The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Greece is making the same mistake as in 1922.
Speaking at the Victory Day concert to mark the defeat of the Greek Army in 1922 that led to the Asia Minor disaster, Erdogan said that “unfortunately, we see that the Greek politicians, who dragged their own people and country to disaster a century ago, are still insisting on the same mistake today.”
“As we always say, Greece is not our equal or interlocutor in any political, economic or military way,” Erdogan added. “We know the true intention of those, who try to waste our country’s time and energy by using Greece today, as was the case a century ago.”
Erdogan repeats the claim that Greek missiles locked on Turkish jets
He also repeated the claim that Greek S-300 surface-to-air missiles stationed on Crete locked on a Turkish aircraft west of Rhodes on Sunday, accusing Greece of a “hostile act.”
Athens has vehemently denied Turkey’s allegation, with Greek military sources assuring that the S-300s did not lock on to Turkish F-16 fighter jets.
However, Erdogan reiterated the claims on Tuesday evening, noting that it was a “provocation to NATO and allies” as it occurred, he said while the aircraft was performing NATO duties.
“We are curious about the US response to this harassment,” he added, saying that the alleged incident “revealed the truth to everyone, namely that our F-16 aircraft was locked on by the Russian S-300.”
“This is hostile behavior,” he asserted.
Greece dismisses alleged incident
On Sunday, citing sources in the Turkish Defense Ministry, the country’s state-run news agency, Anadolu Agency, reported that the radar of the Russian-made Greek S-300 missile system based on the island of Crete locked onto the Turkish jets.
According to the Anadolu report citing Turkish defense sources, the incident took place on August 23rd when Greece’s S-300 missile system put a lock on Turkish F-16 jets flying at ten thousand feet west of Rhodes.
Greek military sources dismissed the report later on Sunday.
“Greece’s S-300 missile system has never put a lock on Turkish F-16 jets,” the sources said, according to state-run ERT television.
“Interceptions are carried out by our military aircraft in line with international rules of engagement,” the same sources added.
The Republic of Cyprus originally ordered those S-300s on Crete back in the mid-1990s. They were ultimately diverted to Greece after Turkey threatened to preemptively destroy them if they ever arrived on the divided island. Greece put them in storage and later test-fired them in 2013 for the first time.
Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos ruled out the prospect of Greece transferring its S-300s to Ukraine in early June, proclaiming that Greece faces “a real threat” and would not transfer “what we need, what is useful, and mainly operationally active.”
In recent months, Turkey has complained of what it calls provocative actions by Greece, saying such moves undermine peace efforts. Athens accuses Ankara of overflights on Greek islands.