TURKEY

Greece violates international law by arming Aegean islands, Defense Minister Akar says

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Saturday urged Greece to take the necessary measures to adhere to the demilitarized status of the Aegean islands, as stipulated by international law and treaties.

Greece violates international law by arming Aegean islands, which were placed under demilitarized status, Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Saturday.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency following a meeting at his office, Hulusi Akar also called on his Greek counterpart to take necessary steps in this regard.

"Greece violates international law, treaties by arming Aegean islands," which are under demilitarized status, he added.

The Turkish minister also stated that Athens "should end its violations that are contrary to treaties and incompatible with friendship and good neighborly relations."

"The demilitarized status of these islands should be protected and continued."

He underlined that Turkey is in favor to solve problems in the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea and the disputed island of Cyprus by peaceful means as Ankara is always respectful to international treaties.

"We are in favor of good neighborly relations. We expect all our neighbors to behave in the same way."

Akar urged his Greek counterpart to take necessary measures "on this and other issues under the framework of sincere, constructive and good" bilateral relations.

He also reiterated Turkey's determined stance to protect its rights and interest.

A decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Aegean islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict in 1996.

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