Turkish opposition MHP chairman slams Greece over islets

ANADOLU AGENCY
ANKARA
Published

The leader of Turkey's opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has called on the Greek people to show "tactless" lawmakers, whom he accused of ignoring neighborly values, "their place."

Speaking at the party's group meeting yesterday, Devlet Bahçeli harshly criticized the Greece's Defense Minister Panos Kammenos's recent remarks on the Kardak islets in the Aegean Sea. "The Greek people should warn their administration and show the tactless politicians who ignore neighborly values," he said. Kammenos Friday claimed that Turkey was trying "to escalate the crisis" over the Kardak islets, warning against setting foot on them and said Greek forces were ready for "any contingency."

In reply, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Sunday said that while Ankara places importance on relations with Athens, "Greece should not allow a spoiled child to cast a shadow over this," apparently referring to Kammenos. "They should not try our patience," he said. MHP leader Bahçeli, on Tuesday, lauded Çavuşoğlu's reply as a "good" response. The decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Kardak islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict in 1996 and has led to renewed tensions this year. On Jan. 29, Turkish military Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar visited the waters near the islets. In a retaliatory measure, three days later, Kammenos flew over them.

Bahçeli also commented on recent tensions between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot administration over controversial legislation to commemorate the Enosis referendum of 1950.

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