Athens worries of Erdogan’s striking Greece ahead of re-election hardship, Greek media says

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Turkey’s threatening Greece is not new, but in this case, it is more specific than usual, according to Kathimerini

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threatening Greece with missile strike caused concern in Athens as he “could orchestrate an incident as an act of desperation,” ahead of next year’s presidential election.

“Greek officials usually dismiss these statements as pandering to a domestic audience. But, with Erdogan facing a difficult re-election next year, they are also concerned that he could orchestrate an incident as an act of desperation,” Kathimerini newspaper said on Monday.

Erdogan on Sunday said Ankara would strike Athens unless it “stays calm”.

Turkey’s production of its indigenous Tayfun missiles scares the Greek, Erdogan said during an event in the Black Sea coast city of Samsun.

“If you [Greece] don’t stay calm, if you provoke, if you try to buy something from the United States for the Greek islands, a country like Turkey will not wait,” he said.

“These kinds of threats are not new, although, in this case, they are more specific than usual,” Kathimerini said, reminding Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s threatening Greece with doing “whatever is necessary," if Athens does not meet Turkey’s demands to demilitarize its eastern Aegean islands on Tuesday.

"If Athens doesn’t want peace, Ankara will do whatever is necessary," Cavusoglu said.

The tensions between Turkey and Greece who have long been at odds over a string of issues, have build up lately over the status of the Aegean islands, where Ankara blames Athens for “illegally” militarizing its islands in violation of international treaties.

Turkey says the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris require Greece’s eastern Aegean islands to remain demilitarized. Greece says the restrictions no longer apply.