While the Turkish government is keeping silent, avoiding to comment on Mesut Yilmaz’ allegations that Ankara financed Greek forest arson, early on Tuesday morning the former Turkish PM tried to take back his bloodcurdling comments. 

“The whole thing is a misunderstanding. When I was asked by the Birgun newspaper reporter - during our phone interview - to which cases the term ‘state secret’ applies, I said it has to do with foreign policy issues like, for example, the forest fires on our Aegean coastline. As long as these assumptions that might have to do with the Greek Secret Service remain unproven, they cannot be published. Thus, apparently, the issue is not the fires in Greece but the ones in Turkey. In this framework, there has been no issue of a secret budget. If the heading is compared with the content of the interview, this can be seen pretty clearly. I am elaborating because I do not want to confuse people and lead them to the wrong conclusions”, said Yilmaz.

On Tuesday morning, a while before departing for the States, Yilmaz said that, “our Greek friends rushed to conclusions. What I was referring to were the fires in Turkey. It is said that perhaps the great fires of the ‘90s have something to do with the Greek Secret Service. Furthermore, I explained that possible leaks regarding those assumptions, for as long as there is no tangible evidence, would damage our bilateral relations. The story was completely twisted and the truth is the way I am presenting it”.

Perhaps Yilmaz's effort to deny his own arguments might have to do with the fact that he himself mentioned that the financed arson are a state secret and thus should not become known since in all countries across the globe, there are heavy penalties for those revealing state secrets, and probably Yilmaz realized he would not wish to face the music.