Turkish ambassador to Greece Burak Ozugergin dismissed claims of a Turkish border incursion in the Evros area last week, stating that the issue was simply “technical”.
The statement comes after allegations that 35 Turkish troops occupied an area on the western bank of the Evros river said to belong to Greece according to the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and set up a small camp while hoisting a Turkish flag on Friday.
While newspapers like the Daily Mail have labelled the incursion an “invasion”, Turkey’s ambassador to Greece said the small area of land known as Melissokomeio was not a dispute but “a technical matter that is perfectly normal between neighbours across land borders”, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported on Monday.
“It is a non-issue, so let’s not turn it into one,” Ozugergin added and claimed that Athens and Ankara were in discussion over the incident.
Both Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias briefed the government on the situation in the area on Tuesday after both ministries filed complaints with Turkey over the presence of the troops on Friday.
WATCH: EU-funded Turkish Armoured Vehicle Rips Down Greek Border Fence https://t.co/4sL0uEHlsY
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 10, 2020
The complaint revolves around Turkish troops allegedly hindering work on a border fence that Greece wishes to expand as many predict a new wave of migrants will head to the border area after the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic lockdowns ease.
Turkish forces along the border region have been accused of attempting to help migrants cross the border before the pandemic outbreak with one soldier telling Swedish media in March that he had received direct orders to do so.
“We have checked that everything has gone well and that the smugglers do not charge too much. We also have intelligence about where and when it is safe to get over,” the soldier had said.
The Greek government has also released video footage showing a European Union-funded Turkish armoured vehicle allegedly ripping down part of the border fence in early March.