Türkİye, Europe

Türkiye has legitimate concerns on terrorism by Kurdish groups: Greece

Greek prime minister says Türkiye has 'paid a heavy price' to terrorism, calls for talks to resolve bilateral issues

Magda Panoutsopoulou   | 30.06.2022
Türkiye has legitimate concerns on terrorism by Kurdish groups: Greece Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ( Hazem Turkia - Anadolu Agency )


Having “paid a heavy price,” Türkiye has legitimate concerns on terrorism by Kurdish groups, the Greek prime minister said on Thursday. 

“Türkiye has some reasonable concerns when it comes to the issue of terrorism perpetrated by Kurdish organizations. Türkiye has paid a heavy price for such terrorist acts,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at a press conference at the NATO summit in Madrid.

“This is something we have no difficulty recognizing,” he said, replying to a question about Ankara’s trilateral memorandum with Sweden and Finland.

Signed on Tuesday after talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and leaders of the two Nordic countries and NATO, the agreement opened the path for the alliance to officially invite Finland and Sweden to join its ranks.

The two countries have pledged to address Türkiye’s terrorism concerns and lift an arms embargo on Ankara.

It also states that Finland and Sweden will work closely with Türkiye on issues related to exchange of information, extradition and, in general, the fight against terrorism.

On bilateral ties, Mitsotakis said Greece and Türkiye must keep talking to resolve their issues in a “civilized manner.”

“We must meet, we must talk,” he said, referring to Erdogan.

“We must deal with our differences in a civilized manner, in a framework of good neighborly relations and with international law as the sole point of reference. There is no other framework on which we can rely to resolve our differences.”

Türkiye did not raise any issues against Greece during the summit, according to Mitsotakis.

However, he clarified that all members were told that the Ukraine crisis was the main focus for the summit, and there was no space for other discussions that could possibly destabilize the alliance on another front.  

F-35s from US

The Greek premier’s office confirmed on Thursday that Athens has sent an official request to the US to buy 20 F-35s, a combat aircraft made by American defense firm Lockheed Martin.

In Madrid, Mitsotakis said Greece intends to “acquire a squadron of F-35s, with a possible option for a second one.”

“Sending a Letter of Request (LoR) which has happened in the past few days is part of this process,” he said, adding that this is the first of multiple steps for a deal.

Greece expects the delivery of the planes to start in 2027-2028, said the prime minister.

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