the] Greek Foreign Minister has adopted an approach that is non peaceful, crosses the line, and far from the responsibility required by his political position.”
He went on to encourage Mr Kotzias to be sensible and to adhere to the common goals discussed by the PMs.
Meanwhile, during his appearance on Alpha TV, the Greek Foreign Minister revealed that he has asked his ministry’s legal service to examine the possibility of seeking compensation from Turkey for damages to the coast guard vessel.