On Wednesday, during his visit to Davos at the World Economic Forum, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis vowed to defend his country’s sovereignty in the face of Turkey’s mounting revisionism.
In a discussion with President of the Forum Borge Brende he sent a strong message to Turkey in the wake of recent statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Responding to a question regarding Erdogan’s reaction and relations with Turkey, Mitsotakis said:
“…we are [neighbors with Turkey], we always need to talk, and we always want to keep channels of communication open. We are never going to be the ones who will not talk with our [neighbors].”
The Greek PM also added that: “On the other hand, if President Erdogan thinks that I will not defend the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Greece and I will not make the case to the international audience that Turkey is behaving as a revisionist power, then he’s wrong.”
Mitsotakis: Turkey’s overflights “completely unacceptable”
Mitsotakis went on to refer to his meeting with Erdogan and the fact that this was followed a month later by an unprecedented number of overflights by Turkish military planes over Greek islands.
Stressing that this behavior was “completely unacceptable,” Mitsotakis said that he “will raise this issue whenever I can until Turkey changes its behavior.”
On Monday, Erdogan said he has no intention of ever meeting with Mitsotakis again following the latter’s criticism of Turkey during his recent visit to the United States.
Greece responded on Tuesday by saying that it does not intend to be dragged into an escalation with Turkey.
Speaking to Skai Radio Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias said Athens would not be drawn into escalation. “We have our own position. We won’t be drawn into an escalation…If we do it, will be because the Greek government has decided to do so.”
Dendias said that Greece wants dialogue with Turkey, however, but added that this is not possible when Turkish fighter jets are conducting overflights over Greek airspace.
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