Monday, October 3

Erdogan threatens Greece with “sudden” military action

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Greece on Saturday with “sudden” military action if it persists in what it considers to be a confrontational attitude with Turkey in the Aegean.

“Greece, look at history. As long as you go much further, the price you will pay will be high, very high,” Erdogan proclaimed during a speech at a technology fair in the city of Samsun, in which Turkish-made armed drones were exhibited.

“When the day and time comes, we will do whatever it takes. We can arrive one night suddenly, ”said Erdogan, using the formula that he has been repeating for months when talking about a possible military operation in Syria.

Ankara has spent months accusing Athens of “militarizing” the Aegean islands, moving troops and artillery in actions that, in its opinion, violate the Lausanne treaties of 1923 and Paris of 1947.

Last June, the Turkish government even threatened to “question Greek sovereignty” over the islands, while Greece argues that it has the right to protect itself from Turkey’s “expansionist” attitude.

“For Greece we only have one sentence: Don’t forget Izmir,” Erdogan has said, referring to when in 1923 Turkey expelled Greek troops from that Aegean city, ending the Turkish war of independence.

Last week, commemorating the decisive battle, Erdogan stressed that Turkey “threw the infidels into the sea in Izmir.”

Although Ankara and Athens have no territorial claims in the Aegean, except for a few uninhabited islets, Greek and Turkish fighters regularly challenge each other, in a dispute over the limits of the airspace corresponding to territorial waters.

The latest episode of tension took place last Sunday, when, according to Ankara, the Greek Army targeted two of its fighter jets with anti-aircraft missiles, which were flying between the Greek islands of Crete and Rhodes.