Erdogan says Greece “is not on our level politically, economically or militarily.”
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned on Monday the Greek ambassador to Turkey, Christodoulos Lazaris, to ask for explanations for the deployment of US armored vehicles on the islands of Lesbos and Samos.
The note, picked up by the Anatolia news agency, states that such deployment constitutes a “new violation” of Greece’s contractual obligations under the Lausanne Peace Treaty of 1923 and the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947.
For its part, the Greek side has rejected Ankara’s accusations, which are “completely unfounded and inconsistent with international law,” diplomatic sources have stressed, as reported by the daily ‘Kathimerini’.
According to the same sources, the Greek ambassador in Ankara has specified that Greece is not the country that threatens its neighbor with war, in a clear reference to a ‘casus belli’, and neither has it gathered on its coasts “the largest amphibious fleet”, as Turkey has done, while saying that it respects the Treaty of Lausanne.
Turkey, which has called on Athens for an “end to these violations,” has also reportedly sent a note of protest to Washington, asking the Biden Administration to take the necessary steps to bring Greece into compliance with its demilitarization status in the Aegean islands.
Following this, Turkish President Recep Tayyp Erdogan has specified that they will use “all means at their disposal” to defend their rights as a nation, calling Athens’ stance a “dangerous game”.
“The military build-up that foreign countries seem to occupy throughout Greece should, in essence, disturb the Greek people, not us,” the Turkish leader said after a meeting with the ministerial cabinet in the capital Ankara.
For Erdogan, “Greece is not at our level. They are not our equals politically, economically or militarily,” the Turkish leader added. “Greece will be held accountable for the people it leaves to die in the Mediterranean,” he warned, while assuring that “we are closely monitoring the policies” of its neighbor.
Turkish military drones reportedly recorded videos showing that Greece is deploying armored military vehicles on Aegean islands with non-militarized status, thus breaching the Lausanne Treaty.
The videos show the landing of armored vehicles donated by the United States on the islands of Lesvos and Samos. Specifically, it would involve two landing ships that unloaded 23 tactical armored vehicles for Lesbos and another 18 on Samos between September 18 and 21.
“These acts by Athens against international law and against the spirit of alliance despite calls for dialogue and good neighborliness are unacceptable,” the Turkish side said, according to a source consulted by the state news agency.