Greece should not be provoked by others against Turkey, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Tuesday.
Underlining that Turkey has always believed in a peaceful solution in compliance with international law and good neighbor relations, he noted that Ankara favors dialogue with Athens.
Akar made the remarks while speaking to the press following a meeting with Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze and Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov.
Referring to a recent incident in which the Greek research vessel Nautical Geo was intercepted while trying to violate the Turkish continental shelf, Akar stressed that Greece continues to engage in provocations and violations despite Turkey’s warnings.
Although Turkey favors dialogue and a peaceful solution, it will not allow its rights and those of Turkish Cypriots to be violated, he said, noting that any fait accompli would not be tolerated by Turkey.
Also commenting on recent big-ticket arms purchases by Greece, Akar reiterated that Greece should not allow some countries to provoke it against Turkey, noting that such actions would not benefit Greece.
Turkey has never been a threat to any party but on the contrary always a credible, strong and efficient ally, Akar concluded.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that the excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region – including maritime disputes – through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations.