Last Update: 21:09
On Saturday morning, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNN Turk that the blame for the escalating war of words between Turkey and Greece lays in the hands of the Greek Defense Minister, Panos Kammenos for making “provocative” comments.
“That defense minister of that racist party is provoking,” Cavusoglu claimed on CNN Turk, while patting the Turkish military on the back saying that thanks to the calm demeanor of the Turkish armed forces, further escalation such as an “accident” in the southeastern Aegean over the Imia islets has not occurred.
“We don’t want (an accident) and we have many times warned,” Cavusoglu said during the interview.
Just over a week ago tensions rose to new heights between the two countries as Kammenos responded to Cavusoglu’s threat that Turkey could set foot on the Imia isles whenever desired. He said, “there is no way Cavusoglu can step onto a Greek island. If they want to they can see. I’ll see how they will get off the island if they set foot there.”
The threats by Turkey regarding the Imia isles is a part of the irredentist rhetoric of the Turkish government which claims that dozens of Greek islands are in fact Turkish property, including Imia.
Back in December 2016 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke in front of his country’s national assembly stating claims specifically to the Greek islands of Imia, a pair of two small uninhabited islets in the Aegean Sea, saying, “There is no change in our policy regarding Imia. Imia is Turkish land.”
Turkey’s claims to Greece’s Imia Isle have previously led the two countries to disputes which came extremely close to an outbreak of military forces in both 1987 and as recently as 1996.