Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday harshly criticized the European countries which protect terrorist organizations, including the PKK and FETO.
“As the nests of terror are destroyed, members of terrorist organizations openly set up camps for themselves in some countries.
“The murderers who shed the blood of our citizens are embraced in almost every country in Europe, particularly in the Lavrion camp in Greece. They can walk around freely by waving their arms," Erdogan told a meeting in the capital Ankara.
Erdogan's remarks came a day after a police officer was killed and another injured in a PKK terror attack on a police station in Türkiye's southern Mersin province.
The terrorists pose a threat to peace and security of Western countries protecting the terror groups, Erdogan warned, and said he expects all countries, especially Türkiye's neighbors, to take necessary measures against terrorist organizations.
"The increasing protection of terrorists by western countries is, first of all, a threat to their peace and security. Remember, the snake will eventually bite the hand outstretched to it. The place of the terrorist is not the streets, but the courts and prisons, where they will pay for the blood they have spilled," he added.
- Weapons piled up in Western Thrace mean nothing to Türkiye
About the military buildups in Greece, Erdogan reiterated that Ankara knows very well the intentions of those who provoked Athens, adding: “The weapons piled up in Western Thrace and on the islands make no sense to us because our power is far beyond them, but we remind you that this means a covert occupation."
Previously, Turkish army drones recorded that Greece, in violation of international law, deployed armored vehicles on the islands of Midilli (Lesvos) and Sisam (Samos).
Ankara on Monday summoned the Greek ambassador and called for an end to violations on the Aegean islands and restoring their non-military status, according to the Foreign Ministry.
Also, in a protest note to the US, Türkiye urged respect for the status of Eastern Aegean islands and stressed measures should be taken to prevent the use of weapons there.
"Do you think the support from the US and Europe will save you? It will not. You simply spin your wheels; nothing else," Erdogan said.
He also warned the Greek government, which is disturbed by the word 'Turkish' in the name of any association or school in Western Thrace, saying: "Behave yourselves!"
Erdogan said Türkiye does not want Aegean and Mediterranean seas "being polluted with human blood, tears, or hostility."
"We want peace and tranquility with all our hearts," he added.
Ankara wants stability and security in the region, Erdogan said, expressing his wish to resolve disputes through dialogue on the basis of international law.
"We never hesitate to defend the interests of our nation and our Turkish Cypriot brothers in the Blue Homeland," he added.