After Turkey arrested two Greek soldiers last week after they crossed its northwestern border in bad weather, Greece Ministry of Defense decided to take new military measures, reports Stelyo Berberakis for BBC Turkish. Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos stated last week that two Greek soldiers were being detained in Turkey as ‘hostages’.
The number of Greek troops patrolling the border has been increased from 2 to 7. According to the instructions of the ministry, new tactics will be used in responding to similar events. The scope of those new tactics are unknown.
Meanwhile, in an interview with French daily Liberation on March 10, Kammenos said “Greece is very close to a fatal accident with Turkey”. Kammenos also noted that, up until now, events such as accidental border crossing were resolved between two countries’ general staffs. “The tension is being increased by the arrest of two soldiers. Yet, those are not only Greek soldiers, they are also EU and NATO soldiers and therefore this issue should have been peacefully resolved with our NATO ally Turkey,” said the defense minister.
In the same interview, Kammenos also warned that Turkey’s violations of Greek airspace and sea territory increases the risk of a potential military conflict: