International News Network
Sources – Daily Sabah
There is nothing worth discussing with Greece at the moment President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, as he warned that Türkiye may retaliate against Athens' violations. Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the European Political Community, Erdogan criticized Athens for basing its policies on "lies." "They are not where they are supposed to be," the president told a news conference in Prague. "Their entire policy is based on lies, they are not honest. We have nothing to discuss with Greece."
Erdogan said Athens understood Ankara's message when Turkish officials said "we may suddenly arrive one night" a comment that Greek and some other Western officials have criticized as a threat to a neighboring state. The president also said he expects the European Union to call on Greece for dialogue on a bilateral basis instead of supporting illegal initiatives masquerading as unity or solidarity." Recently Greek officials said they would welcome Ankara's request for a meeting between Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the sidelines of the Prague summit.
The next day, Erdogan criticized Mitsotakis for seeking U.S. assistance amid ongoing tensions with Türkiye, saying "we will continue to do what is necessary." "The Greek Prime Minister is seeking help from the U.S. Against what? Against Türkiye. Whatever you do, we will continue to and are ready to do whatever is necessary," the president told a conference marking the week of the Prophet Muhammad's birth in the capital Ankara.
Greece and Türkiye have been at odds for decades over a range of issues, including where their continental shelves start and end, energy resources, overflights in the Aegean Sea and the divided island of Cyprus. Relations between the two neighboring countries and fellow NATO members have deteriorated in recent years. In May, Erdogan cut ties with Mitsotakis and declared all other channels of communication between the countries closed.
Erdogan said Mitsotakis "no longer exists" for him, after the Greek premier lobbied to block sales of F-16 fighter jets to Türkiye during a visit to the United States, despite previously agreeing with Erdogan "to not include third countries in our dispute." Ankara accuses Athens of illegally militarizing Greek islands in the East Aegean and questions Greece's sovereignty over them. There is also a dispute over the exploitation of mineral resources in the Aegean. Since the beginning of 2022, Greek warplanes have violated Turkish airspace 256 times and harassed Turkish jets on 158 occasions. Greek coast guard boats also violated Turkish territorial waters 33 times.