Qa-17, 14 March 2020, Statement Of The Spokesperson Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, In Response To A Question Regarding The Statements Of The Minister Of Foreign Affairs Of Greece Nikos Dendias On Social Media

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 15.03.2020

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.

Hakan Çakıl Ambassador
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