Armed Forces Activities

14/02/2018 11:58:27

Alternate Minister Dimitris Vitsas Interviewed on “STO KOKKINO” Radio Station


    The Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas in the context of an interview on ‘’STO KOKKINO’’ radio station, on February 14 2018, stated the following:

    On the Turkish provocativeness at Imia islets:

    This is an important issue.  There is no need to exaggerate or to downgrade its importance ; what is needed more than anything is composure and temperance, not vociferations leading nowhere.  Vociferations and ulalumes come mainly from the part of our neighbouring country.  We are processing scenarios including the fact that an incident of such a kind could occur,  taking into consideration the likelihood that the operations conducted by Turkey in Afrin will not work out as expected, so in its effort to alleviate  the internal situation, as well as its external policy problems, with words and deeds which could turn attention to an other direction. In this sense, the Armed Forces and the Coast Guard have clear orders concerning both the protection of our borders and  the monitoring of the situation showing composure and temperance.

    On whether or not the escalation of violations could trigger a more serious incident:

    Let us clarify an issue the listeners have often heard of, but they may not be exactly realizing  it.  When we say that we have had 52 FIR violations,  this does not mean that 52 airplanes passed through our airspace, but that some airplanes, it may be one, two or even three, violated the Greek borderline. The second important issue is that Turkey, at present, reacts concerning both its internal matters due to nationalism and its external policy in a nervous,  not-historically based and simultaneously unacceptable behaviour in respect to international conventions. I specifically underscore the press release by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is not historically valid, it is unacceptable, it does not abide by International Law and international conventions and, as such, we are dealing with  it  presenting all our proof-based argumentations on violations to all the international fora.   Therefore, in a sense, when the Ministry of National Defence states that we are vigilant, this mostly means that we are examining all scenarios, we are taking all  proper initiatives ensuring that all those involved with the situation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the Ministry of Mercantile Marine and the

    Ministry of Defence are at their posts having received explicit orders.

    On the contradictions expressed by the Turkish Prime Minister and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

    We have to clarify this for informative reasons , that  very often Turkish officials refer to the Ottomans.  I have no doubt that today’s Turks originate from the Ottomans, but they should be reminded of the fact that the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist in  the beginning of the twentieth century, when Kemal established the new Turkish state on the basis of the Lausanne Treaty. This, however, demonstrates  what some people have in mind and this is not good.  You are well aware of the fact that whatever is in the possession of Greece , that is, our sovereignty rights in the Aegean, our land, the islands and the rocky islets have been conquered through struggles of the Greek people and then came the conventions to ratify all this.  So, there are international conventions between Italy and Turkey, dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century, transferring all this area to Italy, whereas, through a second convention Italy, the then Soviet Union and other countries transferred this area to Greece.  These matters are clear, hence there are no disputes, there is no ‘’grey zone’’ and this is of course fully vindicated.  

    Replying to the question whether or not there is nationalistic frenzy in Greece:

    I believe that the sweeping majority of the people show composure, and they also need to show temperance when looking at the facts, we have to hinder the nationalistic and warmongering cries triggered by memory or other things.  I would especially like to make mention of  the press release of the opposition party, which at times like this, expresses itself in such an extreme -right  way, dangerous for the national interests, not suggesting in any case what needs be done.  I underscore the fact that the Armed Forces are present exactly where they ought to be, and do what they must do, and the Greek people can safely go on with their peaceful living, and that our primary and foremost  task is to put Greece out of the way of memoranda.

    On  Erdogan’s recent visit in Greece:

    We should all remember that the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic explicitly articulated our national positions and, as a matter of fact,  they should have witnessed a change in the conduct of the Turkish President since day one of the visit.    There is no reason to doubt the devotion and the orientation of the Greek Government.

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