Deputy Prime Minister and Government spokesman Bekir Bozdağ said on Saturday that some Greek officials are trying to create tension between Athens and Ankara with provocative statements .
"Turkey has taken many positive steps to develop and strengthen its relations with Greece. Despite this, some incompetent politicians in Greece are trying to ruin Turkey-Greece ties," Bozdağ wrote on his Twitter account.
Previously, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos accused Turkey of taking hostage two Greek soldiers who are accused of trespassing into the Turkish borders, saying that he would go, get them and bring them to Greece back last week. Kammenos also threatened to deploy 7,000 soldiers to the Aegean islands and Turkish border region on April 5th, referring to the Kardak Islets crisis that ongoing since 1996.
Saying President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was "insane" last week and constantly offending Turkey, Kammenos was condemned by Turkish officials as well as his own cabinet to fueling tension between two countries.
"If they have the courage, they can dare to eye one inch of our territory. Greeks would unite and smash them," he said. Afterwards, he was criticized as not worthy to be the defense minister by Greek officials.
Speaking about the Kammenos' tough rhetoric, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that the defense minister's language is hampering efforts for soldiers' release. Tsipras is reportedly planning to meet with Kammenos after Easter break to ask him to tone down his rhetoric.
Tsipras has demanded the release of the soldiers saying that they should not be "pawns to blackmail" in a written statement on Saturday. "Human life and human freedom are not, and should not be, pawns to power games and blackmail," he said. Accusing Turkey of having no reason to hold the two in jail, the soldiers are on trial for military espionage because reportedly "military sketches" were found in USB sticks carried by the soldiers.
Deputy PM Bozdağ said that Greek soldiers that are imprisoned in Turkey are not subject to a swap on Sunday. Previously, Turkey's reiterated demands to return of the eight Turkish soldiers who fled the country after 15th July 2016 coup attempt, refused by Greece. President Erdoğan slammed Greece and European Union for ignoring Turkish concerns but worrying for Greek soldiers.
On the other hand, the Greek-Turkish conflict has had broad repercussions in German media, underlining that Greece is in the wrong way and has no chance against Turkey. Frankfurter Rundschau, a German newspaper, noted that the tension between two countries has risen in a dangerous way, and that situation could lead to an "unwanted accident" in the Aegean.
"Entering into an arms race with Turkey is the last thing Greece may need. Because defense spending is considered one of the reasons for the financial crisis after the country slowly cured itself from one," said German daily reports.
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