Defense minister warns Greece not to test Turkey’s patience

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Greece should refrain from testing Turkey’s patience with provocations, including with a threat to extend its territorial waters in the Aegean, Turkey’s defense minister warned.

Speaking to a group of journalists in Ankara, Hulusi Akar also said Turkey wanted to resolve disputes with neighbour and fellow NATO member Greece through dialogue and turn the Aegean into a “sea of friendship” but accused Athens of pressing ahead with what he said were provocative actions, including militarizing islands close to mainland Turkey, in breach of international agreements.

“They (Greece) should not miscalculate and think it’s the right time (to extend the territorial waters to) 12 miles,” Akar said. “They should not test us in any way, and should not embark on such an adventure. I hope they don’t make such a mistake.”

He added: “Let the two sides benefit from the riches, let both the Turkish people and the Greek people live happily and prosperously.”

Photo – Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

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