Speaking at an event honoring the anniversary of the death of Turkish statesman Kemal Ataturk, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan amped the rhetoric against Greece. He reiterated his positions regarding Turkey’s “borders of the heart.”
“Turkey is larger than Turkey. We cannot be imprisoned in 780,000 square kilometers. The borders of our hearts are elsewhere. Our brothers in Mosul, Kirkuk, Skopje, may be outside our natural boundaries, but they are within the borders of our hearts, at the epicenter of our hearts,” he said, along the same lines as comments made since the failed coup in Turkey where he has refuted peace treaties that define Turkey’s borders.
“The Turkish Democracy did not appear from nowhere. Just as the Ottoman Empire took the baton from the Seljuk Turks, so did Modern Turkey continue from the Ottoman Empire,” he said. “We hold onto our history in total.”
The comments were made in the wake of a European Commission report on Turkey on Wednesday that castigated its administration for purging 100,000 soldiers, judges, civil servants and teachers following their social media posts since the failed coup in July. Some EU countries are pushing to suspend talks with Ankara over EU accession. EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn released the EC report, stating that Brussels was gravely concerned by the “degradation in the rule of law and democracy.”