Far-right nationalist Turkish politician and Erdogan ally Devlet Bahçeli released a map that indicates that the Greek islands in the Aegean and even Crete belong to Turkey.
Bahçeli is one of the founders of The Grey Wolves, a nationalist, Islamist, and fascist group that is considered a terrorist organization across much of the world. Throughout the 1970s, the Grey Wolves conducted guerilla attacks against minorities, artists, and leftists in Turkey.
Liderimiz Sn. Devlet Bahçeli Beyefendi Ülkü Ocakları Genel Merkezimizi ziyaret etti.
Türk Dünyası’nın Bilge Lideri, Liderimiz Sn. Devlet Bahçeli Beyefendi’yi Cenab-ı Allah başımızdan eksik etmesin, uzun ömürler versin.🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/yFFQJ7Tyqb
— Ülkü Ocakları (@Ulku_Ocaklari) July 9, 2022
The Turkish politician was photographed with the map during a meeting of the Grey Wolves.
“Our leader, Mr. Devlet Bahceli, visited our Ülkü Ocakları Headquarters…May Almighty Allah bless Devlet Bahçeli and give him a long life,” the tweet says.
In response, diplomatic sources from Greece stated in speaking to the newspaper Kathimerini that the act was “aggressive and provocative.”
“Unfortunately, it represents part of the escalation of the extreme rhetoric from Turkey that we witness on a daily basis,” the sources expressed.
“We expect the immediate, categorical, and public rejection of this unacceptable act, which doubts the sovereignty of our country,” the sources said to Kathimerini.
Turkey escalates tension with Greece demanding demilitarization of islands
In June, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Greece to demilitarize its islands in the Aegean, saying he was “not joking.” He spoke during Turkish military exercises near the islands, including an amphibious landing scenario.
“I warn Greece to avoid dreams, acts and statements that will result in regret….[and to] come to your senses,” he said.
“Turkey will not renounce its rights in the Aegean and will not back down from using rights that are established by international agreements when it comes to arming islands,” he said.
Greece is acting as if it is making touristic landings on Aegean islands, he said and added in addressing Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis that “You can’t get anywhere with this.”
The Turkish leader also claimed that the US bases in Greece may be targeting his country instead of Russia.
“There are nine US bases right now. They were established in Greece. Against whom were they established? The answer they give is ‘against Russia.’ We don’t buy it, take no offense,” Erdogan said during a joint press conference with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.