Turkish President Tayyip Erdoan is visibly annoyed by the intensification of Greek-American relations and the recent visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Washington, his meeting with US President Joe Biden, as well as his speech and the warm welcome he he received in Congress.
On Thursday, the day of commemoration of the Greek genocide of Pontus, the Turks went so far as to reverse historical reality by accusing Greece of massacres in Tripoli in 1821 and in Asia Minor a century later.
Erdoan did not hide his frustration both on the level of Greek-American relations and on the supply of armaments. Addressing students in Ankara, Erdoan attacked Greece over the country’s weapons programs, US bases on Greek soil and Cyprus.
“Look what is happening with Greece. It owes 400 billion euros to the West, but it receives weapons and approval from the United States to build bases. On the other hand, when they meet us, they tell us “we want to develop a relationship with you”. But they say that in Cyprus they do not see the two-state solution positively.
At the same time, on the occasion of Sweden’s and Finland’s application for NATO membership, the Turkish President again referred to Greece, in order to explain the reasons for which he opposes the enlargement of the Alliance, repeating accusations that the country “protects” terrorists.
“In the past, we gave approval for this country to join (including Greece in NATO). We will not be entering this “journey” for the second time. As far as Sweden and Finland are concerned, we have made it clear to officials that we will say no. And so we will continue,” Erdoan said.
“What happened when they came back? For example, the United States established a base in Alexandroupolis. And the terrorist organization FETO travels to Europe via Greece. And Greece ignores the list of terrorists we gave them. And they continue to protect them.
Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlt Avuolu called for the Americans’ “restoration of neutrality” and publicly expressed Ankara’s displeasure with US policy in Greek-Turkish relations.
In a meeting he had with his American counterpart Antony Blinken immediately after Mitsotakis’ address to Congress, avuolu discussed what had happened between them.
He said he expected a “restoration of neutrality” from the Americans between Greece and Turkey, saying he had received a promise from the American secretary of state.
“During our meeting, I told Blinken that they always keep the balance in the Cyprus, Turkey and Greece issues. I told him that lately they have lost that balance. Himself told me they would keep the balance. The United States must be in favor of the law”, avuolu mentioned.
Visibly annoyed by the level of Greek-American relations, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also spoke of the country’s new Greek armament programs.
“We expect Greece to see events on a global scale and to make correct and logical decisions. It’s really nothing but fictitious for such a debt-ridden country to run for new alliances and new weapons while there is a NATO alliance,” he said, referring to Turkey-Greece relations.
A little later, and on the anniversary of the Pontus Greek genocide, Akar again publicly attacked Greece.
“We completely reject the claims of the Greek authorities about Pontus, who reject all sorts of rational and logical truths and persistently pursue their efforts to distort historical reality, ignoring it,” he said.
“We condemn the immoral attitude of Greek politicians who openly lie both in front of their own people and in front of the whole world, making these allegations baseless,” the defense minister said, provocatively distorting historical reality.
“If Greece seeks a shameful reality of the past, it must face the bloody horrors of its ancestors who brutally attempted to invade and occupy Anatolia.
“This crime against humanity committed by the Greeks, who perpetrated barbaric massacres in Anatolia without discrimination between children, women and the elderly, was included in the report of the Allied Powers Commission of Inquiry and was also recognized and registered by the Lausanne Treaty of Peace.”
Spokesperson for Erdoan’s party: ‘Legal overflights’
Ruling Justice and Development Party spokeswoman Mer Elik also appeared against Greece, while accusing members of the US Senate and House of Representatives of “applauding Congress when an ally of NATO accuses another”.
He also has his own take on Turkey’s illegal overflights of the Greek islands.
“You constantly talk about overflights of the islands. Well, what right do you have to militarize the islands that should be demilitarized? he says without feeling the irony of why the Greek islands must be militarized following these constant provocations.
“There is no illegality,” added Elik. “They won’t solve their problems like that. With Turkey they will sit down at the table, with Turkey they will settle their affairs. This has been the case in the past. It does not matter, that they are applauded and all the parliaments of the world, it has no value.
READ MORE: Turkey repeatedly violated Greek airspace shortly before the Mitsotakis-Biden meeting.
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