Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras responded in quick order on Tuesday to the latest "saber-rattling" by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who dismissed Athens' repeated protests over illegal Turkish drilling in Cyprus' EEZ, underling from the island republic that "whoever violates international law, and the sovereign rights of Greece and the Republic of Cyprus will pay a serious price."
Tsipras was in Nicosia for the funeral of former Cyprus president Demetris Christofias.
Erdogan, still smarting over the loss of Istanbul municipality by his ruling AKP party, quipped on Tuesday that Tsipras "is merely saying things by himself".
"... Whatever he (Tsipras) says, we will conduct drilling and take all necessary measures with the (Turkish) armed forces," was the quote by Erdogan.
Tsipras countered by saying he does not speak alone, but with the EU on his side and a large majority of the international community.
"There is no reason for a dead-end, barren spike in tensions; it's an indication of weakness ... these violations must cease," he said.
While on the eastern Mediterranean island, Tsipras also toured the Greek military contingent's base and met with Hellenic Army personnel.