Greece has sent letters to the UN, EU, and NATO alerting of the unprecedented barrage of threats by Turkey against the country.
The letters were sent on behalf of Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and addressed to the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, the head of European Union diplomacy, Josep Borrell, and the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
The letters reproduce in full the statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with respect to Greece, noting that these are “unprovoked, unacceptable and insulting for Greece and the Greek people.”
“The openly threatening nature and tone of these [statements] is more than blatant, dispelling any doubts as regards their intended purpose, as well as any claim that they are aimed at purely domestic goals ahead of the elections in the country,” emphasized Dendias in the letters, asking that they be immediately condemned by the entire international community.
Incidents of violation of Greece’s sovereignty by Turkey are on the rise
“If we do not take action in time or if we underestimate the seriousness of the matter, we are facing the risk of again becoming witnesses of a situation similar to that currently underway in another part of our continent,” Dendias said, noting that “this is something that no one would like to see.”
The letters also point out that Ankara’s growingly aggressive rhetoric is coupled with a sharp rise of incidents of violation of Greek sovereignty in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
“For the past few years, [Turkey] has been building up its revisionist agenda through a propaganda putting in question the entire territorial status quo as established by Treaties and thus putting at risk regional security and stability,” it is said in the letters.
On Tuesday, the US Department of State told Turkey that the sovereignty of the Greek islands is not in dispute.
The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected and protected. Greece’s sovereignty over these islands is not disputed. We call on all parties to refrain from rhetoric and actions that could further escalate tensions, a Department of State spokesman said.
Turkey claims Greece is violating international agreements by militarizing islands in the Aegean Sea. “You occupying the islands doesn’t bind us,” Erdogan said on Saturday. “When the time comes, we’ll do what’s necessary. As we say, we may come down suddenly one night.”
He added: “Look at history, if you go further, the price will be heavy.”
“We have one sentence to Greece: Don’t forget Izmir,” Erdogan said in a reference to a crushing defeat of occupying Greek forces in the western city by the Turkish military in 1922.