Greece blames Turkey of “neo-Ottoman bullying”
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Turkey wants “to turn back the clock of history and to revive the Ottoman Empire,” but they won’t accept this “neo-Ottoman bullying.”
“We are not deterred, nor are we afraid,” Dendias said during a joint press briefing with his French counterpart Catherine Colonna in Athens, Kathimerini reported on Wednesday.
Turkey’s recent statements against Greece are “unacceptable” and “reprehensible,” Dendias said.
Ankara’s accusing Greece of harassing Turkish fighter jets with Russian S-300s in the eastern Mediterranean last month, has escalated the tensions between the two neighboring NATO allies.
While Athens denied the allegations, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said Turkish forces could target Greece any moment if necessary, recalling a Turkish victory against the Greek forces invading the western part of Turkey after the World War I.
"Greece, look at history, go back in time; if you go too far, the price will be heavy,” Erdogan said. "When the time comes, we will do what is necessary. As we say, all of a sudden, we can come overnight," he said.
Greece and Turkey are embroiled in disputes over a string of issues, including territory, airspace, the status of Aegean islands and hydrocarbon exploration rights in Eastern Mediterranean. The two resumed talks last year, in an effort to resolve their differences, however, Erdogan in June announced that Ankara has halted the bilateral initiative, after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on the US Congress to reject to sell F-16 fighter jets to Turkey. Mitsotakis "no longer exists" for him, Erdogan said.