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Turkey calls on NATO to urge Greece to put an end to its ‘arrogance’

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Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has called on NATO to urge Greece to put a stop to its “arrogance” amid ongoing tensions between the two countries, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Akar accused Greece of harassing Turkish jets participating in NATO exercises and said that its “hostile attitude” shows a disregard for the basic principles and values of NATO.

In recent months, Turkey has complained of provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region, including the arming of demilitarized islands near Turkish shores.

Turkey and Greece are bitter rivals involved in contentious geographic disputes, including exploration for natural gas off the divided island of Cyprus and the Dodecanese — a group of islands off the Turkish coast that were ceded to Greece by Italy following World War II. They mobilized their navies and warplanes in opposition to one another in the Mediterranean in 2020.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has recently said that Turkey could hit Athens with missiles if Greece continues to arm the Aegean islands. He has lately accused Greece of “occupying” Aegean islands and equipping them with weapons and aircraft purchased from the United States.

In response, Athens accuses Turkey of conducting hundreds of illegal military sorties over the islands.

In September, the United States said Greek sovereignty was not in doubt after Turkey lodged a protest over the deployment of Greek armored vehicles on the islands of Lesbos and Samos.

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