After the end of the NATO Summit, Kyriakos Mitsotakis gave a press conference focusing on Greek-Turkish relations and the war in Ukraine.
Speaking about Greek-Turkish relations, the Prime Minister noted that Turkey did not raise any issue against Greece in any of the discussions that took place.
White House directly admonishes Turkey
The Prime Minister stressed that in its message the White House made it clear that tensions in the Aegean and Syria must be avoided, which in his opinion was a direct admonition to Turkey to refrain from exacerbating tensions. At the same time, the PM noted that at no time did Turkey take up issues it has raised in inflammatory rhetoric before the Summit, but was waiting to see if the same will continue inside Turkey.
When asked about the “Mitsotakis is finished [for me]” that Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a while ago, the prime minister noted that Mr. Erdogan has said such things in the past, but noted that the only way to deal with thngs was with civility and dialogue, in the context of international law.
It would be of no benefit to Turkey to insist on its veto
Although the Greek PM recognized validity in Turkey’s apprehensions over what it considers terrorism (which it used to stall its position on Finnish and Swedish accession to NATO) he noted that “it would not benefit Turkey to insist on its veto.”
As for Turkaegean trademark given by the EU Intellectual Property Office, Kyriakos Mitsotakis simply said that “the government will react,” adding that there were responsibilities for this oversight by Greek officials and responsibilities will be attributed. Mr. Mitsotakis, however, downplayed the results of the Turkish marketing ploy as yielding very poor results.
Greece’s job is to strengthen its deterrence
Regarding the F-16s that Turkey is requesting from the USA, Mr. Mitsotakis said that what Greece has to do is to strengthen its deterrence capabilities, which it has done by proceeding with procurements of state of the art equipment for the Armed Forces over the last three years. The PM also opined that the process for the acquisition of F-16s will be long and arduous and requires the approval of the US Senate.
He concluded by saying that “a completely isolated Turkey is not in Greece’s interest. “We do not want a Turkey that does not talk.”