Turkey: Unprecedented direct threats of war from Erdogan

Ankara is systematically fueling tensions, reiterating demands for the demilitarization of the eastern Aegean islands, which Athens is countering through a coordinated information campaign aimed at the international community, while reiterating its readiness to face any challenge.

Athens is trying to keep communication channels open, while stressing the need for sincere dialogue under international law. At the same time, Athens is preparing to raise the issue of Turkish proclivities at the European Union Summit, on 23 and 24 June.

However, the Turkish President, inflamed by Greece’s international support and in view of today’s Summit on the Cooperation Process in Southeast Europe, which will take place in Thessaloniki attempted a further escalation, even launching threats in Greek.

Erdogan’s twitter moment in Greek

In an unprecedented move, the Turkish president made a series of posts on his personal Twitter account. Through eight messages, in a thread in Greek, Erdogan refers to the Aegean, talks about Megisti (Kastellorizo), while making accusations about “oppression of the Turkish minority” in Western Thrace, Rhodes and Kos.

Erdogan again makes an issue of the fact that Megisti, located over 600km from mainland Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean claims maritime jurisdiction of 40,000km2. What irritates the Turkish President, among other things, is that Megisti is located 2km from the Turkish coast.

In his post he claims that Greece has mobilized the international community and NATO countries, involving them in “illegal” (as he calls them) military exercises on islands that according to him are supposed to be de-militarized, and says that this “will have a disastrous end.”

He then claims that Greece, despite being a member of the European Union, continues to oppress the Turkish minority living in Western Thrace, Rhodes and Kos, ignoring the values ​​of the Union, human rights worldwide and international agreements.

The Turkish President goes as far as to invoke his membership in the Alliance (despite being an impediment in its expansion and its efforts to support Ukraine), presenting Turkey as a faithful and stalwart ally, while also claiming that he is showing patience, which Greece misconstrues. And true to form, again threatens Greece with another defeat at the hands of the Turkish military remembering the 1922 defeat in Asia Minor.

He also speaks of Turkey’s rights in the Aegean, and its willingness to forcibly de-militarize the Greek islands, in an effort to cloak his threats with an air of legitimacy, which only he recognizes.

According to him, the presence of Greek military on the islands, removes the regime of Greek sovereignty of the islands on the one hand and on the other poses a major threat to the national security of Turkey. Therefore, he deduces that it is legitimate to demand the immediate demilitarization of the islands by challenging their sovereignty.

Athens strikes back

Athens’s response was immediate, with government spokesman Economou calling it “remarkable” that President Erdogan chose to write in Greek. According to Mr. Economou “Greek is the language of logic, freedom and law. Its native users and the western world know this very well. The tactics chosen by Turkey do not fall into any of these precepts,” he noted.

Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, addressed the issue at the Awards Ceremony of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Referring to Turkey, he said: “We have a neighbor who is as angry as he is isolated.”

“We have a war on the European continent something unthinkable a year ago, we have an unprecedented energy upheaval, a world trade upheaval we have a food risk, we have inflation that gnaws away at household incomes across Europe,” he said, stresing that “a strong state today is a stable state, and this stability, which goes hand in hand with continuity and consistency, I am determined to ensure.