Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stressed Monday that his country’s forces will not be lenient in responding to any harassment of them.
This came in his statements during an event at the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense in the capital, Ankara, commenting on the exposure of Turkish fighter jets to the harassment of the Greek S-300 air defense system while carrying out their missions in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.
Akar said that Greece, which he described as a “bad neighbor”, is harassing in the Aegean Sea (with Turkish forces) in different ways.
He continued, “I would like to clarify once again that our land, sea and air forces do not and will not be lenient in responding to any harassment of them.”
He explained that Greece is arming the Aegean islands in contravention of the Lausanne and Paris treaties.
On August 23, he reported, Greece harassed Turkish fighters with the S-300 system while carrying out missions within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Akar stressed the need to unveil what the “bad neighbor” is doing, adding: “This amount of recklessness and public arrogance cannot be accepted.”
Regarding Greece’s statements that its systems did not recognize the Turkish fighters, Akar said that the flight plans were previously shared with the concerned parties.
And he added: “Despite the clarity of the matter to this degree, the bad neighbor resorted to lying and denial.”
In a related context, the Minister of Defense criticized the differing positions regarding the acquisition of the aforementioned air defense system by Turkey and Greece.
And yesterday, Sunday, sources in the Turkish Ministry of Defense revealed that its fighters were harassed by the S-300 air defense system of Greece while it was carrying out missions in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.
The sources reported that the accident occurred on August 23, while the fighters were flying in international airspace over the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean.
She pointed out that the Greek side harassed Turkish F-16 fighters by tracking them with the radar of the “S-300” system installed on the island of Crete.
She pointed out that the Turkish fighters continued their missions as planned, despite the harassment, and returned to their bases safely.