On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Greece it would pay a “heavy price” if it continued to “harass” Turkish planes over the Aegean.
He was referring to Ankara’s claim that Greek S-300 surface-to-air missiles stationed on Crete locked on a Turkish aircraft west of Rhodes last Sunday, which he referred to as 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.
“Hey Greece, take a look at history…If you go further, you will pay a heavy price,” Erdogan told a rally in the Black Sea region on Saturday.
Erdogan claims Greece is “occupying” Aegean islands
Turkey also claims Greece is stationing troops on islands in the Aegean Sea in violation of peace treaties signed after World War I and World War II.
On Saturday, an infuriated Erdogan accused Greece of “occupying” the islands.
“We have only one word to tell Greece: Do not forget Izmir (Smyrna in Greek),” Erdogan said, referring to the end of the Greek occupation after Turkish forces entered the city on the Aegean coast in 1922.
“Your occupation of the islands does not bind us,” Erdogan said.
“When the time comes, we will do what’s necessary [, and as] we say, we may come suddenly one night,” he added, using his often-repeated words when he talked about launching an operation into neighboring Syria.
#Turkey's irridentist ambitions under current regime shifted to a high gear today with President #Erdogan publicly accusing #Gerece of occupying Greek islands, threatening to launch military action and inflicting heavy cost.
He called Turkey's NATO allies US/Greece as enemies. pic.twitter.com/rpg1WPltkg
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) September 3, 2022
Erdogan ups threatening rhetoric against Greece
Erdogan has been constantly threatening Greece with force. On Friday, he said that Greece is not important for NATO.
Earlier in the week, he warned that Greece is making the same mistake as in 1922.
Speaking at the Victory Day concert marking 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.”