Ankara’s aggressive rhetoric shows intention to escalate - Greek FM

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has accused Turkey of planning to escalate revisionism in light of what he called increased aggressive rhetoric from Turkish political leadership and airspace violations.

Ankara’s recent rhetoric is laying bare the reality of Turkish aggression towards Athens, Greek newspaper Kathimerini cited Denidas as telling Greek daily Parapolitika in an interview published on Saturday.

Turkey and Greece have been divided for decades over a number of issues such as maritime borders in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. 

The latest bout of tensions, marking a reversal in the NATO allies’ tumultuous relationship, began a week ago.

Last week, Erdoğan said Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis “no longer exists” for him, accusing him of trying to block sales of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey during a visit to the United States.

On Tuesday, Mitsotakis told reporters after a European Union summit that he had briefed his EU counterparts about Turkey’s “aggressiveness” and “provocations which cannot be tolerated by Greece or the European Union”. The next day, the Turkish president said Turkey was halting talks with Greece, partly over a dispute with the Greek prime minister and what Ankara calls airspace violations.

We show on the maps the proof of Turkish aggression, we do not paint maps of the Aegean, changing the borders depending on the fantasy of the moment,” Kathimerini cited the top Greek defence official as saying.

Turkey’s actions “would have been simply ludicrous, if they were not so dangerous,” he added.

The Turkish foreign minister on Tuesday warned that Ankara could challenge the sovereignty of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, where both sides have increased their military presence in contested waters .

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