Greece is walking through a quagmire – Erdogan
Türkiye’s president lambasted his neighbor and rival in the Mediterranean for the alleged militarization of the Aegean islands
Greece is not the equal of Turkey and will sink into a quagmire by confronting it, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned. He criticized Athens for an alleged militarization of its islands in the Aegean Sea.
The real purpose of Athens’ confrontational stance toward Turkey is hampering the country’s progress to greatness, the president said in a speech Monday after a Turkish cabinet meeting.
“It is a dangerous game for Greek politicians, the Greek state, the Greek people and those who use them as puppets,” Erdogan said.
« Neither these military reinforcements nor this political and economic support are enough to raise Greece to our level, but these missteps are enough to drag Greece into the swamp in every direction, » he added.
The Turkish leader was commenting on the reported deployment of additional weapons on the islands of Lesvos and Samos. Last week, media in Türkiye showed what it claimed was footage shot by military drones from Ankara, showing armored vehicles being unloaded from a Greek landing ship. The material would have been given to Athens by Washington.
Ankara summoned the Greek ambassador to lodge an official protest on Monday, but Athens dismissed his accusations as baseless. The Greek government says its military activities in the Aegean are a reaction to Türkiye’s aggressive policies.
Erdogan accused Greece of being involved in « manipulations and escalations » and warned that the outcome of a possible confrontation with Türkiye would be disastrous for the Greek people. As an example, he mentioned the losses suffered by the Greek expeditionary forces in Turkey a century ago, during the Turkish War of Independence.
Lesvos and Samos were once part of the Ottoman Empire, but Istanbul’s hold on them waned in the early 20th century. Greece incorporated the islands along with several others in the early 1910s.
Athens sealed its sovereignty over them under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which ended Türkiye’s hostilities with European nations. The terms of the agreement specifically prohibited Greece from building naval bases or fortifications on four of them, including Lesvos and Samos.