War of words between Ankara, Athens as Turkish provocations at Evros border continue
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy – ignoring the fact that Turkey is busing and pushing thousands of migrants to break through the Greek border and not letting them return to Istanbul – blasted Greece for alleged violations of international law.
With tear-gas toting migrants throwing gases supplied by Ankara and using a Turkish armoured vehicle to tear down the wire fences Greece has set up at the borders and Greek police and military forces deployed on the Greek side of the Greek-Turkish border using tear gas to fend off constant attempts of migrants to cross the border, the Greek foreigtn ministry issued a stern response to Ankara’s regular use of the term Nazis to describe Greek authorities’ closure of the country’s borders and the decisive measures to keep any and all migrants to cross into Greece.
Greek foreign ministry spokesman Alexandros Gennimatas reiterated the accusations of the government and some EU leaders that Turkey is using migrants as a battering ram to dismantle Europe’s borders.
He scoffed at Ankara’s charges of a disregard on Greece’s part of migrants’ rights and of violence against migrants, denying and dismissing the allegations as crocodile tears and condemning Ankara’s use of the word Nazis to describe Greek authorities as an affront to the millions of victims of the Holocaust.
The full text of Gennimatas’ response was as follows:
“The country that for the first time in history used migrants as a battering ram against other countries, is not entitled to invoke justice and human rights. After all, Turkey’s performance in these areas is well known.
“What is more, its choice to -repeatedly- disrespect the victims of the Holocaust iis absolutely unacceptable.
“We are, by now, accustomed to Turkey’s cynical violation of every rule and law, whether they be the Rule of Law, human rights, Democracy or good neighborly relations in its immediate vicinity and the wider region.
“Proof of the above is documented on a yearly basis in the relative EU reports and in those of international organizations, among others.
“Crocodile tears do not convince anyone.
We recommend self-awareness.”
Turkey: Greece violates international law, wrong on Libya-Turkey EEZ deal
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy – ignoring the fact that Turkey is busing and pushing thousands of migrants to break through the Greek border and not letting them return to Istanbul – blasted Greece for alleged violations of international law and denounced Foreign Minister Nikos’ Dendias statements about the illegality of the Libya-Turkey EEZ delimitations (their maritime borders do not meet).
The full text of Aksoy’s statements follows:
‘The statements of 14 March by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Dendias on the social media are concrete evidences of the inconsistent, double-standard, illegal and inhumane policies pursued by this country.
“Greece does not protect the borders of the European Union, to the contrary, disgracefully tramples on the very principles and values this Union was built upon, by treating the asylum seekers coming to its gates as enemies instead of human beings, by using gas, bullets and pesticides on them without sparing women and children, by forcing the refugees who entered the Greek territory back to Turkey half-naked, taking their money and belongings which remind the practices of Nazis.
“:Greece is violating all of the legal instruments such as European Convention on Human Rights, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and UN Convention Against Torture simultaneously, disregarding international law, human rights and European values, on which it keeps harping on. The basic principles regarding the protection of refugees and asylum seekers should not differ according to daily needs of our neighbor. None of what takes place at Meriç befits humanity and neighbourliness.
Besides, Minister Dendias seems to have completely forgotten the acts and statements of his country when North Macedonia closed its borders to asylum seekers four years ago.
The attempts of Greece, who does not seem to be able to approach problems with a comprehensive and humanitarian point of view, to abuse the EU and asylum seekers as tools for its short-term political interests are the main source of the problems in our region.
On the other hand, Minister Dendias errs also on the Libya issue. Because Greece, with its maximalist maritime jurisdiction area claims that are contrary to international law, did not only violate Turkey’s rights, but also those of Libya. The memoranda of understanding that we reached with Libya’s legitimate Government do not represent merely the interests of a certain group, but of all Libyan people. If Greece would like to bring up a point, she should do so around a table with Turkey and Libya’s legitimate Government, instead of bad-mouthing.
While identifying the Greek minority in Albania as the Greek National Minority, it is also hypocritical that Greece does not call the Turkish minority in Greece, Turkish. Minister Dendias seems to have forgotten that the European Court of Human Rights has found multiple violations by Greece in this regard.
Our desire is to be able to find rationalist and common solutions to all the challenges in our region within a framework of good neighbourly relations and cooperation, without resorting to blame-games.