Greece making all kinds of provocative attempts to escalate tensions, says Turkish Defense Ministry.
ANKARA Greece violated Turkish airspace 42 times and maritime limits seven times in October, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
There were also 15 incidents of aircraft being harassed last month and Greek navy ships paid 192 visits to demilitarized islands in violation of international agreements, ministry spokeswoman Maj. Pinar Kara said at a news briefing.
“Although we [Turkey] have always shown that we respect the boundaries and rights of our neighbors, and we stand for peace, friendship, good neighborly relations, and cooperation, Greece continues to increase tensions,” she said.
Greece is making “all kinds of provocative attempts to escalate tensions,” such as declaring an exercise area in the Northern Aegean that includes the demilitarized island of Samothrace, contrary to international agreements, Kara added.
The Turkish Armed Forces will continue to protect the rights and interests of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, the official asserted.
The Turkish Armed Forces continue to be a guarantor of peace and security in Cyprus, in line with international guarantees and agreements, she added.
‘Over 1,000 terrorists neutralized in 2020’
Turkish forces neutralized 98 terrorists last month, raising the total this year to 1,031, Kara said.
A total of 19 operations -- three on a large scale and 16 medium ones -- were carried out this year to restrict entry of YPG/PKK terrorists into Turkey and to prevent them from hiding out on our soil or abroad, she added.
Turkish forces destroyed 124 weapons positions, shelters, caves, depots, and 105 improvised explosive devices used by terrorists, according to the spokeswoman.
As many as 8,165 people were arrested and 47,727 were prevented from illegally crossing Turkey’s borders in October.
There were 32 terrorists among these individuals, Kara said.
Turkish authorities use the term “neutralize” to imply the terrorists in question surrendered or were killed or captured.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US, and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
‘Closely monitoring Libya’
Ankara is closely monitoring ongoing efforts for a political solution in Libya meeting, Kara said.
Turkey continues to train personnel of the Libyan Armed Forces in Turkey and Libya, according to the spokeswoman.
"Our only goal is to contribute to the formation of a Libya that has ensured its territorial integrity and political unity, and lives in peace, tranquility and stability," she said.