The US State Department released a statement affirming Greek sovereignty in response to a map that showed many Greek islands, including all of Crete, as Turkish territory.
“Our position on this issue is clear…the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Greece is not in question,” a State Department spokesperson stressed.
“We continue to encourage our NATO allies, Greece and Turkey, to work together to maintain peace and security in the region and to resolve disputes in a diplomatic manner,” the spokesperson stated. “We urge our allies to avoid rhetoric and actions that could further escalate tensions.”
On July 9th, far-right nationalist Turkish politician and Erdogan ally, Devlet Bahçeli, posed next to a map that shows the Greek islands in the Aegean and even Crete belonging 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.
The Turkish politician was photographed with the map during a meeting of the Grey Wolves.
Mitsotakis called on Turkish President Erdogan to respond to map
In response, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to make a statement regarding the map on Monday.
“Take a good look at this map. Crete, Rhodes, Lesvos, Chios, Samos all consumed by Turkey…,” Mitsotakis said on Twitter on Monday.
Mitsotakis wrote: “Α fever dream of extremists or Turkey’s official policy? Another provocation or the true goal? President Erdogan must make his position clear on his junior coalition partner’s latest antics.”
When the picture including the provocative map was posted on Saturday, diplomatic sources from Greece claimed, in speaking to 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 maintained.
“We expect the immediate, categorical, and public rejection of this unacceptable act, which doubts the sovereignty of our country,” the sources said to Kathimerini.