Greece calls for international condemnation of Erdogan threats
Greece has called for international unity to condemn Turkey’s authoritarian president Recep Tayyip Erdogan for apparently threats to invade Greece.
Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias wrote to Nato, the European Union and United Nations asking for solidarity and warning of another European conflict.
Dendias’ letter to Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said: “The Turkish attitude is a destabilising factor for Nato’s unity and cohesion, weakening the southern flank of the alliance at a moment of crisis.”
The two Nato members have long-running disagreements over several Aegean islands, Cyprus, maritime boundaries, the extraction of Mediterranean fossil fuels and minority rights.
Erdogan last weekend accused Greece of occupying demilitarised Aegean islands and said Turkey would do “what’s necessary [and] come down suddenly one night”.
“Look at history, if you go further, the price will be heavy,” he said. Erdogan faces re-election next year amid rampant inflation which has been blamed on his refusal to raise interest rates.
While in Sarajevo on Tuesday, in a trip that purportedly aimed to ease ethnic tensions in another former Ottoman colony, Erdogan said: “What I’m talking about is not a dream. When the time comes, we can come suddenly one night.”
Turkish Bayraktar drones have proved highly successful in Azerbaijan, Libya, Ethiopia, Ukraine and Syria since September 2020 which might have made Erdogan more militarily bullish after his quasi-ally Vladimir Putin ripped up international law by invading Ukraine in February.
Greece’s foreign ministry has condemned Turkish allegations about the election of Muslim muftis in Thrace, which has a large ethnically Turkish minority.
A ministerial statement accused Turkey of issuing “fake news”. It asked Ankara to provide evidence of its claims the Greek authorities were breaching the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne in refers to the election of Muftis in Thrace, eastern Greece.
The ministry claimed that Turkey encroaches on the rights of the tiny Greek minority in Istanbul, Imvros and Tenedos.
“The Turkish side is attempting, once again, to distort reality and project false news regarding the Muslim minority in Thrace,” the ministry said.
“It is worth asking in which provision of the Treaty of Lausanne, which is systematically violated by Turkey, it is stated that the muftis of the Muslim minority in Thrace are elected.
“Greece, a European democracy, fully respects its obligations towards the Muslim minority in Thrace … on the contrary, Turkey continues to violate the rights of the almost extinct Greek Minority in Istanbul, Imvros and Tenedos.
Thrace. Picture credit: Wikimedia