Turkey, Middle East

Top Turkish defense officials visit soldiers at border province

National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, senior military officials visit Sirnak to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with soldiers on duty

Sarp Özer   | 13.05.2021
Top Turkish defense officials visit soldiers at border province

SIRNAK, Turkey

Turkey's National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar along with high-level military officials visited on Thursday southeastern Sirnak province to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with soldiers on duty at the country's border with Iraq.

Speaking to journalists, Akar said Turkey's Greek neighbors need to quit provocations, threatening language, false and inaccurate statements.

“Those who call Turkey 'expansionist' should look at the map between 1821 and 2020 ... these are extremely inaccurate statements, incompatible with good neighborly relations and international law, and are provocations,” he said.

“We expect our Greek neighbors to quit this tense and escalating language."

The defense minister said Turkey will continue to protect its rights, as well as those of Turkish Cypriots, in Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean.

“We are in favor of dialogue, law and good neighborly relations, but will never allow our rights to be violated," he said.

Turkey has always supported Turkish Cypriots and will continue to do so, he said, adding that there is no alternative but the recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as an independent and sovereign state.

“As the Republic of Turkey, we have done whatever needs to be done for this to happen, and we will continue to do so. In this context, we will fulfill whatever duty falls on the Turkish Armed Forces,” Akar said.

Turkey-Egypt relations

Akar also spoke on relations between Turkey and Egypt, saying improvement in bilateral ties will be beneficial for both the nations, which have deep-rooted history and common values.

“Especially the relations between Turkey-Libya-Egypt will bring benefits to all countries and parties. We hope all parties approach the issue with this understanding, and that our relations reach the level they should be, as soon as possible."

He also touched upon Turkey's purchase of S-400 missile system, saying it is for defense purposes and poses no threat to anyone.

*Writing by Busra Nur Cakmak

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