Greece denies plans to purchase drones from Turkey

Greece denied claims by a Turkish defence company that said the country decided to purchase 50 of its miniature tactical drones, the Greek City Times reported on Friday, citing the Greek Defence Ministry.

The ministry firmly rejected the statement made by Remzi Başbuğ, CEO of Istanbul-based private drone manufacturer Assuva Defence, and a subsequent news report by U.S. magazine Defense News that circulated in the Turkish media, the news website said.

“Leaks of rumours and false news coming from foreign mass media that claim the Greek army intends to procure remote-controlled or unmanned aerial vehicles from Turkish manufacturers are categorically denied,” Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos said on Twitter on Thursday, according to the Greek City Times.

Başbuğ said Assuva Defence had obtained all necessary export licenses to send to Greece Proton Elic RB-128 drones, which are used primarily in search and rescue or mine detection operations and can also detect underground bunkers, explosives, land mines and chemical materials.

“From the end of May, targeted leaks are being made to foreign and Greek media, without, however, being confirmed or documented with data,” the Greek Defence Ministry said in a statement cited by the Greek City Times.

The ministry warned Greek media services about publishing such information.

“Information circulating on the internet, especially from news websites, should be confirmed very carefully before being reproduced internally,” it said.

“If this does not happen, then the Ministry of National Defence reserves all its legal right to deal with the spread of false news and influence public opinion.”