Greece’s President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, visited the Greek island of Kastellorizo on Sunday to mark the 77th anniversary of its liberation.
During her visit, she accused Turkey of undermining good neighborly relations with the citizens of the island and of Greece more generally.
“We are going through a difficult and dangerous period. The Turkish leadership is intensifying the pressure on our country, proceeding to make aggressive statements,” Sakellaropoulou said.
“The escalation of this aggressive rhetoric by the Turkish leadership is raising barriers between the peoples, creating suspicion and hostility, threatening the ties between them.
“Kastellorizo is a valuable part of our country. It is not just strategic for shaping and claiming the rights of Greece. It has even greater moral significance.
“It is the place that embodies the concept of patriotism, in its highest expression. The place that remained Greek, in defiance of any threat.”
Sakellaropoulou also visited the war museum on the island and claimed that Athens will follow a “path of diplomacy of dialogue,” even though Greece has refused Turkey’s calls to sit down at the table and solve the matter through dialogue.
Her visit to Kastellorizo was later criticised by Turkey’s Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar.
“As if there is no other island left for celebration, they come to these. These (acts), of course, disturb us,” Akar said as he paid a visit to Turkey’s southwestern Kaş district, across from the Greek island of Kastellorizo.