New barrage of Turkish accusations

Ankara upped the ante with Athens again on Wednesday, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu employing harsh rhetoric while announcing that Turkey has prepared new letters of complaint against Greece that it plans to send to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and to the European Union.

“They lie and slander without shame. They feel politically obliged to attack Turkey every day,” Cavusoglu said in comments to Turkish broadcaster TV 100, going back on the offensive against Athens.

“It has become an obsession with them to moan about Turkey and to make accusations against it,” he said, adding that Ankara makes a point of giving regular updates about the “lies and slander” to the international community.

Cavusoglu also lashed out at Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, saying that the sole purpose of his trip to Washington last May was “to accuse Turkey,” while also charging the Greek authorities with “supporting terrorism.”

On the subject of the United States and specifically on efforts by some member of Congress to block the sale of F-16 fighter jets and upgrade kits to Turkey, Cavusoglu indicated Ankara’s reluctance to accept certain terms being attached to any such deal.

“Even though it would not be binding, such a decision by Congress would be a mistake. We want the F-16s and the discussions are going well, but we will not agree to a process that ties our hands,” said the Turkish official.

Cavusoglu also indicated that the letters which will be sent to the UN and EU seek to challenge Greece’s territorial waters and national airspace.

He further reiterated Ankara’s claims that Greece must demilitarize several islands in the eastern Aegean. Turkey claims that if these islands of are not demilitarized, Greece’s sovereignty over them will be disputed.

He even went on to accuse Greece of harboring terrorists.

“We used to talk about the United States. But does the FETO organization exist in Greece? Yes,” he said, referring to the movement of exiled imam Fethullah Gulen.

“Are there training centers for the PKK and the DHKP-C? Yes,” he added, in reference to the Kurdish separatist movements that Turkey has labeled terrorist organizations.