On Tuesday, Ankara rejected the Czech Foreign Ministry’s statement that it supported Greece in its dispute with its neighbor. Prague criticized the words of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who indirectly threatened Athens with a military attack. Ankara responded by declaring that the position of the Czech Republic and the EU has no meaning for it.
The controversy was sparked by earlier statements by Turkish President Erdogan, who threatened Athens that the Turks could one night come to Greek territory in the Aegean Sea. “What I am talking about is not a dream,” Erdogan said.
Athens rejected the statements of the Turkish president and pointed out that they are ready to protect Greek sovereignty. Greece was supported by the European Union as well as the Czech diplomacy, which called Erdogan’s words on Twitter “very harmful” and “unacceptable threats”.
In response to the statements of Prague, which presides over the European Union this semester, Ankara said that the positions of the Czech Foreign Ministry and EU institutions have “no meaning or value” for it. According to Turkish diplomacy, these positions ignore Greek threats, provocative rhetoric or violations of international law. Support from the EU, according to Turkey, confirms Greece in pursuing its “maximalist demands”.
Tensions between Turkey and Greece have risen in recent weeks over military activities in the Aegean Sea. According to Athens, Turkish military aircraft have violated Greek airspace on 6,000 occasions since the beginning of the year. The Greek Air Force usually sends its fighters to the Turkish planes. Ankara, on the other hand, complained that its planes were targeted by Greek air defenses. Turkey also claims that Greece is violating international agreements by deploying its military troops on some islands in the Aegean Sea and is insisting on the “demilitarization” of those territories. However, Athens has long refused to do so.