Turkey PM scolds Tsipras after Twitter broadside
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday urged Greek premier Alexis Tsipras to focus on a “positive agenda” after he lashed out at Turkey over the shooting down of a Russian warplane in a series of tweets.
Without resorting to the niceties of diplomatic language, Tsipras blasted Turkey’s shooting down of the Russian plane last week for allegedly violating its airspace on the Syrian border.
The Greek prime minister, who Sunday attended an EU summit along with Davutoglu to reach a deal over the migrant crisis, accused Turkish jets of repeatedly violating Greek airspace over the Aegean, saying the ensuing defence spending would be better used on refugees.
“Fortunately our pilots are not as mercurial as yours (were) against the Russians,” Tsipras told Davutoglu in the first of four tweets from his official account @tsipras_eu.
“What is happening in the Aegean is outrageous and unbelievable. We’re spending billions on weapons. You — to violate our airspace, we — to intercept you.”
“We have the most modern aerial weapons systems — and yet, on the ground, we can’t catch traffickers who drown innocent people.”
Greek news agency Ana said the comments were a summary of what Tsipras had said to Davutoglu at the summit. However, the Greek premier hours later had deleted the comments from his English account although they remained with identical wording in his Greek account @atsipras.
Davutoglu snapped back from his official account @Ahmet_Davutoglu that the comments were out of kilter with the deal reached by the EU and Turkey on Sunday over the refugee crisis.
“Comments on pilots by @atsipras seem hardly in tune with the spirit of the day. Alexis: let us focus on our positive agenda,” tweeted Davutoglu.
Historic foes, Greece and Turkey both became members of NATO in 1952 and relations between the two neighbours have improved drastically in recent years. However both repeatedly complain of air violations of their borders.