Türkiye knows that those who stir up unrest through harassment in the Aegean Sea are at every turn act as "someone's pawns,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, referring to Greece.
"We know that those who sow unrest in the Aegean at every opportunity with their harassment and rudeness are only pawns," Erdogan said at a military ceremony in Istanbul.
Erdogan added that Türkiye is also well aware of the clamor being made in the Eastern Mediterranean to undermine the country's interests.
His remarks came after Turkish jets engaged in NATO missions over the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Seas on Aug. 23 were harassed by a Russian-made S-300 air defense system stationed on the Greek island of Crete.
Greek military officials have denied the Turkish account of the actions, which are described as "hostile" in the NATO Rules of Engagement.
Türkiye’s National Defense Ministry is preparing to send radar records of the incident to the NATO Secretariat-General and alliance members’ defense ministries.
Erdogan said Ankara not only fights terrorists who are hostile to the nation's values and existence, but also those who unleashed them on Türkiye.
"In our state tradition, the army is an institution equipped with the nation's values, serving as the cornerstone of the state and guaranteeing the country's survival," he added.