Greece hit back at Turkey over what the government spokesperson termed a “crescendo of vulgarity” by Erdogan at the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
The statements made by Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at the United Nations were “an unprecedented attempt to spread fake news, a complete distortion of reality and crude propaganda from the UN General Assembly with completely groundless claims,” government spokesperson Yiannis Economou said on Wednesday.
He accused Turkey of “instrumentalizing refugees and migrants, and providing support for human traffickers.”
By contrast, he said, Greece “saves human lives and guards, as it is obliged to do, [at] the borders of Greece and Europe.”
He revealed that the Greek Prime Minister, in his own speech to the UN on Friday, will send a message that Greece cannot be terrorized and cannot be intimidated.
He noted that Greece’s reflexes are primed to respond at all times: “This is happening in Evros, this is also happening in the Aegean.”
He also repeated that Greece had “closed its doors to provocations but opened its windows to dialogue” while noting that Tuesday’s “crescendo of vulgarity, exaggeration, and lies was something that cannot, obviously, go unnoticed.”
Erdogan accused Greece of crimes against humanity
Erdogan, in one of his most horrific verbal attacks yet accused Greece of crimes against humanity during his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.
The Turkish leader accused Greece of intentionally drowning babies and even presented photos of dead babies, claiming that these were the results of violent pushbacks by the Greek Coast Guard.
Erdogan noted that “we don’t want to see more dead babies like Aylan wash up on our shores.” He asserted that last week a nine-month-old baby and a four-year-old child perished when the Greek Coast Guard sank their boats.
The Turkish President called on the UN to demand that Greece put an immediate stop to its crimes against humanity and proclaimed that “Greeks tyrannize refugees in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean” and are “turning the Aegean into a graveyard.”
In response to comments made by Erdogan, Geek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias—while in New York—said, “The country that is instrumentalizing the issue of migration, endangering tens of thousands of lives, comes here to accuse Greece of crimes against humanity when in fact it is using false data that has been discredited for over ten days.”
“The country that directly threatens with war,…that has a standing casus belli,…[and] that questions Greek sovereignty over the islands of the Aegean comes here to talk about good neighborly relations,” added Dendias, amused.
“The country that occupies foreign territory, including that of the Republic of Cyprus, comes here to talk about conditions of security and co-operation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Dendias responded.