Greek Defence Minister to Turkey: We will respond militarily, if provoked

Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said Greece would respond to any Turkish provocations by all means necessary, “even militarily”.

What is under threat will not be de-militarised”, he said reacting to his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar’s claims that 16 Greek islands in the Aegean Sea have been illegally armed and should be de-militarised.

Greece does not provoke, nor does it violate the sovereign rights of others, but does not like to be provoked and have its own rights violated”, he said, adding that the Greek armed forces were powerful to defend the country. .

He noted that “Turkey has never shown similar provocative behaviour in the recent past”, noting that all of these challenges “are methodically intensifying and are based on a system”.

Mr Panagiotopoulos added that “if we need to respond, if we think our red lines have been crossed, that means we are examining all scenarios, even that of military involvement.”