Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Sunday called Greek Minister of Defense Panos Kammenos a spoiled child in an ongoing debate between the two countries over the disputed islets of Kardak.
In response to a question from journalists in his hometown of Antalya regarding the latest remarks of the Greek minister that Turkey will never set foot on the Greek islands, Çavuşoğlu said that even the Greek government is uncomfortable with the minister and that he is considered the “spoiled child” of the cabinet.
“Are we going to manage a spoiled kid?” Çavuşoğlu asked as Kammenos had said earlier on Sunday to Greek media that if the Turks were to set foot on the Greek islands, they would flee.
Çavuşoğlu, however, said that the Greeks would know best what the Turkish soldiers could do when necessary. He urged the Greeks not to test Turkey’s patience.
The Turkish minister also called on Greece not to let a “spoiled child” cast a shadow over the rapprochement between the two nations.
In January, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar paid a surprise visit to Kardak at a time when relations between Turkey and Greece were strained due to Greece’s refusal to extradite Turkish officers who are accused of taking part in a failed coup attempt on July 15.
The Kardak islets, also known as Imia, lie just seven kilometers off the Turkish coast. Greece and Turkey, both members of NATO, have long disputed their sovereignty and in 1996 came close to war over the islets.