Turkiye accuses Greece of occupying demilitarised islands in Aegean Sea


On Saturday, Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkiye, accused Greece of controlling Aegean Sea islands with a demilitarised status and declared that Turkiye was ready to “do what is necessary” if necessary. 

Turkiye and Greece have been at odds over a variety of topics over the years, including overflights, the status of the Aegean islands, maritime boundaries, the availability of hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean, and ethnically divided Cyprus. Both countries are also fellow NATO members. 

Erdogan had not previously accused Greece of occupying the demilitarised Aegean islands, but Ankara has now accused Athens of arming them—a charge that Athens rejects.

“We are not tied together by your occupation of the islands. When the hour arrives, we will take the required action “Speaking in the province of Samsun in the north, Erdogan added. 

In response, Greece declared that it would not adopt Turkiye’s “outrageous daily slide” of proclamations and threats. 

The content of the inflammatory words will be shared with our allies and partners, the foreign ministry stated, ” to make it clear who is setting dynamite to the cohesion of our alliance during a dangerous period.”

Recently, Turkiye has been irate over what it claims to be Greek forces harassing its jets. As per Ankara, during a routine flight, Greek S-300 air defence systems latched on to Turkish aircraft. 

On August 30, Turkiye observed triumph Day, a national holiday honouring Turkish forces’ victory over Greek forces in 1922. Erdogan urged Greece to “not forget Izmir” on Saturday in reference to the Turkish win. 

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Erdogan has highlighted accomplishments on the international stage as he gears up for what appears to be the most difficult election of his almost 20-year tenure in 2023. increaseitionally, he has increased his discourse on foreign policy.

As per Ankara, Greece received the Aegean islands under the 1923 and 1947 treaties with the condition that it would not arm them. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkiye’s foreign minister, has indicated repeatedly that if Athens continued to equip the islands, Turkiye would begin to challenge Greek sovereignty over them. 

The Turkish position contesting Greece’s sovereignty over the islands, according to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is “absurd.”

(with inputs from agencies)

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