Greece requests Turkey clarifications over former PM's remarks on forest fires
Greece requested clarifications from Turkey on Monday regarding former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz's statements over a "Turkish link" to devastating forest fires in Greece in the past, Xinhua reported.
"The Greek side awaits to be informed on the matter by the relevant Turkish authorities," said Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Gregory Delavekouras, commenting on Yilmaz's allegations that during the premiership of Tansu Ciller in mid 1990s Turkish MIT agents had been starting forest fires in Greece.
In an interview with Turkish daily "Birgun", the Turkish former premier referred to a state report on the arsons, implying a possible retaliation for the Greek stance of the Kurdish issue.
Greece suffers from many catastrophic forest fires every summer that are linked to arsonists in many cases. In the past Greek secret services pointed to the neighbor NATO ally and arch-rival Turkey for some forest fires, but there was no tangible evidence to support the claim.
Greece's conservative New Democracy party and rightist Popular Orthodox Rally party, two of the parties backing the interim government of Lucas Papademos, asked current Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide full details on the issue and compensation for the damage caused, if the story will be confirmed.