Turkish president warns Greece it’ll pay a ‘heavy worth’ if it harasses Turkish fighter jets over the Aegean.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned Greece it could pay a “heavy worth” if it continues to harass Turkish fighter jets over the Aegean and hinted at navy motion.
The 2 uneasy NATO neighbours have longstanding sea and air boundary disputes which result in near-daily air pressure patrols and interception missions principally round Greek islands close to Turkey’s shoreline.
“Hey Greece, check out historical past. If you happen to go additional, you’ll pay a heavy worth,” Erdogan informed a packed rally within the Black Sea metropolis of Samsun on Saturday.
Historic rivals Turkey and Greece have been at odds over points starting from overflights and the standing of Aegean islands to maritime boundaries and hydrocarbon sources within the Mediterranean, in addition to the 1974 division of Cyprus.
Turkey has in latest months complained of what it calls provocative actions by Athens, saying such strikes undermine peace efforts.
In a single such incident, Ankara mentioned final weekend Greece had used a Russian-made air defence system to harass Turkish jets on a reconnaissance mission in what it termed a “hostile motion”.
In his tackle, Erdogan accused Greece of “making an attempt to threaten us with S-300s”.
Athens has dismissed the allegations and infrequently accuses Ankara of overflying Greek islands.
‘Don’t neglect Izmir’
An infuriated Erdogan accused Greece of “occupying” islands within the Aegean Sea which have a demilitarised standing.
“We have now just one phrase to inform Greece: don’t forget Izmir [Smyrna in Greek],” Erdogan mentioned, referring to the top of the Greek occupation after Turkish forces entered town on the Aegean coast in 1922.
“Your occupation of the islands doesn’t bind us,” Erdogan mentioned.
Ankara has just lately accused Athens of arming the demilitarised Aegean islands – one thing Athens rejects, however Erdogan had not beforehand accused Greece of occupying them.
In June, Turkish Overseas Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu mentioned Ankara would problem Greece’s sovereignty over the islands if it continued to ship troops there.
The Aegean Sea has complicated geography with greater than 2,000 islands, most of them Greek.
The 2 international locations got here to the brink of warfare within the Nineteen Nineties over a pair of small uninhabited islets recognized collectively as Kardak in Turkish and Imia in Greek.
Erdogan reduce off dialogue with Greece after accusing Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of lobbying towards US arms gross sales to his nation.
Mitsotakis “not exists” for him, he fumed in Could.
Greece and Turkey are additionally looking for US arms.
In June, Greece formalised a request for US-made F-35 fighter jets.
Turkey is negotiating for F-16 purchases after Washington kicked Ankara out of the F-35 programme for taking supply of a sophisticated Russian missile defence system in 2019.